Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 106
  1. #1
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884

    Lost art of the MTB group ride

    Take a minute to read through this.



    Is there a similar problem for recreational mountain biking clubs?

    What would be some of the rules about "raising" an educated eastern canada mtb member. Do you think that leaving the guy behind in the woods who shows up in the parking lot with a broke-ass bicycle is just rewards? Is it impolite to jump the cue when the group is stopped or to tailgate said slower rider until they "get it"? Is anybody telling these new riders not to cut corners or remove terrain features. Is it okay to tell a rider to come back when they have more skills because they're currently too slow. Will we be reaping the rewards with a generation of "wild" recreational cyclists by failing to shepherd them? Perhaps the idea of being domesticated disgusts you! Did anybody teach you some of the art of group mountain biking or did you stumble through all the various issues?

  2. #2
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    I like to give people a chance to see what they're about. Most good practices for running group rides are common sense, and I like to see whether people have that common sense before supplanting it with rules which - if force fed to them too quickly - they may never appreciate the reasons for.

    Having an appropriate pace and level of technical challenge that is communicated when gathering up participants for the ride, before the ride starts, often helps to nip any problems in the bud.

    The only practice I insist on as a hard and fast rule is to make sure before wheels roll that everyone on the ride knows what the commonly understood plan is in case anyone gets unexpectedly separated from the group as a result of being lost, hurt, mechanical, etc. It's no fun lying in a ditch with everyone else long gone. That's more of an issue on some routes than others.

    IMHO everything else can be handled by learning on the "job". If people don't seem to learn, or we have fundamental disagreements on the type of riding experiences we want to be out on respectively, I simply exercise my right to not ride with them again in the future.

  3. #3
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I like to give people a chance to see what they're about. Most good practices for running group rides are common sense, and I like to see whether people have that common sense before supplanting it with rules which - if force fed to them too quickly - they may never appreciate the reasons for.

    Having an appropriate pace and level of technical challenge that is communicated when gathering up participants for the ride, before the ride starts, often helps to nip any problems in the bud.

    The only practice I insist on as a hard and fast rule is to make sure before wheels roll that everyone on the ride knows what the commonly understood plan is in case anyone gets unexpectedly separated from the group as a result of being lost, hurt, mechanical, etc. It's no fun lying in a ditch with everyone else long gone. That's more of an issue on some routes than others.

    IMHO everything else can be handled by learning on the "job". If people don't seem to learn, or we have fundamental disagreements on the type of riding experiences we want to be out on respectively, I simply exercise my right to not ride with them again in the future.
    Alright, that sounds fine in theory... Let me cook this up:

    Eventually somebody shows up who uh, lets say is not catching on, improving or constantly gets carried away. You sit waiting and wondering - where the **** did Bob go? As the experience rider you opt to leave the group, but also do you not feel an onus to correct them or is it school of hard knocks all the way? Is it ok to leave Bob to the forest gnomes or should we pelt him with advice. The author of the article(in another piece) speaks kindly of the group leader who took him off the front to the back of the group and showed him how it's done. I rarely see this nowadays, particularly from racers(sorry) perhaps we're engaging too much in "egoistic" riding as the author suspects??

  4. #4
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Are we talking about different timeframes perhaps? Below you seem to be talking about a single ride. In my previous post I am talking about a long-term "investment" in helping someone learn the ropes over a number of rides over time.

    Speaking directly to your point below though, it would take a heck of an extreme situation to make me bail on a group or rider during an actual ride. In for a penny, in for a pound, and when you start a ride with people under the expectation that you are are finishing the ride with them, then you're bound to it unless people are in a good position to split off without being in harm's way or feeling like they've been adbandoned.

    Patience is necessary. You can't hammer a newer rider with advice constantly, or they won't be coming back to ride any more - or at least not with you. Besides, if they eventually come to figure something out by themselves intuitively, the lesson sinks in deeper than if taught to them by someone else IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Eventually somebody shows up who uh, lets say is not catching on, improving or constantly gets carried away. You sit waiting and wondering - where the **** did Bob go? As the experience rider you opt to leave the group, but also do you not feel an onus to correct them or is it school of hard knocks all the way? Is it ok to leave Bob to the forest gnomes or should we pelt him with advice. The author of the article(in another piece) speaks kindly of the group leader who took him off the front to the back of the group and showed him how it's done. I rarely see this nowadays, particularly from racers(sorry) perhaps we're engaging too much in "egoistic" riding as the author suspects??

  5. #5
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Are we talking about different timeframes perhaps? Below you seem to be talking about a single ride. In my previous post I am talking about a long-term "investment" in helping someone learn the ropes over a number of rides over time.

    Speaking directly to your point below though, it would take a heck of an extreme situation to make me bail on a group or rider during an actual ride. In for a penny, in for a pound, and when you start a ride with people under the expectation that you are are finishing the ride with them, then you're bound to it unless people are in a good position to split off without being in harm's way or feeling like they've been adbandoned.

    Patience is necessary. You can't hammer a newer rider with advice constantly, or they won't be coming back to ride any more - or at least not with you. Besides, if they eventually come to figure something out by themselves intuitively, the lesson sinks in deeper than if taught to them by someone else IMHO.
    Just speaking about multiple rides with a club or social club where certain trends appear frequently enough that you can predict which rider will do what - (Jim and Steve are going far too fast and people are getting strung out, Bob snapped another chain... that guy never takes care of his bike and Cptsydor got a face-full of dirt again on a tiny jump and is crying)

    I'm also not down with leaving somebody out there in the woods and this is where the "art" of the group ride comes in.

    Particularly i'm now prodding at the fact that perhaps the "sweeper" as they are know in mtb should be the most seasoned lead rider in the recreational group. However it seems that the sweeper position ends up being somebody less skilled and experienced since there is a disconnect on what the philosophy or art of the group ride is(to raise responsible riders?). Most times the more experience rider is blasting it away with others in the front, but what sort of group ride does that encourage? For example - It seems we have a lot of racers on Ontario, but not a lot of advocates who actually do both. I don't even think it would occur to most racers that they could have an alternate role to fill in not using group rides as a hammer fest or leaving a bunch of those "tards" to themselves. OF course it can be overwhelming to train everybody first hand so perhaps that is why a list is needed?

    Yes, I have also seen weaker riders so smothered in advice they'd forget their own name if their mother didn't write it on their whiteys. That isn't surprising though since talk is cheap. Rarely does somebody take time to actually teach the rules or the art of a smooth group ride.

  6. #6
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061

    i ride often with a group

    on the road and more often in the winter - MTB.

    my experience is completely contrary to what this guy is writing in his article. i am actually finding his article somewhat ignorant.

    he missed to mention one of the most important rules of group riding: choose your riding group carefully.

    Toronto donut ride is not for everyone. don't blame the group first, if the experience is not enjoyable. blame yourself for picking that group.

    The group that i ride road has not changed it's riding style the last 10 years, that i have been riding with them. at the beginning i would start with the group, but was dropped in the slower group after about 40kms. the group splits in two nowadays as well. no one complains and everyone shows up at the beginning of the next ride, the following sunday. everyone knows the drill. new riders get used to it. they choose to keep riding or find another group. it is on voluntary basis. the group is welcoming and shares knowledge and it's rules with new riders. i went to winter "riding vacations" to Cuba and Mexico with this group. we also went as a group to LaRuta...

    MTB riding groups are even more fun, due to the nature of MTB riding. we share our knowledge of bikes and skills within the group, trying to make each other better. no one gets dropped ever. however, there is a certain fitness expectation - meaning - one rider does not spoil fun for the whole group.

    so, i don't really understand where this guy is coming from. his concerns are not unreasonable, but i don't like the way he writes about them. generalization is an understatement. he takes the experience from one group ride and all of a sudden the whole recreational group riding gets painted pretty bleakly. not really sure about that...

    where i ride - i don't share his concerns...

    no one, no group can spoil my fun when i am on two wheels...

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Take a minute to read through this.



    Is there a similar problem for recreational mountain biking clubs?

    What would be some of the rules about "raising" an educated eastern canada mtb member. Do you think that leaving the guy behind in the woods who shows up in the parking lot with a broke-ass bicycle is just rewards? Is it impolite to jump the cue when the group is stopped or to tailgate said slower rider until they "get it"? Is anybody telling these new riders not to cut corners or remove terrain features. Is it okay to tell a rider to come back when they have more skills because they're currently too slow. Will we be reaping the rewards with a generation of "wild" recreational cyclists by failing to shepherd them? Perhaps the idea of being domesticated disgusts you! Did anybody teach you some of the art of group mountain biking or did you stumble through all the various issues?

  7. #7
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061

    let me check something....

    ah of course, you did not join our ride at Copeland...

    we had a seasoned racer leading the pack and the whole group had as much fun as it could be had.

    did you go for group rides with racers, so that you are basing your comments about racers on first hand experience, or is this just one of many generalizations that you are making about sausage suits?

    as a weaker rider few years ago, i desperately wanted to be a part of the stronger group, so that i could improve my skills as well. also, as a weaker rider, i made sure that fitness was not my limiting factor, as i was seeking to join the stronger group...

    the key here is - choose your riding group carefully. if you do it - the potential risk of an intolerable mismatch is minimal...

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Just speaking about multiple rides with a club or social club where certain trends appear frequently enough that you can predict which rider will do what - (Jim and Steve are going far too fast and people are getting strung out, Bob snapped another chain... that guy never takes care of his bike and Cptsydor got a face-full of dirt again on a tiny jump and is crying)

    I'm also not down with leaving somebody out there in the woods and this is where the "art" of the group ride comes in.

