Not so dropped

25 03 2010

I went out again with the “A” group for their usual Thursday morning ride. I’ve been out with them maybe half a dozen times before and have been dropped every time. The first time I went out with them, I was dropped after about two minutes. The second time, after about 5. Since then, my goal has been to stay with them until the big hill. And today I did it.

Well sort of. I dropped off a bit on the first hill, but wasn’t the last in the bunch. On the downhill, I caught up just before the hard left towards the big (or bigger of the two) hill. In fairness to the bunch, they weren’t pushing it on the downhill and were maintaining an even speed, whereas I was pushing hard to catch up. But catch up I did, and then I stayed with them up the hill. I didn’t drop off, didn’t get overtaken and didn’t disgrace myself. Stoked.

Of course, the after the downhill, the sprint started, and then things changed somewhat. I could see the exact moment that the leader started to sprint, and I could count the seconds before I was off the back again. I wasn’t alone, there was another rider with me. He was in the same boat, he’d never stayed with the bunch for so long and was equally as happy.

While I have been training hard and pushing myself a little of late, I think I have to owe today’s success to one thing – drafting. Instead of starting at the back of the group (which I usually choose to do), I started today in the back third (but well within the bunch). And it’s true – they do pull you along.

Funny thing is I don’t actually enjoy riding in a bunch all that much. I’m too worried about crashing into someone else. All in all though, a great ride this morning, at least until the flat on the way home after the loop.

Do you prefer solo or group rides, and why?

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2 responses

25 03 2010
ajh

I do the majority of my riding solo, which certainly has it’s advantages, and I also don’t really enjoy pack riding, it makes me feel pressurised and in danger most of the time. I guess I’ve got 145km of that to look forward to on Saturday. I think my favourite rides are those with my good friend Herb, they are no pressure, very social and always include a coffee stop!

26 03 2010
Bryan

Congrats on staying with the group longer.

I do most of my riding solo but think I would enjoy riding with at least one other person more. I’ve never done any ‘pack’ riding .

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