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. http://stevetilford.com/2015/05/19/group-training-rides/
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!