Friday Group Ride #58

Some years ago I was sitting in an editorial meeting for a magazine when the topic turned to lifestyle and how to portray the roadie lifestyle in a magazine. It quickly devolved into a debate about just what the roadie lifestyle was. What was the bullseye at the center of the roadie lifestyle. Was it the double century crowd? Was it racing? Was it bike commuting?

In the 1990s, there weren’t that many people who were passionate about bike commuting or the prospect of a social revolution based on the concept of the bicycle as primary transportation. Fortunately, that has changed. But back then, the idea of making commuting the centerpiece of a magazine’s editorial mission seemed like suicide to me. Similarly, the fact that some double centuries may only get two or three dozen entrants makes them outliers even-wise and not a donkey you want to pin your tail on. Even centuries don’t typify the riding life of most riders; after all, they may only do two or three in a year. Racing? Most of the people I ride with don’t have a racing license anymore.

My opinion is the same now as it was then: The center of the bullseye of the roadie lifestyle is the group ride. If you hope to reach cyclists with a lifestyle publication in print or on the web and you don’t get what a peloton is, you’ve already lost the battle.

As the day-in-day-out social nexus of the riding community anywhere I’ve ever lived, group rides do more for cyclists than provide a great way to train. They offer the community a valuable way for riders to get to know each other and form bonds beyond the sweat that drips off them. I could never live some place that had no group rides.

So this week’s FGR is a bit different, a bit more literal, as it were. Tell us about the group rides where you live. Are they year round? How many riders show up in-season vs. out-of-season. Does it slow down in the off-season? Does it have a killer name? Is it the same course each week, or do you switch it up? How long? How fast? And finally, are there so many riders and rides where you are that you have a menu to choose from come Saturday morning?

You never know what might turn into a feature for someone.

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29 comments

  1. michael

    http://www.teamcoastalcycling.com/display/team/Weekly+Rides+Status

    How’s that for a menu? I am a big fan of the easy Saturday morning ride, which is what introduced me to this fantastic team to begin with. Nice easy 26-30kph ride. Intelligent ride leaders who don’t blow through stop signs or red lights. Experienced ride leaders who control the pace up front and sweep the back of the group.

    Anyone wanting to go hard is invited to do hill repeats on the multitude of short (and one long) climb on offer on this ride and re-group at well-established intersections. The majority of riders who do repeats time their last go-around to catch-up to the back of the group mid-climb and pace/offer encouragement to the newbies/lower fitness level group members. All in all it is most civilized and enjoyable!

    The size of the group ebbs and flows with the weather patterns and seasons. At this time of year up here in the Vancouver area we get a good turnout on the rare sunny mornings of 10-15 riders. Wet days draw only the hardy, 5-10 at most. During the summer the average group size is 20+, with up to 40-50 riders not uncommon during the peak weekends in mid/late July.

    At this time of year we are out for a couple of hours at most, covering 55-60km. Mid summer the ride does not so much lengthen in time but more in distance covered in that time as fitness levels go up and we manage more in the neighborhood of 70-80km over 2.5 hours or so.

    I’ve been on a few of the other rides as well on other days, and have found them to be equally enjoyable no matter how challenging.

    It is a very active club that promotes cycling at all levels – junior development, senior race team, club rides for all fitness/ability levels, race management and a fantastic 1 day 400km cancer fundraising ride with over 13000ft of climbing! (http://www.ride2survive.ca/)

    I am very happy to be a member of this club this year, a stellar group of people and riders all around.

  2. todd k

    Portland is the land of plenty when it comes to Group rides. They come in all flavors and sizes. Team group rides. Work group rides. Informal group rides that spring up on a given holiday or common vacation period. Some group rides are no more than a time and place where anyone and everyone may meet. Some days no one shows up. Some day 20 or so people may be there. Some groups are quite large. Others are quite small. The policies also vary from “drop no one” to “no regroup”. The speed may range from what most would define as a recovery pace to a no holds barred hammer and nails suffer fest. A given group may ride more or less the same route everytime the meet. Or they may be planned out and posted in advance and always seek new routes. Some group rides fracture into different routes along the way. Mileage may range from 20 or so miles to 100 (or more?) depending on the time and goals of the group.

    Group rides occur year around here. The population of each varies a bit as does the demographic. They may range from a handful to 40(or more?) people team or club rides. Team group rides have large populations this time of year given the lack of racing and the preparation of racing and folks are seeking base miles. The numbers of group rides rises as the weather evens out a bit and weather gets consistently into the 60’s. Not sure the actual size of any group actually grows. Folks that ride year around typical ride with more than one group and they seem to converge this time of year.

