Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rise and Fail of The Group Ride

What seams like years ago and it has been that I've seen the rise and fail of what people deem as a Group Ride. There are a few true group rides happening around our city but I do mean a few.

What is a Group Ride? A ride that has a specific goal of keeping the group together for a fitness and education aspect. A place where the new rider and intermediate rider can learn how to ride in groups safely. Not always is it for racing but for the safety of other riders in the group or at an event. What I have seen happen is those old school group rides are now being lead by people who do not know what they are doing and are just out to punish the group. Who gains anything from that? The rest of the group just feel like they can never get better, or I will never be like :::::::! Or why do they always do this? With those uneducated loosely called leaders are rolling through stop signs teaching the new rider it is ok because we have a STRAVA segment to try and kill!

Once the leader set a good pace for all to maintain and if a hill came up the group would slow a bit at the top to allow the slower rider to latch back on. Get a flat or mechanical issue and the group or one or two would take the time to wait for the unfortunate rider to get his bike back running and help pace them back to the group. Not today! It is a community race as the so called RACE TEAMS are leading some of these rides and making it a race not a good ride. Do not get me wrong there is a time and a place for these type of rides but not at all the local restaurant rides or charity events.

Steve Tillford had this article out a few month or so ago about the group training ride.

There are rides in our area that are a training rides and they are not your group rides. You may ride in a group if you are one of the front guys but that is about it. The difference is you know this going to that ride and the Novice or new cyclist is more than likely not attending this ride. YET!

I guess what I am trying to say is BRING BACK THE GROUP RIDE! In the not so distant past when I was leading yes leading groups along with other leaders all we ever heard is "that was a great ride! We all rode well and finished well ahead of our personal best times. I think that is what we would all call a successful Group Ride!

Bring back the GROUP RIDE!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July! Time is slipping by!

Well it has been way too long since I've posted anything. I had decided to take a short break(longer than Planned) to focus on some rest, family and managing my training plan. Many of you know I took up Mtb racing a few years ago and have put much of my training into the dirt. Last year racing was not as good as I had planned but I learned lots which set me up for a better 2015 season, Early MTB races like Gods Country Marathon was delayed two time from early April to May then we finally race in June. My first marathon event. We raced at the Lawrence River tails, a fast, flat flowing trail system. Races some really fast Elder men in the CAT 1 50+. I took 4th overall and I was happy with the finish

God's Country Marathon
God's Country Marathon last Hill
The MTB CX session started May 2-3 rd with the Kansas State FAT Tire festival out at Wilson Lake in north Central Kansas. What a beautiful area. A lake my family visited often when I was a child. The trails are really as they call it EPIC and one would not know you are in Kansas Prairie Land. Sand Stone makes up lots of the trail with larger rock gardens to challenge the experts and really challenge those not so expert but all is rid-able or walk it if you must. I did! The first day it got hot so my body did not want to work very well so I DNF'd for my own safety. 

Then the rain set in and I think I or all of us in this area hit single trails a few times prior to the next event on the calendar June 7 Down'n Dirty in Warsaw, MO. Great trail system there. I have only raced there now three times. First as a CAT 2 50+ and won and Second as a CAT 1 and DNF'd with 3 flats in the first loop of 3. I was done. This year it was time to get back on the + side. There where not many people at this years event I think cause many thought it would be too wet and another event across the state happening. Non the less we race. Not many in the CAT 1 50+ but one must finish an event in order to win place or draw. I finished and took a Second place. It was a hard and again a very hot day. It was all about perseverance. 

The following weekend it was the Mason's Midsummer Meltdown, a fund raiser for the Trail Masons at Wyandotte county lake Park. Not as warm as one would have expected in mid June. A good group of racers showed up to give this one a-go. As with this race not alot of CAT 1's in general but we are racing. The tails in the park are good flowing with climbing that makes you work all the time when trying to go fast. I was really glade to get this one over with for some reason. I was not sure where I was in the mix of things when we got into the single track from the start so I just kept on fighting to not let people just past me nilly willy. With great surprise I was third on the day again racing in a very fast and skilled class of CAT 1 50+ guys.
Masons MidSummer Meltdown

Stay tuned for more MTB racing and start of CycloCross Training