Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club

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Ride classification posting for Riders and Ride leaders?

  • Tue, April 21, 2015 5:02 PM
    Message # 3311471

    Who do you consider yourself to be,  a CC or B?

    Let's use this data: a yr's worth of stats show your AMS has been 13.7-14.7, for 35-50mile routes w/ Elevation of 1000-1600ft avg in the AA, PG, & Charles Counties that most OHBC rides travel on. 

    So as a rider do you attend CC ride posts or B ride posts.  As a Ride Leader to you post your rides as a CC or B or CC/B w/ the new caveats of either Tour or Sport, and further specify as the Tues rides indicate 15+. 

    So what do you think? Did the new 2015 Ride Classification changes effectively assist further in the fact that a 12-13ams is nearly 2miles slower than the high end from the 14x pace, same can be said for the 14-14x rider, they are nearly 2miless slower than the 15-16 end of the B range. This clearly shows there's a wide gap in most rider's ams when you are considering these ride classifications. Yet, the A/ AA, AA levels had all kinds of changes to actually assist their levels. 

    So let's discuss!


  • Thu, April 23, 2015 11:56 AM
    Reply # 3314167 on 3311471
    Deleted user

    Hi John - If I understand your first question correctly, a rider with an accrued AMS of around 14mph would ideally seek rides posted with a split B/CC AMS (e.g., Class B/CC rides, which would normally have a targeted AMS of 13-15mph). Ride leaders that desire to lead in the 13-15 range would also post at the Class B/CC level (which I believe you already do). 

    I suspect your other question concerning the benefit of the new classifications/categories isn’t really meant for me, per-se, since I most often lead and ride in the AA range.  But, I would offer that the new classes/cats have assisted me both in terms shortening my posts and managing rider expectation.  I sincerely appreciate the ability to simply post as AA/3-SPORT, TRAINING or EXPRESS thereby conveying a pretty good, basic description of the intended pace and style. All that remains is a description of the elements relevant to the specific ride (rest stop location, elevation gain, etc.) and I'm done…  tks//Scott

    Last modified: Thu, April 23, 2015 1:17 PM | Deleted user
  • Thu, April 23, 2015 5:54 PM
    Reply # 3314551 on 3311471

    Scott- I think we are speaking the same talk,  from my ears as a blue-collar Baltimore guy,  from you I'm hearing Tech/Engineering speak, but  we are probably speaking  English any way.--LOL

    I guess what has occurred to me on my ride leads at times in the prior years and then a most recent lead, is that (especially early in the season trying to resume  outdoor miles in from this nasty winter), you try to plan a ride that offers (an always for me) lower elevation,  w/ a few elv changes, and throw in some "smell the roses" views. So you (even a blue-collar guy keeps yrs worth of meaningless stats and does knowe his exact AMS range--Ha, Ha), figure let's post a ride, that may appeal to someone like I  (just -14-just 14X), yet flats 16-20, so it's probably not wise for 12-13s to come out esply early in the season, but you don't want near 16s, to dominate the field, which has happened enough times, bsc some know me (and for some reason they enjoy the routes/location, & perhaps like me) and  then come out.

    But it has caused some dysfunction, bsc some rider's pace similar to mine will attempt latch on to the 15-16 riders, and get separated from my advertised pace, & eventually may fall back  from that much faster forward surging pack. So as a ride leader I'm tending to the flock who semi-started w/ me, and sometimes a 12ish/13ish comes out and I'm trying to juggle my backward's vision of them too. A simple blue-collar guy can only do so much, now days there's no phone-booths to change into my Superman Rider Leader tights even.   So it's challenging being 14 is the bottom line.

    Because now going on riding 4-yrs and basically only 1- weekend day , getting to a 14--14ish is my comfort zone, esply being a  s l o w / just get up the damn hill type of rider.  

    I can advise thru my own experience a 12-13 is not 14-14ish, and I as a 14-14ish can NOT hang w/ the 15-16 level, or care to push myself to do so.     

    So I still struggle with what the ---- just I post my ride for. I have NO problems w/ faster riders joining my rides, BUT I'd encourage them or probably for any other posted rides, simply to announce their much faster expectations at sign in and  announce pre-ride "hey we are going to ride at the B-A pace those that want to joins come over here", grab a cuesheet, may even wish to use their own sign-in sheet, for emergency contact needs.  I guess I'm always hoping for Utopia!

    Is there something, Scott, you could offer for this disclaimer need as a club public service announcement, I think you helped w/ the new ride class description right. 

    The 14-14ish arena could use the help. TKX.



  • Thu, April 23, 2015 9:55 PM
    Reply # 3314779 on 3311471
    Deleted user

    John, I feel your pain.  I think nearly every OHBike ride leader deals with the issues you describe at least at some level.  I have a couple of thoughts.

