Coffee Rides vs Racing

For Roadies

Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sat May 17, 2014 3:54 pm

Hey Guys and Gals,

I am looking at the amount of riders that pay the money and join a club that will do the bunch rides and coffee rides weekdays and on weekends, but don't/wont go and race in the crit's and road races and support their club.
I have heard a few theories "they don't want to be shown up in a race" "or "im not ready yet to race" or "racing is dangerous"

I am wanting to get the opinion of members here. Do you have a race license, but only participate in bunch/coffee rides? What turns you off racing? Did you race but stop racing?

I have seen first hand country cycling clubs nearly destroyed because people are not entering races, or turning up to support/volunteer to help the club that they wear the jersey of when bunch riding. Personally i love racing, but i understand the bunch ride and coffee ride scene. I am just wondering why you don't race, Would you put 2 bucks into a kitty for a club sanctioned ride, as the bunch rides don't generate anything for the club (like race entries). Do you want more from your club? as a bunch rider do you think the club needs to do more for training/coffee riders?


For me i would love the sat coffee riders to ride to where the race is, watch/race/cheer/volunteer for the club, and then ride back and call it a day.

Love to hear your thoughts, so small cycling clubs can survive and thrive (even the bigger ones in the city)
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

by BNA » Sat May 17, 2014 5:01 pm

BNA
 

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby macca33 » Sat May 17, 2014 5:01 pm

I, too don't really understand those who are members of a club, but don't wish to race. Yes, it is hard and yes, you will get beaten by others, but it is the best way to get fitter and hone your skills. I find coffee shop / bunch rides good, but racing is more fun - and far more satisfying.

If more people took the plunge, the racing would be better, as with greater numbers comes better riding / competition.

cheers
'dale CAAD10 Berzerker Ult6800 & CAAD10 Team Ult6800

Image
macca33
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:05 pm
Location: West Gippy

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sat May 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Some say the racing is dangerous, which is true, but there has been more bunch ride stacks/accidents with cars that keeps me on a racetrack

I really want to know what a coffee rider wants, so a club can grow in size and involvement for both race/bunch. Race meetings are desperate for volunteers, even if you have hundreds of members
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby Nikolai » Sat May 17, 2014 7:47 pm

TREKKER_MIKE wrote:I am just wondering why you don't race


Perhaps you can start with telling us why you race?
--> roadcyclingzone.com - Practical Cycling Blog
User avatar
Nikolai
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby KGB » Sat May 17, 2014 8:34 pm

Really? Why join a racing club and not race? The bunch rides are organised training. Training for racing.

Are you seriously asking why someone joins a club and then wants to race?
You don't need a club or to be part of a club to organise a bunch ride. Yes, as a registered member of CA you get whatever the insurance cover is - talk to someone who has ever crashed and ask how helpful that is...
Image
User avatar
KGB
 
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:49 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sat May 17, 2014 9:21 pm

I race because i love racing, if i win it is because i was the best on the day, its a challenge. if i loose or get dropped, back to training, it is the best way to improve and learn tactics

We have riders (lots of them) that buy the race license, the team kit, and do coffee rides, we never see them race. I get the coffee rides are a great social thing, but i wonder why they are not keen to come and race.
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby dalai47 » Sat May 17, 2014 9:27 pm

KGB wrote: Yes, as a registered member of CA you get whatever the insurance cover is - talk to someone who has ever crashed and ask how helpful that is...


Discovered how little this covers after having my collarbone plated a couple of weeks ago...
dalai47
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:28 am

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby MattyK » Sat May 17, 2014 9:55 pm

Having seen the same in car clubs, it's very simple. People enjoy the socialising, exercise, learning and having fun. All of which they can do without needing to race, which is physically, socially and financially taxing. Enjoy your own racing but please don't ask of others that they have to do exactly like you in order to have a good time.
User avatar
MattyK
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:07 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby MattyK » Sat May 17, 2014 9:59 pm

To add to that: racing and training for racing makes you a better racer, but it doesn't necessarily make you a happier person or better rider (in a road/traffic sense).

