Biggest Saturday Turn Out to date!

Hope everyone had a fun and safe ride. I know the groups I was with seemed to have positive feedback. We covered echelon/paceline and bike handling skills in corners with varying speed. Great to have a group ride where we're all together. Ended up clocking 60kms+ distance and 60km/h top speed with Pat(who has a broken elbow). Enjoy the pics!


Views: 18

Comment by DRU on May 1, 2010 at 1:13pm
Hey, yeah! Great riding everyone! Charlotte was hammering! Bummer about the blowout Brian, glad you made it back safe! Gord, good to see you out man!
Comment by Paul van Dongen on May 2, 2010 at 12:29am
Nice ride today. Thanks, guys.
Comment by Alexx Hooper on May 2, 2010 at 11:36am
Great ride! Welcome to the people who came out for the first time - hope you had fun! Dan, thanks for working on pace groups with us.

Hope you don't mind, but in the last couple of weeks I've noticed a few things happening on rides that can affect the safety of the group. I know that Dan is constantly reminding us of these things, but I just wanted to bring them up again:

When riding in a group, you're not only responsible for your own safety, but for that of those around you and especially behind you. Try to ride in as straight a line as possible, at a consistent speed. I've noticed a lot of pothole swerving - which is fine to a point, but try to limit your movement to what is necessary, and please keep track of how close you are to people around you before making movements. There have been a couple of close calls, and you don't want to take out everyone behind you. In this same vein, make sure that your wheel isn't overlapping with anyone, so that if they do swerve, you won't get sideswiped and fall, also taking out everyone behind you.

If you're new to group riding, it's natural to not feel comfortable riding close to the person in front of you. You may be a strong, faster rider, but please stay closer to the back of the group until you're more comfortable, that way it doesn't create large gaps in the group.

If you're riding at the front, please maintain a consistent speed that is appropriate for the group that you have chosen to ride with that day. Yesterday (Saturday's ride) the leaders were very good at starting up from the lights at a reasonable pace, and we didn't have that "Yo-yo" affect as the group gets moving and the people at the back are always scrambling to get up to speed -well done!

If you're feeling the need to look back and see where the group is or check something over your shoulder, please try to hold your straight line! It's very easy to swerve when you're looking back and you may swerve into someone, or swerve out over the line in front of oncoming cars. There were a few sketchy moments where I noticed people looking back on Kingston road and swerving into the second lane of traffic, in front of an upcoming car.

A very smart man in our club (that's you, Emile) gave me some great drills to practice last year that really helped:

To practice riding in a straight line, when you're out riding on your own on a not-so-busy road with a shoulder, try riding along the white shoulder line. You'll be surprised how hard it is to maintain a straight line! But you'll improve quickly.

To look over your shoulder, place one hand (on the side on which you're looking back) on the back of your seat, and leave the other hand on your bars. This will help you maintain a much straighter line when turning to look back. For looking just behind you (ie. when you're pulling in in front of someone), Dan recommends just lifting your arm/elbow and glancing under it at the person's wheel behind you, instead of turning your whole body to look over your shoulder. Again, practice this on your own.

Practice clipping in and out of your cleats without looking down. This also can make you "wiggly" as you're starting up from a light.

Finally, now that we have more triathletes in the group, I'd just like to remind everyone that it's very unsafe to ride in a group on your aerobars. If you need to stop quickly, you may not be able to. Aerobars are meant for riding on your own in conditions where drafting is not allowed. They don't allow for proper bike handling in a group situation. Many bike clubs have an all-out ban on aerobars, so please refrain from using them in the group situation. I've heard a lot of people talking about this lately in the club, and it's making people nervous, so please think about it.

I hope this doesn't sound bossy - I certainly don't mean it that way. I want us to improve as a club and enjoy safe fun rides together.

Thanks everyone,
see you soon!
Alexx
Comment by qb on May 2, 2010 at 11:59am
Thanks Alexx, great reminders on a number of issues. As one of those triathletes, I know that getting time in the saddle in an aero position is important and this club has been quite tolerant of seeing riders out with aerobars. However, the best time to use an aero position is when you are out in front pulling or drop to the back end of the group. In both cases you should be able to get aero. Of course, if you are leading the group, you are still required to point out or communicate the obstacles for the group so you must be very comfortable operating your bike with one hand. Anything in between needs very skilled riders (those with aerobars and those around you) in order to avoid crashes.
Comment by Alexx Hooper on May 2, 2010 at 12:35pm
Thanks for adding that QB. Admittedly, I don't know much about using aerobars, and that sounds like great advice. Thank you!
Comment by DRU on May 2, 2010 at 1:25pm
I like the mint ones.
Comment by Alexx Hooper on May 2, 2010 at 1:42pm
Andrew, I'm with you on the AERO Bars - I love the mint ones too. I'm kinda bummed that they've changed the packaging to cursive writting... that way, I can't do my favourite grade 4 joke and hand somebody an ALPO bar any more...

Comment by DY on May 2, 2010 at 6:03pm
Thanks everyone, for your comments and suggestions. If you see situation which was discussed in the comments before, please help by pointing it out to the person, nicely. Sometimes we just forget, the great part of the group is everyone is kept in line by the majority. That's what makes the club work!

Cheers,

Dan.

P.S. Today's Ride(Sunday May 2nd 2010) we did an echelon and managed to make it up to Stouffville with and AVERAGE of 32km/h!!!!! with 5 people. So, this is proof that group riding is beneficial if everyone plays along.
Comment by DRU on May 3, 2010 at 8:20am
Hey Pat, I hear what you're saying, but you forget that some of us haven't logged a kazillion miles on our TT bikes and aren't as competent as you are. I'd say that if you're new to group riding, regardless of the bike you ride, you should be in a position of most control. I.e. keep your hands near the brakes and be ready to steer around trouble.

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