Mostly alone because 1) it takes a lot more of my day to go meet a group, wait for everyone, etc. than to just jump on my bike and ride, 2) people in cars are lots nicer if there's only one rider, and 3)sometimes the group tries to kill you even when they say it's a "beginner" or "easy" ride!
I ride alone and in a group. It all depends on were I am with training and how early. Sometimes during base, I rather be alone so that I do not push to much.
GREG C. MORIATES
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I prefer to ride alone. I think it depends on the persons disipline, For me..... I can push myself without any outside help but for some I beleave a group is needed to get the right motavation. When I first started out I liked to have others push the pace. After a while it seemed more of a chore to try to make everyone happy . In that I mean to try and keep the same cadence/pace, ect. If you are running different gears or even your style is more power than spin it doesn't work well for some others. So.... I chose to ride alone.
I like this question.
I prefer to ride with others and foster a sense of community. That said I ride tons of solo miles as I just like to ride and don't need to have constraints to go when I want. Having to ride with someone else provides an excuse to skip it if the other rider flakes out! I'll ride with one other rider at this time of the year, often in the dark, after work or hooking up on my way home. If it is 25F out and dark, I'm more likely to get in an extra 10 or 15 fun miles in if I have company than if I'm solo.
During the season I lead a bunch of rides. Often three or four a week. Sunday mornings we do a typical 60ish ride, sometimes up to 100 if we plan it, and get often times 35 riders. We may have two groups going out and I'll lead the more modest paced one if I'm not in a jamming mood. This way I can coach the newer riders on pacelining as it seems the guys I taught to do it 15, 20 years ago forgot that someone taught them and don't repeat the process. Monday evenings I created the R4RWomensRide though I'm gender challenged for this one. I found that we had many women who did not know where to go to ride and the other recovery ride had picked up the pace and was too fast for many of them so after two seasons we got this going well now. We go about 17 to 25 miles at about 13mph or so. Some of the gals split off and go faster as they don't know about recovery rides as they don't race on the weekends... Tuesday evening we have in Birmingham, MI the MOTIVE FORCE-Loose Spokes Ride. This is probably the hardest training ride on a consistent basis in the state. I've broken it into and A and B ride as I just can't control the A riders anymore and the B ride is an A ride pretty much any place else. We've done 45 mile rides on hilly courses with stops and regroups for the stragglers (The A ride does not sit up) and we still average over 22mph. If you are at the front here it is a hard ride. Thursdays I lead either a casual ride for more women or a harder training ride like a notch below the Tuesday Ride.
I guess I like to foster a sense of community. Bike riding brings us together and we help to develop skills. I can push myself while solo and sometimes that is a mind clearer but there is nothing like grabbing onto some cat 1 or 2 guy's wheel and holding on for dear life. Then the next day, sitting in at 16 mph and shooting the breeze and swapping stories about how your gear skipped into the final turn of a race costing you the win.
Two more questions:
1. Do you ride in the winter months?
2. Do you log your miles?
Yes and yes to both questions. I am currently still doing training here in OR. , I rode in the winter months back in MI. for a no. of years although it was on my MT. bike not road bike. I lived in northern lower MI. and liked the MT. bike at the time a bit more. I did the Iceman race in Travers City and really enjoyed it, I think it is held 1st weekend in Nov. Me and my brother have logged thousands of miles back there. Out here it is totally different with the mountains to contend with. I am coming back from a motocross accident which dislocated my hip and messed up my lower back. After 2 years off and ballooning up to 250 lbs....... 6 months of training has gotten me 2500 + miles logged and back down to 179 lbs. I have done this riding alone and just enjoy the piece of mind with out distractions.
I have given thought to hooking up with a local group, I guess more than anything to see where I am with the riders out here. ( As far as pace goes). I do cut back in the winter months a bit, at this time I get two or three 25 to 35 mile rides and a 45 ish mile ride a week. I think as long as a person has a passion for our sport it's all good if you choose to ride in a group or alone. I'm sure some time in the future I will get hooked up with a group and do some rides to test the waters again. Awesome rides to all from the liquid sunshine state.
Liquid SUNSHINE! I love that!
Good luck with your ongoing recovery. Great job knocking off that weight. That is a tough job. Most of my cohorts race Iceman but I'm in the ski business in the fall so it is tough for me to get away. In '98 I was signed up and then told I had to work. The night before the race they said I should take the day off but it was too late to get up north to race and I think I could have won my masters class that year. Oh well.
Stay off the power bikes! Stick to human power.
I ride alone often during the weekdays. Sometimes during the weekday, I do ride with my brother but it's rare that we are both in the same place at the same time. Another reason I ride alone during the week, is that my work hours are real flexible. You would think this situation to be a benefit but it works against me riding with someone because, if I suddenly have a 2 hour opening, I have ride or miss the opportunity.
On the weekends I ride in what ever local events tickle me. At least 1 of the two days I ride with my wife or a buddy. That's normally my recovery or light day. When I ride alone, I ride much harder than when I'm in a group. The only time this is not the case is when I ride with my brother. He pushes me harder then I would push myself. Or maybe I ride harder because I don't want to give him a disappointing ride (Dr Phil on line 1).
A few years ago, I use to ride with a small group of friend after work. At first it was great but people didn't always show up on time or said they show, but didn't!
When I was a kid (in my 20s), I raced and every group ride was a mock race. Today my goals are different, I like to relax on group rides, hang out at the back and let the people in the front trim each other down to the bone. I'll pass them on the climbs and on the descents, for no other reason except that I enjoy climbing for the descents. I find that really enjoy doing ride events. I show up at the event, I pickup my paperwork and event swag, I ride off whenever I want. Nobody to wait for, just the open road and my bike.
So what was the question.........Oh yeah, If you meant, Do I have group that I ride with? No but I do ride with groups of riders. I can't say that I like riding alone but 70% of the time I am alone. If a group riders pulled up in front of my house at ride time and said "Joe, come outside and ride with Us," I'd likely grab my gear and go. It would be just like when I was kid and my friends, called for me to come out and play.
Echo that Joe!
My brother pushes me harder than any group ever has.... could be because we are only a year apart and we are so competitive, doubt it would be his (MULE HEADED STUBBORNNESS)...LOL I think as a I get older.... I just don't feel the need for a group to push me, Not to say that group rides arn't fun. There is a pretty big group near me that I'm sure I'll hook up with eventually. Till then doesn't bother me to ride solo...
Good rides all...
Funny you should say that, the same group, they were called "Da Gimbels Group" that I rode with 20 years ago still meets, 80% of the members have changed, but I just don't feel riding like I'm out for blood. I'm checking out some of the more civil groups. Here is the hard part my brother still rides with them and really wants to come out with him on few group rides. I think that he see me as his secret weapon. Back then, Me and my two brothers rode with that group. We were a force to be reckoned with.
Check this out, I just found a story about the group. http://nyvelocity.com/content/rides/2004/da-gimbels