Riding in groups can be tricky but also super rewarding. I find myself most of the time in groups where at least half the riders are stronger then me. Over the last 15 years I’ve developed some top secret coping mechanisms to hanging with the fast crew.
- Use your strengths. If you have good 30s power for example then use it to close gaps with little effort or take a nice, solid, smooth pull for 25s. Try to get the group to rotate in a way that works for you.
- Find that draft. You need to be the best person in the group when it comes to winds and weather. You need to know what’s going on before anyone else. Predicting where to be before the group is essential.
- First to leave last to stop. If you are the weak link in other parts of the ride like stopping this can be a huge disadvantage. We’ve all been the person to stop for a nature break and only 3 people stop. This can’t be you.
- Know when to use your bullets. You only have some many during a ride. Plan ahead if need be or call an audible on the road. Just pick the right time. Examples of the right time; you are in the middle of a big ride and the group is dropping you, there’s 10 miles left and you are with the top folks…start ripping.
- Partake in everything that the ride has to offer. Yes, I’m a firm believer in doing the sprints, going hard when you are supposed to go hard, attacking, ect. It’s actually more likely that you will miss out/get dropped if you sit things out. Then all your doing is chasing.