If you want the coffee club members to be more involved, ask THEM what they want...
User avatar
MattyK
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:07 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby jimsheedy » Sun May 18, 2014 6:43 am

I found crit racing too dangerous frankly because the amount of people whose ambition far outstripped their skill. Also the behaviour of some was appalling, abuse and dangerous tactics leading to crashes and near punch ups. This is in the masters. If i crash because of my own fault, so be it but I can't afford time off work because some dingbat had a rush of blood to the head. The same problems that can mar masters footy. The club aspect was great but this existed almost as a respite from the racing not because of it. Certainly the dangerous crit circuits didn't help, Landsdowne, Henson etc. I do enjoy racing but not in that fashion. Why I might start to look toward CX I guess.
Image
User avatar
jimsheedy
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:01 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby clackers » Sun May 18, 2014 8:31 am

TREKKER_MIKE wrote:tactics

We have riders (lots of them) that buy the race license, the team kit, and do coffee rides, we never see them race. I get the coffee rides are a great social thing, but i wonder why they are not keen to come and race.


Your club is better off financially with the social riders than without them, Mike. Their membership fees subsidize your racing, and they swell your numbers for grant applications and seeking sponsorship.
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1977
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby Xplora » Sun May 18, 2014 10:33 am

I can totally understand "racing is dangerous" and maybe they are just older and don't need the stress, like jim said. The paceline then sprint home on the Trek Rouse Hill fast rides is quick, I guess, but it is nothing like the firebreathing dragon of a crit race then bunch sprint. The words "flat out illegal" would be used to describe that behaviour on a public road :idea:

The OP is saying "we would like club members to volunteer and be involved". I understand that, but it's not that simple. Some people just don't have the time to train, race and contribute. Their contribution is paying their entry fee and making up the numbers. If you want more than that, TrekkerMike, then consider the responses in the thread carefully. You've already taken the first step, well done. Arguably you taken a second step because you started racing! Kudos for you on both counts. Improving community spirit and voluntarism is not easy at all.
Xplora
 
Posts: 6263
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby jimsheedy » Sun May 18, 2014 11:02 am

I'm not that old, really
Image
User avatar
jimsheedy
 
Posts: 773
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:01 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sun May 18, 2014 11:46 am

MattyK wrote:Having seen the same in car clubs, it's very simple. People enjoy the socialising, exercise, learning and having fun. All of which they can do without needing to race, which is physically, socially and financially taxing. Enjoy your own racing but please don't ask of others that they have to do exactly like you in order to have a good time.


Im not asking/telling riders to come and race. I am asking why they dont. Time, scared, they have their mates they enjoy a ride with. If they don't want to race, they are not being forced. You might have also seen the other part asking what would bunch riders want from the club? You want to bunch ride, great, you want to race, great. I am wondering what people want from the clubs they race for.

For example if you are a bunch rider who read this post, you answer could be "Hey Mike, im older, i raced when i was younger, i really get out now for the fitness and train with other veterans who used to race. I would love for the club to organize a dayride out in the country/mountains with an overnight stay."

What benefit do you get being a member of a club apart from buying the kit and giving CA your money?

I am asking what bunch riders want, what turns them away from racing.
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sun May 18, 2014 11:48 am

MattyK wrote:If you want the coffee club members to be more involved, ask THEM what they want...


That was marked in bold in the post "Do you want more from your club? as a bunch rider do you think the club needs to do more for training/coffee riders?"
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby Xplora » Sun May 18, 2014 11:56 am

jimsheedy wrote:I'm not that old, really

Not saying You are old ;) I'm saying that a lot of blokes calm down and chill out once they get to 25-35 with some kids. I want to win, but I'd rather get home in one piece off the podium. I think a lot of guys recognise that they would prefer this as well... I think you'd agree that this attitude is out there, on my reading of your post. :?: Definitely a reason to stay off the race track. Many guys on here also don't participate in bunch rides for the exact same reason - it's just some fun, don't want to write myself off because the guy in front can't hold a wheel.
Xplora
 
Posts: 6263
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby brett.hooker » Sun May 18, 2014 12:03 pm

Mike... I am not quite the target market you are talking too, but I will share my journey and views as I think they do relate...

Currently, I am coming back to fitness and over the last two years have done reasonably well. I am contemplating joining a local club, just to belong to one, to enjoy some group training and rides and to learn more through discussions over coffee. A few people have suggested I should get into racing and the two things that come to mind for me are:
- I wouldn't even hold the group in cat 5 up a climb
- wheel to wheel racing is much higher risk, especially with other newbies... I just don't want the risk of breaking something and then impacting work and family from that.

So, I keep thinking about what sort of competitive riding I could do that would work for me. I used to do private track days in my car, and did closed road Tarmac rallying. I liked these because I could go at my pace and keep my car away from others. The best analogy I can think of in cycling is time trials, so maybe that is for me, but I laugh out loud thinking of my "round" frame on a TT bike... So until I lose the gut and get some decent fitness, I will stay back in social riding and maybe one day join a club to belong to a larger group of like minded people.

From a racing perspective, I rode as a kid and I was never elite. I didn't win anything then and I won't win anything if I raced now. If I raced, it would be to challenge myself to be better and that is it.

Another dimension to this is time. My kids are 9, 11 and 12 and the Saturday routine is pretty much determined by their events. My wife is a personal trainer and a social obstacle racer, and weekends need to support her as well. I haven't yet begun to imagine how I would build in racing support, even as a volunteer around that. My work week is full and I travel on a random basis, meaning it is inappropriate for me to commit to volunteer events during the week as I am likely to let them down on a regular basis.

I do love the idea posted above of club social rides that go to the formal racing events, and would suggest that would work, especially if those mobile coffee vendors are there. It would just have to be scheduled in around my normal family routine.

Demographics: mid forties male, office job, regular social rider with three kids and a wife. Love cycling, but balance it with other commitments in my life.
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
User avatar
brett.hooker
 
Posts: 462
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:52 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby rebilda » Sun May 18, 2014 12:14 pm

I am pretty fit for a 47yo asthmatic, but I stopped short of joining a club and racing. All looks a bit too regimented for me.
My Garage = Restored Paino - the "Fixie" - Giant Trance X2 - Azzurri Forza Pro Di2 - GT Avalanche 1 & 2
User avatar
rebilda
 
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:08 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sun May 18, 2014 12:37 pm

brett.hooker wrote:Mike... I am not quite the target market you are talking too, but I will share my journey and views as I think they do relate...

Currently, I am coming back to fitness and over the last two years have done reasonably well. I am contemplating joining a local club, just to belong to one, to enjoy some group training and rides and to learn more through discussions over coffee. A few people have suggested I should get into racing and the two things that come to mind for me are:
- I wouldn't even hold the group in cat 5 up a climb
- wheel to wheel racing is much higher risk, especially with other newbies... I just don't want the risk of breaking something and then impacting work and family from that.

So, I keep thinking about what sort of competitive riding I could do that would work for me. I used to do private track days in my car, and did closed road Tarmac rallying. I liked these because I could go at my pace and keep my car away from others. The best analogy I can think of in cycling is time trials, so maybe that is for me, but I laugh out loud thinking of my "round" frame on a TT bike... So until I lose the gut and get some decent fitness, I will stay back in social riding and maybe one day join a club to belong to a larger group of like minded people.

From a racing perspective, I rode as a kid and I was never elite. I didn't win anything then and I won't win anything if I raced now. If I raced, it would be to challenge myself to be better and that is it.

Another dimension to this is time. My kids are 9, 11 and 12 and the Saturday routine is pretty much determined by their events. My wife is a personal trainer and a social obstacle racer, and weekends need to support her as well. I haven't yet begun to imagine how I would build in racing support, even as a volunteer around that. My work week is full and I travel on a random basis, meaning it is inappropriate for me to commit to volunteer events during the week as I am likely to let them down on a regular basis.

