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  1. #1
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    riding with slower/ faster riders

    I am somewhere in the middle of the slow/ fast paradigm and I find it enjoyable to ride with a group that's a little faster than me. however, I've been in situations where it's just torture and I can tell I am holding the pack back. I take riskier lines and crash more, and have to drop out early.

    on the other hand, there are many times when I am leading a pack of slower riders. sometimes they are impossibly slow. what do you do to keep your ride intersting once you have started a ride like this?

    One idea idea I just had is to get ahead, pull out a camera/phone, and get some photos of the other riders tacking some trail obstacle. get a photos that makes them look badass and send them a copy. it should boost their confidence and they'll be better riders next time.

    other ideas?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 06-14-2018 at 02:27 PM.

  2. #2
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    It helps if there's features worth stopping for.

  3. #3
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    If I'm a designated ride leader I'll be the sweep rider if hanging on with the A group is tough. For a slower group I'll make it more of a skills building ride whether that becomes official or just my mindset. If not group skills building I ride the skinnies or features. I'll speed up to practice a turn as fast as possible and possibly repeat it.

    More and more I find myself riding with people 15 - 40 years younger. That can make keeping up with the fast group a challenge but a good one. For the slow group I've realized time has me knowing some things we assume others know. If I see someone in the slow group would benefit I try to make it a teaching moment.

    To me it's all good. In the past week I enjoyed the hurt eating dust or trying to not be last in the A group and another ride was a chance to teach someone basics that help you stay on the bike, and enjoy it all some more.
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  4. #4
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    Is the slow group one you think will improve or is that just their pace? If it's the latter then I wouldn't go riding with them if it frustrates you, if it's the former I'd ride with them (apart from technical sections where they need a bit more room) and chat with them to make sure they don't feel they're holding people up. Ultimately if they feel welcome and keep coming out they will get better.

    I started mountain biking with a small local group that has a tremendous range of riders from complete beginners like me to riders who have represented their country for cycling. When I started off I was rubbish, I lacked the fitness for the big hill climbs, had no technique and not even suitable lights. After the second ride I decided to write off the cost of the bike and give up plus I was sure the group wouldn't want me back either. I was wrong as even though I was pitifully slow I was encouraged to keep coming back which I did and a few years later I'm a much better rider.

    I'm always grateful for the patience those people had for me (unlike the road groups) so in turn I'm patient with the slower riders who join our group. It's more for being social so I enjoy the company and chat to people as the fastest times are when I'm riding on my own. If I'm with faster riders, I still go at a pace I'm comfortable with - you absolutely should not be crashing out of group rides and being forced to quit them.
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  5. #5
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    If I'm on a group ride, not a ride with friends and I don't like the pace or the group, then I drop out. I recently dropped out of a ride because the group wouldn't stop talking then entire time, like women at a hair salon. The pace was good but the constant noise was brutal. So I finished the ride alone.

    I also bailed on a fast ride, I just didn't have the strength that day to keep up and was slowing them down. No shame to know your limits.

    When I ride with friends that are slower, I usually work on corner speed and putt along during the straights, giving them a chance to catch up. One of my friends doesn't like when I do that, so we carry walkie talkies on bigger rides, so we can let each other know if there is an issue

  6. #6
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    The last thing I want to do is ride singletrack in a group (3 or more). But, when I ride with my wife, I'm faster and that's fine. When I ride with my 27 year old son, I'm slower and he is fine with that.
    If I'm riding in Moab, or southern Utah where you can spread out a bit the trails have enough diversity (grunt climbs, technical climbs, technical downhills, etc.) that sometimes members of a group are faster and sometimes, slower so it varies. Then I'll ride with a few more people.

  7. #7
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    The group rides I've been on always have a fair mix of faster and slower riders and everyone rides their own pace and regroups every 10 minutes or so at gates or trail junctions. Seems to work out fine and everyone has fun.
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  8. #8
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    Even with a group of strong riders not everyone is equal at all disciplines of any given trail. I ride with a group of fast guys occasionally and we take turns pushing the pace. I can't tell you how much fun and comradery this simple thing adds to the ride. It doesn't work for everybody though. I have a friend that no matter what will ride beyond his ability if someone is behind him yet remains oblivious to this fact.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The group rides I've been on always have a fair mix of faster and slower riders and everyone rides their own pace and regroups every 10 minutes or so at gates or trail junctions. Seems to work out fine and everyone has fun.
    This is pretty much what I've done, though I haven't done a lot of group rides. Other times I've ridden with a small group that all were able to hang. With the slower riders, I do wonder if it is a problem that the faster riders stop and wait and then as soon as the slower riders get there, it's "let's go" and the faster riders have gotten a little rest while the slower riders, who are probably the ones who need it, haven't. I don't want slower riders to feel like they are holding the group up and that we don't want them coming along.

