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How to Keep from Getting Dropped in a Club Ride; Silly, Simple Solutions Edition


I tend to laugh at people who whine about getting dropped at a club ride.  Our club ride is “Everyone Gets Dropped” so I got dropped every week for four or five years before I wised up and formed The B Group™, but I never whined about getting dropped.  I knew my fitness, or lack thereof, was the problem.  For the whiners, however, their complaints will invariably devolve into “why can’t they just slow down!”

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Not slowing down today, buttercup…

Why indeed.  They don’t slow down because half of their fun is going fast.  Waiting for a slow whiner is most definitely not fun.  So, first, don’t be that guy/girl.  If you don’t want to get dropped, don’t be that person because a few in the group will attack just to drop you.  If you think that’s mean and nasty, try riding around with another hostage taker who is just like you, only 5 miles an hour slower and babysit them for 30 miles.  You’ll know exactly what I mean.

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Second, is be a safe, courteous cyclist in a group.  If you’re not thinking about those around you, those around you are biding their time to attack your @$$ and leave you behind.  Know that this is happening.  Does someone from the group always attack right after you take a long pull up front?  Guess what…  It’s possibly because you’re an unsafe @$$hole.  If you don’t want to get dropped, don’t be that guy.  I specified “guy” because the vast majority of women don’t act like that – at least I’ve never seen it.  Ladies, if you’re an unsafe @$$hole who doesn’t care about the cyclists you ride with, please leave me a comment below so I can put that little bit of sexism to bed…  But wait, is it really sexism if you think women typically act better than men in a given situation?  I suppose that might be reverse sexism, no?  Anyway, I digress…  Don’t be the unsafe @$$hole of the group – or if you are, you’d better be the strongest in the group.  We have one in our group and I’ll attack him on every hill we hit because he sucks on hills and he’s dangerous to ride with.  We’ve all tried talking to him but he just won’t change – so we drop him.  Every time he shows up.  It is almost a game at this point.  I almost feel bad for the dude, but making it home safe is more important.

Third, don’t be the one who always shows up late, lest you arrive one day to find the group decided to leave five minutes early and your butt’s out.  You’ll be dropped before you even get your shoes on!

Fourth, Aero bars.  I understand the attraction to them, I do.  With the right setup a road rig can be made faster with them.  Know this:  If you ride on the bars anywhere but the very front of the pack or the very last position and a touch off the back of the pack – anywhere but those two positions, what it says about you is that you are either arrogant or an idiot (usually both).  You’re too far from the brakes.  Period.  You will be dropped at the first opportunity.

Fifth, and this is a big one, don’t have a gnarly, squeaky bike.  If it’s squeaking or creaking and you don’t know why, take it to the shop to get it fixed!  Nothing is worse than riding behind, “squeak, squeak, squeak, click, squeak, squeak, squeak, click” all day long.

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SHINY, BABY!!!

Sixth, and finally, don’t be stinky.  I don’t care if you’re a hippie, use some pit stick and wash your cycling kit before you ride with the gang.  Nothing is more off-putting than riding behind someone who hasn’t used deodorant in six months.  Well, I say nothing, but a stinky @$$/b@lls/v@g is worse.  If you can smell it, everyone else can, and it’s even gnarlier to them.  Trust me.  Unless you live in France.

To wrap this post up with a nice little bow, if any of this post pissed you off… Well, Sparky, you’ve got some work to do.  Get after it.  Otherwise, keep riding alone.

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11 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    What did the French do to you, Jim? 😉

    • bgddyjim says:

      Nothing, brother – except put on a great bike race. They do not, however, wear deodorant, and they are world renowned for being, umm…. pungent.

  2. Why I ride mostly solo! 😎😉

  3. Lol, good things to know!

  4. joliesattic says:

    Our riding group had two sets. Well, maybe three. The fasties, who took off like a flash. They were generally male and much younger and way faster. Then there was a middle group that could keep a good 23-25mph going and then there were the senior group or beginners. Sometimes I would lag with one if she or he was struggling, and there was no one else to mentor them but you’re right it’s a real chore. some of us would take turns, as we didn’t want to discourage them from coming out again. I was new to the group once and appreciated those who encouraged me. It’s hard to be just starting out and figuring out your pace.
    I preferred the middle group. I loved challenging myself and at times, especially on the hills it was a task to keep up. We were fortunately a very large group, so it gave us options. Our age ranges were all over and some of those old timers were quite strong.

    Spot on about the deodorant. I had a young, well educated girl from a wealthy family in France staying with me and it was all I could do to encourage her to bathe and/or wear deodorant, so you were spot on on that one. So, she pretty much reinforced the stereotype.

  5. How not to get dropped:

    1) Pedal harder.

    😉

    Oh and aero bars in a bunch are a super pet hate of mine! Even at the back it’s dangerous as you are way too far from the brakes to be anywhere near anyone else. Keep them for your solo rides…

    • bgddyjim says:

      I carved out the “slightly off the back” option because I do know guys who use it for good, can handle it well and use it as an opportunity to help stragglers stay with the group if they make a mistake and find themselves off the back. I do see your point though.

  6. Sheree says:

    Well, of course I do live in France and I can’t say it’s ever a problem I’ve noticed with my team-mates, or indeed anyone else I’ve ridden with in France.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Perhaps this is a case of nose deaf? While I have never been to France, I have friends whom I trust implicitly who have stated that the, um smell, was one of most memorable parts of their vacation. Not that it would keep them from going back, it was just surprising.

      Or perhaps it’s ignorance on my part and my friends are full of $#!+. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last.

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