I do love the idea posted above of club social rides that go to the formal racing events, and would suggest that would work, especially if those mobile coffee vendors are there. It would just have to be scheduled in around my normal family routine.

Demographics: mid forties male, office job, regular social rider with three kids and a wife. Love cycling, but balance it with other commitments in my life.


Hey Mate, I understand what you are saying, I got into the sport for the fitness. decided to do the racing as i used to race go karts, and enjoyed the competition side of things. Unless i have motivation, i dont focus on diet and training. Since starting racing, i have dropped about 24 kilo (in under 6 months) and have gone up a grade. If you ever contemplated racing, give it a go, you may get dropped on the first lap, but next time out you aim to hold on for 2 laps, its continuous improvement. Or if you would rather bunch ride to get some skills, awesome, there is some really nice riders in the bunches i have been in who can help you get started and they are great for a laugh with

I have 2 kids under 3 years old, it can be really hard to get out on the bike, i try and training before they wake up, and racing is sat/sun morning for about 2 hours max, so i tend to be back in time to take the kids and wife to the shops for a coffee. I guess the thing i would ask is if you start bunch riding, and look to join a club, would you love to look at the club putting on social events that the whole family can come along to? If something like this is a common trend, for sure i would love to take that to my club. So when more riders like you are thinking of joining a club, we are there. I encourage anyone to ride a bike,even if you can only do 30 mins a week !!!
I also hear the idea that riders do the bunch/coffee rides to escape from the family for personal time. If that is a trend, would you look at going a cycling road trip (say the TDU) i know some clubs already do.

This topic is not meant to start arguments, but to see what people want/get out of their club, why they don't race.
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby queequeg » Sun May 18, 2014 12:55 pm

about the only time I have for cycling at the moment is commuting to and from work. I haven't been on a bunch ride for 6 months.
I have two kids, 5 & 3. On weekends they are up at 6am. my wife & I take turns in getting them sorted, so we each get a sleep in once a week.
I am up at 5am every day for work, riding into the city (Sydney) at 5:30am. I cover 12,000km a year in commuting.

I can't generally get to even a social bunch ride as they start too late, take too long, and therefore it is well after 12pm before I get home. So, if I do get a weekend ride in, it is mostly a solo ride with a 5am start so that I am home by 10am.

Whilst out riding, when I pass other riders I often get asked "do you race?". I don't know why I get asked this. I get a lot of fitness from using my loaded commuter bike every day, so I am much quicker on my unladen road bike, but I would still get dropped in a race. For me, I prefer the solitude of a long ride with only myself to worry about. I am hoping to find the time for some Audax rides and focus on 200km+ endurance.
I am a member of a social riding group, mostly comprised of weekend warriors. They grade the rides so you can pick one that is appropriate, and they include the coffee stop. When I have the time, this is fine by me. My fitness puts me at the top end amongst this group so the ride is not really a training ride as the group stays together.

My local club actually has a membership for people who want to do the training rides but don't want to race. I am not a member as my schedule makes it impossible to ever go on their training rides, but it seems like they have already asked their members what they want, or they wouldn't have a different level of membership.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
User avatar
queequeg
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:09 am

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby dalai47 » Sun May 18, 2014 1:41 pm

Interesting people viewing bunch rides safer than racing in a bunch... I only ride in a bunch when racing. At least here you know the ability of riders around you where as a bunch on the road could have riders rolling recovery pace to newbies chewing the stem just to keep up and minimal bunch skills all in the one bunch.

