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Find Your Pace

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First club ride?  Be conservative. Choose a group easier and shorter than you think you can ultimately handle.

What's "No-Drop?"  A no-drop ride means no one is left behind. The group won't always ride at the pace of the slowest rider, but either it will stop at logical points to regather, or someone — often the sweeper — will drop back and accompany slower riders for the rest of the ride. Those who can't keep up on a "drop ride," by contrast, will be on their own. (Prior arrangement with a ride buddy to stick together may help if you're unsure of your fitness.)

Are these speeds exact?  No. Weather, wind, and each day's group composition may affect them. What doesn't shift is an all for one, one for all ethos.

What's up with the letters?  The Pickwick weekend group talks pre-ride and rolls out en masse, or as 2 or even 3 groups, depending on the wishes of those present. We often start together and split into A/B/C en route—preferably at a muster point where we communicate our plans!

Group A
Cruising speed: 20–22 mph with some stretches above 22 mph
Average speed: 19+ mph
Cyclists prepping for road or criterium races rely on very fast, "attacking" group rides for training. This is not that ride. While faster than group B, the goal is fast but steady. Like in a team time trial, the hope is to bring everyone home—not to splinter the group with green-light sprints or hero pulls. Riders need experience with pack riding and paceline rotation. At the same time, we welcome the fit rider with limited experience who wants to test themselves. Observe the remarks, "Keep a Consistent Speed," under Road Etiquette.

Group B
Cruising speed: 17–19 mph with a few stretches at 20 mph
Average speed: 16+ mph
Emphasis here is to keep together and have fun. Group riding experience is recommended but not necessary. Group B is perfect for cyclists who aren’t ready or interested in the high speeds and pressure of Group A. It's also perfect for advanced riders who want a slower ride due to fatigue, tapering for an upcoming event, or introducing someone to our group. Leaders will make sure the advertised pace is kept and the group waits for anyone falling off the back. Others should assist in controlling the pace. If you choose Group B, don't try to speed things up if you begin to feel better than you did at the start. (Next time, less coffee?)

Group C
Cruising speed: 15–16 mph
Average speed: 13–14 mph
This newer weekend group has a later start time and shorter distance than the A/B folks. No group riding experience needed. We'll have a formal leader and, most days, a sweeper, too. Tired of solo treks on the North Branch Trail? We want your awesome self! NO-DROP RIDE.

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Monday Social Rides
Cruising speed: 13-14 or 16-18 mph
Average speed: 11–15 mph
Perfect for newcomers wanting to get a feel for Park Ridge Cycling. No one left behind. So that different speed groups finish together, we split along short and long routes, with a leader for each: the 13-14 mph slow roll or the 16-18 B/C pace. A great option for those new to group riding—or just new to riding on city streets. Leaders will control the pace. NO-DROP RIDE.

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