Okay, I have to get this off my chest. Maybe it will reach a few. Maybe it won’t. I don’t know, but I need to just say it. I hate to use my blog as a soapbox too often, but this is just ridiculous. This might be an isolated incident or only happen in our group ride, but I must speak. I won’t take time to explain cycling terms, because I’m frustrated. Just Google it.
The Thursday night group ride is what is know as the Cat 6 ride. It is a drop ride and hammers out somewhere in the 35-45 mile range with an average speed landing in the 23-24 mph area. The group is good, and many riders show up to see where they are in their training. Some of these riders show up, hang on for a while, and get dropped; that is perfectly fine, but I have a problem with 2-3 riders who show up for different reasons that I have yet to figure out . . . correction: I know why they are doing what they are doing, and this could be a good tip for new riders.
The overall group consists of strong riders who show up and do their fair share of pulling in the front. I completely understand if the rider is having a bad ride or he’s not strong enough to pull for a certain period of time, but . . . in our ride, like most weekly group rides around the world, has sprint points that are already predetermined. Here’s the sticky part: like I stated, there are these couple of riders or so that want to get off of the pull as soon as they start their turn only to drift to the back and ride smooth until the next sprint. It is then that these riders will burst from the pack and launch the sprint, finish the sprint, pedal easy until the pack catches up again, and of course go to the back. If they do happen to work their way back up front before the next sprint, the cycle repeats itself.
Maybe you are reading this, and you happen to be guilty of this. Guess what, dude? We are not your team. You are not a GC contender or our sprint guy. We are not doing a group ride to shelter you. We are not working for you. Terrific, you win most of the sprints . . . because the other riders are worn out! I personally refuse to pull five to someone else’s one time. Yes, I am aware that all of the pulling is helping me be a better rider, but it’s the principle of the matter. Heck, I’d like to hit a sprint with fresh legs too, but I’m coming off a pull every time I look up!
We all have experienced the guy who pretends be having a mechanical the entire ride, hanging out in the back, until the climb comes up; then that dude goes up like a rocket and “beats” everybody to the top. No one likes it, but I never see anyone saying anything, other than the shaking of a head or two. Now, please don’t get me wrong. If you are in a race, of course you are working for you or your team and need to take every advantage you can get, but group rides are group rides. Don’t use a group for your personal Strava trophy hunt. It’s just NOT cool. A little bit of competition on a group ride is always expected, but wearing out your group then acting as if you are the dominate rider is just plain ridiculous. Whew! Okay, I’m finished.