Importance of riding with someone at YOUR LEVEL

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Importance of riding with someone at YOUR LEVEL

Postby Ginantonicus » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:38 am

I will start off by saying, I am a novice.
I started on track in September last year and was last in almost every race (To be expected). Now with the clubs track season finished and the road season started, I'm still last in almost every race (still to be expected). The first road race i did i was dropped by my group in the first 10km and caught by the scratch at about 15km. The second race i did the juniors where doing a reduced course of the senior race. So i was sent off with the juniors (Ouch! my pride). The last 10km though i was on my own and was caught by scratch around 7km from the finish (both races were handicapped). Then on Saturday some family friends came to stay for the weekend, and one brought his bike up to go for a ride. So i invited him along to the club race and surprise surprise he averaged the same speed as me. The race was 30km, handicapped, with the two of us with the biggest handicap. Coming into the last kilometer we where still in front. I looked behind to make sure there was no one there, but 200m behind us was the next group so i turned to the other guy and said "there behind us lets go" and got down onto the drops and just went for it and came away with the win. I ended up being a good 10min in front of the scratch riders. Simply having another rider the same level as me meant that i wasn't struggling just trying to stay in contact and that the pace wasn't too slow, as well as just making a more enjoyable ride. Lesson learned.

Ps. The guy i cycled with got second.

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Handicapping is HARD

Postby drubie » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:46 pm

Getting club handicaps right is hard (and thankless) - there's always somebody riding below their usual but unless you're riding with them every time they ride, a big form slip can go unnoticed.

I think, though, the club handicappers generally group at least two riders together because it's much harder to race by yourself (as you've found out). Even if two riders are unevenly matched, the first half of the race is easier for both if you get a little rest every now and again.

I'd say - it's not so much somebody riding at your leverl, it's more just riding with anybody else that can make a huge difference.
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Re: Importance of riding with someone at YOUR LEVEL

Postby cerb » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:10 pm

I too am a novice, but my impression is that cycling with people who are better/faster in turn helps make you better - as long as you don't let yourself get demoralised at being dropped!

Getting dropped gives you a good indication of how much you need to improve and every week you're able to hold on for longer and then be competitive in your own right.

Cycling with someone the same level does give you a boost in confidence as you can share the work and therefore get a better overall time, but I don't necessarily think it helps you improve personally?

Then again.. a boost in confidence probably does help you improve personally... In the end, being enjoyable is what it's all about!

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