    Particularly i'm now prodding at the fact that perhaps the "sweeper" as they are know in mtb should be the most seasoned lead rider in the recreational group. However it seems that the sweeper position ends up being somebody less skilled and experienced since there is a disconnect on what the philosophy or art of the group ride is(to raise responsible riders?). Most times the more experience rider is blasting it away with others in the front, but what sort of group ride does that encourage? For example - It seems we have a lot of racers on Ontario, but not a lot of advocates who actually do both. I don't even think it would occur to most racers that they could have an alternate role to fill in not using group rides as a hammer fest or leaving a bunch of those "tards" to themselves. OF course it can be overwhelming to train everybody first hand so perhaps that is why a list is needed?

    Yes, I have also seen weaker riders so smothered in advice they'd forget their own name if their mother didn't write it on their whiteys. That isn't surprising though since talk is cheap. Rarely does somebody take time to actually teach the rules or the art of a smooth group ride.
    Last edited by osokolo; 09-13-2011 at 08:29 PM.

  8. #8
    poser Administrator
    Reputation: rockcrusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    9,062
    We have this thing down here in the desert called hot weather. Group rides are mostly staged with a nomenclature that defines the pace, the group dynamic and the trail type of riding. It is based on the ABC system where an A ride is very technical, fast and has infrequent stops. You show at your own risk. A B rise is one where the technical sections might be the same as an A ride but the group will stop, wait for everyone after the section and continue on. A C ride is one in which the group waits for everyone at each top of hill, bottom of hill, trail junction etc. The trails are easier and the group is more social than competitive.

    The repercussions for getting lost or left behind is too great down here to let someone fall behind, so usually we have a sweeper, sometimes the ride organizer sometimes just someone that want to take it slow that morning. I noob or a person that shows on an incompatible bike might be ushered by the sweeper through the ride but they will also be recommended to not come to the next ride but try one of the B or C rides instead.

    If they keep coming we keep shepherding them, there is no other option than to read about a dead cyclist on the news later than night if we abandon him. Ultimately the safety of the cyclist is more important than the fun of the ride, some one jumps on the sword and we continue on.
    Try this: HTFU

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    ah of course, you did not join our ride at Copeland...

    we had a seasoned racer leading the pack and the whole group had as much fun as it could be had.
    Yup, and we had another seasoned rider who dropped back to make sure everyone was doing fine and took the right path.

    the key here is - choose your riding group carefully. if you do it - the potential risk of a intolerable mismatch is minimal...
    Unfortunately this can be a bit of a problem these days. When I started mountain biking 20 years ago it was very close to a community thing where pretty much every mountain biker knew each other or knew someone who knew that rider. It was much more close-knit so there was a greater interest in welcoming and helping new riders into the family. We'd take the time to pass on our wisdom to the new riders, someone did it for us so it was our duty to do it for the next group.

    Nowadays there's just so many riders that it doesn't work the same way anymore. We've fractured into groups that don't really talk or have much contact with each other, and as a result we've lost some of that sense of community and duty. It can be harder for someone starting out in the sport to find their way through the mess. Where do they start? How do they find the right group?

    I think the problem was caused partly by the rapid growth of the sport, we had so many people coming into the sport in such a short time that we didn't have enough experienced riders to pass on the wisdom of the elders. We had group rides go from 4 to nearly 40 people in something like 3 years. Many never got the chance to ride & learn from veterans, and some of those people are now the ones leading groups and passing down what they know. It also doesn't help that some of the experienced riders from the old days burned out and mostly dropped out of the scene.

  10. #10
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    ah of course, you did not join our ride at Copeland...

    we had a seasoned racer leading the pack and the whole group had as much fun as it could be had.

    did you go for group rides with racers, so that you are basing your comments about racers on first hand experience, or is this just one of many generalizations that you are making about sausage suits?

    as a weaker rider few years ago, i desperately wanted to be a part of the stronger group, so that i could improve my skills as well. also, as a weaker rider, i made sure that fitness was not my limiting factor, as i was seeking to join the stronger group...

    the key here is - choose your riding group carefully. if you do it - the potential risk of an intolerable mismatch is minimal...
    I'm not talking about the group who went to Copeland in particular and yes i've been on rides with people who are faster - who hasn't - so you should rest assured it's not about sausage suits. Saying that, sometimes those with great fitness really complain when lead through the technical stuff. IMO - It is more common to lose your riders there.

    The ride leader and his lieutenants were serious about their roles, because the safety of the group depended on you, the weakest link. If you did not follow the rules, you were chastised. Harshly. If you did, you became a member of something spectacular. The Peloton.
    Obviously it is important to chose the group which allows you to have enjoy the sport. The donut ride is obviously more towards the selfish end than the group end. Good to know. While we don't have many issue with riders crashing into each other there can be complications unique to mountain biking. I think it is equally important to offer something(like showing how to ride a feature) and not simply kicking that person out to the kiddy pool because they're a noob. What value can that impart - this isn't a categorized race, but a recreational ride - what is the philosophy there of it pretending to constantly be a race*? This is where the experienced rider should step up and practice some group-ride art, by being an ambassador and helping people out of that frustrating kiddy pool(before they start trashing the features and tech lines)

    Read this comment from the post:
    I remember when I started my first group ride in South Africa. Was 15 years old, cocky as hell, think I could drop everyone. The patron was an old Italian ex-pro (old at that time to me, he was 55). Moved to South Africa from Italy, he was in the marble industry. Only rode Campy C-Record on a custom Messina made from Columbus SL tubing. He rode up next to me within the first 2 miles and took me to the back of the group (where I belong according to him). He told me that he is going to show me how the handle the bike before I can ride up front. I think that is only part of it; he wanted to teach me the unwritten rules of the group. Said the first thing I should learn is how to ride without hands. He put his hand on my back and told me to take my hands off the handlebars. Only for 2 seconds at a time and only 1 inch above the handlebars….And so it started.
    *If you are training you ought to be doing it alone so you can follow your program.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    103

  12. #12
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    The answer cannot be really technology based since the question was more of a philosophical/ethical one. Most of us have cell phone coverage in these areas anyways.

  13. #13
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Particularly i'm now prodding at the fact that perhaps the "sweeper" as they are know in mtb should be the most seasoned lead rider in the recreational group. However it seems that the sweeper position ends up being somebody less skilled and experienced since there is a disconnect on what the philosophy or art of the group ride is(to raise responsible riders?). Most times the more experience rider is blasting it away with others in the front, but what sort of group ride does that encourage? For example - It seems we have a lot of racers on Ontario, but not a lot of advocates who actually do both. I don't even think it would occur to most racers that they could have an alternate role to fill in not using group rides as a hammer fest or leaving a bunch of those "tards" to themselves.
    OK, to the point then I think you are cherry-picking an opinion based on your own personal observations which can safely be assumed to be limited to an extremely small sampling of the population in question. Not saying elements of what you or the article describe don't occur at all, but my experiences have trended toward the opposite.

    Sweeps don't have the be the most competent riders, or the most experienced within a group, they just need to be able to do the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Rarely does somebody take time to actually teach the rules or the art of a smooth group ride.
    Maybe you aren't feeling the love any more because you have progressed to the point where you don't look like you need as much hand holding?

  14. #14
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    OK, to the point then I think you are cherry-picking an opinion based on your own personal observations which can safely be assumed to be limited to an extremely small sampling of the population in question. Not saying elements of what you or the article describe don't occur at all, but my experiences have trended toward the opposite.

    Sweeps don't have the be the most competent riders, or the most experienced within a group, they just need to be able to do the job.



    Maybe you aren't feeling the love any more because you have progressed to the point where you don't look like you need as much hand holding?
    Well, i'm not trying to cherry pick something out of the murky cycling backwaters in which I apparently lurk! I do get where the author of the article is coming from though. I do see the reason for his complaints repeated off-road. Sure things aren't as cut and dry as they appear when it comes to deciding what is recreational and what people feel they're responsible for, but we can agree these rides are recreational in the sense that we're not counting coups(sprints) or breakways and other competitive shenanigins which aren't really the spirit of a safer recreational ride and belong more in a race.

    To clarify...before i get too much into what the author calls "egoistic riding". Some ideas might be...

    1) No passing over a yellow line might translate to no passing or racing near hikers or on narrow sections where you'll widen the trail.
    2) Hold your line might translate as no stopping the bicycle in the middle of the trail.
    3) To ride through the top of a climb translates as to ride through the top of a climb.
    4) To give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to dismount and not cause a jam.
    5) To give the person ahead of you on a descent a little more room to bail out so you don't run them over or hit them.
    6) To ride for months each year in the small ring translated as use a single speed and learn about cadence.
    7) To start with a humble bicycle so you don't like like a huge poseur or end up getting scalped on craigslist.

    I might not need hand holding, but i think a lot of beginners and groups in general can benefit from being shown the ropes from somebody who didn't flee the kiddy pools for the remote and technical back-waters after encountering so many violators of the sports various un-written rules they pulled their hair out!

  15. #15
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    On rides that I organize, I tend to do the sweeping myself. Might sound weird but there's always at least one other rider (usually Mrs. Monster) that knows the route as well as I do and is capable of leading.

    I actually really like sweeping since I usually have a chance to chat with almost everyone as they drop to the back to eat, tweek their bike or just take a break.