    I've really struggled with riding with my son. He is very slow, he just doesn't like to push himself and more just plants his butt on the seat and takes it easy. I'll usually ride ahead then stop and wait for him to catch up or agree to meet at the trail end. One of the trails has a "cut the trail in half" shortcut so he'll usually take that. When we ride more technical areas, I'll stop a lot more to help him out. But we need to try again, he's really grown (he's 16) and has been on swim team so he's a lot stronger now. The last time we rode together was on road bikes and I noticed he was a lot faster. Problem is, he needs a new mountain bike as he is too tall to ride one of mine now. And he's one you have to push out the door, he'd rather just hang out at the house than put out physical excursion. He's taking an online fitness class this summer and it has gotten him running, which he never, ever wanted to do in the past. I think I'll be able to get him to run a 5K race with me later this summer.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The group rides I've been on always have a fair mix of faster and slower riders and everyone rides their own pace and regroups every 10 minutes or so at gates or trail junctions. Seems to work out fine and everyone has fun.
    This^^^
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  11. #11
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    Sounds kind of mean, but I just avoid riding with those people in general. Between work and family, if I get out of the house to ride I want to put in miles and actually accomplish something. The slow guys I used to ride with generally went something like this:

    Setup ride time @ 5:30pm
    I'm at TH and geared up, ready to leave at 5:30pm
    Get text from slow friend @ 5:35 "running late, be there in 10"
    Slow friend shows up, has to air up tires and tinker with suspension
    6:05pm finally take off
    4 miles in "I think I am done man, I am really out of shape right now"

  12. #12
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    Personally I ride a lot alone and also in groups. My solo rides are at my pace and those are the ones where I go hard, and the group rides are at the pace of the slower rider(s) in the group - at least on the climbs, not so much on descents. I'm not really a big fan of riding ahead and regrouping at various points whether I'm the slow guy or the fast guy.

    I don't use group rides to get faster or push myself, as I prefer to do that on my own - if someone I'm riding with wants to drop me and regroup at the top, then I'm probably just going to choose to ride alone instead. That's just me though, a lot of people really like getting pushed really hard on group rides - I use them as a social gathering and prefer to chat along the way.....I do prefer to not stop too frequently though. I do get to ride a lot though, and I'll often do 2 rides in a day - one solo and one with 2 or more people (preferably no more than 4 riders).

    Sometimes on a group ride I'll try to change things up by climbing a tough rooty trail out of the saddle the whole way - you can play little games like that along the way in a ride without necessarily going all that fast.

  13. #13
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    I rarely ride in groups larger than 3 because of the width of our trails. Plus, with my schedule, it is hard to find people to ride with. I don't mind riding with people slower than me because ,like many on here, I can find challenges along the trail to keep me interested, and a lot of the time, I am helping the otehr riders learn a trail or skills.

    If there are faster people, I just tell them to go on without me. I don't like to be "that guy" who is holding up the pace....
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  14. #14
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    I do not care where I am in the pack. It's mostly about camaraderie. I hang where the cool kids hang and good conversation can be found.
    If someone I am riding with is very slow and I find myself waiting, I use that opportunity to session technical sections or even practice track stands or manuals. I just play around until they catch up. My objective is to not stress on a ride. It's my Happy Time.
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  15. #15
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    I think it can be hard to find people who are riding right near your ability for a lot of people, and most of us seem to ride solo most of the time from a poll I saw on this forum.

    The best ride I've had recently was with a stranger who happened to be riding at a similar pace on the same trail. He told me I was faster on the hills and flats (and he may have chased me a bit). But, when we got to the downhill, I let him pass and chased him, since I could tell he was faster than me when the pedaling was done. I learned a new, more exciting, faster line in a rocky section from him.

