First Event in May

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ultrarunnerlee
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 08:49 am

First Event in May

Postby ultrarunnerlee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:37 am

Hi all,
Now I have sorted out my cheapy bike and starting to get into the swing of things with longer and longer rides, I have entered my first event to give me something to work towards.
I have entered just one stage of the Tour of Wessex in May....
I don't think I will have too many dramas getting round but I was wondering more about etiquette on the day. As a runner its not much of a problem but riding with a mass of riders possibly might be. So essentially I am just wondering about any thoughts for a newbie to consider. If I had it my way i'll be all alone just getting on with it, but this may not be the case.....

markhewitt1978
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 15:48 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:47 am

Assuming it's just like any other sportive - it's slightly different to just riding on the road alone. As you can expect other riders around you on the same event. On sportives it's generally acceptable to draft someone you've just come up to, and you can expect the same in return. Otherwise it's normal group etiquette, which is just keep your line, don't make sudden moves, don't overlap the rider in front (he moves to one side you'll be going down). Point out potholes etc where practical.

As long as you are not a dick then it'll be fine.

Ai_1
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 22:43 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby Ai_1 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:04 pm

When riding in a group it's fairly obvious not to slam on the brakes or make any other sudden changes likely to cause a crash. One thing you might be aware of is that if you get out of the saddle you move forward on the bike and as a result the bike will suddenly move backwards. I've seen a number of close calls on group rides when people have gotten out of the saddle and someone close behind has nearly hit their wheel. It's easy to miss if you're used to riding alone. So if you tend to get out of the saddle from time to time, be aware of this and check behind you first. You may need to accelerate just a touch before standing to make some space.
I did my first sportive with no group riding experience and got on just fine. I learned as I went along. Just be cautious at first and watch what others are doing (groups of club riders especially - there may be lots of novices making mistakes!)

markhewitt1978
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Re: First Event in May

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:10 pm

Assuming it's signposted make sure you keep an eye out and don't be so caught up in doing 40mph down hill you sail straight past the junction, not that I've ever done that ;)

ultrarunnerlee
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 08:49 am

Re: First Event in May

Postby ultrarunnerlee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:27 pm

I'm sure when I come to it, it will be nothing to worry about. Just don't want to get in the way of anybody and cause a hassle. I'll probably start at the back, I expect to catch a few people but I suppose it gives me the opportunity to sit back from a group or get stuck in too.
As for going 40mph at any point is wishful thinking ;-)

markhewitt1978
Posts: 6732
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 15:48 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:50 pm

ultrarunnerlee wrote:I'm sure when I come to it, it will be nothing to worry about. Just don't want to get in the way of anybody and cause a hassle. I'll probably start at the back, I expect to catch a few people but I suppose it gives me the opportunity to sit back from a group or get stuck in too.


Is it a mass start? It tends to vary, some events I've been on you all start together, but quickly get spaced out. But most sportives start riders in groups of 15-20 spaced out by 5 minutes each. So it doesn't really matter when you start, I prefer to start as early as possible and then get overtaken all day ;)

As for going 40mph at any point is wishful thinking ;-)


On a gentle downhill slope you'd be surprised how quickly you pick up speed.

ultrarunnerlee
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 08:49 am

Re: First Event in May

Postby ultrarunnerlee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 14:01 pm

It seems to be start when you want within reason. Looking at last years times people are leaving between 8-9am. The decent riders go off at 8am sharp. Its all timing chips so I suppose it don't matter too much

Ai_1
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 22:43 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby Ai_1 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 15:57 pm

One other tip. It's much easier to ride in a group but not if you pick the wrong group.
If you're struggling to stay with a group, let it go.
On my first event 2 years ago I fell behind the group I had been riding with on a climb. When it flattened out I tried catching up but riding solo with a bit of headwind I was only gaining on them very slowly. After a few km I realised I'd been working too hard trying to catch them and I backed off but the damage was done. I really suffered a little later in the and I'm pretty sure this was the main reason why. On later events I learned to let the faster groups go. I tend to be a little heavier than others with similar average speeds as me (i.e. those I'm sharing the road with in mass start events). This results in me being slower up the hills but wanting to go faster on the flat. On long flat sections I'll often ride off the front of a group having struggled to keep up with them on climbs earlier in the ride. On the other hand if you're light and a half decent climber you can gain a lot by drafting on the flatter sections.

markhewitt1978
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 15:48 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 16:00 pm

I like sportives with plenty of riders because it's like having a dynamic group ride, you catch up with a group and stick with them, or you can join onto a group that's passing you for a while, then if you feel strong you can push out ahead, or if you want a rest let them go. So you can do some group riding without the same pressures you would have riding with a club.

But in general the best advice is like above, don't worry about what others are doing or trying to prove a point by keeping up with them. There will always be riders faster than you, some of the riders doing these events are not far off pro level sort of fitness.

ultrarunnerlee
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 08:49 am

Re: First Event in May

Postby ultrarunnerlee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 16:33 pm

I should get on fine.
Was just worried I'd find myself in a group where we were all expected to take turns at the front etc and i'd balls it all up by taking out 20 people whilst avoiding a pot hole or something :-)
now I only have to worry about whether my high performance bike;-) will get me around

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Cygnus
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Re: First Event in May

Postby Cygnus » Tue Mar 11, 2014 16:38 pm

Don't forget to look behind you when when you're moving over or overtaking someone because cyclists can come up from behind unexpectedly, when I was doing the Great Manchester Cycle I often saw some cyclists change lane suddenly without looking behind first.

markhewitt1978
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 15:48 pm

Re: First Event in May

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 16:40 pm

ultrarunnerlee wrote:Was just worried I'd find myself in a group where we were all expected to take turns at the front


Nah, that sort of thing applies to club rides, where everyone is expected to stay together as a group, but not really in sportives.

ultrarunnerlee
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 08:49 am

Re: First Event in May

Postby ultrarunnerlee » Tue Mar 11, 2014 16:48 pm

Yay good news.
I suppose all I want is not to be relied on to do anything :-)
I agree as I started out running I always got sucked into racing then I was blowing out my ass towards the end. I think as my first event just to take it as a nice Saturday morning cycle, come through it and go from there. Just the unexpected like most things I suppose :-)


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