    I find that in MTB group rides, one of the most persistent problems is the tendency for the newest or "weakest" riders to hang off the back and get dropped. I usually encourage them to move a little more toward the middle so that they have experienced people ahead of them (showing them the lines and generally setting a good example) and experienced people behind them (to dust them off when they fall down or help them with a mechanical).

    That being said, all my rides are no-drop, casual affairs. I let the distance (40km off-road or 100km road, for example) be the gate. Seems to work great!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  16. #16
    Ms. Monster
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,812
    I do recall going on one group ride that had a pretty annoying individual. Probably what you'd call a racer-type, except I'd never seen him out at ANY races. Maybe he did the 24 hours. He was all spandexed up and totally dropped the group (including his just-out-of-hospital girlfriend) at every opportunity. The rest of the group informed us that he rode a singlespeed so he'd still be challenged riding with them. Total d0uche. Totally the type to still have his numberplate from Pond-to-Pond on his bike.

    Last year at Solstice while doing a solo on my singlespeed (and actually riding with dstowe, also crushing the solo field on his singlespeed), we were surprised while going up the Green Monster to hear a guy yelling "Singlespeeder, coming through! Singlespeeder coming through!" who proceeded to practically ride right over us. Turns out this loser had broken his bike and borrowed a SS from a friend of mine. Again, really? (Now, every time dstowe passes me, that's what he calls out.)

    It's these people who tend to stand out, unfortunately. There are some in every crowd.

    As for being taught the art of group mountain biking, I think it just comes with experience. If, on my first group ride, someone had taken me aside and pointed out every mistake I was making, I probably would have quit mountain biking.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nspace's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,033
    GM = ride leader extraordineur

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,443
    Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  19. #19
    Ms. Monster
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,812
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary.
    Indeed, a number of clubs (and shops) run very successful group rides that range from training type rides to beginner rides. These are very worthwhile.

  20. #20
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary.
    For me, group rides are usually an off-season thing so I may treat them differently than most people.

    I like them because they give me time to spend with people I usually just race against all Summer and others I don't see much because they don't race.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I find that in MTB group rides, one of the most persistent problems is the tendency for the newest or "weakest" riders to hang off the back and get dropped. I usually encourage them to move a little more toward the middle so that they have experienced people ahead of them (showing them the lines and generally setting a good example) and experienced people behind them (to dust them off when they fall down or help them with a mechanical).
    Back when I was part of group which used to organize & lead a ton of group rides, we put the weaker riders right behind the leader, who was either our best rider or the one most familiar with the trails. This way they got to see the best lines to take, when to brake & shift, and how to ride over various obstacles. It also kept the yo-yo effect to the mininum and prevented the group from being strung out, as well as giving the newer/weaker riders more time to recover at the top of a climb or other rest spot. Keeps the group moving at a better pace too.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,443
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Take a minute to read through this.
    He recites a long list of dangerous hack moves the group is doing.

    He says none of them want to me told what to do.

    Then he wonders why the advanced riders take off on them?

    Really?
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    he missed to mention one of the most important rules of group riding: choose your riding group carefully.
    I'm looking at this from the casual MTBer perspective...

    I always try to team up with MTBers that are a little bit better than me. That gives me the best of both worlds in training and enjoyment which is the essence of group riding is it not? We all have to have the same taste in Scotch too...very important.

    There is something to be said for riding with people who are much better than me and the perfect venue for this is at a 24-hr race - the group ride to the max so to speak. For example the teams I was on for the 24hr events were picked with everyone at the same skill/cardio level so there was a little bit of competition within the group which is good because we all knew that unless there was a massive food-borne virus that affected only the elite teams, there was no way we were placing above 30. There were also other teams at the same level - another plus for some polite competition. The added benefit was the fact that when I got passed like I was standing still by an elite MTBer it allowed me to try to keep up with them (albeit for a short period of time) and I can't believe how much that has helped in the way I pick lines or how fast I corner etc. now compared to before I started doing these events. I would equate that to having Crosby on my hockey team or Jimmy Page in my band.

  24. #24
    More than a little slow
    Reputation: dskunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    646
    Quote Originally Posted by nerdgirl View Post
    last year at solstice while doing a solo on my singlespeed (and actually riding with dstowe, also crushing the solo field on his singlespeed), we were surprised while going up the green monster to hear a guy yelling "singlespeeder, coming through! Singlespeeder coming through!" who proceeded to practically ride right over us. Turns out this loser had broken his bike and borrowed a ss from a friend of mine. Again, really? (now, every time dstowe passes me, that's what he calls out.)
    a favourite memory of mine !

    And this ...

    "Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary." I totally agree with
    Cheers, Dave

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrastories's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    497
    Group riding is a lot of fun, it depends on the group as to how it is run though, I find when I go out with a small group of friends (4 or 5 riders) we kind of know what type of pace the group is capable of, in some cases we stop at trail crossings, tops of hills and bottom of hills, other times if it is all fast riders we can pretty much say we will go to this point and just ride, take turns leading though the single track.

    However if I have the chance to lead new riders or new to a group of riders I won't bombard them with information but I will focus on taking them on a fun ride and encourage them as much as possible so they will join us again. Second ride I will take some time to show them the ropes, as the author of the article suggests. Then I see what the limitations of the rider are, what they know and what I can share with them, or if they are a seasoned rider we can just go rip and have fun.

    In the end the best part of MTB is the beer and stories after the ride!
    Rocky Element
    My Attempt at a Blog

  26. #26
    Lemmy Rules!
    Reputation: Unglued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,772
    Quote Originally Posted by nspace View Post
    gm = ride leader extraordineur
    +1:d
    Strava made me do it....

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,782
    School of hard knocks. Your mom can't hold you hand in everything.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    School of hard knocks. Your mom can't hold you hand in everything.
    Which reminds me of something; expectations of the newbie rider. When I got into the sport we knew and accepted that it would take a long time, as in years & years of riding and practice for us to get good at it. When I worked in a bike shop I met a disturbing number of people who expected to learn & absorb 20 years worth of skills & experience in a single season, they expected to make giant leaps in skill with each ride and got pissy & frustrated when they didn't. Dealing with these people on group rides was not fun. It's a lot easier for a 40-something guy to smack some sense into a 20 year old than the other way around.

  29. #29
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary.
    I think it's a lot more common for a group ride to degenerate into a hammer-fest than for it to degenerate into a learn to ride clinic(maybe a learn to fix the bike clinic).

    The unfortunate problem and perhaps what this author laments is the fact that the recreational ride can only turn into a cat 6 hammer-fest due to the rider being unclassified and mixed. Not to pick on the various donut rides too much, but a certain one is something that is essentially guilty of turning the recreational ride into some sort of bicycle darwinism. Maybe you feel good about that sort of thing since you're vindicated as a survivor in those cat 6 race or maybe you think its not a recreational ride. I'm sure there are an unusual number of breakaways, crossing into traffic, running stops and etc for something that is supposed to be recreational. However, using the local recreational ride as an impromptu race has negative consequences. For example - on the road it pisses off motorists and on the trails it pisses off hikers and it morphs what is supposed to be something recreational and social into something competitive. It also does a disservice to the depth of experience possible within the sport. It's like nerdgirl wrote about a certain racer ruining some group rides because they don't have enough balance to distinguish between when sitting down and going all out and dropping your girlfriend is appropriate. That is the egoistic riding the author doesn't approve of and i also agree it has little place on the recreational ride.

    Now, i'm not saying we have to be 100% inclusive - **** that you can be exclusive if it so happens(there are probably social consequences) - I do think that being overly inclusive, like certain trails promote, significantly lowers the bar of what it means to be part of the mtb group that is analogous to a "peleton". Either way i'm looking at the recreational ride's failure to establish a list of norms and skills for mtb as causing these various trail sanitization issues. Maybe it's the experienced riders fault for not passing a torch and raising riders up to the "peleton" or maybe i'm way off.

    Anyways! It's not what i wanted to get so far into, I know all these issues exists despite people denying them by saying it's all about the group. It doesn't matter which group, even in the "A" rides i'm sure these things happen. What I am more interested in is a list of ten or so things people here felt would be a good thing to present as essential to keeping the recreational mountain bike group ride flowing and promoting a sense of responsibility for your sport. Check my other post for my half completed list!
    Last edited by electrik; 09-14-2011 at 11:11 AM.

  30. #30
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Either way i'm looking at the recreational ride's failure to establish a list of norms and skills for mtb as causing these various trail sanitization issues. Maybe it's the experienced riders fault for not passing a torch and raising riders up to the "peleton" or maybe i'm way off.
    Perhaps shift your focus from group rides as being the source of these ills, and consider the possibility that it may result from people who have never participated in group rides, or start out riding with friends from the same beginner's standpoint and never have any exposure to group rides? Not saying there's anything wrong with either, as the availability of a solitary experience for those who choose it is a great part of mountain biking, but if you're looking for a more likely break in the chain of learning, there's your target.

