Forum rides

It seems like I or someone else brings this up once a year. We need more forum rides, that's it really, there are [as last year and the year before.....] a dearth of forum rides outside of certain areas. There appears to be a black hole in the middle, plenty going on in the London area and up north but not a lot elsewhere. It is a great pity because I think it is fairly safe to say that once you have been on one you generally come back for more. Nothing scary about them, everyone is sociable and what a great way of meeting others on the forum.
I realise not everyone has transport to get to all parts of the uk and so we need more ride leaders in more areas. I have lost count of the forum rides I have been on and can honestly say I have enjoyed them all. CC membership continues to grow so it would be of interest to me to find out how many would like to go on a forum ride but don't, and their reasons for not doing so.
 

dan_bo

How much does it cost to Oldham?
Location
Failsworth
I've stopped going on them 'cos Fossy doesn't know what 'fixed friendly' means.









:boxing:
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
People just need to post a ride.
If only 1 other turns up then you have a group ride. :thumbsup:
Post a good report and next time you get more people.

The Sunday London Rides original started with myself and Mista Preston of this parish just out for a quick training ride and it expanded from there.
The most we have had joining the ride was 24 people.
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
it would be of interest to me to find out how many would like to go on a forum ride but don't, and their reasons for not doing so.
I went on one, local area*, very nice route. Advertised as leisurely pace, so I thought I would be able to keep up. Fairs fair, the organiser did try to make it a leisurely pace, but the others did not. No-one complained about having to wait for me, but I didn't really like being the one at the back almost all of the time.

(At one point, when I had been struggling into the wind a bit, a couple of obviously stronger riders who had got behind caught me up and instead of helping me by letting me draft them, slotted in behind. Thanks chaps.).

And being the only woman - not from any unease from the blokes, but more from feeling that I was reinforcing the stereotype of the 'weak and feeble'. Someone (ColinJ?) said that most of the women that go on the rides tend to be as fit as most of the blokes. Well, exactly. Maybe they are the only ones who feel confident in being able to keep up?

So, no-one did anything wrong, really, and it was a lovely route, but it didn't really enthuse me to go on another one. Maybe if I get a bit fitter...

This isn't meant as a winge - just an explanation...


*local to where I was living at the time
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
There is a problem as Spinney point's out that people really don't like to feel that they are holding a group ride up.

Though taking into consideration each riders ability on a group ride is a tough call.

Most forum group rides usually runs on the premise of 'we ride at the pace of the slowest'.
This usually works well in practice however, sometimes it just doesn't work. Especially if the route means you have timed/planned places for lunch, cafe stop etc and need to get people back home for certain times. So it it a fine balancing act.

One of the reason we started the 'Speedy rides for food' last year was that the ride was to help push oneself to ride a little harder, longer and faster then a normal group ride with a minimum of 100 miles.
Even though this was stated very clearly on the threads we still had people not happy as they felt that they were being excluded from the ride due to the speed, mileage etc.

As to the lack of ride leaders. Organising a ride does take a lot of time and planning.
There are meeting places, times, stops and ends all to consider. Making of route maps. Recce'ing of the route. Checking all the riders are turning/turned up and getting them home again.
It's a lot of work. But put in a little effort and it's all worthwhile. You only need 1 other to turn up and you have a group ride.
Some people are natural leaders who love all the organising, some are just happy to turn up and ride.
 
I went on one, local area*, very nice route. Advertised as leisurely pace, so I thought I would be able to keep up. Fairs fair, the organiser did try to make it a leisurely pace, but the others did not. No-one complained about having to wait for me, but I didn't really like being the one at the back almost all of the time.

(At one point, when I had been struggling into the wind a bit, a couple of obviously stronger riders who had got behind caught me up and instead of helping me by letting me draft them, slotted in behind. Thanks chaps.).

And being the only woman - not from any unease from the blokes, but more from feeling that I was reinforcing the stereotype of the 'weak and feeble'. Someone (ColinJ?) said that most of the women that go on the rides tend to be as fit as most of the blokes. Well, exactly. Maybe they are the only ones who feel confident in being able to keep up?

So, no-one did anything wrong, really, and it was a lovely route, but it didn't really enthuse me to go on another one. Maybe if I get a bit fitter...

This isn't meant as a winge - just an explanation...


*local to where I was living at the time
From experience this would seem to be one of the biggest reasons for either not having a go or not going again and that is a shame. If Colin said that, and I know Colin, I think he is probably being accurate there, in fact it isn't impossible to have a lady on a forum ride who is quicker than all the blokes [:whistle:], however, and this is the important bit, an experienced leader will recognise the fitness / skill levels in a mixed group and should control the ride accordingly.
I would always encourage anyone who is not sure to pm me first so I can allay their fears. Some rides are quicker but should be clearly advertised as such.
 

Night Train

Maker of Things
I've been on group rides where I was the slowest.
What it meant was that everyone would wait for me at the top of the hill and the moment I got here they would set off again. All very well but that meant that they all had a rest while I was slogging it up the hill with no chance of a stop.

I ride differently now, where the group has a gentle amble between cafes more for the tea, cake and company then for the blistering pace.

Having said that, I haven't been on a ride for a long while now due to still recovering from my rupture achillies. I can do about 3-4 miles at a time I reckon whereas before I was happy for about 20 - 30 miles with a cafe stop and working towards my imperial century.
My next 'ride' will be a York to Whitby night ride, except I will be taking the car, with the bike rack, to take people to train stations for their return trips.

