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Discussion Starter #1
I have been participating in quite a large number of group rides and found the social aspect of it quite pleasant :rockon

however, until recently, I couldn't quite put my finger on why I don't like to lead... but I have finally figured it out...

My top six reasons on why I don't like to lead

6. getting lost and making the group practice U-Turns (Bluenote)
5. leading what you thought was a medium pace group to have everyone zip by you and disappear off into the sunset (not naming names here :laughing)
4. Losing your group (twice, Joe, due to maidens in distress),
3. Having bikers that have bald tires follow you and overshoot a stop light (Marty)
2. Arranging a group ride and be very late (Martina)

and finally my top reason... :rockon
1. whipped by an ex-wife with her backseat driving that it is now an ingrained training to simply follow :laughing

Feel free to add your thoughts on why you do or don't like to lead..
 

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This topic has been covered numerous times, but it's something all riders especially new ones should think about carefully, and often.

It gets worse in the summer, especially with the speed aspect, numerous riders who don't know each other, don't know where they're going or where the next stop is, or don't know or respect what the specific ride protocols are. There are many terms for this concept, none of them complimentary.

At a minumum if you're leading make sure you have a plan, including a destination, general route and where the first (and all subsequent stops) will be. That way people don't feel they have to speed up in order to not get lost.

Famous last words: (1) I don't know anyone here, this is my first group ride with them; (2) I don't know this route or where the next stop is; (3) I have to keep up because I don't want to get left behind. Recipe for f*cking disaster. People usually over-estimate their own skill levels and experience, me included.

I have abandonned rides at the outset for my own safety reasons, and because I've grown tired of watching riders go down ... and worse.

Ralphael, pardon the paternalistic attitude. You're pretty new to riding, and should keep your eyes and ears peeled once the newbie rides start up again in 2007. Lots to learn from lots of good people out there.

My favourite people to ride with have nothing to do with speed, destination, experience, or bike sexiness factor. My favourite people to ride with are ones I don't have to worry or think about while on the road. You will find over time, like the rest of us, you will gravitate to a small group of trusted riding buddies, and you won't stray far from them in the regular season.

That said, I do enjoy the social aspect of occasionally hooking up with riders I haven't met before, and I probably won't give it up though I do it less and less as time goes on.

Ride safe, all.
 

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Eh Muh Gawd Becky!!
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when i go on a ride, we have a destination set aswell as any stops and always agree to a pace above the limit and such. mebbe we go to overkill with it but everyone enjoys themselves. i've only ditched one ride, well actualy all but the 2 offenders ditched but these guys were doing 160+ and passing lines of cars on double solids and 5 or 6 at a time. i don't mind doing past even 200 as our trip to Winthrop and back will attest (Bernie's GPS unit told it all) but we were all of the approx ability and it wasn't a newbie ride. and we didn't disobeye road rules cept for the speeding.
 

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Dr. Green Thumb
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Famous last words: (1) I don't know anyone here, this is my first group ride with them; (2) I don't know this route or where the next stop is; (3) I have to keep up because I don't want to get left behind. Recipe for f*cking disaster. People usually over-estimate their own skill levels and experience, me included.
Disaster indeed.

My favourite people to ride with have nothing to do with speed, destination, experience, or bike sexiness factor. My favourite people to ride with are ones I don't have to worry or think about while on the road. You will find over time, like the rest of us, you will gravitate to a small group of trusted riding buddies, and you won't stray far from them in the regular season.
I agree. A tattoo'd wise-guy from this site once said "Posturing happens more often when the group doesn't know each other" and I agree with that as well. There are few people that I ride group rides with anymore because of unorganization, too much posturing, people not looking out for new riders that may even be close friends, and new riders getting caught up in the moment and having horrific crashes and deaths.

One suggestion that I could make that I don't see mentioned anywhere really, a practice that I do when group riding (especially with people i don't know) is that I pass my emergency information to at least 2 riders in the group. If anything ever does happen, at least one of them will be there to perform contact phoning. Because you never know.
 

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Fast Pack Slow Guy
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Tattooed wise guy? I wonder who that is?

I hate leading. I'm constantly worried that I'm holding people up behind me. Am I going hot enough in to this corner? Is Duck checking out my ass while I hang off?

But I usually wind up leading by the end of the day as peeps start to realize I've got a radar detector on board.
 

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Vindicated
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I'm much more relaxed at the back than the front or even in the middle unless I'm very comfortable with who's riding behind me.
 

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I dunno 'bout you guys but I like leading...I fight my way to the front and then DROP THE FUCKING HAMMER in an effort to spread the group out a bit and to be the first person to the next starbucks because I want to fucking WIN every gawd damn group ride!!!!:rockon What ever it takes man, what ever it fucking takes!
 

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Banned
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Nobody likes riding behind me thanks to the pipes...
:cool I have the same problem...er, advantage. I seldom lead but when I do, I''ll sprint forward to lose my group out of concern for their hearing loss. It's not that I don't want to lead...

I'm just a caring kinda guy.
:angel
 

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I'm much more relaxed at the back than the front or even in the middle unless I'm very comfortable with who's riding behind me.
yep, I like sweeping. it's cool cause you get to see the group ahead of you. You can slow down for a bit if you like without worrying about bugging the rider behind you. It might suck if you have a problem and no one thinks to look in their mirrors for ya... :( but I still like being last.
 

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more lean please
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you just need to make sure everyone knows whats going on. i dont see why one person needs to lead, if everyone knows where the next stop is let whoever wants to race ahead go for it. everyone should ride where they are comfortable and *hopefully* every group ride has a stand up guy like roger to hang back and sweep and watch out for the newbies.

COMMUNICATION is the most important thing in my eyes, without it everything breaks down and gets fucked.
 

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ninja machinist
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Pros:
Wheelies!!!
Determine the route
Set the pace

Cons:
Don't see the other riders much except for in your rear-view mirrors
You're in charge of keeping an eye out for the man
 

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COMMUNICATION is the most important thing in my eyes, without it everything breaks down and gets fucked.
+1!!!!

It's tough when it's a big group, but it really is important for everyone to agree on what's going to happen before pulling out onto the road. The rides that bob and martina put together usually had a good level of organization and communication at the beginning (except for when martina was late for her own ride :) )

As a newbie, it's pretty nerve racking just to show up to a group ride let alone feeling like you are out of the loop as everyone pulls away.
 

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S2S anyone?
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Most of my riding buddies don't like to lead, cause the lead bike is usually the one who gets a ticket, if the whole group of bikes is speeding. (Not always the case, but sometimes)

If i'm leading I go a pace that everyone in the group is comfortable with. I also let everyone know the destination, so incase a group member gets lost, they know where everyone else is waiting for them.

Adam
 

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AKA Martini-girl!!
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haha...man I'm never going to let this down...but Richard can vouch i was on time before anyone on new years day~!!!! i'm getting better really I am


and as for leading, organization and planning and a great speach at the beginning...lol...I don't think I've done bad in my group rides most have been safe...so its all good...

Always have a riding buddy...have numbers of others on the ride as well if you get seperated from group. and RULE # 1 is RIDE WITHIN YOUR MEANS!
 
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