    Trying to draw in those people to have some contact (even if only infrequent) with the various clubs, organizations, or events is a good way to initiate more contact with experienced riders who can contribute a couple of tips to receptive people when it's appropriate, for trail etiquette or technique. Increasing the quality and quantity of the offerings of those clubs, organizations, and events and promoting them will go a long way.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,443
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Not to pick on the various donut rides too much, but a certain one is something that is essentially guilty of turning the recreational ride into some sort of bicycle darwinism. Maybe you feel good about that sort of thing since you're vindicated as a survivor in those cat 6 race or maybe you think its not a recreational ride. I'm sure there are an unusual number of breakaways, crossing into traffic, running stops and etc for something that is supposed to be recreational. However, using the local recreational ride as an impromptu race has negative consequences. For example - on the road it pisses off motorists and on the trails it pisses off hikers and it morphs what is supposed to be something recreational and social into something competitive.
    I'm not a regular on the donut ride, five or ten times a year tops, but:

    1. Never seen the leaders run a red light, and they even stop for stale greens if the group is too strung out.
    2. Always seen the group roll through stop signs at about the same speed motorists do when they call it a "stop".
    3. Never seen more than one lane in use by the group.
    4. We got called for a right-on-red in a TBN ride that was a mistake I made, and apologized to the driver in question. On the same ride we got cursed out for a stop-and-go at a no-car-in-sight red by a pedestrian who was crossing against the same light at the time. Did not apologize to him.
    4. I thought that you (of all people) would back me up in saying 90% of motorists flip-outs occur because bicycles are being used on a roadway that they think belongs to them. Whether it's a 20kph cruise or a 45kph hammerfest, that dude in the beemer is just outraged that you're not letting him drive at 120 in a lane of his choosing.

    I'm not really sure where the premise is coming from that a hammerfest ride can't be recreation. Yes, when we hit Jane Street on the Donut those guys put me in all kinds of hurt. That's my idea of a good time, that is my recreational time. Do I really need to pay $85 in race fees and drive 2 hours out of town to do that legitimately?
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  32. #32
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Perhaps shift your focus from group rides as being the source of these ills, and consider the possibility that it may result from people who have never participated in group rides, or start out riding with friends from the same beginner's standpoint and never have any exposure to group rides? Not saying there's anything wrong with either, as the availability of a solitary experience for those who choose it is a great part of mountain biking, but if you're looking for a more likely break in the chain of learning, there's your target.

    Trying to draw in those people to have some contact (even if only infrequent) with the various clubs, organizations, or events is a good way to initiate more contact with experienced riders who can contribute a couple of tips to receptive people when it's appropriate, for trail etiquette or technique. Increasing the quality and quantity of the offerings of those clubs, organizations, and events and promoting them will go a long way.
    The solitary mtb/road experience is available to all and I consider the fact that a growing group of riders hasn't ever been on a group ride to learn the trail etiquette as a sort of symptom of the loss of the art of the recreational group ride and the commiserate shallowing out of the sport by an one minded racer and commercial culture. In short we're encouraging lesser behaviour on the trail by failing to exercise better social habits through the use of our group. This sort of "Darwinist" attitude probably won't be very satisfying in the long-run and seems to be leading some further down the path to even more antagonistic positions towards other cyclists(sausage vs baggie comes to mind).

    For now i'm only interested in a list for mountain biking group ride guidelines. What do people feel is the lost art of mountain biking in a group? What would this author have written for their list if they were a mountain biker complaining about an out of control group ride?

  33. #33
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    For now i'm only interested in a list for mountain biking group ride guidelines. What do people feel is the lost art of mountain biking in a group? What would this author have written for their list if they were a mountain biker complaining about an out of control group ride?
    Okay, here's a good tip:

    Know your limits. Don't get in over your head. If the ride is too much for you or the pace is too high, speak up. It may slow things down a bit but crashing and/or breaking your bike is WAY slower.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  34. #34
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I'm not a regular on the donut ride, five or ten times a year tops, but:

    1. Never seen the leaders run a red light, and they even stop for stale greens if the group is too strung out.
    2. Always seen the group roll through stop signs at about the same speed motorists do when they call it a "stop".
    3. Never seen more than one lane in use by the group.
    4. We got called for a right-on-red in a TBN ride that was a mistake I made, and apologized to the driver in question. On the same ride we got cursed out for a stop-and-go at a no-car-in-sight red by a pedestrian who was crossing against the same light at the time. Did not apologize to him.
    4. I thought that you (of all people) would back me up in saying 90% of motorists flip-outs occur because bicycles are being used on a roadway that they think belongs to them. Whether it's a 20kph cruise or a 45kph hammerfest, that dude in the beemer is just outraged that you're not letting him drive at 120 in a lane of his choosing.

    I'm not really sure where the premise is coming from that a hammerfest ride can't be recreation. Yes, when we hit Jane Street on the Donut those guys put me in all kinds of hurt. That's my idea of a good time, that is my recreational time. Do I really need to pay $85 in race fees and drive 2 hours out of town to do that legitimately?
    I'm not going to tell you what you should do. I have seen donut riders commit all those errors, maybe they aren't in the lead group and are the uneducated people hanging off the back, but it still hurts the ride's image. I am in NO way defending a driver who turns into frothing at the mouth ******* because cyclists are taking up a lane and are between her and a ****ing latte(or whatever).

    Do you really need to sign up and drive out of town to race, well... I think the answer is yes. If only because it is clear it's an organized race. If people started turning up to my recreational ride and using it for a hammer-fest because they are feeling good about racing i wouldn't be happy and probably tell them to go join a race series where they can really face a challenge. Unfortunately I am currently dreaming because almost all those "recreational" group rides seem to somehow morph a bit into dangerous and unprofessional impromptu races where the amateurs pretend they're pros... i should stop now

    Anyways, i'm only using the Toronto donut ride as an example, i can pick another donut ride if you really think the Toronto one is different than what this guy talks about.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,782
    Mommy those mean mountain bikers didn't wait for me. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    They didn't hold my hand when I stepped over the big bad logs.

  36. #36
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Unfortunately I am currently dreaming because almost all those "recreational" group rides seem to somehow morph a bit into dangerous and unprofessional impromptu races where the amateurs pretend they're pros... i should stop now
    I know I've invited you on rides before, but you really should join us on the Monstercross and see the other side of group rides. Bring a muffin and a camera. We'd need tambourines to make it more of a love-in.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  37. #37
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    the fact that a growing group of riders hasn't ever been on a group ride
    Fact? Please elaborate.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    For now i'm only interested in a list for mountain biking group ride guidelines. What do people feel is the lost art of mountain biking in a group? What would this author have written for their list if they were a mountain biker complaining about an out of control group ride?
    My contributions;

    1. Too much hand holding takes the fun out of the activity. Pick your spots for assisting with the education of participants.

    2. Make sure each individual knows and is capable of executing the plan for how to regroup if someone becomes separated unexpectedly, regardless of whether there's a sweep. A sweep isn't 100% protection against people getting separated - I've seen it actually happen to the sweep themselves, hence the need for a commonly understood plan. Have all riders assume some accountability in their own well-being on the trail, instead of having a false sense of security that the sweep will always be there to solve problems.

    3. Help newer riders understand what tools and gear they should bring to attain a higher level of self-sufficiency, and take opportunities to make sure they know how to use those tools (flat repair, chain breaks, etc.)

  38. #38
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Mommy those mean mountain bikers didn't wait for me. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    They didn't hold my hand when I stepped over the big bad logs.
    It sounds like a joke, but when somebody goes back and rips out those big bad logs you have to wonder...

  39. #39
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I know I've invited you on rides before, but you really should join us on the Monstercross and see the other side of group rides. Bring a muffin and a camera. We'd need tambourines to make it more of a love-in.
    I should and its a generous offer to let me come and trash your nice ride, but I can't say I am a fan of internet to rl meetings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Fact? Please elaborate.
    Well I haven't done a survey, but to me it seems mountain biking is more disperse now than it used to be. In the past it was a lot smaller community, but given it's rise in popular culture it is growing a bit more ubiquitous. For instance the person ten doors down may be a mountain biker, but you'd never know because joining a club isn't the thing this guy would have ever thought about. Maybe this has todo with commercial issues also, did you get invited out on a ride when handed the bike? Were the social resources to "etiquetcate" these new riders exhausted somehow? How do we end up with all these amateurs running wild.

  40. #40
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Well I haven't done a survey, but to me it seems...
    OK, going forward I will just keep in mind that you have a very broad definition of what makes something a fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    For instance the person ten doors down may be a mountain biker, but you'd never know because joining a club isn't the thing this guy would have ever thought about.
    Some of them can be drawn into the "system" with good outcomes, and others will specifically resist becoming associated with any organized resources related to the activity. Clubs and groups aren't everyone's cup of tea. Not much to be done about that, other than what I described in an earlier post about improving offerings and getting the word out. The tricky part is that offering to share knowledge about trail etiquette may seem a bit officious and drive people away from organized riding activities or groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Maybe this has todo with commercial issues also, did you get invited out on a ride when handed the bike?
    No. I had a difficult time even figuring out where to ride. Probably due in part also to some lack of initiative on my part, with other aspects of life competing for finite time resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    How do we end up with all these amateurs running wild.
    What you call "amateurs" I call a bunch of normal people just looking to spend a bit of time within an outdoor recreational activity.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    How do we end up with all these amateurs running wild.
    In ye olde days, mountain bikers were primarily hippy laid back people with a respect for others, the trails, nature, and so forth, and life was good. This is no longer the case, we now have mountain bikers coming from all sorts of backgrounds with various personality types including some which are less than ideal. We still have a core of riders from the old school but they no longer have the influence they did in the past.