    The only consistency I have found between these groups is that all seem to start with folks representing a wide array of abilities and fitness. I’ve generally found few folks demanding exclusivity or “invite only” in group rides here. (For club rides you likely need to sign a waiver for liability reasons.) You may not be guaranteed to finish with a given group, but you generally are permitted to start with the group. (Hmmmmm. though it may be I’m not being invited to the exclusive groups!)

    Some groups arise organically and are quite ephemeral in nature. Today during lunch we started out just as two folks trying to get a ride in during the work day. Near the back 2/3rds of the ride we passed a couple of guys and for a half an hour or so we were a group ride of four folks. Small group, but it counts. The folks we were riding with had originally started with an entire other large group, but had determined to break off to pursuit a different (less arduous) route back to work. We rode together until a logical point (quickest route back to work) required us to part.

    As an aside, I’m thinking in the Portland area we may have a slightly larger number of folks that race bikes? The local scene has a significant number of races, seeks to be inclusive and caters to a wide array of skills and disciplines. It is very common for folks to at least dabble in racing periodically even if they don’t dedicate entire years to the activity. To that end I think a surprising number of people in Portland race “by the way”. I think folks in Portland just like to gather together and ride. Racing here may simply be an extension of a desire to gather in a group to express a shared passion.

  3. Touriste-Routier

    When I moved from So Cal (right by where the photo was taken) to Bucks County, PA the scene was dramatically different. In So Cal there were several large group rides, with riders from multiple clubs/teams; I remember being on rides with >200 people. The group rides tended to more or less go the same route, at least at a given time of year. They didn’t need to be led, as most knew the route, and they were institutions, meaning no one needed to really publicize the ride, as they were integral to the “scene”. You could always count on someone being there.

    In Bucks County the group rides are mostly either shop or club rides, without as much intra-club fraternization. I most often ride with the Central Bucks Bicycle Club, a recreational club (very few racers); they have 45 or so rides per month in the winter and over 80 in the spring and summer. You need to consult the ride calendar to determine where, when, how fast and how far. Rides are designated by category (D – A), so there is everything from 20 mile flatish rides that non regular riders or beginners can do, up to long hill fests, and the typical Wednesday night World Championship ride.

    The groups tend to be smaller (20 people is a big ride), though the weekday evening rides can see 35 – 40 in the faster group (80 – 100 overall). So there is something for everybody. Only a handful of the rides are institutions, the routes vary on each and every ride, and are led by a designated leader, so the route varies on each ride.

    The club is definitely social; we were once described as a drinking club with a cycling problem. Most of the weekend rides have a coffee break or food stop at a general store.

    The challenge is finding a sufficient number of people who want to ride more than 50 miles (the Sa/Sun fast group tends to max out at 45 – 50 miles in the summer) as well as finding enough riders who really know how to ride properly in a group. If someone is leading a 70 mile ride, don’t count on having more than a handful attend. Trying to get people to do a ride longer than 35 miles without a coffee/food stop is also difficult. I don’t know what it is they carry in their pockets, but it certainly isn’t gels or bars…

  4. Mike

    There are several groups in Cincinnati, but the one I hook up with on occasion is Gears4Beers “A drinking group with a cycling problem!” This group has something for everyone and breaks its rides up by distance and ability. Weekends will see multiple factions of the group heading out from a single start point. There are typically groups that go out each day of the week and nearly year round.

    Sadly, I live an hour north of the meeting place and so do not get to ride with them on a regular basis. Even sadder is the fact that the college town in which I live, though populated with all manner of cycling enthusiasts, has never, despite many attempts over the years, managed to get a consistent and large group ride going. Folks tend to have two or three regulars with whom they ride. The attempts from the LBS have been variable, often with 8-10 who show up, but ranging across the spectrum in ability and distance interests (so it becomes rather rag tag and often reduced to groups of two or three riding together across some predetermined route intended to be doable for the new folks). I’ve never seen a group large and/or organized enough to get a true pace line going (and I log 10-12,000 miles a year … so I think I would be aware of such a group!). This “culture” seems to also be reflected in the university team, who I have rarely seen riding in a group of more than 5-6.

