Following up from the previous post, 12 Things a Group Ride Is…here’s 8 Things a Group Ride is not:
- A race – It may be fast, occasionally aggressive, but only races are races. Group rides are training.
- Irregular or spontaneous - 3-4 buddies deciding to ride after work can be super fun but it’s not a Group Ride.
- Time to work on your TT position – Time Trial or Triathlon bikes do not belong in a Group Ride unless you’re pro. Handling a twitchy TT bike in a crowd is dangerous to all involved.
- Traffic-drafting practice – Those are not team cars in the Tour. That’s a line of traffic made up mostly of frustrated people on their way to/from work. If they hit you, you will be hurt or killed. This will ruin everyone’s ride and day.
- Time to catch up on your favorite podcast – You can rock out to/from the Group Ride but take the earphones out when the ride starts.
- A place to work out your issues – Riding is often therapy (see previous post) but don’t ride angry at the world. Most riders are just out to have a little fun, train, and gain some fitness. When we ride preoccupied, we tend to forget to point out road furniture or take that inadvertent shoulder bump way too personally.
- A ticket to the pro peloton – I’d be lying if I said Jens wasn’t an inspiration on occasion when I’m working on the front to bridge up. That being said, Group Rides are not the place to live out your pro dreams. No one’s battling for a contract or career. Group Rides are all in good fun and anyway most of us will always be hopelessly unqualified for anything other than our age-group races. Also, see #1.
- A traffic law testing ground – This is where we get a bad rap, much of it justifiably. We roll through stop signs, take up entire lanes, and generally act as if we own the road. But don’t blow through a red light intersection in an attempt to attack. Don’t swarm cars. Wave to drivers if it’s safe (or nod profusely) when they let you through.
There must be more. What else doesn’t belong in a Group Ride?