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Club Rides
#1
Who rides in a club? I have been with Vero Cycling since its inception, 10 years now, but I don't ride exclusively with them. I like the pace line and the speed and tempo we get with the faster groups. It's never perfect. Starts too late, too slow, too fast, too many people, drop rides, no drop, etc. Great to get that recovery after a big pull and average speed is always better, but I like the solo rides too. Only one club in town here, how about you guys?
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#2
(01-29-2023, 01:07 PM)SPINMAN Wrote:  Who rides in a club? I have been with Vero Cycling since its inception, 10 years now, but I don't ride exclusively with them. I like the pace line and the speed and tempo we get with the faster groups. It's never perfect. Starts too late, too slow, too fast, too many people, drop rides, no drop, etc. Great to get that recovery after a big pull and average speed is always better, but I like the solo rides too. Only one club in town here, how about you guys?

Most clubs have no consideration for folks who work odd hours. Plus they are centralized to a single location and ride pretty much around the same area. They do not consider folks who do not live in the "club riding zone" so many folks would need to either bike an hour or more just to start with a group ride, or drive quite a distance to do the same. Best groups are among friends who are willing to be adventurous and move rides to different locations on a rotating basis that can be more easily joined by those living in different areas within their region. Plus, it saves you from paying to be in a club when you are not able to even participate in many group rides be it due to schedule or distance. I also find that the clubs are trying to cater to every single type of rider just to obtain member fees. There does not need to be 12 different types of groups in a single club. Best to have clubs more dedicated to serious riders be they road or off-road; family oriented clubs, casual/cafe ride clubs, etc. The last club I was with only had 3 speeds (slow, medium, and fast) of group rides, and it was all road based which provided a club comprised of members all of the same discipline, and it had a much more cohesive mindset. I guess those days are gone. Sorry, but I do not want to hang out with the "MAMILs" or cafe riders, or those just trying to prove/show-off how much money they can spend on their bikes/gear or compare "strava" type data.
Also, when I was with a club and they sponsored or were an event organizer, club members got a better deal (sometimes free) when having to pay to participate; and events were set-up for riders who knew what they were doing and did not need to be pampered with unnecessary amenities during an event. Who needs a BBQ rest stop on a metric or standard century ride? Water yes, light snacks yes, but hotdogs and burgers like it's a family outing just takes away from the way I like to ride. Have your party afterwards!
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#3
(01-30-2023, 07:11 AM)Sybian Wrote:  
(01-29-2023, 01:07 PM)SPINMAN Wrote:  Who rides in a club? I have been with Vero Cycling since its inception, 10 years now, but I don't ride exclusively with them. I like the pace line and the speed and tempo we get with the faster groups. It's never perfect. Starts too late, too slow, too fast, too many people, drop rides, no drop, etc. Great to get that recovery after a big pull and average speed is always better, but I like the solo rides too. Only one club in town here, how about you guys?

Most clubs have no consideration for folks who work odd hours. Plus they are centralized to a single location and ride pretty much around the same area. They do not consider folks who do not live in the "club riding zone" so many folks would need to either bike an hour or more just to start with a group ride, or drive quite a distance to do the same. Best groups are among friends who are willing to be adventurous and move rides to different locations on a rotating basis that can be more easily joined by those living in different areas within their region. Plus, it saves you from paying to be in a club when you are not able to even participate in many group rides be it due to schedule or distance. I also find that the clubs are trying to cater to every single type of rider just to obtain member fees. There does not need to be 12 different types of groups in a single club. Best to have clubs more dedicated to serious riders be they road or off-road; family oriented clubs, casual/cafe ride clubs, etc. The last club I was with only had 3 speeds (slow, medium, and fast) of group rides, and it was all road based which provided a club comprised of members all of the same discipline, and it had a much more cohesive mindset. I guess those days are gone. Sorry, but I do not want to hang out with the "MAMILs" or cafe riders, or those just trying to prove/show-off how much money they can spend on their bikes/gear or compare "strava" type data.
Also, when I was with a club and they sponsored or were an event organizer, club members got a better deal (sometimes free) when having to pay to participate; and events were set-up for riders who knew what they were doing and did not need to be pampered with unnecessary amenities during an event. Who needs a BBQ rest stop on a metric or standard century ride? Water yes, light snacks yes, but hotdogs and burgers like it's a family outing just takes away from the way I like to ride. Have your party afterwards!