    While it would be nice to have a large, organized local group, it is not a requisite for me to enjoy my time on the bike (road and mountain). Cheers to all of you out there … Be safe!

  5. Mike

    Touriste-Routier — lol! I just read your post and see that your group in PA describes itself in the same manner as the group in Cincy … a sure sign that fun is to be had after the turn of the pedal (at least, I hope that the drinking is and after-ride undertaking)! I am guessing that many groups are much the same. Cheers!

  6. Howard hesterberg

    Here in Sonoma Cty. there is a broad selection of rides, mostly social in nature even if long in mileage. I lead a ride on Mondays because I work in bike retail on weekends- prime time- I’m off on Mondays so I set up a ride that has become a standard training pace ride, on the easy side for accomplished racers and brisk for the rest. It is year round and uses several routes and variants about 3 hours

  7. sophrosune

    My club http://pc2001hortaleza.es/ is based in a neighborhood in the northeast of Madrid called Hortaleza. To be honest, I don’t know if any of our riders have any race pedigree. If they do, it was well in their past as the majority of us are middle-aged and even a little north of that. I do know that one of our members is the nephew of Luis Ocaña, which is pretty cool.

    We ride together on Sunday mornings throughout the year, and on good days can have as many as 25-30 guys show up. But I have done rides in the winter when there have been as few as three, including me. But for the most part, it’s pretty consistently 10-15 guys.

    We don’t really take on challenging rides and there are plenty around here in the local mountains. Instead we aim for safe rides that leave us happy to have our coffee and cokes in the small towns we have as our destination points. Our luxury is that every ride is accompanied with a team car. If we flat or just get tired we can pop the bike up on the car and get a lift home.

    For me, living in a foreign country, mi peña has been my saviour in many ways.

  8. Adam

    I live in Bermuda. It’s 20 square miles here, but we still manage a pretty healthy cycling community. There are various teams that train during the week and might get between 5-12 on each of those.
    The actual group rides are on Saturday and Sunday. A good turnout in summer would get 50 riders starting. No killer names, they’re only referred to by the times they start – if you say “I’m doing the 6:15″ everyone knows exactly what you’re talking about. Saturday is 90 minutes and Sunday is 2.5 hours. The course is always the same, and has been for as long as anyone can remember going back 25 years. It’s not consciously slower in the off season, we’re all just a little fatter, and while it’s definitely faster in the on-season, the point at which the attacks start comes earlier and earlier.
    http://www.madisoncycling.net

  9. PasoWinemaker

    Sadly, most of my riding happens solo. My small business and my 9 y/o daughter have me tied-up on weekends so the best opportunities for large group rides in my area are unavailable to me. When in college in San Luis Obispo, Ca. (1987-1991) I rode in large group rides regularly as well as weekly practice crits and the like. I do miss the efficiency, camaraderie, and motivation offered by group rides.
    However, the bright side is that in spite of precious few group ride opportunities, my ranch is at the top of a mountain so any ride originating from my home is punctuated by steep pitches of varying distances. Over time I have come to embrace climbing and don’t miss the absence of a large group when negotiating steep climbs (or the following descents.)

    It’s exciting to think that the Amgen tour organizers think highly enough of my humble, rural paradise to include it in this years’ event. My home is at mile 130 —> http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/docroot/media/2011/11_ATOC-Stage-5-Profile.pdf

    I remain more than a bit jealous of my cycling brothers (and sisters) who are out enjoying a fast group ride amongst like-minded enthusiasts this (and any other) weekend. At least I can try to participate vicariously through RKP.

    Cheers!

  10. lqdedison

    This FGR is a bit of a sad admission on my part. I moved a few years ago and with my move many things were left behind. Group rides fall into this category. I’ve heard it directly from those of whom I live amongst that the people of this area are closed. Meaning they have their own different way of doing things, it’s an old way but they stick to that cause the like it. Most people here prefer to ride alone. After all I am an outsider, even though I speak the language, it doesn’t make a difference. I look around and I can see how it’s not your average cycling community. There are club rides in the area that are run with quite frequency yet those on the ride are only members of that club. When I say club I mean the step before you become a professional. In a club from my Midwest roots we all had the same clothing of course, but over here that’s just the start. Club kits match the bikes beneath the riders in these parts. As you cross paths with a local club on a Sunday ride you’ll notice a following club (team) car at the back with spare wheels and sometimes a spare bike. It’s another level of commitment I hadn’t ever before imagined. I miss the group rides from my Midwest roots.

