This tip is the second of three submitted by one of our “Team Elders” who has seen it all. He thought it was an excellent time to remind everyone what TeamCBC was, and should be, all about.
- No drop means “NO DROP.” It does not mean to wait at the stop signs. That does nothing to relieve the stress on the “stragglers.” It just increases their fatigue and guarantees a bad outcome as the ride progresses. Slow the pace down, especially on the hills; that is where everyone has trouble. When was the last time you heard someone complaining about going too slow up a long or steep grade?
- Be aware of the riders around you. How are they doing? Breathing heavy?… the pace is too much. Sitting up chatting?…they are fine. Where is the back of the pack? Who is back there? How long have they been back there? Are they constantly dropping off? Designate a stronger rider to assist the people in the rear. I have found doing this a much more challenging workout than upfront pulling if a workout is what you are looking for. I made it a rule that if I pulled for a spell and dropped some riders, it was incumbent upon me to go back and get them. After all, it was my action that caused the problem. If we all were to do this, then the pace would stay realistic.
- When taking off after a stop, the front riders should initially go slow. Remember that everyone has to wait for the bike in front of them to get going before they can clip in and get moving. If not, it will cause the line to get stretched out and leave the tail end to push harder to keep up. When someone calls “all here,” don’t take off right away; remember they just finished hammering it to catch up and could use a brief breather.
Thanks, “Team Elder,” for your wisdom.