All good points. My club tries to vary locations and start times and out of town excursions and offers over 20 rides a week. Mornings and afternoons, A, B, C rides, but yes, I get together occasionally with like-minded and fast riders to get what we need; early ride, good challenge, quick snack and stretch stop, and we can get together for lunch or BBQ any time, not during a ride.
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#4
i was in a bicycle club here in Las Vegas valley, or to be exact the neighboring town Hendersen. I had purchased a Cannondale road bicycle from a garage sale and was riding a few miles 3 times a week before work. I was riding up a incline when a very profesional rider pulled along side and chatted me up for a bit, he suggested I learn some bicycle signals, & keep riding daily, maybe take the time and Join a cycling club.

I was riding in shorts, trainers, and a long sleeve t-shirt. I found a local cycling club on meetup, sent a message and recieved a rapid response from the beginner group leader. He indicated I was welcome to ride with the beginner group on the following Saturday morning. I showed up very early in the morning and no one was there, a few minutes later a group of people started arriving with a varity of bicycles and proffesional looking cycling clothes. Eventually I met every one including the leader of the group.

Chris the leader sent everyone off on the bicycle path, and then asked me how far I could ride. I told him I could ride 8 miles, which I thought was an accomplishment. We left on the bike path a few minutes later, and he almost killed me as we did not stop until we had ridden 8 miles. He came to my rescue, and held my bicycle until I slid off into a pile on the ground.

My 8 miles was different than his 8 miles; mine was stop sign to stop sign, his was to continue riding on the bike path for 8 miles. I can laugh now at what happened that day, but then it was a serious problem, and I was almost dead. We had ridden slightly up hill on the bike path and I did fine for the first several miles, then I began to suffer, and suffer. He waited with me, had some bars that he shared with me and we talked about cycling on the roadway, and on dedicated pathways.

He had a computer on his bicycle, I was unaware that this bicycle technology existed, He pumped up my front tire with a magical battery powered pump as it was low in his opinion, and he explained the return was mostly a gentle downhill, and he would stay with me all the way back. I was able to almost coast back to the parking lot on the trail, where I had arrived hours earlier.

Chris took the time while someone else served as the leader to educate me on cycling, from clothing - Padded chamious in shorts, 3 pockets for things in a Jersey. I was amazed to use plastic levers to take a tire off, & on. I purchased a under saddle bag to hold the tools I aquired, energy bars, & CO2 cartridges. I look back at the first 6 months of the Henderson cycling club experence, I was getting an amazing education and losing weight as I increased my ability to ride father and farther. The more experenced riders in Chris' beginning group all assisted me as a beginner in ways to improve riding, and safety riding on the roadways and bicycle paths.

Eventually the more experenced riders left the beginners group and after 4 years I took Chris' place leading a group of many beginners, that were eager to learn how to ride the roadways and bicycle paths in the Las Vegas Valley. I was riding 70 miles a week or more as the fall approached in my 6th year as a beginner. I had done several events, traveled to the Northwest and participated in the 2012 and 2013 STP (Seattle to Portland) 205+ mile rides.

For me, the Henderson Cycling Club provided a way back to cycling, something I had given up as I learned to drive a car, and used it for all my transportation. I do not know what happened to my teenage road bicycle.