    I should and its a generous offer to let me come and trash your nice ride, but I can't say I am a fan of internet to rl meetings.
    This is what burns my goat. Here you are wondering how mountain bikers are going to meet and pass the torch, and you've rejected one of the best tools for doing so. I'm a burned out grouch and not the most social person around, but even I still make the time to meet up for rides with complete strangers from the internet. I've done 5 such rides this year, 2 of which are documented here on MTBR. In the past, I used to go on such rides every week, sometimes several times in a week. My role is greatly scaled back these days, but I'm still out there with men & women of all ages & abilities to set a good example and pass on a bit of what I know, and to have fun and learn from other riders.

  42. #42
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    In ye olde days, mountain bikers were primarily hippy laid back people with a respect for others, the trails, nature, and so forth, and life was good. This is no longer the case, we now have mountain bikers coming from all sorts of backgrounds with various personality types including some which are less than ideal. We still have a core of riders from the old school but they no longer have the influence they did in the past.
    I blame that whole awkward phase mountain biking went through when it was hyped as rad and extreme and every other Mountain Dew commercial featured "dudes" getting huge air and so forth.

    I honestly think that gave a lot of people the wrong impression of what riding is. If you weren't constantly "shredding" and locking your back wheel, you were missing out on all the fun.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Near north's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    459
    Why do we ride in groups?

  44. #44
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    Why do we ride in groups?
    Whoa, that's deep.

    Group rides ergo sum!

    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    Why do we ride in groups?
    Reduces one's chances of being eaten by a bear.

  46. #46
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    Why do we ride in groups?
    Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

  47. #47
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Quote: Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.
    <iframe width="640" height="510" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yYz3E4MckSw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  48. #48
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    This is what burns my goat. Here you are wondering how mountain bikers are going to meet and pass the torch, and you've rejected one of the best tools for doing so. I'm a burned out grouch and not the most social person around, but even I still make the time to meet up for rides with complete strangers from the internet. I've done 5 such rides this year, 2 of which are documented here on MTBR. In the past, I used to go on such rides every week, sometimes several times in a week. My role is greatly scaled back these days, but I'm still out there with men & women of all ages & abilities to set a good example and pass on a bit of what I know, and to have fun and learn from other riders.
    I think you're somewhat right, that the tsunami of new riders really blasted things to the four corners of the sport.

    Sorry about your goat.

    I do have various group of friends to ride with and i don't mean to snub people, but i do enjoy posting here. In fact this raises an interesting point - Is it possible that the internet, this forum, has replaced or is replacing part of the "art" of a group ride? I certainly see this trend elsewhere in the social world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    OK, going forward I will just keep in mind that you have a very broad definition of what makes something a fact.



    Some of them can be drawn into the "system" with good outcomes, and others will specifically resist becoming associated with any organized resources related to the activity. Clubs and groups aren't everyone's cup of tea. Not much to be done about that, other than what I described in an earlier post about improving offerings and getting the word out. The tricky part is that offering to share knowledge about trail etiquette may seem a bit officious and drive people away from organized riding activities or groups.



    No. I had a difficult time even figuring out where to ride. Probably due in part also to some lack of initiative on my part, with other aspects of life competing for finite time resources.



    What you call "amateurs" I call a bunch of normal people just looking to spend a bit of time within an outdoor recreational activity.
    Facts? Those are like the truth!

    Yup, not everybody wants to be in the club, but i feel they do need to adhere to a baseline of etiquette even if not on a group ride because we all have to get along and further the sport. If we are out making bad press because our amateurs really have no idea it's bad to skid around corners(another one for that list!) then i feel like there is no guidance for them.

    I don't disagree with your definition of amateurs, but i still think those amateurs can do the most harm to the sport through ignorance. Which is why some sort of code or rules, like the old norba or imba code(do they have one?) will help(if somebody actually reads it). As for bringing the amateurs on recreational rides instead of giving them a sheet of rules, i think it's a great way to civilize them.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: serious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,201
    I find it amusing that people complain so much about group rides, yet they keep on doing them. What's up with that?
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  50. #50
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Those are like the truth!
    I agree that you think these are truths!

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Yup, not everybody wants to be in the club, but i feel they do need to adhere to a baseline of etiquette even if not on a group ride because we all have to get along and further the sport.
    That would be nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I don't disagree with your definition of amateurs
    Just to be clear, are you drawing a line in the sand in which you are not an amateur i.e. you are a "professional"?

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    but i still think those amateurs can do the most harm to the sport through ignorance. Which is why some sort of code or rules, like the old norba or imba code(do they have one?) will help(if somebody actually reads it). As for bringing the amateurs on recreational rides instead of giving them a sheet of rules, i think it's a great way to civilize them.
    Going back to one of your earlier posts in this thread, it would be kind of cool if every new mountain bike sold in Ontario came with a little double-sided page that had basic trail etiquette rules on one side for the independent types, and a compact summary of links ont he other side that would help direct people to various types of MTB organizations to learn about clubs, trail maintenance groups, OCA, etc. Or, we could give them one single link directly to the centre of the universe as it pertains to mountain biking in Eastern Canada, which is this forum of course. or maybe then again maybe

  51. #51
    humber river advocate
    Reputation: singlesprocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,376
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    The solitary mtb/road experience is available to all and I consider the fact that a growing group of riders hasn't ever been on a group ride to learn the trail etiquette as a sort of symptom of the loss of the art of the recreational group ride and the commiserate shallowing out of the sport by an one minded racer and commercial culture. In short we're encouraging lesser behaviour on the trail by failing to exercise better social habits through the use of our group. This sort of "Darwinist" attitude probably won't be very satisfying in the long-run and seems to be leading some further down the path to even more antagonistic positions towards other cyclists(sausage vs baggie comes to mind).

    For now i'm only interested in a list for mountain biking group ride guidelines. What do people feel is the lost art of mountain biking in a group? What would this author have written for their list if they were a mountain biker complaining about an out of control group ride?
    good point... i would say empathy to all riders would be a good start.
    broadcasting from
    "the vinyl basement"

    build trail!

  52. #52
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    ...or imba code(do they have one?)
    I'm only posting this because you asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by IMBA
    Rules of the Trail

    IMBA developed the "Rules of the Trail" to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions.

    1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.

    2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.

    3. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.

    4. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you're coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.

    5. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

    6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  53. #53
    Muskoka
    Reputation: BlackCanoeDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,377

    since the Copeland ride was mentioned...

    as one who typically passes on group riding these days due to past experiences, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Copeland Forest ride! Being the oldest, least fit rider and also a shutterbug I was always bringing up the rear, but there was always someone waiting at any junction where I might make a wrong turn and get lost. Whenever I rejoined the group I did not sense any impatience from other riders to "hammer on". To the contrary, I not only had time to catch my breath, but get some shots off as well.
    I think the key in this was Osokolo declared it a recreational ride ahead of time and as is the case with many successes, the group stuck to the game plan.
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  54. #54
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061

    and i so look forward to

    doing it again... it was an awesome ride on awesome trails with great people...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    as one who typically passes on group riding these days due to past experiences, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Copeland Forest ride! Being the oldest, least fit rider and also a shutterbug I was always bringing up the rear, but there was always someone waiting at any junction where I might make a wrong turn and get lost. Whenever I rejoined the group I did not sense any impatience from other riders to "hammer on". To the contrary, I not only had time to catch my breath, but get some shots off as well.
    I think the key in this was Osokolo declared it a recreational ride ahead of time and as is the case with many successes, the group stuck to the game plan.

  55. #55
    I Wanna Be Sedated
    Reputation: Jouko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    761
    I'm a little sad to have missed this ride and look forward to joining you next time around. An unexpectedly early end to the season this year, but have no fear, 2012 is near!

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    and i so look forward to doing it again... it was an awesome ride on awesome trails with great people...
    Jouko

  56. #56
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I agree that you think these are truths!
    ..
    Just to be clear, are you drawing a line in the sand in which you are not an amateur i.e. you are a "professional"?
    ..

    Going back to one of your earlier posts in this thread, it would be kind of cool if every new mountain bike sold in Ontario came with a little double-sided page that had basic trail etiquette rules on one side for the independent types, and a compact summary of links ont he other side that would help direct people to various types of MTB organizations to learn about clubs, trail maintenance groups, OCA, etc. Or, we could give them one single link directly to the centre of the universe as it pertains to mountain biking in Eastern Canada, which is this forum of course. or maybe then again maybe
    I cite the increasing sales of 5.10 shoes as evidence of the truth that there is a growing group of cyclists who are able to exist outside the current race oriented group ride paradigm.

    Currently, I am neither amateur or professional... a golden god perhaps? Most likely you would assume i am just a dude.


    That would be really great...(the information packet) though not sure if we want to invite them here since according to some(I am thinking Bill and satan here) we are more like mtb schleps than gummy gummy gum drop rainbow blowing advocates we were supposed to be.

  57. #57
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk View Post
    a favourite memory of mine !

    And this ...

    "Maybe the group ride isn't a race.

    But it isn't a learn-to-ride clinic either.

    Unless it's explicitly advertised to the contrary." I totally agree with
    Be wary of any of the following be stated at the ride gather point,

    - It's my easy day
    -It's off season
    -I reced 2 days ago
    -I just had the flu
    And any other seeming excuse.

  58. #58
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    I find it amusing that people complain so much about group rides, yet they keep on doing them. What's up with that?
    Many reasons one being that we Canadians simply like to complain.

