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Riding With Roadies

Riding with a group of cyclists (roadies, wheeleheads) is a great way to improve your cycling ability. I enjoy riding with them for several reasons:

1. Unlike riding alone, you can get your heart rate to your anaerobic threshold and above without much perceived mental effort. I can easily keep my heart rate average above my AT for as long as an hour and a half of the ride by riding at the front. Training by myself, I couldn't do this. In a group, you don't realize how hard you're exerting yourself.

2. You can work on increasing leg speed. When in a draft of other cyclists, the effort

exerted is less than the leader and you can drop a gear and spin while continuing at the same pace as the leader. Drafting is easier than cycling on your own at the same speed.

3. You can improve your bike handling skills. The peleton, group, is constantly changing form. Depending on the speed, the peleton can be bunched up or strung out in a single file pace line. You must always be aware of your surroundings. After several rides in a group, your comfort level increases. Groups are a great way to pass time on the bike because of this constant change as well as conversations on the ride.

4. You get miles in quickly for those who record their distance.

5. You get to corrupt the egotistical minds of some cyclists who think they are the kings of two wheels. After making them go totally anaerobic and blowing up, you know they've got to be thinking "expletive, this guy has already swum three miles and done a track workout today."

 
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