Only recovering from my first major injury from racing in 6 years, solely caused because they didn't have enough riders for A grade that week so we were grouped with B. One of the B graders messed up and went down right in front of me... :roll:

If people don't want to race, not sure why you would pay for a CA licence rather than join one of the many social riding groups?
dalai47
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:28 am

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby toolonglegs » Sun May 18, 2014 3:10 pm

Can't you just join a club and not get a license?.
Some people just aren't competitive, or they don't want to fall, or they hold off a really long time before finally taking the plunge... Then they either love it or don't.
Personally I only been on one or two "coffee" rides... Not for me, especially the stopping mid ride part which sometimes goes on.
Were I live now they don't exist... Solo ride or bunch ride, the bunch ride is only with club mates, some don't race and only pay the club fee, not the license fee. I have 2 licenses... One is for us older boys, ok there is no minimum age limits but the average age is 35-45. The races for me in B grade are around the 75-85 km mark and most people want to go to work in one piece the next day. That's not saying there are not some big stacks... The bunches at a normal club race can be up to 80 strong and the circuits narrow and rough farm roads.
The other license is for harder races ( of which I haven't done any this year ) ... Av age is around 20-30. Fields are 80-120, races are 100-120km long and there anything goes to move up... Footpath, cutting grass verges, chasing vehicles etc... Stacks are common, but some of these guys are juniors who are aiming big.
I am not really fussed what anyone does, but to the OP question... I can see why people sign up and don't end up racing. But surely this isn't such a bad thing... A certain percentage will end up trying or helping out. You should have a duty roster... Make it a requirement to joining that you have to help out once or twice a year. At least by joining they are paying club fee, buying kit etc... Profit for the club. We have heavily subsidized kit in our club ( lots of good sponsors ) but you only are eligible is you do a minimum of 5 races a year and help out when needed.
Image
User avatar
toolonglegs
 
Posts: 14460
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:49 pm
Location: Somewhere with padded walls and really big hills!

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby MattyK » Sun May 18, 2014 6:10 pm

TREKKER_MIKE wrote:
MattyK wrote:If you want the coffee club members to be more involved, ask THEM what they want...


That was marked in bold in the post "Do you want more from your club? as a bunch rider do you think the club needs to do more for training/coffee riders?"

I meant a direct question to the people in your club, eg via your newsletter or email list, or over coffees on the next run. As opposed to asking random people on the interwebs.
User avatar
MattyK
 
Posts: 1472
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:07 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby TREKKER_MIKE » Sun May 18, 2014 7:02 pm

MattyK wrote:
TREKKER_MIKE wrote:
MattyK wrote:If you want the coffee club members to be more involved, ask THEM what they want...


That was marked in bold in the post "Do you want more from your club? as a bunch rider do you think the club needs to do more for training/coffee riders?"

I meant a direct question to the people in your club, eg via your newsletter or email list, or over coffees on the next run. As opposed to asking random people on the interwebs.


Ok, i misread that. We are going to be having some meetings shortly regarding this whole club involvement, I am also just asking what people on here have ideas about. I have been to a couple of clubs with the same story, cant get any volunteers to help put on racing, numbers are not great at these events, but have plenty out for long morning rides on the weekend. I get that alot of people wont volunteer if there is nothing in it for them. So i look at it and say "what could the club do for you, to give you the motivation to come and help one day a year"

I know duty rosters do work, but you need skilled volunteers too, in terms of traffic controllers, first aiders, commisaires. you dont want to have 52 of each for the rostered day a year. Shop gift vouchers for helping? Free race entries? (that could entice people to try racing) my club does do club points, but club points don't mean anything when you and waiting to order the skim latte.

Just some thoughts would be great on reasons not to come and race/be involved. What would entice people.

For me, i am happy to help, but if i was to volunteer, it would be awesome to say "5 days volunteering, free pair of club socks/ or racing gloves)
Professional rear gunner for "E" grade crit's
TREKKER_MIKE
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:41 pm

Re: Coffee Rides vs Racing

Postby nezumi » Sun May 18, 2014 9:29 pm

I ride for general fitness rather than to be competative.

I play baseball year-round, which knocks out one day each weekend. I am also involved in a medieval re-creation group, so that takes up a decent amount of my time.

If anything, i would have a crack at CX racing, but right now I am scared of holding up the race too much too have a go.
2014 Merida Cyclo Cross 4

I am a Merida Ambassador - ask me why I love them enough to volunteer for this! :)
nezumi
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Heidelberg, Melbourne

Next

Return to Road Biking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: thearthurdog



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit