Bunch riding etiquette

by chromo1990   May 5, 2012  

Yesterday I did my first club road race for many years and was told off for poor riding. My bunch of 30 odd riders split into 3 groups,one rider & I in the middle. When caught by the 3rd group I wanted to take a lap but was shoted at to stay on the back as I had been lapped, so feeling like a naughty schoolboy i stayed there. having done nothing intentionally bad it was not a great Saturday arvo.
Anyway are there any blog sites out there where I can read up on bunch riding behaviour as I don't want to piss the peleton off and be subject to more verbal sh....t next saturday.
Comments & tips on bunch etiquette are welcome.

23 user comments

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Yeah, its a bit cheeky to tag along to a group that's lapped you. Just stay going in a straight line. Cool

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
5th May 2012 - 20:17

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So you've made the effort to go out and ride, you're part of the race, just ride how you want to and ignore the self styled experts who think they have some right to tell you where and how you can ride. No-one was born a race winner, they have all been dropped before. You can get some really good training even if you're a lap down. Just join on the bunch and don't get in the way of the sprint or make any breaks or leave any gaps which will affect the race outcome.

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
5th May 2012 - 20:34

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Even if you've been lapped, it shouldn't stop you taking a turn on the front, but the guys may have though you would have gotten to the front and dropped the pace?

I'm a little confused though, you say the group split into 3, you in the middle, So if the lead group were off, with you in the middle and then you were caught by the 3rd group, in my eyes, you weren't lapped Thinking They had just caught you up

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posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
5th May 2012 - 20:50

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Yes that is the case they had caught us up, thanks for the comment, i do intend to discuss it when I see the club captain next.

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
5th May 2012 - 21:39

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If the captain was there, he might be able to explain why it was said or pull the guy up for his attitude.

This is one of the reason's i've not ridden with a club in many years, up this way, some club riders are well "above their station" and for some reason think they are pro riders just because they ride in a group.

I used to get hassle for riding on the front all the time when the pace was so slow that we might as well have stopped and have a cup of tea at the side of the road. Then you get the riders who are part of the club, but wont ride as a group Thinking So many aholes i've met in clubs before that i now steer well clear and do my own thing, got a mate who comes out riding now and a few that come up every so often and we ride in groups. But the "pecking" order in some clubs winds me right up.

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posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
5th May 2012 - 22:30

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This is why I joined the smallest club I could find, with minimal organisational structure or anything. Don't see the problem with taking a pull just because your break was caught? Wonder if the pecking order was such that you 'shouldn't' have attacked? Be interested to hear what the club captain has to say.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3469 posts]
6th May 2012 - 5:45

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Am wondering if you were expected to ride 'through and off' and were not. If they were trying to catch another group this is what is likely to occur. It is a difficult technique to master but feels good when you do. Basicaly you form two lines one moving up one moving down, when you get to the front you miss a pedal rev and move across. When you get to the back you move across again and move back up to the front. If you come through too strongly you leave a gap between you and the rider behind (hence the missed pedal rev). The rider trying to overtake you cannot.It generally pisses everyone off if someone keeps messing it up. You will see the technique in the Giro in breakaways/team time trials. And what happens if people don't come through. As above, speak to the team captain and don't give up; you will get the etiquette.

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
6th May 2012 - 9:25

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All has been revealed!! I was in a C graded bunch, anyway D grade (I thought they were meant to be slower) came through the remants of my C grade bunch and caught us, and quite rightly I was meant to stay on the back, I just wish they had clarified after the race that these were D grade as I had assumed they riders who started in the same grade.
I will put it down to a learning experience.

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
6th May 2012 - 9:29

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I fricking hate the chaingang, especially the old guys who shout at you things like "don't surge, MOVE UP MOVE UP," and

"You're too young for this, let us seasoned old racers, who have won numerous 2nd cat races back in the 1980's, who are on carbon frames with at beast 2nd tier campagnolo groupsets, and whose merino wool jerseys are so old that Octave Lapize himslef is said to have ridden the lamb from whence it came. We have been cycling for longer than you have been watching Waterloo Road series 8, and long before your forebears were watching Waterloo Road series 2. We will not allow young people into our sport, because they talk in the bunch and don't ride by the rules."

What you do in that situation is either: Stay a few bike lengths off the back, contributing nothing the formation, and benefitting from their grunting and groaning.

or

RIDE OFF THE FRONT LIKE AN ANGRY RABBIT AND LEAVE THEM TO EAT SWEET QUILL STEM.

This works best if you remove your hands from your handlebars and take a drink while you ride past them, preferably without pedalling.

Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
6th May 2012 - 9:40

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Best way to show your lack of appreciation for the chain gang is not turn up. That will show them.

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
6th May 2012 - 16:00

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Like it Raleigh

I left a club after getting a hard time on a few rides, I decided to wind them all up, so bought some fags and went on the weekly ride. I raced off into the distance, found a nice place to stop and sparked up a ciggy, waited for the older guys to come past, jumped back on and just sat on the back, while finishing said ciggy, the away off the front again, this happened a couple of times on the ride. Safe to say, i was told not to bother showing face again Big Grin

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posted by Gkam84 [9039 posts]
6th May 2012 - 16:10

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Because the chaingang I usually go to is at Hillingdon - a 1.5 km circuit, the funniest thing to do to annoy them is to drop to the back and wait a bit, then hop over the grass at the narrowest bit, then you get a tasty lead.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
6th May 2012 - 18:52

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Because the chaingang I usually go to is at Hillingdon - a 1.5 km circuit, the funniest thing to do to annoy them is to drop to the back and wait a bit, then hop over the grass at the narrowest bit, then you get a tasty lead.

Devil

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
6th May 2012 - 18:52

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sound like a bunch of c~nts. dont go back to them, im fortunate enough to have a fun based club down in plymouth. these lot sound like a bunch of wankers

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
7th May 2012 - 19:56

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I am pleased to say for your sake non of them are poms, I am down in New Zealand, anyway thanks for the comments, hopefully I can extract some revenge next Saturday if the body and bike hold up.
Hopefully i will get the roadie up to the UK some time to enjoy the hospitality and enjoy the country.

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
8th May 2012 - 9:04

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If you end up in South Manchester give me a shout, you'll get none of that with the club I go out with.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3469 posts]
8th May 2012 - 11:39

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Which club are you with notfastenough?

posted by farrell [1580 posts]
8th May 2012 - 12:08

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Yep great I have a daughter at Bedford, hopefully if she gets her visa extension granted we will visit her in 2014, I sure wantr to get back to France & Italy to do some riding and vineyard experiences and the Uk as well, cheers

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
8th May 2012 - 18:06

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I did my first race last week and got shouted at for glancing behind me when cornering. Sad
I was incredibly jumpy about shutting anyone out and was obsessively checking noone was overlapped on my wheel...

Wouldn't have minded a bit of a tip, but the guy was a little aggressive!

Still enjoyed it though.

posted by samg123 [16 posts]
9th May 2012 - 2:01

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farrell wrote:
Which club are you with notfastenough?

Hi Farrell, I'm with Chorlton Velo.

http://www.chorltonvelo.co.uk/

You looking for a club?

(I should clarify that I don't race, so have no experience of that; I was referring more to the general attitude of the club and the atmosphere on group rides)

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3469 posts]
9th May 2012 - 7:47

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Hey notfastenough I have been looking at the club website, what a fine looking group of upstanding bikers in the member photo I like the blend of mtb & roadie cycling, I would love to join but I am 17,000km away.
Fortunately I do belong to a mountainbiking club who's empahsis is on just getting together for a ride and not the competitive stuff the roadies like, however I want to develope bunch riding skills for a long race in November so I will tolerate the roadies for the NZ winter season.

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
9th May 2012 - 8:07

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Went back today and did handicap ride, bloody stuffed after it and the riders I met where very nice. I also managed to beat the ones that were lippy to me last week ................not that I was out to extract vengence or anything like that.

posted by chromo1990 [43 posts]
12th May 2012 - 19:37

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nice one chromo! Big Grin

Coveryourcar.co.uk RT Tester.

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posted by steady rider [7 posts]
12th May 2012 - 21:49

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