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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... As part of my "deal" with my LBS, I am going to be leading their womens' only rides one night a week, starting in April sometime.<br><br>
Uh, yeah. I've never done a group ride. I told him this, and he wasn't concerned. I did tell him my philosophy on all this stuff, that it's for fun and health, and that I am more worried about encouraging someone new than going fast. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> I used my Vegas half marathon story to illustrate that.<br><br>
Any tips? Ideas?
 

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Just be very welcoming and encouraging. Answer any questions anyone has, and tell them your philosophy. Find out the abilities of all the riders in the group, then choose the route accordingly. (Not that I've ever been on a group ride!! It's in the plan!) <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good call on the route. I plan to stay away from the crazy-ass hills to the west, since I know there will be lots of newbies.
 

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Don't drop anyone! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
As one who never did group rides before, the "no drop" policy of the group I"m using right now has made it much easier for me to join in. THey're all on road bikes, so me and my mtn bike have a hard time keeping up sometimes. But, they'll stop at the major intersections and wait for me so that I don't get lost.<br><br>
Also, what helps me is when they tell me the names of roads (some aren't all that well marked where we are), and where we are in realtion to "civilization." That way, I can stay oriented while riding.<br><br>
The other thing they do that I think is pretty cool (may not work in your group), is cycle through riding with the newer/slower/weaker folks so that they aren't riding by themselves.<br><br>
Overall, I don't do too bad of a job keeping up, but when there are long down hills or flats, they just fly. I can't climb worth a crap YET, and they'll leave me on the gradual inclines as well. BUT, my first race is FLAT FLAT....so hopefully that won't limit me too much.<br><br>
I did just hear from someone who's done it before that it's an out and back, and that "out" is with the wind, but "back" is against the wind. Sooooo...... that should prove to be fun. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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I would definitely go over some group riding etiquette, signaling, rules of the road, etc. I think someone posted a link not too long ago (may have been on my tri club's site, I'll check). I used to ride with a regular group of friends, and every once in a while this one lady would join us, and she was dangerous to ride with, wore headphones, passed on the right, didn't signal and half of the time didn't pay attention to vehicular traffic. I always steared clear of her.<br><br>
I think it's awesome that you're taking this on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not yet. It's not 80 degrees here already, snoozer. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I will definitely have a no-drop policy. That's my #1 rule. I want people to come back, and I would rather ride with the slower riders and make them feel welcome than leave them. Plus, it's not like I'm this blazing fast rider. I'm usually faster than most in my tris (on the bike) but I am sure that there will be faster people. If not, great. But I don't mind slowing down to ride with people.<br><br>
During the Vegas half, I ran with a gal who was running in honor of her recently deceased friend. This was my first half. We settled in together early in mile 1, and had the same pace, so we decided to keep each other company. I waited with her for 15 minutes at a porta potty, and when she started limping at mile 9, I stuck with her. There was NO WAY I was abandoning her then. I slowed down and we finished together. So that is pretty much how I am. No finish is worth leaving a buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh good stuff!! I could stand to review the signals myself.<br><br>
That lady sounds scary. No headphones on my rides.<br><br>
I'm a little freaked out that I agreed to this, but you don't grow if you don't try new stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
I've ridden outside exactly ONCE this year. It was a freak 70 degree day in Feb. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
It is actually getting up in the 60's here now, during the day. So I am hoping to soon do an outdoor long ride during the day. I'm kind of a wuss about riding in the cold, and I don't have all the gear to make it comfy.
 

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Courtney..... good for you!!! How exciting! Maybe IF my schedule will allow it I can try to join you for one of these. It's not exactly convenient for me, but I can probably manage one time to trek up there to the NW side of town to go with you. I just signed up for the women's Wednesday evening rides at Treads that are supposed to start up later this month. I'm nervous about that too and that's just going with them, nevermind leading the thing! You'll do fine.<br><br>
Keep me posted.... dates, times etc.
 

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Be sure you know how to fix flats. If you're leading newer riders they may not know how and it wouldn't be good to leave them.<br><br>
I did a free group ride with Carmichael Training Systems a couple years ago. We got 5-6 miles into the ride when the groupleader had a flat. The group was told to go ahead and a second CTS rider was to lead us. Unfortunately the second rider wasn't familiar with the route, so I took over because it was a route I do on a regular basis. So - it might be a good idea if one other person is familiar with your intended route in case something happens to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good idea, Don.<br><br>
I do know how to change flats. And my understanding is that there will be someone at the store while we are out if we encounter any mechanical problem that is trickier than putting a chain back on.<br><br>
Carrie, I will keep you posted. I'd love to ride with you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It seems so simple, but that would really suck.
 

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Hey Court - good on you for taking this on! Here's a couple things that I hope will help<br><br>
This is from a website of a group that leads rides around here. I wanted to get out there last year to try them out but never did:<br><a href="http://www.grizzlypeakcyclists.org/leader/" target="_blank">Grizzly Peak Cyclists Leader Tips</a><br><br>
One of the links they link to on the site is a pretty thorough guide from another biking group. I imagine everything you might need to think of is in this booklet (it's in PDF format)<br><a href="http://www.cascade.org/EandR/pdf/Ride_Leader_Guidelines.pdf" target="_blank">Cascade Bike Club Leader Guidelines</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks!! I will definitely check those out tonight at home. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Good tips here. I think establsihing a way the group rides together and making sure it doesn't become a menage to motorists is really important. Either ride single file or in a neat group with two at the front. A lot of group tend to swell into the traffic lane when people get to talking, so you have to be willing to ride up and tell people to get the heck out fo the road. Women never show up for group rides anyway, so you will have time to build something if you want to do the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks, jr.<br><br>
I will definitely be building a group. I'm already reaching out to the cyclists now!
 
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