It is not the responsibility of the coach OR group if you place yourself in the wrong group and get dropped or lost. With that being said, the group has to pay attention to the pacing once over the bridge. If your groups top speed is to be no more the 20mph then keep it at 20mph, NOT 25mph! These rides are not meant for intensity, they are to build endurance. Group rides need to be a team effort for them to work correctly. As in all groups, some will work harder then others BUT if we group ourselves correctly then the day will be seamless and fun for all!
How do we break up our groups?
Comfortable holding 22+ on the flats in a pace line with speeds reaching 29-32 for short periods of time on attacks and sprints. This is our most advanced group with solid pace line skills and group riding experience. Ride distances begin at 60-70 miles and can be as long as 110-140.
Comfortable holding 18-20 on the flats in a pace line with speeds reaching 25-28 for short periods of time on attacks and sprints. Solid pace line skills and group riding experience needed. Ride distances begin at 50-60 miles and can be as long as 90-110.
Comfortable holding 16-18 on the flats in a pace line with speeds reaching 21-24 for short periods of time on attacks and sprints. Some pace line skills and group riding experience needed. Ride distances begin at 30-40 miles and can be as long as 60-80.
Designed for the beginner triathlete and cyclist who can comfortably hold 14-16 on the flats. No group or paceline skills needed.
- Riding direction in Central Park is always counter-clock wise
- Always stay to the left unless passing when in the park
- The “Loop” is the main 6-mile paved road inside the park; “Harlem Hill Loop” is the 1.4-mile
small loop at the Northern part of Central Park, which includes
- Harlem Hill and the connecting road between the West Drive and East Drive at
- Riders should always remember SAFETY FIRST and COURTESY RULES: be
aware of other athletes, people, dogs and potential hazards on the road
1. Safety is the first priority. ALWAYS wear a helmet. Strap should be snug around your chin and helmet should be sitting forward on your head. Wear proper cycling clothing and always expect the unexpected with the weather.
2. Be sure your bike is in perfect running order before beginning your ride. Make sure tires are pumped to the proper recommended PSI and no breaks are rubbing! You have spare tubes and a patch kit, a pump or 2-3 CO2’s, properly filled water bottles, food, ID, money & a credit card and know how to change your own flat.
3. Have enough food and drink to get you through 2 hours of continuous riding.
4. Ride with the flow of traffic and always stay as far to the right as is safe. Always ride in a single file line unless the bike lane is clearly wide enough for a double pace line. Use the common phrases when leading and riding in a group.
• Slowing - When someone yells out "Slowing", this means that there is something that is causing the pack to slow down. This can be anything from a light, a slower pack of bikes, and a car up ahead. In any event, prepare to slow down. Tap/feather your brakes and repeat the yell "Slowing". This is to indicate to others that you've heard them and you are also slowing. This will also alert those behind you that you are slowing down.
• Stopping - When someone yells out "Stopping", this means that there is something that is causing the pack to stop. This can be anything from a light, a slower pack of bikes, a stop sign or a car up ahead. In any event, prepare to stop. Tap you brakes and repeat the yell "Stopping". This is to indicate to others that you've heard them and you are also slowing to a stop. This will also alert those behind you that you are slowing to a stop. It's VERY important not to slam on your brakes especially if there are others behind you!!
• Hold your line - When someone yells, "Hold your line", this means that you need to stay in a straight line as best you can. In most cases, the person yelling this out to you is attempting to pass. If you swing out or if you don't keep your bike steady, you could cause the other bicycler trouble.
• On your Left - When someone yells, "On your Left", this means that they are passing you on your left. Let them pass as they have the right of way. You should never hear "On your Right". That is, a bicycler should never pass on the right. However, there are many bicyclers with varying experience. Be on the look out for those that will pass on your right. If someone does this, kindly remind him or her that they should pass on the left. Also, it is common courtesy to say "Thank You" to the person yelling "on your left". This indicates to them that you've heard them.’
• Car Up - When someone yells, "Car Up", this means that there is a car up front. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the vehicle up front. It is also common courtesy to repeat this so that others behind you also know about the car.
• Car Back - When someone yells, "Car Back", this means that there is a car up back. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the vehicle is behind you. It is also common courtesy to repeat this so that others behind you also know about the car.
5. Do not go into aerobars when riding in a group. Even if you are leading the group stay out of the aerobars. Riders must have control and riding in aerobars does not allow it.
6. Always ride in as straight a line as possible and avoid making any sudden moves. Signal before making any turns and always glance quickly behind you to make sure other riders and cars are not in your way.
7. Be courteous to other riders and share the road. We all ride fun and fitness, it’s not always about racing!
8. Call and point out any rough road or objects in the road that might cause a problem for cyclists. Riders at the front of the group are responsible for ensuring that riders behind them are aware of road conditions. Short commands like "HOLE!" or "WATCH THAT!" or "GRAVEL!" are usually the most clear. When possible, point to the obstacle or road condition. Pass on any warnings you hear you so that the whole group ride gets the message. You are the eyes and ears of the riders behind you.
9. Exercise particular caution when eating or drinking on your bike in a group ride. Make sure you keep your bike moving at a steady pace and in a straight line while eating or drinking. Move to the back if you are not comfortable doing this in the group.
10. Do not overlap wheels with other riders. Be aware of the other cyclists in the pack. When drafting, be sure to maintain enough distance between your wheel and the wheel of the rider in front of you so as to avoid bumping. If you are new to drafting, follow about one wheel-length behind. Do not become so absorbed in watching the wheel in front of you that you lose awareness of road conditions or riders around you. Be sure that you are always looking ahead.
11. Up Hills. Avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill, which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.
12. Down Hills. Give more space between bikes and do not hit your breaks! Heavier riders will be able to coast, as the lighter riders will need to pedal slightly to keep pace. Groups tend to break up going down hill but re group once you are back on the flat road.
13. Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights. If you are stopped at a red light, wait until the light changes to green before proceeding, even if it seems clear or safe to go against the light.
14. Hand Signals. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows: Left are straight out to signal a left turn. Left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping. And, for a right turn, put your right arm straight out.
15. As much as possible keep the group riding together. If you are just a bit behind the group, work a little harder to catch up and get back in the draft. If you are just slightly ahead of the group, drop your pace a bit so that you fall back towards the group.
16. At the start of the ride listen to the objectives of the ride and planned pacing, as described by the ride leader. Respect the plan by riding at the appropriate pace at the appropriate time, so that the group keeps it overall cohesion. Most rides begin with warm-up segment. Be sure to stay with or behind the group leader during this segment even if you consider the pace too easy.
17. Leave a Gap for Cars. When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you are impeding faster traffic, leave a gap for cars between every three or four bicycles. This will allow motorists to take advantage of shorter passing intervals and eventually move piecemeal around the entire group.
18. Move Off the Road When You Stop. Whether you are stopping because of mechanical problems or to regroup with you companions, move well off the road so you don't interfere with traffic. It is usually best for the lead rider to pull forward in the stopping area and for other riders to pull in behind the rider in front of them. When you start up again, each cyclist should look for, and yield to, traffic.
Commonly used cycling terms
Hoods- Covers of the brake handles.
Drops – Lowest part of you handlebars.
Tops- Handlebar closest to the stem.
Horns – The tip of your bars on a tri bike.
Mash- Push a big gear.
Big Ring – Large ring in the front (usually a 53)
Small Ring – Small ring in the front (usually a 39)
Cog – Rear cassette (9 or 10 speed)
Spin – Easy pedaling in an easy gear