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!”
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.
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.
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.