Cycling News

Stop burning too many matches on your group ride

Stop burning too many matches on your group ride

So you didn’t put in the hours training throughout the winter and spring is upon us. You’re feeling your fitness is lacking but there is only one way to right that: ride more.The weekend cruise is the perfect opportunity. But what if you end up at the front? A long pull is sure to fry your legs. What to do?

You could wait to build some fitness before showing up to the ride. But perhaps a better strategy is riding with a fast group but avoiding the front. Sure it’s not a popular strategy if you’re just conserving your energy to win the town-sign sprint or be the first to the top of the hill, but you’re doing it because you have to. So how do you make sure you don’t end up pulling the group around all morning only to be blown out the back mid-way through? Here are some tips:

Start at the back and stay there

When the group rolls out from the meeting place, start the ride at the back. If the group is big enough, chances are you will hit a light or intersection before needing to pull through to the front. You can also pull out of the paceline to position yourself toward the back and let other riders take your place. Whenever the group needs to stop and then start rolling, strategically work your way to the back of the group again by being slow to clip in, finishing your drink or bar. Let the eager beavers swarm ahead of you. Be warned though, don’t take too long getting going or you might have to chase, defeating the purpose of the whole exercise.

Announce loudly your intent to sit in all day

At the start of the ride or once you’ve gotten rolling, announce to as many people who will listen, “I am sitting in all day” or “I am not in riding shape to pull”. Sometimes honesty can be your biggest asset.There is no shame in admitting your lack of fitness. This way everyone is aware of your intent to not pull and will be pleasantly surprised if you do pull through for a couple of turns at the front. You won’t burn your matches early and later on you won’t slow the group down because you’re gassed.

“I’m waiting for the team car…”

“I can’t pull through. I’m waiting for the team car.” This is an actual excuse Hugo Houle (Israel – Premier Tech) heard in the break at Gent-Wevelgem. Since we like to emulate the pros, you might use this as inspiration. You’ll just need to make it more convincing.

Keep your pulls short

Instead of entirely skipping your turns at the front, roll through but only pull for 30 seconds and…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…