    Thouclaim it's the social I suspect while we claim we do it because it's social the way we treat a group ride has changed. Back in 85 when I started there was not really group rides unless it was done by a shop or for me the WMSC. One aspect I noticed that I believe really spreads out the group is next to nothing of play time. Skilled riders would try to clean it better then their buddy yet would give the less skilled a chance to try.

    If a guy wanted to try to nail a section of a climb again... he'd be given the chance by the group. There was no one looking at watches.

    Now it seems like no play and hurry up to get to the next spot. Those Tuesday and Thursday Don rides are a flipping race. Screw that. Rather ride stop have a beer in the woods and then finish the ride.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,153
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I cite the increasing sales of 5.10 shoes as evidence of the truth that there is a growing group of cyclists who are able to exist outside the current race oriented group ride paradigm.
    This was from an earlier fun-filled chill ride at Copeland. Note that everyone is using clipless. Just sayin'.



    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Be wary of any of the following be stated at the ride gather point,

    - It's my easy day
    -It's off season
    -I reced 2 days ago
    -I just had the flu
    And any other seeming excuse.
    Translation? Hammertime. The entire ride will be at O-cup vomit pace. Riders will be dropped with extreme prejudice.

  60. #60
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    This was from an earlier fun-filled chill ride at Copeland. Note that everyone is using clipless. Just sayin'.



    Translation? Hammertime. The entire ride will be at O-cup vomit pace. Riders will be dropped with extreme prejudice.
    Well, I am only kidding about the "Evidence" I know there are people out there showing the flats some love in spite of the peer pressure for gear that is supposed to make you faster and the suspicious aversions cast at those who fail to adopt!

  61. #61
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061

    i really enjoy winter group

    rides at Hilton Falls/Agreement Forest. 5-8 riders on average, some rigid singlespeeds, some hardtails, some squishies and 100% fun. we stop to re-try tech sections without dabbing and may try it until someone does it - who becomes the tech king for the ride etc... no one ever gets dropped and time is not an issue...

    sounds like you ought to join one or two of these endura...

    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Many reasons one being that we Canadians simply like to complain.

    Thouclaim it's the social I suspect while we claim we do it because it's social the way we treat a group ride has changed. Back in 85 when I started there was not really group rides unless it was done by a shop or for me the WMSC. One aspect I noticed that I believe really spreads out the group is next to nothing of play time. Skilled riders would try to clean it better then their buddy yet would give the less skilled a chance to try.

    If a guy wanted to try to nail a section of a climb again... he'd be given the chance by the group. There was no one looking at watches.

    Now it seems like no play and hurry up to get to the next spot. Those Tuesday and Thursday Don rides are a flipping race. Screw that. Rather ride stop have a beer in the woods and then finish the ride.

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Near north's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    459
    Sorry I made that "why do we ride in groups" post and then had to go out....let me be more clear as I can see how I should have asked.
    Do we ride in a group for the same reasons?
    I started mountain biking in a group and pretty much only ride in one or with someone. I almost never ride alone I just don't enjoy it. I enjoy the company.
    Our group the Slowspokes (which is just a name we used a long time ago when we did some 24hr stuff but it has stuck) has a core of about 4 riders that have been there from the start. We usually have 8 to 10 active and 4 or so more more occasional guys, but weekly because everyone is involved in many things we get fewer than 8 riders on any ride sometimes 2 or 3. Over the years we have had many people come and go maybe 30 or more. But only a few get serious and stay.
    We have found that new people are necessary to keep the turnout going. Helping, encouraging and teaching keeps them coming out and keeps the group going.
    I think sometimes we need reminding of that.

  63. #63
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061
    wonder about what?

  64. #64
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061

    peer pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    in spite of the peer pressure for gear that is supposed to make you faster and the suspicious aversions cast at those who fail to adopt!
    you are kidding... right?

    like, who cares?

    why would i care what you ride?

  65. #65
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    you are kidding... right?

    like, who cares?

    why would i care what you ride?
    I am kidding... However, sometimes there is somebody who really thinks you should be in clips or flats. The only reason for somebody to care(you don't care ) is they REALLY can't figure out your gear choice and they REALLY think you need to re-evaluate to their choice(better). But that isn't my problem with a group ride, though telling the person which gear they should buy/upgrade and ought to ride is something that does happen on various group rides. Is it innocent, depends on the person who is receiving the advice feels.

  66. #66
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    rides at Hilton Falls/Agreement Forest. 5-8 riders on average, some rigid singlespeeds, some hardtails, some squishies and 100% fun. we stop to re-try tech sections without dabbing and may try it until someone does it - who becomes the tech king for the ride etc... no one ever gets dropped and time is not an issue...

    sounds like you ought to join one or two of these endura...
    If the timing ever works out I'll try to come out. Or if certain rumours become reality in 2 years.

    Personally even whan I was doing the Sunday road group rides with the Tri group.I saved the true hammer rides for other days. Guess it's the guy's I learned from back in the 80's who treated the rides as more fun, learned that from Jeremy Story. I was the guy who had more fun chasing down those hammer heads who tried to do the racer head thing on those rides.

  67. #67
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I cite the increasing sales of 5.10 shoes as evidence of the truth that there is a growing group of cyclists who are able to exist outside the current race oriented group ride paradigm.
    I'm risking some crossover with the other thread now, but for consistency in the application of your logic I'm wondering why you would think that "amateur" riders (your descriptive term) would need 5.10s when a pair of tennis shoes from Walmart at $29.98 would do almost the same job, with any incremental difference in performance only relevant to world cup DH racers and pro freeriders?

    (Note: I think anyone who wants a pair of 5.10s should go out and get some)

  68. #68
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'm risking some crossover with the other thread now, but for consistency in the application of your logic I'm wondering why you would think that "amateur" riders (your descriptive term) would need 5.10s when a pair of tennis shoes from Walmart at $29.98 would do almost the same job, with any incremental difference in performance only relevant to world cup DH racers and pro freeriders?

    (Note: I think anyone who wants a pair of 5.10s should go out and get some)
    Or they are smart and patient. Wait and watch places like Pinkbike for riders who are selling them off cheap because they bought the wrong size type thing.

    Mine bought of a guy who used them for a week... forgot his on a trip. $47.97 including shipping courtesy of EBay.

    Only suckers pay full retail.

  69. #69
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'm risking some crossover with the other thread now, but for consistency in the application of your logic I'm wondering why you would think that "amateur" riders (your descriptive term) would need 5.10s when a pair of tennis shoes from Walmart at $29.98 would do almost the same job, with any incremental difference in performance only relevant to world cup DH racers and pro freeriders?

    (Note: I think anyone who wants a pair of 5.10s should go out and get some)
    Distribution (and reputation) has as much to do with the rise of 5.10 as any kind of growth in their target market. I got mine at MEC, for instance.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,443
    I thought my 5.10s would make me faster.

    And they kind of did.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  71. #71
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I thought my 5.10s would make me faster.

    And they kind of did.
    After a bunch of experimentation, I've decided the 5.10s work great for me on pump tracks and jumps but I actually prefer my Vans for "street" BMX with the softer soles. (Note, I am sucky at all these disciplines so take that as an amateur's opinion.)
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,443
    I just use them on the big bike. And for walking around.

    No one should ever have to see me ride "street".

    No one.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrastories's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    Sorry I made that "why do we ride in groups" post and then had to go out....let me be more clear as I can see how I should have asked.
    Do we ride in a group for the same reasons?
    I started mountain biking in a group and pretty much only ride in one or with someone. I almost never ride alone I just don't enjoy it. I enjoy the company.
    Our group the Slowspokes (which is just a name we used a long time ago when we did some 24hr stuff but it has stuck) has a core of about 4 riders that have been there from the start. We usually have 8 to 10 active and 4 or so more more occasional guys, but weekly because everyone is involved in many things we get fewer than 8 riders on any ride sometimes 2 or 3. Over the years we have had many people come and go maybe 30 or more. But only a few get serious and stay.
    We have found that new people are necessary to keep the turnout going. Helping, encouraging and teaching keeps them coming out and keeps the group going.
    I think sometimes we need reminding of that.
    Very well said, I am sure that other people have similar experiences.

    And I can also say that one of the best things about group rides is the Beer afterwards!
    Rocky Element
    My Attempt at a Blog

  74. #74
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    6,859
    Quote Originally Posted by Near north View Post
    Do we ride in a group for the same reasons?
    I started mountain biking in a group and pretty much only ride in one or with someone. I almost never ride alone I just don't enjoy it. I enjoy the company.
    Where I grew up, I was pretty much the only kid I knew that had a MTB so I spent a lot of time riding on my own and I still love getting out for solitary rides. I didn't start riding in a group until university.

    Since hooking up with Mrs. Monster (getting shockingly close to 20 years now), we ride as a pair almost all the time. Group rides are "reserved" for special occasions and we only do a handful a year including the ones we host.

    For us, it's 100% social so it never turns into an all-out hammer-fest.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  75. #75
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'm risking some crossover with the other thread now, but for consistency in the application of your logic I'm wondering why you would think that "amateur" riders (your descriptive term) would need 5.10s when a pair of tennis shoes from Walmart at $29.98 would do almost the same job, with any incremental difference in performance only relevant to world cup DH racers and pro freeriders?

    (Note: I think anyone who wants a pair of 5.10s should go out and get some)
    For sure those amateurs can start with tennis shoes. Moving from tennis shoes to 5.10s, those amateur's shins, toes, arches and nuts will really appreciate the difference. Of course you won't save any weight this way so it's not a complete cross-over from the other thread.

