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  • Ianimo

    It may seem counter-intuitive, but try to ride further up the group. The hardest place to ‘hang on’ is often at the very back. If the group is well organized, this should not be the case – the rhythm will be steady, no matter how fast the pace. But in many of the rag-tag bunch rides I do, there will be a few strong riders at the front surging ahead at a pace a little above that favoured by the rest. This can send undulations of pace back down the line as riders scramble to catch up to the wheel in front. The accordion effect is most pronounced by the time it gets to the end of the line. If you can keep in the middle of the group, you will get more shelter and less of the accordion backwash. Of course, it takes more confidence – and trust in the other riders – to do this.

  • winkybiker

    Close the gap. Being inattentive and allowing gaps to open wastes a lot of energy. Set a following distance from the wheel in front that you’re comfortable with, and try to keep it constant. As your confidence grows, the gap will naturally come down, and save even more energy, but the yo-yoing that results from inattention is always energy sapping.

    Hard as it might be, try to start harder hills near the front so you can drift back without losing contact.

    Good riders in strong bunches don’t hammer every hill, thus putting the less-strong riders under duress, but do pedal the downhills so everyone behind can avoid braking. Some hills are ridden hard, but on no-drop rides, just do them at your own pace. Don’t feel bad about the others having to wait. No-one is bothered.

    Our no-drop rides often have the faster sessions on out-and-back routes to allow easy regrouping. We wait at the the turn-around, but there is also the option for slower riders to turn around early.

    I’m not sure why Sheyleigh felt the need to use the phrase “As another woman….”. Maybe the men she rides with are inconsiderate arseholes. If this is the case in your group (i.e. only the women help each other and the men ignore them), choose another bunch to ride with.

    • velocite

      What a good post, thanks. Fortunately for me, I ride with the good group of your third para.

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