    Most of my recent social rides are with friends who don't ride much. I used to think that staying behind them would keep them from riding beyond their ability, but now I am starting to think this adds pressure, and then they don't see how I am handling the bike. Next time, I will try to ride far enough to give them room, but not so far that they can't see what I am doing. I have to say, I love riding at my ability so much, that I am inclined to stop riding with these friends, and just do other stuff with them, but I will feel out if they want to ride more occasionally.

    As for rides with riders that are much faster than me, I avoid them, to avoid injury. I have had the opportunity to join a group night ride for a while, but have been holding off until next year, when I will know the trail like the back of my hand, and my skills and equipment will be prepared.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I rarely ride in groups larger than 3 because of the width of our trails.
    We ride single file.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    We ride single file.

    Yeah me too, that would be crazy trying to ride 15 abreast!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The group rides I've been on always have a fair mix of faster and slower riders and everyone rides their own pace and regroups every 10 minutes or so at gates or trail junctions. Seems to work out fine and everyone has fun.
    Same here. One of my groups that I ride with is mixed group. fast, medium and slow. All pretty solid, but different speeds. In those ride we often hammer full bore from one trail junction to the next. The rest wait and repeat. In those rides I go like crazy to try to stay on the lead guy. Most days I can hang for bit then get dropped due to fitness and/or skill. However I nearly always gap the guys behind. We have been riding together enough to know what will happen and what order to ride in so we are not tripping over each other. I ride with another group where I am the lead/fast guy and I pretty much do it the same way. Hammer the wait/rest a junction. If I want to just blast around at my own pace with zero stops I ride alone.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    We ride single file.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yeah me too, that would be crazy trying to ride 15 abreast!
    yeah. We do too. I usually lead, then we put the newest person in the middle, and the moderate rider behind. Sometimes i go behind as well. The only group I tend to consistently ride with is my friend, his son, and my step son. Anymore, the boys are familiar with the trail, so they go ahead of us because "we are boring to ride with"...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Same here. One of my groups that I ride with is mixed group. fast, medium and slow. All pretty solid, but different speeds. In those ride we often hammer full bore from one trail junction to the next. The rest wait and repeat. In those rides I go like crazy to try to stay on the lead guy. Most days I can hang for bit then get dropped due to fitness and/or skill. However I nearly always gap the guys behind. We have been riding together enough to know what will happen and what order to ride in so we are not tripping over each other. I ride with another group where I am the lead/fast guy and I pretty much do it the same way. Hammer the wait/rest a junction. If I want to just blast around at my own pace with zero stops I ride alone.


    Sounds exactly like my weekly mtb group ride situation, I like to hang near the front too and there are sections that usually turn into a friendly race. For me it's fun to push it and the guys/gals who could care less about our childish games just hang in the back and chat. Some of the riders in the middle aspire to be near the front and we all give them encouragement, and it's awesome to see their progress. Sometimes the slowest rider is a little apologetic about holding everyone up but it's unnecessary because no one is annoyed.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Sounds kind of mean, but I just avoid riding with those people in general. Between work and family, if I get out of the house to ride I want to put in miles and actually accomplish something. The slow guys I used to ride with generally went something like this:

    Setup ride time @ 5:30pm
    I'm at TH and geared up, ready to leave at 5:30pm
    Get text from slow friend @ 5:35 "running late, be there in 10"
    Slow friend shows up, has to air up tires and tinker with suspension
    6:05pm finally take off
    4 miles in "I think I am done man, I am really out of shape right now"
    That would drive me crazy too...We have a small group of 3 to 5 experienced regulars who have ridden together for years and there's none of that crap allowed. They are good riders that do a decent pace in pretty technical terrain but I ride more than any of them and know the trails well so I lead the way. I stop here and there so they can catch up and get their mojo back before moving on. Once a week I do solo rides at a quicker pace with no waiting so I don't mind riding with these guys at a little slower pace.

    Not interested in large groups...frequent stops, waiting to ensure everyone stays together, etc. There's always a couple that are content 'just to get out' versus focusing on a good challenging ride. Much like skiing with a big group (no friends on a powder day).
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  22. #22
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    There's a range of paces I'm comortable riding. But I am generally not comfortable with hammerhead type rides. It isn't even in the realm of feasibility for me to hang on with some of those folks unless they are intentionally riding a more social pace.

