Maybe I need to take a different approach as a group leader. Let them do their thing and if they want to ride super fast all the time, let them burn themselves out, but just not with me. The people who are serious about chilling out will come and the folks who want to hammer every ride won’t. The problem is that I don’t want a hard ride on most Wednesdays. Maybe that type of training can’t happen with a group? I know that is wrong, because I’ve been on team rides with 15 guys way faster these guys and we all stayed in zone 1-2 the entire way. No one wants to ride a pace line anymore! Lets keep a nice steady pace line. A leader will set the pace early on and everyone will respect it and just train. So yes I get it. Some people just want to go. They don’t race on the weekends or have some super grand fondo each month. I totally get it! Everyone goes to that group ride that is known as the fastest ride in town. What I don’t understand is why wouldn’t a person want to be at their best for those occasions? The number one questions I get, as a coach, is how do I become faster and when I tell people ride slow more, eat better food, have an interval day of training and a tempo/hard day, ride slow some more, and finally have a day (30-45 minutes) in the gym build strength off the bike (during the season), oh and ride slow some more; people look at me with this crazy look of boredom. You mean take it easy to be faster. I fail to mention there is a little bit more to it then that (I am a coach running a business), but the biggest thing is too many guys ride hard all the time and show up to every group ride. Early on in my cycling I noticed that most of the really fast guys weren’t at every group ride every week. They might show up to one or two key ones a week, but most of the time these guys were riding alone and they weren’t hammering out some ridiculous pace either.
A good buddy of mine that just so happens to own Depaula bikes, run Depaula racing, and has raced at a pro level before, said to me just the other day. “All these people think I ride hard all the time, the majority of my riding is as slow as slow can get, a little child could pass most of the time”. I got what he was saying and totally agree, but can this be done in a group setting and still have a bunch of happy “hammer heads”?
Kevin Lee- The Lead Pack Cycling Group