I suppose, for the OP, if there are no local forum rides posted then starting one would be a good start.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Fairs fair, the organiser did try to make it a leisurely pace, but the others did not. No-one complained about having to wait for me, but I didn't really like being the one at the back almost all of the time.
I should point out that I have been relatively unfit for the past 4 years so I have often been trailing at the back of my own forum rides so I know what you mean! It was a bit embarrassing for me, but I wanted to do the rides so I organised them anyway. :thumbsup:

There were one or two rides where I felt that some stronger rides were getting a wee bit too frisky at the front and leaving me trailing a mile or more behind, but generally everyone moderates their pace so it doesn't get silly.

There were a couple of long early season rides where the combination of impending darkness and lack of lights was becoming an issue so we split into two groups and the faster light-less riders went on ahead.
(At one point, when I had been struggling into the wind a bit, a couple of obviously stronger riders who had got behind caught me up and instead of helping me by letting me draft them, slotted in behind. Thanks chaps.).
That's not on !
And being the only woman - not from any unease from the blokes, but more from feeling that I was reinforcing the stereotype of the 'weak and feeble'. Someone (ColinJ?) said that most of the women that go on the rides tend to be as fit as most of the blokes. Well, exactly. Maybe they are the only ones who feel confident in being able to keep up?
Hmm - I was thinking in terms of there being quite a few (relatively) 'weak and feeble' male riders (including me) so don't worry about it, but I see what you mean - it could be interpreted as 'only very fit women need apply'! :wacko:

I always meant to organise an easier forum ride to encourage people who otherwise wouldn't come on one, but somehow I never got round to it. Well, the alert among you will be aware that I have had serious health issues since July so when I finally get back on a bike, I will be needing to take it easy for at least a month or two and will definitely organise a forum ride-lite! I'll make it a 2-looper, calling back into Hebden Bridge for a cafe stop, and getting someone else to lead the 2nd loop because I won't be up to it. That way we can all take it easy on the first loop and leave the stronger riders to do their own thing after we pack up for the day! :hello:
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
I went on one, local area*, very nice route. Advertised as leisurely pace, so I thought I would be able to keep up. Fairs fair, the organiser did try to make it a leisurely pace, but the others did not. No-one complained about having to wait for me, but I didn't really like being the one at the back almost all of the time.

(At one point, when I had been struggling into the wind a bit, a couple of obviously stronger riders who had got behind caught me up and instead of helping me by letting me draft them, slotted in behind. Thanks chaps.).

And being the only woman - not from any unease from the blokes, but more from feeling that I was reinforcing the stereotype of the 'weak and feeble'. Someone (ColinJ?) said that most of the women that go on the rides tend to be as fit as most of the blokes. Well, exactly. Maybe they are the only ones who feel confident in being able to keep up?

So, no-one did anything wrong, really, and it was a lovely route, but it didn't really enthuse me to go on another one. Maybe if I get a bit fitter...

This isn't meant as a winge - just an explanation...


*local to where I was living at the time
How does a rider stop you being at the back and let you draft them? :hello:

I go on quite a few group rides and I also think it must feel pretty horrible to always be at the back. I think it's particularly bad at the end of a long ride as it's starting to get dark and you see the little red lights start to disappear into the distance. That's why, as one of the stronger riders, I drop back so that I'm last in line. I'll do my best to encourage you but sometimes people are just so tired that they just want to get home. I'll help do that and make sure they aren't on their own.

If I try to let people draft me, particularly someone who is tired, the chances are they won't be able to hold my wheel. I hope it's better that I stay behind so that they know they aren't the back.

I'm not having a go just trying to explain the other rider's point of view.
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Hmm - I was thinking in terms of there being quite a few (relatively) 'weak and feeble' male riders (including me) so don't worry about it, but I see what you mean - it could be interpreted as 'only very fit women need apply'!
I didn't think that was what you meant, Colin. I think you were just making a comment that many of the women who had come on forum rides were fit.
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
How does a rider stop you being at the back and let you draft them? :hello:
I probably didn't say what I meant very clearly - I've no problem with being 'at the back' if this means being in the last group, being allowed to draft someone for a rest.

When it gets discouraging is when you come around a corner to see a long straight bit of road ahead, with no-one on it...
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
I think there is sometimes a problem with the very mixed ability forum rides, like Colin I'm usually the one at the back trying to keep up, it can get a bit dis-heartening to see people tearing off up a hill while you struggle up it, only to see them set off again as soon as you get to the summit :surrender:

There have also been 1 or 2 times I can remember the front group getting so far ahead as those at the back were not able to keep them in sight and have maybe missed or almost missed a turn.
I suppose this happens more the larger the numbers, keeping an eye on 4 or 5 is much easier than 15-20.

But even with these slight problems I have never once regretted turning up for a forum ride (well maybe just the Trawden ride Colin) as the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives for me :thumbsup:
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
I probably didn't say what I meant very clearly - I've no problem with being 'at the back' if this means being in the last group, being allowed to draft someone for a rest.

When it gets discouraging is when you come around a corner to see a long straight bit of road ahead, with no-one on it...
Yep that's why I stay at the back. I think I help by letting you know that you're not on your own on that stretch of road.

What's worse is when a taxi beeps as he overtakes and you set off to chase him and then you look behind and there's a long straight, EMPTY stretch of road behind you.Then you realise that you missed the turning a mile back!! Not that this has ever happened to me.... :whistle:
 

phil_hg_uk

I am not a member, I am a free man !!!!!!
There have also been 1 or 2 times I can remember the front group getting so far ahead as those at the back were not able to keep them in sight and have maybe missed or almost missed a turn.
I suppose this happens more the larger the numbers, keeping an eye on 4 or 5 is much easier than 15-20.
Particularly when the ones at the back stop to gawp at boats on the canal ;):giggle:
 
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