    There were a handful of rides to choose from back home. There was a “Tuesday night ride”, a “Drop ride” on Wednesdays, another group ride on Wednesdays with the local triathlon club on normal racing bikes, and if my memory serves me well there was a Thursday ride as well. All of them ran during the usual season from when the snow quit till the middle of September. The course was usually the same and there were split groups within the ride between faster and slower riders. In peak season numbers on any given ride could range from 30-60. If pros were in town for Superweek then numbers were always up. Most of the rides lasted two hours, some were an hour and a half. Speed was often dictated by a more senior member of a local team. Locals could be counted on for knowledge of which ride was how long and how fast. Sometimes local knowledge even meant that somebody knew you and how good your fitness was. Fit riders knew were to be and those not in the know were told. I was often recommended for the faster Tuesday night ride or the Wednesday drop ride. Not because I was a avid racer like those in the peleton that night but because my occupation afforded me a plethora of riding time. I gained my condition through nothing other than lots of time on my hands. There was a real sense of community on those rides that I miss a great deal. I loved how I could be riding amongst a local pro, the random old guy who had the legs to keep up, a tandem, juniors looking for a work out and your normal pack fillers just looking to stretch their legs. I was lucky enough to be there when I was as it was my youth in the road cycling discipline, I was just getting started with the sport as it was. As many times as I got yelled at or a simple talking to, which was often, those rides made me feel like I belonged.

    In the almost three years I’ve been living here amongst this new group of cyclists I’ve heard of the odd group ride here and there. We have an old oval race track from the 80’s that is open three time a week to cyclists. I’ve never checked it out. There is another big group ride somewhere an hour out of town so haven’t been to that one either. I’m glad I had the opportunity to join a group ride when I did. You never know when your circumstances will change so take advantage of what rides you can. The group ride and the sense of community that is experienced is something very special to cycling. It’s not something that can be experienced too often with other sports where you’ll be able to participate with everyone from a pro to an average joe on a given week day. I hope that someday I’ll find a group ride again that did everything those first few rides back home amongst local riders did. I learned a lot on those rides and I met a lot of people as well. It’s nice to know if I’m ever back home where everyone will be on Tuesday night if the weather is good.

  11. James

    Due to my work schedule it’s solo rides for me. Once in a great while I can coerce somebody into riding with me but that is limited to Sundays. I used to do group rides eons ago in Wisconsin but, truth be told, I don’t miss them.

  12. Armybikerider

    I also ride 95% alone on Fort Campbell and miss terribly the social scene of a regular group ride. In the early 1990’s I worked at B&J’s Bicycle Shop (now defunct) in San Antonio TX and had a variety of group rides to choose from. These included the local “tourist” oriented club rides – San Antonio Wheelmen, or my favorite – a regular Sunday morning ride with a local group of racers and enthusiasts. This Sunday ride was led by a guy named Ed Stone and would include local cat II hotshots out for a training spin in the Texas Hill Country. Ed would always plan the route and offer rides in his big Ford truck to whoever needed transport to the start. The pace was civilized and if someone needed it, protection was offered at the back of the pacelines. It’s with these guys that I learned the art and rotation of the paceline, how to ride echelons and to climb in a group without without touching wheels. Midway we’d stop at some out of the way gas station or store and load up on snacks or drinks. The atmosphere was always friendly and relaxed. Just a bunch of friends out for a ride.

    If you can’t tell, I often think back to these rides and remember specific events, or guys that would frequent them like Wes, or Scott or Brian. I still like to look at maps of the Texas Hill Country, spot roads that we would ride and think back to those awesome rides around Sisterdale, Comfort and Waring, etc etc.

    Hopefully when my Army career is over and I settle down for good into retirement, I can find another group like this and get back into the community of riders.

  13. Mr. Blue Sky

    I live in Cleveland, I ride the Weds. night A ride with CTC,Cleveland Touring Club. We do as 32 mile ride with about 2000 feet of climbing. We gemerally rode from, April to November, and average right around 20mph. We have about 10 to 12 regulars, but 15 to 20 can be there on any given Weds.
    Our version of the Wed Night Worlds has a couple former racers, Like Todd,the ride leader and myself, and about half of us are over 50, with a few younger guys in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s also. We regroup at the top of the 1st hill, have one “official” sprint about midway, and regroup at 2 other points. Todd has done a great job teaching the group solid pack riding skills, and for the most part, you can find good wheels to follow in our paceline. We try to encourage group cooperation, but there are still plenty of opportunities to attack, if you got the gas! Todd and I ride from my shop (Blue Sky Bicycles} to and from the ride for a 55 mile night. It’s a good group. Friendly, competitive, fun! If you’re ever in Northeast Ohio, consider yourselves invited!