  76. #76
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    For sure those amateurs can start with tennis shoes. Moving from tennis shoes to 5.10s, those amateur's shins, toes, arches and nuts will really appreciate the difference. Of course you won't save any weight this way so it's not a complete cross-over from the other thread.
    When you declined invitations to ride with groups on this forum, your credibility to discuss this issue went down the drain.

    How can you complain about something you don't do?

    However I have to admit that you are the black belt of "verbal judo". Argument till the last drop of blood.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Signature

  77. #77
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    When you declined invitations to ride with groups on this forum, your credibility to discuss this issue went down the drain.

    How can you complain about something you don't do?

    However I have to admit that you are the black belt of "verbal judo". Argument till the last drop of blood.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think you're mistaken about what we're talking about here - It isn't who is going on whose group ride.

  78. #78
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    I think you're mistaken about what we're talking about here - It isn't who is going on whose group ride.
    Nope. Not mistaken.

    Some of your concerns were presented as if they were based on your experience.

    Anyway, don't want to argue with you about it. It is beyond the point and I already know that we disagree on it. It was more of a random thought that can be discussed by others.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Signature

  79. #79
    humber river advocate
    Reputation: singlesprocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,376
    i used to lead quite a few group and skill rides for beginners to learn the basics. as well as passing on trail building/forest knowledge now.

    a couple of points...

    -take the time to go over a new riders bike. it's easy to fix a problem at the start rather then in the woods. people will also watch what you are doing and encourage questions.
    -share your ride... it's a good learning experence to ride a better bike (but nope you can't ride my m9).
    -learn the "slow race" technique, used to humble hammerheads, builds skills in new riders and allows them to recover. in a slow race the lead rider yells "slow race" the objective is to ride as slowly as possible. terrain choice is dealers choice (my fav is on hills).
    -do a "criss cross' ride. in otherwords ride everything backwards. mtbers are creatures of habit, this will level things out.
    -save your old parts and donate them to riders in need or new riders to make their bikes better.
    -throw in a surprise feature or line... mtbing is about the unexpected.
    -always take the time to point out posion ivy and now hog weed

    there's lots more, but you get the idea
    broadcasting from
    "the vinyl basement"

    build trail!

  80. #80
    Lemmy Rules!
    Reputation: Unglued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,772
    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    i used to lead quite a few group and skill rides for beginners to learn the basics. as well as passing on trail building/forest knowledge now.

    a couple of points...

    -take the time to go over a new riders bike. it's easy to fix a problem at the start rather then in the woods. people will also watch what you are doing and encourage questions.
    -share your ride... it's a good learning experence to ride a better bike (but nope you can't ride my m9).
    -learn the "slow race" technique, used to humble hammerheads, builds skills in new riders and allows them to recover. in a slow race the lead rider yells "slow race" the objective is to ride as slowly as possible. terrain choice is dealers choice (my fav is on hills).
    -do a "criss cross' ride. in otherwords ride everything backwards. mtbers are creatures of habit, this will level things out.
    -save your old parts and donate them to riders in need or new riders to make their bikes better.
    -throw in a surprise feature or line... mtbing is about the unexpected.
    -always take the time to point out posion ivy and now hog weed

    there's lots more, but you get the idea


    These are all really good suggestions. Thanks for adding your 2c

    (and yes, it really is me )
    Strava made me do it....

  81. #81
    Lemmy Rules!
    Reputation: Unglued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,772
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Nope. Not mistaken.

    Some of your concerns were presented as if they were based on your experience.

    Anyway, don't want to argue with you about it. It is beyond the point and I already know that we disagree on it. It was more of a random thought that can be discussed by others.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    I would love to add something to this debate but frankly, I have lost track of what we are arguing about on this thread.
    Strava made me do it....

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation: raganwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    913
    I’m reluctant to join a heated thread, but... I had a great group ride last night and I’m feeling the group <3. Reading the comments, it feels like most of the people speaking here are very experienced. I don’t know if anyone cares, but here’s the n00b perspective: This is my second season on an MTB.

    My first comment is, information is scarce to the n00b. Where are the trails? What are the regular rides? Which clubs are out there? Are these club rides training for racing or social rides? It was all very bewildering fore me.

    I joined the Darkhorse Flyers simply because I was out on a solo CX ride and they came by and seemed friendly, so I joined them for the rest of their ride and later signed up to join the club. I was aware of TBN from my days on skinny tires, so I joined TBN as well and went out on many evening rides last year. TBN was friendly and laid back. The Flyers were a race team, but they had a written code of conduct for group rides, so you knew what you were getting into when you joined.

    Out on the trails I ran into the Beaches Cycling Club one evening, and they seemed like fun, so I started joining their Monday night Don rides. They split into beginner/advanced groups, so everyone had something to do and someone to do it with. They were mostly roadies who rode MTB on the side, so the rides were fast until we hit anything technical, and by “technical,” I include steep downhills as well as ride-overs. Thanks to Rckygrrl, I heard about DefiantMTB, and started going to winter rides at Mohawk with them, and joined this year.

    I likewise ran into someone while sessioning some stunts, and the next thing I knew I was going for Thursday night rides with the Don Rats.

    I guess the sum of what I’m saying is that for me, it was all very word-of-mouth, and the clubs are all over the place with respect to their focus and style. If this is typical, I expect that n00bs entering the sport need to wander around meeting people until they find some folks who are a good match for what they feel comfortable doing.

    I now lead the odd ride for Defiant. When I lead a ride, I start by posting exactly what we’re going to be doing and the expected level of skill. I try to hit some “filters” early if it is going to be something quasi-technical. On a recent Don ride, I stated that riders should be intermediate to advanced, and deliberately instructed everyone to ride the “advanced” ridge trail on our way North so that nobody would get to Dr. Quads and find themselves uncomfortable crossing bridges over gullies. Two of the riders demurred, so I asked them why they were taking the “intermediate” fork. One, who was experienced, explained that his buddy wasn’t comfortable with ride-overs. By the time they reached Cricket Lot, he had decided that they should both turn back.

    The whole thing was friendly. If they had continued, I would have been disappointed not to be going to Dr. Quads, but I probably would have changed the plans and done STDs back after Motown and skipped anything where a rider could lose his nerve and get hurt.

    Overall, my experience is that club riders are friendly and welcoming, and that different clubs have different standards for fitness and skill. Each club was fairly up front about what kind of ride they were doing and nobody shied away from advising riders to avoid something that might not be safe or fun for a n00b.

    I do want to draw a strict distinction: Everything I have said describes “club rides.” I have also joined racers on training rides, and that is a different matter. I don’t know if everyone uses the exact same words to distinguish them, but in practice people do seem fairly clear on the difference between a training ride and a club ride. A club ride is social first, fitness second. A training ride is fitness first, social second, with a strong emphasis on being integrated into a season’s plan for either races or fast charity riding.

    So far my experience has been that on the club rides, experienced people do look out for the slower and less experienced riders. I have been on rides where leaders have deliberately calved a smaller group off to ride on an easier and/or shorter course so that everyone gets a good ride. I haven’t seen any negative or discouraging attitudes towards less experienced riders. I have seen leaders cautioning less experienced riders or riders with inappropriate equipment, but the attitude has always seemed one of looking out for them rather than excluding them.

    JM2C, but overall I would say that the club scene as I’ve experienced it has been positive, albeit a little fractured: Finding the right club or group seemed haphazard, although that might be because I didn’t do enough research and was content to drift through my first two seasons like a leaf floating down a stream.

  83. #83
    Dirt Huffer
    Reputation: AC/BC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,643
    I remember when group rides use to be about beer swilling pre ride and post ride.

  84. #84
    mtbr member
    Reputation: raganwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC View Post
    I remember when group rides use to be about beer swilling pre ride and post ride.
    I would describe the Don Rats as a drinking club with a riding problem.

  85. #85
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Nope. Not mistaken.

    Some of your concerns were presented as if they were based on your experience.

    Anyway, don't want to argue with you about it. It is beyond the point and I already know that we disagree on it. It was more of a random thought that can be discussed by others.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Of course they're based on my experience - yours? At least we don't have to sit around comparing apples to oranges anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    I do want to draw a strict distinction: Everything I have said describes “club rides.” I have also joined racers on training rides, and that is a different matter. I don’t know if everyone uses the exact same words to distinguish them, but in practice people do seem fairly clear on the difference between a training ride and a club ride. A club ride is social first, fitness second. A training ride is fitness first, social second, with a strong emphasis on being integrated into a season’s plan for either races or fast charity riding.
    Your definition of a club ride is approximately what amounts to the recreational group ride as I see it. The author's original complaint was that the roadie "club" ride in current culture has degenerated into half race, half free-for-all, bit of potentially dangerous cycling "darwinism" where newcomers are allowed to run wild like a new puppy while the people who used to teach those puppies have simply chosen to leave the building! The inmates are running the asylum!

    Does something like this happen on mtb group rides? Sometimes, it does. I see it happening at all skill levels when that "Egoistic" riding takes over people forget it's recreational, the fun stops, people push it and crash, feelings are offended and the rest of the group suffers. However that is different than the "wild puppy" syndrome, which i think is dealt with a lot better in the mountain biking field since the nature of our sport doesn't require us to worry about some brand new goof overlapping wheels while eating a gel and taking us all down.

