Ride Basics and Rules of the Road FAQ

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  1. Basics of how the ride works
    • No one gets there first
    • There is no prize for leading the ride
    • If you pass the pilot car, you're gone. Our permits require us to be contained in what we call "The Package"
    • We will use the pilot cars to control the pace of the ride.
    • New riders tend to want to climb the first long climb too fast... this is a huge mistake that is paid for later in the ride.  Any time gains here are doubly lost later... Thus the pace will be controlled.
    • The pace is the pace... For some it will be too hard and for some too easy.
    • If it is too easy for you, please put your hand on the back of another rider who is struggling.
    • If you are just plain having a bad day and the support folks ask you to get in the van, listen to them. We are not allowed to have riders way off the back as The Package gets too long.
    • While there is a history of folks pushing a lot up the hills, this is not something to be expected as it jeopardizes their chance of completing the ride.
    • If your support crew tells you that you need to eat and drink, Do it! Our amazing volunteers can see riders change and notice when they are not doing so well.
  2. How fast do we ride?
    • 24.5 to 26.9 kmh avg
    • 10.5 to 14.5 kmh up the 32 km climb to the summit of the Coq. We have paid the price for climbing this hill too fast. Any gains here are lost later when fatigue kicks in.
    • 30 to 35 kmh or more in 2-up formation on the flats.
  3. What are the benchmarks I need to be at in order to have a good chance to complete the ride? ... remember we only have so many spots in the support vans so not everyone can get in!
    • 300 to 400 km in a week - a few of them.
    • 200 km day
  4. How is the ride "Escorted"?
    • Delta Police provides escort from beginning to end. We have RCMP join in a various locations.
    • With this escort and with our pilot cars, we essentially have a lane to ourselves for most of the ride so it is very safe.
    • While we have ride captains and pilot cars, the Police escorts have the final say in calling the shots.
    • Please be aware of these Motorcycle Police as they pass on the LEFT.. Thus it is critical you maintain ride formation and keep space between you and the yellow line - space for the "Motor" to pass.
  5. What do I need to bring?
    • Rider Checklist
    • Bring all your cycling gear - it could snow!
    • Pack for all four seasons of weather - temperatures can range from 2 to 35 degrees celsius.
    • Label your clothing with your initials.
    • Bag Balm, Shammy Lude, Vaseline..  
  6. Do not change anything on your bike just before the ride except new tires!
    • Make sure you put 50km or so on those new tires so you don't discover a pinch flat at 3:45AM just before starting the ride!
    • Check your Rim Tape before your change tires
    • Change your tubes
    • Get a good tune up done 2 weeks in advance and put some miles on your bike before the ride
  7. Know your Bike
    • Know how it descends
    • High Speed Wobble is not always the Bike!
    • Understand your gearing - for flats this is important... do you have a 10 speed Shimano or some other wheel?  Call it out if you have a flat so we can get you the right wheel.
    • Be comfortable reaching for your Water Bottle and drinking from it while riding
    • Be comfortable eating on the bike - many riders us a "bento box" on their top tube to help with this.
  8. Understand your Ability
    • Listen to your body. Drink and eat every 20 Minutes.
    • Understand the draft and pace line, be comfortable in a pack and in that regard, read this following article:

Mandatory reading for R2S (and other) riders

Consider this MANDATORY reading for those who currently ride the Ride2Survive and those who are contemplating doing so. For that matter, all riders should read it as it would be great if this was the norm instead of the exception out there on the road.

Kerry.

The Lost Art Of The Group Ride

Last week I wrote a post about Melbourne's bunch ride culture and the direction it's heading. Meanwhile, other cities in Australia manage to keep things in line because they haven't lost the notion of "the patron of the peloton". Someone directed me to a post written by Peter Wilborn from South Carolina (where the riding is spectacular I might add) which hit the nail on the head. With Peter's permission I've reposted his article which nicely articulates what a bunch ride should be, and more importantly, what the leaders of the ride should be.

Every so often, I’ll ride a recreational group ride. I love the camaraderie of cyclists, the talk, the last minute pumps of air, the clicking in, and the easy drifting out as a peloton. “I miss riding in a group,” I’ll think to myself.

The magic ends by mile 10. The group will surge, gap, and separate, only to regroup at every stop sign. I’ll hear fifteen repeated screams of “HOLE!” for every minor road imperfection. And then no mention of the actual hole. Some guy in front will set a PB for his 30 second pull. Wheels overlap, brakes are tapped, and some guy in the back will go across the yellow line and speed past the peloton for no apparent reason. A breakaway?!

I curse under my breath, remembering why I always ride with only a few friends. Doesn’t anyone else realize how dangerous this ride is? How bad it is for our reputation on the road? There are clear rules of ride etiquette, safety, and common sense. Does anyone here know the rules? Who is in charge?

But no one is in charge, and the chaotic group has no idea of how to ride together. As a bike lawyer, I get the complaints from irritated drivers, concerned police, controversy-seeking journalists, and injured cyclists. It needs to get better, but the obstacles are real:

First, everyone is an expert these days. The internet and a power meter do not replace 50,000 miles of experience, but try telling that to a fit forty year-old, new to cycling, on a $5000 bike. Or, god forbid, a triathlete. No one wants to be told what to do.

Second, the more experienced riders just want to drop the others and not be bothered. It is all about the workout, the ego boost, or riding with a subset of friends. But a group ride is neither a race nor cycling Darwinism. As riders get better, they seek to distinguish themselves by riding faster on more trendy bikes; but as riders get better they need to realize two things: 1) there is always someone faster, and 2) they have obligations as leaders. Cycling is not a never ending ladder, each step aspiring upwards, casting aspersions down. It is a club, and we should want to expand and improve our membership.

Third, different rides are advertised by average speed, but speed is only one part of the equation. This approach makes speed the sole metric for judging a cyclist, and creates the false impression that a fit rider is a good one. Almost anyone can be somewhat fast on a bike, but few learn to be elegant, graceful cyclists.

Fourth, riding a bike well requires technique training. Good swimmers, for example, constantly work on form and drills; so should cyclists. Anyone remember the C.O.N.I. Manual or Eddie Borysewich’s book? They are out-of-print, but their traditional approach to bike technique should not be lost. More emphasis was given on fluid pedaling and bike handling.

Before the internet, before custom bikes, and before Lance, it was done better. Learning to ride was an apprenticeship. The goal was to become a member of the peloton, not merely a guy who is sort of fast on a bike. Membership was the point, not to be the local Cat. 5 champ. You were invited to go on group ride if you showed a interest and a willingness to learn. You were uninvited if you did not. You learned the skills from directly from the leader, who took an interest in riding next to you on your first rides (and not next to his friends, like better riders do today). Here is some of what you learned:

– To ride for months each year in the small ring.

– To take your cycling shorts off immediately after a ride.

– To start with a humble bike, probably used.

– To pull without surging.

– To run rotating pace line drills and flick others through.

– To form an echelon.

– To ride through the top of a climb.

– To hold your line in a corner.

– To stand up smoothly and not throw your bike back.

– To give the person ahead of you on a climb a little more room to stand up.

– To respect the yellow line rule.

– To point out significant road problems.

– To brake less, especially in a pace line.

– To follow the wheel in front and not overlap.

The ride leader and his lieutenants were serious about their roles, because the safety of the group depended on you, the weakest link. If you did not follow the rules, you were chastised. Harshly. If you did, you became a member of something spectacular. The Peloton.

Link to the original article:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2011/09/the-lost-art-of-the-group-ride-2/