  14. Matt

    Great post! Moved to Palo Alto from Newport Beach last year – great group rides in both towns every day of the week. While there are many GR’s to choose from here, these are the biggest, most regular, with the best riders (from PRO’s & nat’l champs to average Joe’s like me). All are year-round:

    In NB: Mon & Fri, 6:30a, corner of Avocado and PCH, 30 miles, tempo to hammerfest. Tues/Thurs, 6:15a, Coffee Crew, 30 miles, hammerfest. Wed, 6:00a, Santiago Cyn, 50 miles, tempo. Sat, 8:30a, Food Park, hammerfest. Sun, 8:00a, Como St., hammerfest.

    In PA: Mon-Fri 12p, the Noon Ride, corner of Page Mill/Foothill, different route everyday, 25 miles, tempo to hammer. Tues/Thurs PA morning ride, 6:15a corner of Santa Cruz/Sand Hill, hammerfest. Sat 9a, Spectrum Ride, Cupertino Starbucks, 50 miles, tempo to hammer.

    I suppose most of the GR’s feel like a hammerfest to me but tempo for the stronger riders. One would think the groups would get a bit slower Oct-Jan but that’s when all the traveling PRO’s are home – medium tempo to the big guns = hang on and try to hold a wheel!

  15. Flahute

    There are a number of group rides in the Salt Lake Area, but I’ve never been able to enjoy myself on any rider where there is more than 3 riders (and even 3 riders is often a stretch), because every ride seems to turn into some sort of race, with riders half-wheeling each other, or just gradually upping the pace until the ride turns into a full-on hammerfest.

    So, as it has been in the nearly 20 years I’ve been riding, nearly all of my rides are solo excursions … if I meet up with someone on the road, I’ll ride with them for a ways, but if I get dropped for some reason (i.e. just about every hill), I don’t kill myself to try to catch back up … I just continue to enjoy my time on the road.

  16. Souleur

    i envy you all so much.

    in the midwest, rural america ozarkia, its a lone wolf’s existence as a cyclist. I have 2 friends who ride in this tiny area, but we know everything about one another and absolutely open roads that are lightly trafficked. I rode yesterday 70k and only had 6-7 cars pass me.

    the only group rides we do are in summer in other areas and have to travel at least 1 hr in any direction to do that.

    enjoy one another

  17. randomactsofcycling

    I have it pretty good here in the northern suburbs of Sydney. My club http://pelotonsports.com.au/default.aspx is based around the LBS that is literally 200 metres from my house. It’s convenient but can be expensive!
    There are always rides on both Saturdays and Sundays, graded from A to C usually. The Satruday ride is a smashfest that runs out to West Head, which if I could lift my eyes of the wheel in front, offers some of the most beautiful scenery of the Pacific Ocean, coastline and on the way back, bushland and river scenes. Sundays are a mixed bag of about a dozen different routes, ranging from 3 to 4 hours. Sometimes quick other times civilised. There are also early morning rides during the week, with our recovery ride being the ‘Friday Fatbuster’, but the best are the ‘special rides’ and tours that are organised each year.
    There are a few of us that race a little bit though not too seriously. It’s a very social group that just likes to put the hurt into each other! I’ve learned everything I know about riding in a group from these guys and girls. What to do and certainly what not to do. We are absolutely blessed to have ‘Bar Stelvio’ attached to the back of the LBS and we sit here for hours after a ride and talk about whatever.
    I lived in Melbourne for four years and rode mostly solo. I’m fitter and happier since coming back to the fold.

  18. Nelson

    My favorite is our Friday Night Group Ride dubbed the “Old Hat Ride” I started it last May. We do anywhere from 18-30 miles out to a brewery (The Old Hat), have a beer or 2 or 3, and then a short 7 mile ride back to our meeting spot. I’ve had days that it’s just me and I’ve had days that we filled the little brewery with 15 riders. The best part is the feedback and type of people I get on this ride. Everyone knows its about having fun and sharing stories. And in my opinion, that’s what it’s all about.(oh and beer. YEA!!!)


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Everyone: Thanks for sharing the details of your rides. This is terrific. Makes me want to buy airfare. And for those of you not lucky enough to live in a place with thriving group rides, you have our sympathies … and an invitation to come join us for some rides.

      Keep those comments coming!

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  20. CCH

    Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, group rides are plentiful. In fact, the challenge is to stay away from them so that you can do “real” training, if that is what you are in to. I race, and I like to do well (but I don’t). I find that I enjoy group rides even more, and I get sucked into them instead of doing proper training. Beating up on your friends is more fun than beating up on (or, in my case, getting beat upon by) strangers anyways.

    I am in Marin, so my bias is towards those rides. You can sit at the Java Hut in Fairfax on any morning (but especially weekends) and see groups go by–just hop on the one that looks like your speed. The Depot in Mill Valley is almost as good for impromptu group rides. Your options will range from deranged pain cave extravaganzas to “it looks dry–let’s take the road jewelry out and show it off”.

    On Saturdays, the Roastery Ride features a lot of elite riders, starting at the Golden Gate Bridge and rolling to Pt Reyes Station (via the Java Hut) and back. The ride typically swells to 40 or more riders along the way, and then starts shedding them as the hammer drops on the bucolic roads of West Marin. There is also a Purple Patch training ride that is basically the same route, but with stops to regroup and less time in the Pain Cave.

    Sundays, I hit the Studio Velo shop ride, starting in Mill Valley. It is typically a 3 hour ride, and is a mix of delightful social time and wrenching efforts. It can be road or dirt. I have a soft spot for this ride because it started my “comeback”. They used to wait 10 minutes for me at the top of Mt Tam. Now I repay the courtesy by circling back from the top to accompany riders who are in need of some encouragement.

    On Tuesday evenings, the infamous POO Ride (Port of Oakland) is a 60 minute, dead flat, windy hammerfest. Lots of the local racers come to work on speed and suffering. This ride really hits its stride after daylight savings in the Spring, with groups up to 75 strong, but it happens all year long. Be warned–this is not a recreational ride. But, if you get dropped, the group will be back around in 6 minutes to pick you up and drop you again. If you want hills, the Thirsty Bear boys do a loop around Mt Tam on Tuesday evenings.

    Wednesday morning is the Old Men’s Roastery Ride–a slightly more civilized version of the Saturday Ride, meeting at the Java Hut. This ride often features pros, mountain bike legends, ridiculously fast old-timers and other unsavoury types. A large portion of the group usually heads out for an extended loop to Marshall to add an hour of ride time (for about 3.5 hours)

    The Chicken Ride is on Friday mornings–mostly flat and fast around the Tiburon Peninsula. I have not done it myself yet (too tired), but I hear it is fun.

    And then you are back at Saturday! For a change of scenery, you can head out to Danville and do the House of Pain ride. Same hurt, different view and companions. There is a HOP Lite option as well.

    And that is just scratching the surface of the group rides nearby. I have never seen a comprehensive list of the group rides in the Bay Area–it would be a long one. The Bay Area is crowded, but once you get 5 miles away from a freeway it often gets downright rural.

  21. Matt

    CCH- great list! The Bay Area is very provincial and cycling scenes can be pretty insular but wouldn’t it be great to put together one, big comprehensive list of group rides in North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, South Bay/Silicon Valley? The sheer amount of group rides in 40 square miles is pretty staggering. I’ve never seen a complete listing on any shop or club website. Could be a cool public service for Bay Area cyclists. Who knows, a ride in another area could be worth traveling to on a Saturday morning to check out.

  22. CCH

    Matt–

    A complete guide would be useful. Perhaps I can talk the Strava guys into doing it, since they have all the ride data (and rides are marked as group or not, so it would be easy to filter). MapMyRide would be another obvious candidate to do this. Of course, not all group rides have a fixed route, but they almost always have the same start point.

    I have always relied on local bike shops when I arrive in a new area to suggest a couple of rides, and then networked my way from there.

    I agree that it is fun to do something different and go try another well established ride every now and then and hammer with a different group. I enjoy the change of scenery. I also enjoy having new riders out on my favorite rides–provided of course that they are competent and respectful.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Everyone: Thanks tremendously for your input. I’ve been contemplating a resource to collect this information both for personal reasons (when I travel I want to do group rides) as well as a collective resource for like-minded roadies. Ultimately, I believe a database of some sort would be really useful. But I just wanted to get a feel for just how rich an array of rides I might hear about. Rich indeed.

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