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation: raganwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Does something like this happen on mtb group rides? Sometimes, it does. I see it happening at all skill levels when that "Egoistic" riding takes over people forget it's recreational, the fun stops, people push it and crash, feelings are offended and the rest of the group suffers.
    I can think of one group I’ve been out with where on some rides one or two of the individuals will suddenly take off and start racing each other. But it’s a small and informal group that is more-or-less by invitation only, so if you end up on these rides you will probably know the personalities of the people involved and realize that they are not the nurturing type.

    But in my limited (I am new to this) experience, they have been the only group that go so far as to have a name, web site, mailing list, &c. and who aren’t really outsider or newbie-friendly.

    Now that I think about it, they are very accomodating of inexperienced riders, provided those riders have two “X” chromosomes

  87. #87
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Does something like this happen on mtb group rides? Sometimes, it does. I see it happening at all skill levels when that "Egoistic" riding takes over people forget it's recreational, the fun stops, people push it and crash, feelings are offended and the rest of the group suffers.
    In your opinion, is riding with some purposeful pace, within the reasonable limits of the participants, some taboo that should never be done on "recreational" group rides? e.g. no one is allowed to let the wheels run on a descent without riding the brakes, no one is allowed to efficiently rail a section of singletrack, no one is allowed to get the heart pumping on a climb?

    At my club, the reason most of our new members give for joining is that they want those experiences to provide some variety from their more mellow rides. We have made both types of rides available, and describe them accordingly in advance. Many of the participants are actually the same for both types of rides. Since they have both choices, they obviously find both worthwhile. Incident rates are not noticeably higher on either type of ride, since they are still within a zone that is appropriate and acceptable to them either way.

    By definition, it's not egoistic if the entire group is into it.

  88. #88
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    In your opinion, is riding with some purposeful pace, within the reasonable limits of the participants, some taboo that should never be done on "recreational" group rides? e.g. no one is allowed to let the wheels run on a descent without riding the brakes, no one is allowed to efficiently rail a section of singletrack, no one is allowed to get the heart pumping on a climb?

    At my club, the reason most of our new members give for joining is that they want those experiences to provide some variety from their more mellow rides. We have made both types of rides available, and describe them accordingly in advance. Many of the participants are actually the same for both types of rides. Since they have both choices, they obviously find both worthwhile. Incident rates are not noticeably higher on either type of ride, since they are still within a zone that is appropriate and acceptable to them either way.

    By definition, it's not egoistic if the entire group is into it.
    Nope, but there is a lot missing in your description of purposeful. What is your purpose - to show up bob again? Labeling a race or training ride as recreational is not fair. Or having your recreational ride turn into an impromptu race by the leaders or somebody's training ride is not good. It's just a recreational ride, mon. You are probably safe to leave the HRM at home.

    Third, different rides are advertised by average speed, but speed is only one part of the equation. This approach makes speed the sole metric for judging a cyclist, and creates the false impression that a fit rider is a good one. Almost anyone can be somewhat fast on a bike, but few learn to be elegant, graceful cyclists.


    The ride can certainly be egositic, even if nobody in the group thinks so! To clarify that, the use of egositic goes beyond the competitive sense here and is closer to selfish or ego re-enforcing in an anti-social sense.

  89. #89
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    I can think of one group I’ve been out with where on some rides one or two of the individuals will suddenly take off and start racing each other. But it’s a small and informal group that is more-or-less by invitation only, so if you end up on these rides you will probably know the personalities of the people involved and realize that they are not the nurturing type.

    But in my limited (I am new to this) experience, they have been the only group that go so far as to have a name, web site, mailing list, &c. and who aren’t really outsider or newbie-friendly.

    Now that I think about it, they are very accomodating of inexperienced riders, provided those riders have two “X” chromosomes
    Haha, yes... it is true! I wonder if it's different out west w.r.t. the XX situation. Shirk informs us things are more balanced percentage wise there. - Perhaps the novelty wanes?

  90. #90
    sock puppet
    Reputation: osokolo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,061
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Nope, but there is a lot missing in your description of purposeful. What is your purpose - to show up bob again?
    Are you bob?


    Labeling a race or training ride as recreational is not fair.
    Agreed. Who is doing that? Completely not fair. We called it a recreational at Copeland and it was recreational. Not to say we didn't yeehaaw down some fun descents. Sorry about that.

    The ride can certainly be egositic, even if nobody in the group thinks so! To clarify that, the use of egositic goes beyond the competitive sense here and is closer to selfish or ego re-enforcing in an anti-social sense.
    You mean like what you are doing around here?

    Just asking.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Signature

  91. #91
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Are you bob?




    Agreed. Who is doing that? Completely not fair. We called it a recreational at Copeland and it was recreational. Not to say we didn't yeehaaw down some fun descents. Sorry about that.



    You mean like what you are doing around here?

    Just asking.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  92. #92
    mtbr member
    Reputation: serious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,201
    garage_monster: Group rides are "reserved" for special occasions and we only do a handful a year including the ones we host.

    I participated in exactly 1 group ride in all my years of riding and racing. It was the "Tour de Butter Tart" (100km road ride) that GM and his better half organized this spring and it was more fun than I could have imagined. I even brought my single speed road bike, knowing that we were going to have a "base ride pace".

    Sure we had a few sprints and some hammering (and I went for it too), but we always waited for everyone.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  93. #93
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Nope, but there is a lot missing in your description of purposeful. What is your purpose - to show up bob again? Labeling a race or training ride as recreational is not fair.
    Purpose? To get some exercise in my preferred setting, which means outdoors when possible, and chat with friends before/during/after. Researchers and health professionals say that exercise is good for you.

    From this entire thread, it sounds like have had unsatisfactory experiences with group rides in the past. I'm sorry about that, even if it's nothing to do with me. Many other participants in this thread have given accounts of very satisfactory group rides. If you still have any interest in going on group rides (not with anyone on this forum as you have already explained) maybe you should just find another group than the one(s) you currently ride with?

  94. #94
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,884
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Purpose? To get some exercise in my preferred setting, which means outdoors when possible, and chat with friends before/during/after. Researchers and health professionals say that exercise is good for you.

    From this entire thread, it sounds like have had unsatisfactory experiences with group rides in the past. I'm sorry about that, even if it's nothing to do with me. Many other participants in this thread have given accounts of very satisfactory group rides. If you still have any interest in going on group rides (not with anyone on this forum as you have already explained) maybe you should just find another group than the one(s) you currently ride with?
    Naw, I don't have a chip on my shoulder regarding group rides.

    I've only introduced the topic because there really are people who feel differently. You refused to accept they exist since it was only my opinion that such a group does exist. I guess people are making up stories about mysterious things.



    Obviously there is room for improvement with every group ride, the list partially formed by myself and others i am forgetting was a good start.

  95. #95
    No. Just No.
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    5,150
    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Naw, I don't have a chip on my shoulder regarding group rides.

    I've only introduced the topic because there really are people who feel differently. You refused to accept they exist since it was only my opinion that such a group does exist. I guess people are making up stories about mysterious things.
    Of course all these things you and the article describe happen. They also happen sometimes on our club's group rides unfortunately, but it's certainly not the norm. Where we differ is that I strongly believe the article is coming from a glass is 1/10th full alarmist viewpoint. Someone that participates in a group ride looking for "smoke" with pre-conceived notions is more likely to find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    Obviously there is room for improvement with every group ride, the list partially formed by myself and others i am forgetting was a good start.
    Here's a general concept, that may be difficult to boil down into a list item. The high art of a group ride is when the ride leaders and participants can all work together seamlessly to allow each rider to get the experience they want out of the ride. Each rider within a group will always possess a unique mix of skills and fitness, or sense of adventure on any given day. Is no one allowed to ride that logover, or ride a trail segment with a logover because rider X can't clean it? Is a climb to be avoided because it is a truism that in every group one rider will find it the most difficult, and another the easiest? As a ride leader, it's an art to let each participant have a bit of leeway to get what they want out of a ride, but in such a way that it doesn't upset the overall experience and flow of the group.

  96. #96
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    I would describe the Don Rats as a drinking club with a riding problem.
    Stealing from the Hash House Harriers.

  97. #97
    mtbr member
    Reputation: raganwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    913
    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Stealing from the Hash House Harriers.
    Absolutely!

    Alas, I am told that I must "spread some rep around before giving it to Enduramil again."
    Last edited by raganwald; 09-15-2011 at 06:17 PM.

  98. #98
    snowbound
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    240
    I don't believe there is a similar problem for recreational mountain bike clubs. Having ridden (mtn bikes) in Southern Ontario for going on 25 years, and based on what I have seen, I believe the club or group ride is stronger than ever.

  99. #99
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,782
    ...
    Last edited by shirk; 09-15-2011 at 06:26 PM. Reason: Delete

  100. #100
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,299
    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    Absolutely!

    Alas, I am told that I must "spread some rep around before giving it to Enduramil again."
    Bonus points for anyone who knows what event the quote,

    " an addiction to inordinate amounts of exercise."

    Came from... hint sports Illustrated 1979.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Doing a long ride with a roadie group tomorrow, should I ride my MTB?
    By smellmypeebody in forum Endurance XC Racing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-11-2009, 03:44 AM
  2. Beginner Group Ride at BTCEB Chabot Gala Ride this Saturday
    By Berkeley Mike in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-12-2008, 08:57 AM
  3. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-11-2007, 09:50 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-13-2006, 03:42 PM
  5. Anyone go on group rides with Lactic Acid, Lost River, etc.?
    By BelaySlave in forum Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-24-2004, 08:06 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •