The Chainlink

So I'm at a bit of a crossroads. My century training is ending soon through Chicago Endurance Sports and I have really grown to love the group ride/training aspect. I am trying to find a good fit to continue riding through the fall/winter/spring so I don't start from scratch again come March.

So I have 2 questions...

1. What group rides are out there for the beginning/intermediate rider? I'm looking for something in the 40+ miles @ 17-20 mph range. I've looked into Spidermonkeys (they're full), Half Acre, XXX, and Turin. I'm not sure that any of these are a good fit for the beginning/non-racer. Any experience riding with them?

2. Is there any type of network or group of local cyclists that throws together casual group rides. Something where I'd post "Hey I'd like to ride 30 miles this Thursday at 7pm leaving from ABC averaging XYZ mph"? And then people could find a ride that works with their schedule and skill level? I just figure there are plenty of us who wouldn't mind riding together, but is there a way to find them?

PS I wouldn't mind starting said network if there was interest...

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Ashley, chicagobikeracing.com has group rides and teams posted. A few of them are no-drop or no-drop for a decent portion so you can go on the ride and not have to worry about being dropped by the group and finding your way back. A lot of it is probably dependent on where you live.

I'm not sure about your ride board idea. I'd be interested in it but I don't know of any such board. An issue is that a lot of the people that regularly do rides (racers, etc.) tend to have routines and/or train with people on their team.

i hate to point out the obvious...but this is a great network and a good place to organize such a group.
Yeh I've looked at the chicagobikeracing.com board. I think my concern and many beginners' concerns for that matter is that even for the no-drop rides that they don't want to be that jerk who's holding up the whole group. I'm more concerned about that than the finding my way back issue....

I just figure that there has to be other people like me out there, who aren't interested in racing but wouldn't mind finding a group of people to ride with regularly. Even if it's informal and the participants are always changing. A few of us from the training rides have started an email chain which is nice and we've had a few rides with about 4 of us. Looking for more of the same ;o)

S said:

Ashley, chicagobikeracing.com has group rides and teams posted. A few of them are no-drop or no-drop for a decent portion so you can go on the ride and not have to worry about being dropped by the group and finding your way back. A lot of it is probably dependent on where you live.

I'm not sure about your ride board idea. I'd be interested in it but I don't know of any such board. An issue is that a lot of the people that regularly do rides (racers, etc.) tend to have routines and/or train with people on their team.

yes iggi, that is why I posted this here...i just wanted to see if people were interested. And if they are, maybe we just have a rolling thread of people posting rides and availability?

iggi said:
i hate to point out the obvious...but this is a great network and a good place to organize such a group.
XXX is great for beginner to experienced skill level group rides. The Sat ride is a "no drop" from Pratt and Ridge at 7:30 to highland park by 8:45. From there riders of differing skill levels break off and go there separate ways. I usually do this ride every Sat. All members are very personable.
Hey, Ashley, Michael (yellow Felt) from the CES training rides--I was just about to post on exactly the same question. I'm already wondering what I'm going to do to over the slack season to maintain my hard-won conditioning--the pick-up group ride idea sounds like a winner. I'll keep a look-in here to see what develops. Thanks for posting this.
I would start a group in the "groups" section...keep that alive, keep this thread alive, and post as an event. Start there, and build from that. i may be the first to join the group...i too have found pleasure in group rides, and a great way to pass the "off-cycling season"
How funny! Well, I'll see you Sunday and maybe we can chat about a game plan and see what develops here... I'm on the silver Jamis Eclipse.

Michael Dietz said:
Hey, Ashley, Michael (yellow Felt) from the CES training rides--I was just about to post on exactly the same question. I'm already wondering what I'm going to do to over the slack season to maintain my hard-won conditioning--the pick-up group ride idea sounds like a winner. I'll keep a look-in here to see what develops. Thanks for posting this.
Done. I created the group....

http://www.thechainlink.org/group/pickupgrouprides

Hope we can get an active group together, has potential to be a lot of fun and a great way to meet other cyclist at your skill level!!

iggi said:
I would start a group in the "groups" section...keep that alive, keep this thread alive, and post as an event. Start there, and build from that. i may be the first to join the group...i too have found pleasure in group rides, and a great way to pass the "off-cycling season"
I'm interested in joining you guys. I have next to zero experience with this sort of ride, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Ashley said:
Done. I created the group....

http://www.thechainlink.org/group/pickupgrouprides

Hope we can get an active group together, has potential to be a lot of fun and a great way to meet other cyclist at your skill level!!

iggi said:
I would start a group in the "groups" section...keep that alive, keep this thread alive, and post as an event. Start there, and build from that. i may be the first to join the group...i too have found pleasure in group rides, and a great way to pass the "off-cycling season"
Hey Dan, sounds good! Just join the group and either wait for a ride to come up that works for you or post your own ;o)

Dan M said:
I'm interested in joining you guys. I have next to zero experience with this sort of ride, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Ashley said:
Done. I created the group....

http://www.thechainlink.org/group/pickupgrouprides

Hope we can get an active group together, has potential to be a lot of fun and a great way to meet other cyclist at your skill level!!

iggi said:
I would start a group in the "groups" section...keep that alive, keep this thread alive, and post as an event. Start there, and build from that. i may be the first to join the group...i too have found pleasure in group rides, and a great way to pass the "off-cycling season"
Ashley,

The Chicago Cycling Club has a Monday night ride that 18-20mph and around 30 miles. It's a paceline training ride, but from what you've done, it sounds like you'd be comfortable with it.

Details and CCC ride schedule here.

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