What speed do I cycle at when I get to the front?

The short answer is it’s not about speed – it’s about effort.

When the Run Skipper blows his/her whistle and you move round to front-right position stay in line with the person to your left. He or she has already been at the front and is aware what effort level is required to keep the group moving along well. Match his/her effort.

Attempting to keep a group together by maintaining speed doesn’t work. Speed on its own doesn’t mean an awful lot. For example a cyclist maintaining a speed of 15mph throughout an entire journey will cause others to drop off on steep hills and brake on downhills.

The way to cycle maturely in a group is to pedal to effort. That means attempting to maintain one’s power level while not worrying about pace. If you have a power meter this isn’t a difficult proposition; You merely look at the Wattage you’re pushing out and keep it round a ‘plausible group figure’ as much as possible.

Without a power meter it’s a bit more difficult to hold effort level ‘flat’ but should still be well within the abilities of anyone who can keep a bicycle upright. We all have some idea how hard we’re pushing to drive a bicycle forwards. Keep at the level of ‘perceived effort’ which holds the group together.

Remember to maintain the effort on the flat, uphill and downhill and you’ll find group cycling a pleasurable and safer experience for all involved.

Posted in: Misc