Challenge Your Limits

Oiy. This week. It is hard. 

I’m pooped. Like, super pooped. This hard shift in my schedule is really throwing me off. And I seem to have a bunch of in office related work to do and of course I’m out of my office all week. Because, helpful. Work is work. Who’da thunk. 

I’m managing. Sort of. 

This is me right now. Hi. 

I did get out for a group ride with my tri club Tuesday night. The closest thing to a group ride I’ve ever done is riding with Rob. The guy who is our club ride coordinator is a cyclist and kept half jokingly saying “oh, you triathletes” when I or another club member didn’t know something cycling-y-ish. And that’s the thing about living in a small rural town. The tri club is also the swimming club, the cycling club, and the running club. People who only participate in one of the disciplines join too and only participate in the workouts of their discipline. And that’s okay, but it sometimes makes things a bit quirky. 

At one point during the ride our ride coordinator gave me a small wave that apparently meant come lead, or come draft off me..? I forget which. He tried to teach me drafting and about lead changes and what not. I tried hard to follow along and learn. And with it being a group of two cyclists and three triathletes, some group ride etiquette went out the window. Like the no aerobar rule that is typical of group rides, as all three of us triathletes rolled up with aerobars, two of us on TT’s. So the new “rule” is to stay on your hoods unless your in front or in back. So I did about 98% of the ride up on my hoods. And even without this “rule” I probably would have. The wind was brutal and shoving us all over the road, so I stayed up mostly to keep my balance a bit better. I need some core work bad. 

No aerobars! Wait… no. 

Also, clipless pedals *angry fist shake* We were stopped at a stop sign, waiting for traffic to pass. I had one foot clipped in and clipped out. I grabbed the nose of my saddle to shift myself over to the shoulder a bit more and went down. From a dead stand still. I think I’ve fallen more this year from a dead stop than any other time ever using clipless pedals. I’m all sorts of fail. Whatever. They make me faster. Falling just comes with the territory. I was very happy to get in over 20 miles and felt great after wards. 

And, I’m planning to go for the group ride again tonight. Riding with those who are stronger riders than me will only make me stronger. And ride coordinator Spin Master gave me some good tips and invited me to his indoor spin class where you bring your own bike and trainer. I would like to keep learning all I can. The bike leg is the longest portion of triathlon, so I might as well be good at it. 

What is some group ride etiquette I should be aware of?
Train alone or in a group?

11 Replies to “Challenge Your Limits”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting about falling from a standstill. I just did it for the second time on Monday and felt so stupid. It REALLY helps to know I am not alone.

    1. The thing is, I don’t know a single person who hasn’t done it! You’re definitely not alone and it hurts pride way worse than it can ever hurt your body. Everyone falls and it’s almost always from a complete stop. I’ve fallen like three or four times this year already. I think I just need to remember to unclip both feet as soon as I stop.

  2. I ride in groups, frequently, but more often with people that I know. On occasion it will be in a group ride with folks I have not met, but my norm is that I have ridden with them before. One of the biggest things I find important when riding in groups, is to always point out pot holes, rough road, gravel, etc that you see that may be hazards. This is especially important to initiate when you are pulling the group. Even if not in the lead, point out the hazards when the leader initiates it (to “send the message down the line”). If you spot something that the leader did not point out, make sure you do! Also, when riding in a group, especially a pace line, try to maintain a good steady pace as much as possible. Of course, your speed will change with hills, descents, etc., but when you are generally on the flat, try to not speed up/slow down/ride inconsistently. This makes it hard for someone to safely draft off you. I feel it can be an advantage to ride with others, especially when they are a bit stronger cyclist. It helps to make us stronger!

  3. I have no idea what most of the lingo in this means but I really do want to start biking! JUst need to get a bike first lol. How do trainers inside work? I’ve always wondered that. How do you adjust the pedal resistance?

    1. It took me a while to learn a lot of the lingo and I’m still learning! Indoor trainers are great. You can get a basic one for pretty inexpensive from a bike shop or off amazon. The back of your bike hooks in so the back wheel is resting against a wheel on the trainer. Then you just pedal! You can adjust the wheel resistance right on the trainer or use your own gears to adjust the resistance. Trainers are a great way to learn your gears and get comfortable on a bike before hitting the road.

  4. I think falling over at least five times at a stop, due to clipless pedals, in a mandatory initiation for any cyclist. I have some pretty classic falls under my belt. 🙂 I haven’t been on my tt bike in a group setting yet, but I’m sure it’s bound to happen at some point. I definitely agree that riding with others who are stronger is a great way to challenge yourself and grow in the sport.

  5. I have never ridden with a group on bikes before, but it would be a fun experience. My sister trains for Tri’s, but she is a solo trainer or I’d ask her for some group tips for you. But your not alone in the falling, I remember when she got her new bike for it, the guy told her “Plan to fall at least 3-5 times before you get it down”. She figured she would be the one who didn’t, but ya she fell just like he said she would:) Have fun with your riding and training!!!

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