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Thread: Still Looking for a New Year's Resolution? Try a group ride.

  1. #11
    americancyclo's Avatar
    americancyclo is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Speaking of which, any other parents of small children interested in kid-in-bike-trailer-friendly rides?
    yes, once we get a trailer, and the temps are over 50 degrees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Speaking of which, any other parents of small children interested in kid-in-bike-trailer-friendly rides?
    I would be interested. I went out to do the Conte's/Freshbikes group hill ride a few weeks ago and it was tough! Going downhill the added weight didn't make up for the added wind resistance, and going uphill with the motivation of staying with the group was quite a challenge.

  3. #13
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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Speaking of which, any other parents of small children interested in kid-in-bike-trailer-friendly rides?
    Yes, yes, yes, though we do the front bike seat, not the trailer. There is already a kidical mass dc (easily found on google), though their rides were all in the District last year -- I found that with the kid, if the ride doesn't start/end reasonably close to my house, the kid would be sick of it before we even got there. I have started a nice email conversation with the Kidical Mass DC lady (thanks for the reminder to write back!) and she's open to doing more in Arlington next Spring/Summer.

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    Yeah, location is a big thing - I'd be coming from DC, and I know many/most of you all are based in VA and MD. Maybe a meetup point somewhere in the middle-ish where kids can get out and run around before the ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    Yeah, I've tried doing some group road rides several times over the years and have never really enjoyed them. My first attempts with Potomac Pedalers went pretty much like that (and went waaaaaay over their advertised pace). I tried a Reston Bike Club ride this past autumn and kept up ok, but the group just wasn't much fun (culminated with some old roadie taking issue with something I did and trying to steer me into a bridge on the W&OD, after which I told him if he tried that again I was gonna cheerfully put his decrepit old butt into the pavement ).

    My experiences are that the MTB world is much nicer for new riders. I do plenty of road riding these days, but almost all my riding partners are people I met through MTBing. Go figure.
    My experience with PPTC (CC level) rides has varied -- some have been good and others have been the type where I was dropped immediately and on my own for the entire ride. I think it has been better in the past year or two.

    I looked into the Reston club but it does not offer rides at my level on weekends.

    I like the folks at the Oxon Hill club a lot. Many of their ride starts are actually not that far from home for me (in Arlington).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcella View Post
    My experience with PPTC (CC level) rides has varied -- some have been good and others have been the type where I was dropped immediately and on my own for the entire ride. I think it has been better in the past year or two.
    My main beef was that they exceeded their advertised pace. When I tried the first ride, I looked it up and contacted the ride leader. I think it was either a C or D ride, and advertised pace was 15-16mph. I was commuting regularly at that point and rode 16-17mph all the time on my commutes, so I figured I'd be ok. The ride leader confirmed the pace for me. I showed up, the ride set out and immediately ramped up to 18-19mph. I was dropped within 2 miles, and the pace was still increasing at that point. I ended up turning around and riding home.

    Now, I totally understand people ride at different speeds. But there were faster rides leaving from the same lot; if you wanted to ride faster, why wouldn't you do one of those? I tried a few other rides and all were pretty much the same; even the advertised slower rides would quickly ramp up and take off. If you wanted to ride the advertised speed, you rode by yourself.

    It wasn't a fun experience for me. I'm coming from the MTB world, where people are far more friendly and social, and leaders go out of their way to keep the group together.

    Granted, that was a few years ago, so perhaps things have changed.

  7. #17
    vvill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    Speaking of which, any other parents of small children interested in kid-in-bike-trailer-friendly rides?
    I'd also be interested although I don't know if either of my kids enjoys it enough to be actually worth dragging along. I have a kid carriage thing that attaches to the non-drive side chainstay for my son and also a front seat for my daughter (yet to ride with both of them together). I'm not sure could get anywhere too far with my kid in the kid carriage (it doesn't fit in my car) before he gets bored. Most rides with him are 15 mins max. But by the time it warms up again I'll have a better idea I think. It might be easier to just take my daughter in the front seat, depending on how her temperament goes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    I would be interested. I went out to do the Conte's/Freshbikes group hill ride a few weeks ago and it was tough! Going downhill the added weight didn't make up for the added wind resistance, and going uphill with the motivation of staying with the group was quite a challenge.
    I think their ride is tough enough without a kid! I've only done their ride once and I think it was the hills ride (up Military, back down Williamsburg I think).

    Quote Originally Posted by jabberwocky View Post
    ...

    It wasn't a fun experience for me. I'm coming from the MTB world, where people are far more friendly and social, and leaders go out of their way to keep the group together.
    Interesting. I'd always seen roadies as elitist/snobby and road cycling sort of at odds with my idea of cycling as a more utilitarian activity, probably because almost all the cycling I'd done was recreational or commuting. Bikes to me were always great machines, marvels of engineering - not something to be dressed up all shiny and ridden in skin tight clothes. That was perhaps one reason I never owned a road bike until last year (it was partly watching the Tour de France in depth that changed my mind - that and realising how much fun it is to ride a fast bike). The few roadies I've actually managed to talk to though have all been friendly - but I rarely go on group rides. It definitely helps to know at least one other person first. My first attempt was the Conte's/Freshbikes one above, which seemed ok, but I did a century after that with a fellow commuter/ex-colleague and we (along with several others) got screamed at by a small group (riding a lot faster) for not riding all the way on the right single file even though we were out in the countryside and moved over whenever there was passing traffic. This was at least 55 miles into the ride as well.

    I'm planning to try one of the Reston Bike Club rides this year but otherwise I'll stick to trying the casual "no-drop" ones run by shops, since I don't have time for more than a couple rides a week I'd guess. PP have a LOT of rides listed but I find their more formal setup a bit intimidating for some reason. I wouldn't expect any of them to compare to Dirt's Kill Bill anyway! When is the next one gonna be?

  8. #18
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    FABB (Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling) will be hosting some casual rides this year. We're going to focus on a fun topic or destination with an emphasis on cycling for transportation. Heck, I don't even own any spandex or have a cycling computer, so no worries there

    So more to come on the rides... I'll post on this forum.

    Thanks,

    Tom

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    The Sunday morning "Lunch in Shirlington" Arlington Loop group rides are paced as advertised (avg. speed 10-12 mph) and usually include a sweep. All are welcome. The ride is advertised through Potomac Pedalers and is also listed on BikeArlington's "Maps and Rides" page. (Not a good ride for kids/trailers though.)

    Update regarding 1-22-2012 ride: I won't always be able to keep this up to date, but I received word that this ride is cancelled for Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. For updates regarding cancellations for any other week, please check the ride announcements at www.potomacpedalers.org. The ride generally goes year round, but there are occasional cancellations, esp. during the winter.

    It's a fun and lively group that often gets together for lunch even when the ride is cancelled. Lunch this Sunday will be at T.H.A.I. in Shirlington at noon. (All are welcome, but please email ron.truworthy@yahoo.com if you can so he will know how large a table to reserve.)
    Last edited by Arlingtonrider; 01-20-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: update regarding 1-22-12 ride cancellation

  10. #20
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    Thanks for posting, Tom and Arlingtonrider. I haven't ever really done a group ride, but I was despairing of being up to the task given the reports posted here by some of the faster cyclists (compared to me, anyway).

    Weekends tend to be nuts at our house, but I hope to be able to work in the Arlington Loop ride and Shirlington lunch some weekend. And I will definitely do all I can to support any FABB rides out in my neck of the woods.

    Thanks.

    Liz

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