Ride Levels

For Eugene Velo Group Rides

Thanks to everyone’s participation Eugene Velo is growing. However, growing does not come without pain. We are restructuring our rules and ride group categories due to unclear definitions communicated.

Before we dive into this, we need to mention the importance of safety and the rules of the road. We need to be vigilant about stopping and waiting our turn at intersections. This means “foot down” when downtown and NO MATTER where we are, ALWAYS slowing at an intersection and yielding to traffic as law specifies no matter how big our group is. Members and ride leaders NEED to be aware this procedure will take longer to get through an intersection and we will need to soft peddle longer to make sure the entire group is all back together. When the last person is on, that person needs to shout out “ON!”, then that message needs to be repeated and passed up the line. These are known as our “Foot Down Rules”.*

Instead of reviewing old rules in details we are simply going to just go over new speed group rules.  Our club has morphed into a fast group of riders in large. One thing that will not change in club philosophy is that we are a NO DROP Club ride on Saturdays, however, there will be different rules for different speed groups.

First, we want to discuss group size. If we have groups that are approaching 15 or more people, we will be dividing the group in half at the start for safety reasons. When the overall combined group group size is approaching 30 at the start we will be implementing our staggered starts for each group. 

*16-18 mph speed group will be only available when there is adequate participation. We would like to grow this group but we need people to step up and help ride lead this group. If you can, please talk to Matt Cerbin or Steve Lamper about helping out if you are interested. Ride leading can actually be a great workout if you want it to be. You can take longer pulls in the front to move the group along.  You also have to move from front to back checking on riders, hence get a better interval style training. 

*18-20 mph speed group is our slowest speed group now unless we can figure out a way to get more volunteers to take 16-18 mph group. There will be regroups at designated spots as the ride leader recommends per ride. No one will be left behind without clear communication on doing so.  This group will always be the last group and “sweep” for anyone falling back or having difficulties. This group has the final responsibility of making sure everyone is alright and knows how to get back. 

*20-22 MPH- Group is much like THE 18-20 mph GROUP. All the same rules apply before a rider decides to fall back or leave a group. 

**OPEN Group(DIFFERENT FORMAT from the rest of the club)- This is the 22 plus group. There can still be big speed discrepancies in this group. Because of this, this group runs on a different format. It is run on a strict “FALL BACK” format. This format embraces all the initial safety rules for the club, but also has a more disciplined policy on regroups. Regroups are always left to the discretion of the ride leader but with some basic rules.

Rule 1- If you’re strong enough to ride in this group, take your turn on the front through normal rotation, not sprinting up to the front to pass everyone and then slowing down and making the group go around you. 

Rule 2- No more than a 2 minute wait at the top of a big climb, unless it is decided to wait longer. 

Rule 3-Stops sign regroups, flats and mechanical are more self supported. The group does not have to stay and wait for the above reasons. In other words, if a rider gets dropped for any of these things, they can fall back to the next speed group coming up. When the dropped rider falls back to the next group it is the dropped riders responsibility to respect the sweeping group ride leader rules, stay with that group, and not ride off the front and try to “blow them up”.  It is also the dropped rider’s responsibility to know the route or have maps and or appropriate gps units to direct themselves back to the start/finish. 

Rule 4- THE EXCEPTION for ALL GROUPS- If a crash occurs, stopping is required BY ALL! Assess the situation call 911 if needed.***Please note, if you find yourself struggling to stay on the tail of the Open group throughout the ride, take your ego out and FALL BACK to the next group. There will be another day for accomplishments.

What do we mean by these ride levels – are these supposed to be the same as my Strava or Garmin average speed? No! Eugene Velo’s speed categories are defined as the pace that you can pedal on a flat road sustained for 20-30 minutes by yourself.

For example: If you can ride at a 16-18 mph pace on a flat road, sustained for 20-30 minutes by yourself, you will be okay to ride in the 16-18 mph group and most likely be able to ride in the 18-20 mph group if you are experienced in riding in groups already.  Furthermore, most people will show a lower overall average on STRAVA by a 1-2 mph once they have completed their ride.

On the above example with STRAVA the following is most common to occur:  A solid 16-18 mph rider will show 14-15 mph average on a completed ride on STRAVA and even slower depending on the amount of hill climbing.

EXPERT Group: 22 plus
ADVANCED Group: 20-22 mph
INTERMEDIATE Group: 18-20 mph

Complete Ride Info for every Eugene Velo Ride is posted days ahead of time (emailed to members) so you have time to view the map, elevation and ride descriptions. Most routes are identical for every speed group, which gives you the opportunity to try a more advanced group if you’d like. If you find that you have trouble keeping up, you can wait for the next group to catch up, and continue riding with them. Ride leaders are trained to take a count and regroup at hilltops or other predetermined locations. We ask that you let your ride leader know if you want to drop back to the next group so everyone can be accounted for. We don’t want anyone to be left behind!

For Mountain Bike Rating it is much harder to categorize due to trail difficulty and individual rider skill level and endurance. Most Mountain bike rides are No Drop with several meet up points. Always check with your ride organizers on the conditions first to be safe.

**For slower speed group rides see “Events and Rides” section for biking groups that will cater to slower riders**

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