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Settle down Ace, it's not a race. (group ride practices)

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Settle down Ace, it's not a race. (group ride practices)

Old 06-15-21, 04:24 PM
  #51  
road292
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The OP's description of the ride sounds exactly like one in my area (the Gimbels ride, just north of New York City). It can be fun, and I can't keep up for more than a mile or two once the pace quickens anyway, but even in that interval, I'm really not comfortable with the extent to which the group blows through lights and such. Too many distracted drivers who may not realize that a pack of sometimes 50+ riders is following those first few guys who just entered the intersection on a red light.
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Old 06-15-21, 05:35 PM
  #52  
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How did I wind up surrounded by hippies from Critical Mass?
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Old 06-15-21, 06:23 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by road292 View Post
The OP's description of the ride sounds exactly like one in my area (the Gimbels ride, just north of New York City). It can be fun, and I can't keep up for more than a mile or two once the pace quickens anyway, but even in that interval, I'm really not comfortable with the extent to which the group blows through lights and such. Too many distracted drivers who may not realize that a pack of sometimes 50+ riders is following those first few guys who just entered the intersection on a red light.
I can't imagine doing a big group ride in an area that dense with cars.
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Old 06-15-21, 08:19 PM
  #54  
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What OP describes is the hop or trop problem, the problem when you lose the beat, when you are deciding when you should just blow it along (maybe had a bit of a gap?).

I can see running stop signs, even lights if you enter at least on orange, with such a big group. It is like a tractor trailer that has to wait for left turn and only can do it on orange light, finishing the rest of it well on red light.

I don't think car drivers will complain if all go through brazenly, because its at least as fast as can be. If you start stopping at mid group, it can end up badly and even if doesn't, you get more chance getting the car drivers upset when it only comes close to something happening.

Many years ago, I rode bike in my town by myself and as was habit by many others, I rode in this style, no stopping on stop signs if I saw I could make it, same on red lights (actually starting going across on red on smaller intersections). Once my brother visited me and we went out on bikes, just across town, and he missed a beat behind me and cars started honking... was partly my fault because I didn't quite allow for someone following me, still if he didn't use his head and went tight with me, it would have been OK. Since then, I wouldn't do that with him, he wasn't by far as experienced on bike as I was or in this riding style.

You just can't have group of any size in which people behind the leader use their own head, their own safety standard, that is if the group is not broken up but everybody is drafting, you can't have car sized gaps in this style of riding (but even then, car drives can't overlook such a huge group. It should go as a train, as that tractor trailer I mention at the start of my post. If you have such a large group, it impresses car drivers and they cut you slack, never mind road rules. But it has to ride as one train and given the speeds mentioned, those have got to be folks who know how to ride bikes.

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Old 06-17-21, 01:38 PM
  #55  
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This group sounds like a scary one to be in. It is probably too big to change the dynamic quickly, or at all. I join some smaller groups at times (10-20) here in Colorado and they seems to be more disciplined and careful, though there always are 3-4 guys who are hammerheads and treat it like a race. They are pretty strong riders but even they do stop for lights and such. Riding with this large group mentioned, would make me too uncomfortable to repeat. Be careful.
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Old 06-17-21, 04:49 PM
  #56  
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Not that many group rides in my area. I would not be inclined to participate if there were. I guess I understand some of the appeal. At 76 and a cranky old man, I do most of my rides on dirt roads and two tracks where I may see half a dozen cars in 30 miles and no other biker.
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Old 06-17-21, 07:12 PM
  #57  
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For an open like this I think the behaviour is pretty much par for the course. What do you expect when you're riding with guys you don't know, guys with something to prove, guys who want to see where they stack up against everyone else? You can't police their behaviour. The risk of an incident is much, much higher. Don't do group rides like this if you are expecting something else.
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Old 06-17-21, 07:14 PM
  #58  
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This sounds a bit like the Donut ride here in Toronto.
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Old 06-17-21, 10:58 PM
  #59  
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It's always a race.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:34 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
It's always a race.
I usually ride alone, but I took up a forum buddy's offer to ride together. a dirt trail on MTBS. he's an ex pro road racer. I am not. anyway we started the ride side by side chatting. every now & then one of us had their front wheel just inches in front of the others. we kept trading the lead by inches. I think it was unintentional, but the result was our speed slowly grew & grew for an hour. I didn't drink as much as I would normally & I didn't snack at all. I was fine to the 1/2 way point, where we drank & snacked. on the way back I kept up but he was kind. I was still pushing myself waaay beyond my normal pace. which is a good thing about riding w/ others. by time we got back to the car I was wasn't breathless, but I had like a full body drain I find it hard to describe. we chatted before loading up & parting ways. driving home I was in like a coma or something. I felt better the next day but I fear if i ride with him again my competitiveness will rear it's ugly head again. I vow to fuel & hydrate better
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Old 06-18-21, 06:41 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
It's always a race.
It really is.