    I like riding with beginners who are slower and less skilled, though. Quality beginner rides are tough sometimes. Some places have great ones. Other places, it's impossible to find a decent one. I have been on "beginner" rides where the leaders smash beginners's souls by playing the aforementioned "stop and wait at intersections and tops of climbs, and leave again as soon as the last rider appears" game (even on a ride advertised as beginner/social). If you have someone motivated by fitness, that may work, but if people show up for the social aspect of the ride, that'll ruin it right quick.

    I personally like to save my hard (climbing, pace, or tech) rides for solo days, unless I have a group of people who ride similarly and want a hard ride, also. That is usually easier for me to find WRT tech rides than it is for pace days.

    Which winds up with my group rides being social days with stopping, chatting, sessioning, that sort of thing.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The group rides I've been on always have a fair mix of faster and slower riders and everyone rides their own pace and regroups every 10 minutes or so at gates or trail junctions. Seems to work out fine and everyone has fun.
    I know this was quoted a lot but same applies for my groups, on both groups we have serious riders, I'm usually chasing, but its fan and teaches me a lot. Recently has been tough to get out with them though.

    Most often I ride alone, I also have a group of friends that I ride with that don't ride very often, and I get the "15 min late" "too cold" "too hot" "no air in tires" etc. They are my buddies as well, so I'm used to it. Funny, these guys were the ones that got me into the sport, they are surprised how addicted I'm.
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  24. #24
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    Have you tried yelling at, and or hitting the new slow riders? Trial by fire!

    If the group is slow, ill session fun stuff until they catch up, or practice wheelies and goofy stunts. I dont get a slow group often, in those cases im just glad to be out riding with some friends who don't ride often.

    My weekly group is faster, 10 years younger, and in better shape... but not CRAZY faster than me. Just enough that they get a break at the top of climbs for 20 or 30 seconds. It pushes me to get faster, and they're nice enough guys that I dont think they mind the quick breather at the top.

    Not worth pushing, or being pushed to the point where someone crashes and gets hurt. Thats no fun.

  25. #25
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    Back in the day of big group rides, the super strong ride leader would periodically ride back to the last person, check on them, then blitz back up to the lead pack, repeatedly! Its no wonder he was the top local rider!
    If you join a group ride, theres a responsibility to account for everyone. If they ts expressely stated a no drop ride, no one should feel bad about being slow, and no shouod be annoyed with waiting.
    And if u drop out make sure you let the group know!
    Your photo idea is excellent! Im the self designated photog in our friends group. Im not very fast now tho so we havelots of cool pics of the slower guys, lol.

  26. #26
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    Fun thread, I picked up some pointers.

    I retired and do ride a lot. The vast majority of my rides are solo and all my fastest times are solo. Most of the group I came up riding with has fallen off for whatever reason. There are a ton of riders here in Phoenix and I occasionally pick up a group ride with strangers or acquaintances.

    I find I care more about personalities, though obviously skills that are too far afield — faster or slower — can be an issue.
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  27. #27
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    Do solo rides at the speed you want to go. Get a group similar to your skill/speed.

    There will always be a slow guy and a fast guy no matter what the ride.

    Start your own group. Set the speed of the ride. The ride becomes self policing. The guys who want to go real fast wont come back as will the slow guys, they'll get burnt out. The guys that hate the tech will fall off during tech rides.

    After a while a group a emerges that suits your style and speed.

    When riding in other groups if your too fast, you can add small sections or double back and redo stuff while you wait. If your the slow guy, make sure your not the slowest as that sucks.

    The slowest guy gets the raw deal. By the time he roles up everyone else is ready to go again. He gets very little rest. Eat less pies, do more miles, buy a lighter bike. May sure you aren't the slowest.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    My weekly group is faster, 10 years younger, and in better shape... but not CRAZY faster than me. Just enough that they get a break at the top of climbs for 20 or 30 seconds. It pushes me to get faster, and they're nice enough guys that I dont think they mind the quick breather at the top.
    This is a good differential, but I'll even stretch it out to a couple minutes either way. When I ride with my wife, the gap will occasionally get to be a minute or two on long climbs. We've done it that way for awhile. We both seem to get faster at the same rate...so the gap has stayed about the same. I really used to have to work to keep the gap down, riding back and forth and noodling around on skills. Once she got to a certain point in her fitness years ago, both of our progress has changed at roughly the same rate.