Today I do not ride with a local cycling group, before, during and after the Covid situation. I still ride by myself and still wear a mask when runners or other cyclist are next to me, as I ride from stop sign to stop sign.
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#5
JR Namida, truly such an inspirational story and am happy to report similar experiences with riding clubs/group rides I have been part of. I rode with Charles River Wheelsmen or Charles River Wheelers in the Boston area. I loved the camaraderie and things I learnt from them as a newbie. Their membership dues were very affordable and the century rides I got out of them were truly phenomenal. Thanks to them I got my first century ride and the confidence to do more. I learnt more and have moved on but definitely couldn't be where I am biking-wise, if it wasn't for them.

Thanks Spinman for reminding me about my newbie days and helping me acknowledge my mentors..:-)
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#6
(02-03-2023, 12:49 AM)JR Namida Wrote:  i was in a bicycle club here in Las Vegas valley, or to be exact the neighboring town Hendersen. I had purchased a Cannondale road bicycle from a garage sale and was riding a few miles 3 times a week before work. I was riding up a incline when a very profesional rider pulled along side and chatted me up for a bit, he suggested I learn some bicycle signals, & keep riding daily, maybe take the time and Join a cycling club.

I was riding in shorts, trainers, and a long sleeve t-shirt. I found a local cycling club on meetup, sent a message and recieved a rapid response from the beginner group leader. He indicated I was welcome to ride with the beginner group on the following Saturday morning. I showed up very early in the morning and no one was there, a few minutes later a group of people started arriving with a varity of bicycles and proffesional looking cycling clothes. Eventually I met every one including the leader of the group.

Chris the leader sent everyone off on the bicycle path, and then asked me how far I could ride. I told him I could ride 8 miles, which I thought was an accomplishment. We left on the bike path a few minutes later, and he almost killed me as we did not stop until we had ridden 8 miles. He came to my rescue, and held my bicycle until I slid off into a pile on the ground.

My 8 miles was different than his 8 miles; mine was stop sign to stop sign, his was to continue riding on the bike path for 8 miles. I can laugh now at what happened that day, but then it was a serious problem, and I was almost dead. We had ridden slightly up hill on the bike path and I did fine for the first several miles, then I began to suffer, and suffer. He waited with me, had some bars that he shared with me and we talked about cycling on the roadway, and on dedicated pathways.

He had a computer on his bicycle, I was unaware that this bicycle technology existed, He pumped up my front tire with a magical battery powered pump as it was low in his opinion, and he explained the return was mostly a gentle downhill, and he would stay with me all the way back. I was able to almost coast back to the parking lot on the trail, where I had arrived hours earlier.

Chris took the time while someone else served as the leader to educate me on cycling, from clothing - Padded chamious in shorts, 3 pockets for things in a Jersey. I was amazed to use plastic levers to take a tire off, & on. I purchased a under saddle bag to hold the tools I aquired, energy bars, & CO2 cartridges. I look back at the first 6 months of the Henderson cycling club experence, I was getting an amazing education and losing weight as I increased my ability to ride father and farther. The more experenced riders in Chris' beginning group all assisted me as a beginner in ways to improve riding, and safety riding on the roadways and bicycle paths.

Eventually the more experenced riders left the beginners group and after 4 years I took Chris' place leading a group of many beginners, that were eager to learn how to ride the roadways and bicycle paths in the Las Vegas Valley. I was riding 70 miles a week or more as the fall approached in my 6th year as a beginner. I had done several events, traveled to the Northwest and participated in the 2012 and 2013 STP (Seattle to Portland) 205+ mile rides.

For me, the Henderson Cycling Club provided a way back to cycling, something I had given up as I learned to drive a car, and used it for all my transportation. I do not know what happened to my teenage road bicycle.

Today I do not ride with a local cycling group, before, during and after the Covid situation. I still ride by myself and still wear a mask when runners or other cyclist are next to me, as I ride from stop sign to stop sign.

Great story. As I was reading I was thinking on how to comment and the first thing I thought of was to say "stick with it; one day you will help a new rider!" And there you go! Good job.
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