An ironic twist... In a mountain bike race a couple years ago, two of us passed another racer (by the second hour of an mtb race, things are usually pretty spread out - almost calm... other than the screaming BPM)... as we passed, he said "Easy fellas; it's not a race." I replied "I know. But I told my wife I'd be home by noon."
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Old 06-18-21, 07:15 AM
  #62  
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Group ride blowing stop signs and lights. Driver coming from the left and going straight through the intersection on her green light is a 5’ 2” 91 year old driving a Oldsmobile 98 who the DMV hasn’t given a driving test since Eisenhower was president. Ok.
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Old 06-18-21, 10:29 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
This Tucker ride is a weekly thing? It just sounds like a recipe for disaster as described. Open (meaning anyone with any skills or sense can show up), added to fact you average about 60 riders? If it was broken up at the start into groups of say 12 riders, with each group leaving 5 minutes after the previous, that would make more sense IMO.
This was my thoughts exactly. 60 riders just seems completely unreasonable to me. Way too big.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
It's always a race.
...even when the other rider doesn't know it's a race.
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Old 06-18-21, 10:59 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
It's always a race.
It can also be an embarrassment, when you are the only one racing.
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Old 06-18-21, 11:28 PM
  #66  
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TBH, this sounds like a crit, minus the closed course and all safety considerations. IOW, an impromptu alleycat race.

I've watched a local fast group deteriorate from a fast but safe club ride to a free-for-all alleycat crit. Warnings and even tickets from cops didn't change their practices. The former club leader tried to punt responsibility for the A group ride to the local pro team. The pro team wouldn't have 'em.

I've watched the local pro team ride, since my neighborhood is along a popular training route. The pros are very fast but not reckless. They usually do roll through stop sign intersections -- carefully -- and slow-and-go through traffic lights where appropriate. But they don't heedlessly blow through intersections or surge to drop people off the back. It's a controlled paceline and team ride, usually no more than a dozen regulars.

There's no way to keep a group together when the front of the pack blows through intersections, and surges to drop the pack. Anyone who hesitates even slightly to watch for traffic is never gonna get back on unless they can cobble together a group of three or more strong riders to close the gap.

Not my cuppa but knock yourselves out. If I were younger and stronger I might think it was fun once in awhile.
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Old 06-22-21, 03:40 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
The opinions on this one might have a broad range ;-)

Okay, the Tucker Ride in Atlanta is a long-standing open group ride. It's a 40-mile ride listed as "very fast paced training ride, 24 mph++. Terrain is hilly..." But remember - Atlanta... home to 6 million people. We have some cars down here. The ride goes east out of town, some rural(ish) roads, but still there are intersections. Atlanta.

The group blows 4-way stops - they're mostly treated as no-stops or green lights. First guys make sure no one's entering or about to enter, group flies. That mostly makes sense. I mean, 60 riders at 24 mph will be through that pretty quickly.

This Saturday as we approached a 4-way intersection (one lane each way with lights) at 22-24 mph, we lost the green, the yellow was stale and a car was waiting to go - from left, crossing our path. I was probably 4th or 5th back, two lines... I would've made it through on a fresh red, but before the car went. But the other 50+ riders would've been blowing a red - hopefully only pissing off the driver, not reshaping the passenger side of the car.

I was going to ease up, and yell "STOPPING" but fortunately someone else did first. We all stopped. A few riders in the back *****ed "AHHH COME ON!!!" "Jesus *$&@... " One guy even flew past the group, and turned into small parking lot and looped around - like he was going so damn fast he needed a runway to land. He was shaking his head. Seemed like the guy who tells his buddies "I did 40 miles at 25 mph today". No Ace, the group did 25 mph. You hid in the back and got mad when we didn't ride like @#%^heads and your average dropped by .1 mph.

So that's the question - when do you make the call? When do you decide to tell 60 hammerheads (a relative term) to stop. Oh sure, "when it's not safe" But come on - these rides left safe miles and several mph behind.

Note: "This is why I don't do group rides" doesn't count as an answer ;-)
I would never try to run through red lights in a fun group ride, simply not worth the risk. You never know there is an itchy driver will want to hammer the pedal as soon as green light comes on.
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Old 06-22-21, 04:18 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Dvdvija View Post
I would never try to run through red lights in a fun group ride, simply not worth the risk. You never know there is an itchy driver will want to hammer the pedal as soon as green light comes on.
I got hit by a driver who was texting, looked up saw green and floored trying to beat the oncoming car. Pulled a left turn right into me.
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Old 06-23-21, 01:43 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I got hit by a driver who was texting, looked up saw green and floored trying to beat the oncoming car. Pulled a left turn right into me.
Same, or essentially similar -- driver considered the left-on-flashing-yellow to be the same as a green arrow. Never looked up from their phone/sammich/masturbating/whatever they were doing. Smacked me sideways, grade 4 shoulder dislocation and break. Didn't hit-and-run, but their first words were "I wasn't going that fast!" Not "Oops, sorry, dude, my bad." More than three years ago, still hasn't been resolved. Shoulder will never be the same.

But that's not my main reason for avoiding some fast group rides. I still participated in some fast group rides, until the pandemic put the kibosh on having fun for awhile. But there's a huge difference in ride etiquette and skills among various local fast groups.

One group I used to ride with has some fairly strong riders, but the skill levels are all over the map: blasting through red lights, drifting off line, not calling out hazards, leading us into traffic cones and then swerving at the last moment without warning, etc. Blasting around 20 mph along the narrowest (just a 4' wide sidewalk), curviest, dimmest, tree-covered part of the MUP that's mostly used by folks walking with dogs and kids. One regroup point at the turnaround, and they take off as soon as the last rider shows up, so if you're the last rider and gassed out, you might as well wave them ahead and ride solo. I gave up on that group a couple of years ago mostly for the utter disregard for safety.

The other group is very safety conscious, better skilled, no drop, a reasonable number of regroup points, and they'll even text you if you don't show up at the main turnaround point. But between regroups they have hammerfest segments of a mile or more. There's a 5-mile time trial segment that's a mostly straight, safe free-for-all, but they wait at the regroup point at the end to collect stragglers and give them 5 minutes to rest before starting again. Those are fun and quite safe.
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Old 06-23-21, 02:34 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post
The opinions on this one might have a broad range ;-)

Okay, the Tucker Ride in Atlanta is a long-standing open group ride. It's a 40-mile ride listed as "very fast paced training ride, 24 mph++. Terrain is hilly..." But remember - Atlanta... home to 6 million people. We have some cars down here. The ride goes east out of town, some rural(ish) roads, but still there are intersections. Atlanta.

The group blows 4-way stops - they're mostly treated as no-stops or green lights. First guys make sure no one's entering or about to enter, group flies. That mostly makes sense. I mean, 60 riders at 24 mph will be through that pretty quickly.

This Saturday as we approached a 4-way intersection (one lane each way with lights) at 22-24 mph, we lost the green, the yellow was stale and a car was waiting to go - from left, crossing our path. I was probably 4th or 5th back, two lines... I would've made it through on a fresh red, but before the car went. But the other 50+ riders would've been blowing a red - hopefully only pissing off the driver, not reshaping the passenger side of the car.

I was going to ease up, and yell "STOPPING" but fortunately someone else did first. We all stopped. A few riders in the back *****ed "AHHH COME ON!!!" "Jesus *$&@... " One guy even flew past the group, and turned into small parking lot and looped around - like he was going so damn fast he needed a runway to land. He was shaking his head. Seemed like the guy who tells his buddies "I did 40 miles at 25 mph today". No Ace, the group did 25 mph. You hid in the back and got mad when we didn't ride like @#%^heads and your average dropped by .1 mph.

So that's the question - when do you make the call? When do you decide to tell 60 hammerheads (a relative term) to stop. Oh sure, "when it's not safe" But come on - these rides left safe miles and several mph behind.

Note: "This is why I don't do group rides" doesn't count as an answer ;-)

You are right to be pissed off with this behaviour. It is one thing if it is a solo cyclist blowing an intersection. I did that a lot in my early 20s. Called it threading the needle. Stupid. But for a big group moving at 22 or more, what would happen if a motorist t-boned 5 of you? The cycling community would all be holding some sort of mass wake and talking about how bad and dangerous the drivers of autos are. Meanwhile, you have the motorist who was now moving on a green and gets to experience the trauma of crashing into cyclist, hearing the noise of them smashing into the car, and then wondering if he killed anyone. Having had a child dart out between cars and run into my car and get his leg really f-ed up, it is not something I would ever want to re experience. I would not ride with this group of jerks if you asked me for my opinion.
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Old 06-23-21, 03:46 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Zaskar View Post

Note: "This is why I don't do group rides" doesn't count as an answer ;-)
What a ridiculous group ride. I do group rides, but would never do this one.

There are plenty of races in GA. Some people need to try one of those.
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Old 06-23-21, 11:01 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
It can also be an embarrassment, when you are the only one racing.
Just like when you're driving at night and some kid comes screaming up from behind, passes, and flicks on his hazard lights (the traditional street-racing way of showing the spectators who won). Easy there, hotshot; I'm on cruise control! You're the only one "racing".

I have a car that looks fast (but isn't) and 99% of kids these days don't even know what it is. So they try to race. From a roll, from a stop light, whatever. They burn rubber and take off and I eventually catch up looking bored, a Diet Coke in one hand....
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Old 06-23-21, 12:26 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
...even when the other rider doesn't know it's a race.
ESPECIALLY when the other rider doesn't know it's a race.
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