    Recently, though, the bears have become pretty active, and we're hearing lots of reports of sightings, especially on the trails nearest our house, and friends of ours have been charged...sometimes on the same day we've been riding. I'm less nervous about that because I have more experience with large wildlife "in the bush" (since being in those situations is basically my job). She got really insistent about us both carrying bear spray since we do separate a bit on long climbs. To the extent that she swore off solo rides (which really sucks, since our work schedules are basically opposite and we aren't riding together much lately). So I just ordered a couple for us.

    It occurred to me that a well-organized (and especially a club-sanctioned) group ride should have ride leaders with bear spray if rides are done in bear country.

  29. #29
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    I used to ride in groups a lot, and on almost every ride someone had a mechanical that caused a long pause (sometimes me), and there were always frequent stops for catching breath, regrouping, or whatever else. Looking back, it was kind of a nightmare, but back then I just thought it was normal.

    These days I'm much better at maintenance and I'm almost always solo. I like it this way. With the mapping apps now it's so easy to ride solo even if you don't know the place, and I get to ride where I want, however fast or slow I want.

    Group rides are now more of a rare social event for me so I don't mind the frequent stops as much. Bit it would probably kill me if all I did were group rides.

    How about try getting there an hour early, get your hard pedaling in, then join the group?

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    How about try getting there an hour early, get your hard pedaling in, then join the group?

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    There is one group I ride with that does this. Early meeting is a harder ride. 2nd meeting is social, and scheduled so the hammer riders can also ride it for double the miles.

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  31. #31
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    We have group rides twice a week at two different trail systems. 1 is a 6 mile loop and the other is a 7 mile loop.

    We usually let my wife set the pace for the first lap. It may be a little fast for newer riders, but in general most people can keep up, and it's just fast enough to get the faster riders warmed up.

    After the first lap we split up. Those who struggled with the first lap are usually done, those about my wife's speed will do a 2nd slower lap, and I'll either ride a fast solo lap or go out in a small fast group depending who shows up. Sometimes my wife will switch from her singlespeed to her e bike and set the pace for the 2nd faster lap

    This seems to work well and our group rides continue to grow. Everyone gets to do a group ride and also ride at their pace this way.

  32. #32
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    I ride 4-5 days per week so I usually ride solo. If I were to try to coordinate a meetup every time I wouldn't be able to go as frequently, or I'd end up wasting a lot of time on other people. When I see a window of opportunity to go, I go.

    Once in awhile I ride with others. If everyone's ability, fitness, and desires are somewhat similar then it can be fun but if there's a large gap between anyone then the whole affair becomes annoying for someone.

  33. #33
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    I ride a lot of meetup groups. There is a huge variates of rider abilities in these groups and I expect to be either slower or faster than people in the group. When I first started I surely was the slowest for many months holding everyone up. The meetup group specifically had a no-drop policy and they worked with me helping me improve.

    Now that I have better fitness im the one helping out the new comers and sweeping making sure they are ok, giving them tips and encouragement.

    If I want to go fast or work hard I have a few choice friends that I schedule rides with just the few of us to go hammer it. But most of the time I just want to get out and be social on the trails, which works great with the meetup groups.

    I guess what im saying is, the expectation of the ride should be set from the beginning. The pace, and purpose should be known by all participating so nobody is butthurt when its not what they want.

  34. #34
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    I generally don't ride with others to push myself. I typically do that on my own although on occasion I have with other riders. More often than not riding with others we stop more than I'd like, but I just take the time to shoot the breeze. My body doesn't always love that and I seem to get tired quicker if I stop a lot (no idea but I'd guess I get in a groove pushing through the pain). I'm not particularly fast and I've certainly ridden with and behind slower riders, so I'd say I'm pretty mediocre. I also tend to take my time with climbing and push myself on dhs, so sometimes that doesn't jibe with guys who like to really push on the up. They tend to roast me up and I tend to roast them down... Fast riders would roast me both ways and I'd probably not enjoy trying to keep up.
    Life is too short to ride a bike you don't love.

  35. #35
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    I had your same issue in that I could not find that group with just the right speed. After a year of trying I just gave up, bought a Cateye and started riding alone for the most part. Occasionally I might ride with someone else but I do that for just the social aspect of it.

