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Friday Ride at Lake Norman State Park

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The goal from my coach today was 3.5-4 hours on the bike I’ll be racing next week at Burn 24. Every 30 minutes do 5 minutes of tempo leading into 5 minutes of threshold. My personal goal was to do 45 minute loops on the various trails at Lake Norman. Swinging by the car to dial in my new shoes and test out the 4 different saddles I brought with me.

Probably not the smartest thing to do a week before a 24 hour race, new shoes and new saddle. Yet, I seemed to find a good place for my rear on a Specialized Ruby saddle that I had picked up earlier this week at Motion Makers in Asheville. The new shoes, Specialized MotoDiva, still need dialing but mainly cleat position as the plate underneath is much different than that of my old Bontragers.

The ride was cut short with stomach issues and my legs dying by the 3rd round of threshold. 2.5 hours, one hour short, but I came home. Propping my legs up and getting a good nights rest. Tomorrow is another 4 hours on the mountain bike, planning on hitting up North Meck park for a ton of laps to test out the new lights.

What to Expect on Mountain Bike Group Rides

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Every Monday night there is a group ride that I put together at a local state park.   Currently, I’m the slowest person in the group but no one seems to mind as I am surrounded by customers and members of the mountain bike team I run.  All good people, all excellent people to share moments on the trail with.

During this past weeks ride one of the faster fellows on my mountain bike team slowed down to chat with me.  He had been encouraging his wife to come out on the group ride, but she was too intimidated by those fast guys he rides with.

It rang a bell in my head, as I’ve been on those rides and have heard tons of stories from customers.  What I should of said there was, I’ve heard horror stories from customers.

Group Rides Should Be Fun

There is a reason we aren’t calling them training rides.  If you want to have a test-fest* make sure it is in the fine print of your advertising of the ride.  If the ride says a no-drop, then you should wait every once in awhile and make sure the people behind you are alive.  When they arrive, let them breathe before you leave again.

How a Proper Group Ride Acts

  • You show up to destination 15 minutes prior to the departure time
  • Everyone says hello and talks up
  • Arguing for who is taking the lead into the trail
  • Put the single speeders up front, it will be better for all
  • If the group separates too often, you lead designated leaders of these separate packs.  Those leaders make sure their group stays together as best as possible.  Stopping every few miles to regroup and make sure everyone is alive.
  • For more beginner rides, you may stop at every mile marker.
  • Someone is your sweep. Normally an individual with mechanical experience to help your fallen friends with flat tires.
  • You finish your ride
  • Have a beer
  • Plan for next week

Our group rides are at Lake Norman State Park, come join us if you are near Charlotte/Lake Norman, North Carolina.

*Test-fest : A term I have coined for those events where there is too much testosterone or testicles in the area.

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