    The slower rider.  With every type of ride OHBike offers, from D-Casual to AA/1-Training, there is a possibility that a member may come out and attempt a ride that’s beyond his or her abilities.  In some cases this is not a problem (and actually desired) when a ride includes multiple classes and multiple ride leaders and, for that reason, riders are encouraged to “test their limits” if they so choose.  But otherwise, a rider that’s in over his or her head can be a bit of a challenge.   When you lead, you know there’s always a chance a rider just might not be quite up to the task, and when this occurs, no matter the class or category, it’s always incumbent on the ride leader to stay with the slower rider.  This can be frustrating at times, but it comes with the territory.  The good news is that, in addition to our ride leaders, most riders are also aware of this intrinsic responsibility.  For that reason, when I’m falling back to stay with a slower rider, I don’t (I really can’t as you describe) worry so much about the riders in front (and the riders in front know this).  As you suggest, there’s only so much a ride leader can do.  But, I would submit that a ride leader’s primary responsibility should fall to the rider with the greatest potential need for assistance.  Thus, rider leaders should stay with the riders in back (even if they are completely off-pace).

    The pace buster. Some ride leaders don’t mind or worry too much about faster riders (e.g., those riding well beyond the advertised pace) but other ride leaders get very frustrated with this situation for the reasons you point out.  If you wish to discourage riding beyond your advertised pace, I would recommend adding the following caveat to your ride listings:  “This is a Class B/CC-Touring ride with a target AMS of 14mph (pace may vary slightly due to weather or other conditions).  Faster riders are welcome, but are asked to post and join.”  Using this method, the faster riders can still participate but need to do so with the benefit of a signup sheet and a ride leader of their own as you suggest.  Of course, OHBike’s website already stipulates that riders should ride at the advertised pace, so the preceding caveat is based on existing rules and also may help to put faster riders on notice (at least when they’re considering your rides).  If this doesn't work, then often a tactful, one-on-one conversation with the "offender" will do the trick (i.e., letting him know his riding has really improved and it's time for him to move up a class)...

    Last modified: Thu, April 23, 2015 10:06 PM | Deleted user
  • Fri, April 24, 2015 8:19 AM
    Reply # 3315207 on 3311471


    Fantastic suggestion, I will definetly included the verbiage in future ride posts. 


  • Tue, April 28, 2015 3:54 PM
    Reply # 3320558 on 3311471
    Deborah Bowman (Administrator)

    If someone typically rides the advertised pace but is riding slower because they're having a bad day, then the ride leader should definitely stay with them, even if it means all the other riders are out of sight for the entire ride. But if a rider knows in advance they won't be able to maintain the advertised pace and the leader has to stay back with them, I think it's not fair to the others who are riding the expected pace and are now leaderless. Just because they are able to ride faster does not necessarily mean they're self-sufficient. Folks are always welcome to take a cue sheet and ride slower or faster than the posted category, but if they know they'll be slower and they don't want to ride alone, I think they are better suited to take part in a different ride.


  • Fri, May 08, 2015 2:15 PM
    Reply # 3336897 on 3311471
    Deleted user

    Hi Deb,  with respect to cyclists who prefer to ride off-pace, I would offer that the key to successfully accommodating these off-pace desires is communications (between off-pace cyclists and ride leaders).  As you indicate, the Club’s posted responsibilities allow for cyclists to ride faster or slower than the advertised pace if the ride leader is advised accordingly.   Thus, when cyclists know in advance they don’t intend to ride at the advertised pace, they are obligated to discuss those intentions with the ride leader.  Likewise, in these cases the ride leader should remind the off-pace cyclist that riding faster or slower is no problem, but the ride leader will ride and sweep at the advertised pace and can’t be responsible for the off-pace cyclist’s safe return or completion of the ride (e.g., as stated in the Club’s posted responsibilities).   In a perfect world, this interaction would minimize misunderstandings or unfair expectations that ride leaders are somehow responsible, not only for the safe return of all participating riders, but also for any self-declared, off-pace cyclists.  All that said, on the issue of a rider having a bad day or maybe making a sincere attempt at a ride that's a bit beyond their abilities, I agree with you; we stay with them; that’s why we’re there.

    With respect to John’s concerns about faster riders, I’m of the opinion that a disclaimer included in a ride listing requesting faster riders to “post and join” somewhat trumps the Club’s allowance for faster, off-pace cyclists (well, sort of).  In these cases, as a ride leader I would simply remind the faster off-pace cyclist that I can’t be responsible for his/her safe return or completion of the ride, and also ask that s/he depart well in advance to avoid tempting other riders beyond their abilities.

    Last modified: Fri, May 08, 2015 4:00 PM | Deleted user

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