  36. #36
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    What a bunch of loaners. Get out there and ride with others. Retrain your mind to look at the positives.
    Group riding is fun. If you are in a fast group you will be improving trying to keep up. If you are the fastest then you get the chance to practice patience, chillax on the trail side and generally have a chilled out riding session.

    For the slower ride. Start earlier, ride for longer, use a less efficient bike, practice wheelies, manuals and other trail side antics.

    It's all good. Get out there and ride.

  37. #37
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    Group rides are fun sometimes, others it's nice to ride alone, no jibber jabber

  38. #38
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    I started out trying to ride with my brother and his riding buddies. They were much much faster than me. The only thing I saw of them was them leaning on a tree and then taking off when I got there. Not fun for them or me.

    Then I was doing almost nothing but solo rides. Then I found out how just slow I was. I started doing group rides where most of the group was waiting on me. I told them to go on if they wanted - no hard feelings. They usually decided to wait. And maybe not invite me on future rides. Truly - If I am holding the group back I would rather they go on and ride at their pace.

    After a while I got to where I could keep up with most of the groups. I got a LOT more invitations to rides. I rode with groups more often than not. Then I got to where I could drop the group without noticing. Opps. I usually waited for them at the next intersection. The invitations dropped off again. I no longer matched the group.

    Then I wiped out a shoulder and was off the bike for over a year. So I have no fitness left. I am the slow guy again.

    Now I ride solo most often. My most frequent riding buddy is my wife. I ride at her pace on any trail she is comfortable. I want the rides to be fun for her - not terrifying.

    When I ride with a group now I usually sweep a slow group. I am fine with that. There are many riders I cannot keep pace with and I don't need to. I have more fun riding with slower riders and coaching or demonstrating for them. On more technical spots I run out ahead and get set up to spot for them if they want to try something. It is amazing how often someone will try something they have never tried if they know they won't hit the ground. Most of them don't just try - they ride it. That makes them really happy. That is fun for me.

    If I lead a ride I start by telling people my rules -
    1) If you don't want to ride something - walk it. There is no shame in walking.
    2) Go YOUR pace. It does not help anybody if you blow yourself up trying to keep up a pace you can't maintain.
    3) Have FUN! If the ride is boring - say something. If the ride is terrifying - say something. We can adjust the trail or the pace or something to make it fun. Sometimes this means splitting the group to better fit each rider.
    4) if you miss something (climb, drop, skinny, etc) try to give the rider(s) behind you a clean shot at it. We will regroup on the other side.

    The camera is a good idea. Coaching slower riders is a good idea. Practice track stands or manuals or similar are all good ways to keep your riding interesting. I am usually too busy watching the group and trying to figure out where to take them next. I sometimes send one group one direction and tell them how / where to meet up again. The 'other group' get to ride a trail more fitting to their skill or speed. I generally go with the slower group to make sure they don't get lost.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    What a bunch of loaners. Get out there and ride with others. Retrain your mind to look at the positives.
    It's a nice change of pace sometimes but I love my solo rides. Best chance I have to disconnect, enjoy the solitude, and truly relax.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post

    If I lead a ride I start by telling people my rules -
    1) If you don't want to ride something - walk it. There is no shame in walking.
    2) Go YOUR pace. It does not help anybody if you blow yourself up trying to keep up a pace you can't maintain.
    3) Have FUN! If the ride is boring - say something. If the ride is terrifying - say something. We can adjust the trail or the pace or something to make it fun. Sometimes this means splitting the group to better fit each rider.
    4) if you miss something (climb, drop, skinny, etc) try to give the rider(s) behind you a clean shot at it. We will regroup on the other side.

    The camera is a good idea. Coaching slower riders is a good idea. Practice track stands or manuals or similar are all good ways to keep your riding interesting. I am usually too busy watching the group and trying to figure out where to take them next. I sometimes send one group one direction and tell them how / where to meet up again. The 'other group' get to ride a trail more fitting to their skill or speed. I generally go with the slower group to make sure they don't get lost.
    Ha! Your a patient man!.

    I've been running a group ride for the better part of 20 years. .
    Its pretty much the hard core end of all mountain. We go at a reasonable speed down the most technical shit we can find. New riders come in and either like our style or not.

    The speed is the speed and the tech is the tech. Like it or find another group. Dudes who like the style and speed come back... others dont.

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