Friday, February 18, 2011

2/19 Saturday Ride

Not surprisingly, there wasn't much response to my suggestion for a ride tomorrow. But, there was one lone person interested, so I figured I would post my route. I'm planning on doing the Middle Rd. Greely-Tuttle loop (MapMyRide route).

The temperature looks to be steady all day and the winds will only increase, so I will be leaving from the intersection of Ledgewood Dr. and Ocean Ave. (Rte. 9) at 8:30am. If you're interested in a nice relaxed ride, come on out and join me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 Season

Perhaps I'm just rushing things, but it's starting to feel like winter is on the way out and spring is headed our way.

As we look forward to the 2011 cycling season, we would like some help crafting the atmosphere of the year's Saturday rides. This will be the third season where Bron and I have led the ride and we are trying to make sure that the ride is developing in a manner that is consistent with our regular riders without completely losing the good-natured atmosphere that we believe has been a huge reason that people join the ride. Last year we toyed with a slightly more structured approach, piecing together series of rides to prepare for the CCCP Memorial Day ride in the spring and then for the Loon Echo Bike Trek, Dempsey Challenge and Cadillac Challenge Century in the fall.

We thought this approach was well-received and we are considering a similar structure to this season's rides. However, as we prepare, we would like to hear from you about how you would like to group to develop. For example:
  • How did you enjoy the longer rides last year? Would you like to see them continue this year?
  • What did you think of the split routes, where there was both a long and a short option?
  • The group's pace was quite variable, everything from 16 up to the low 20's depending on the group and the route. How slow do you think is too slow and how fast is too fast?
  • We feel strongly about maintaining a cohesive group atmosphere, but we also want rides to focus on riding, not regrouping. Do you have any thoughts on regrouping strategies?
  • What targets do you think the group should shoot for this year? We will once again do some training geared at the CCCP Memorial Day Ride and we will attempt to prepare people for the fall century rides, but the summer is generally open. How would people like us to use the summer rides?
  • How do we deal with remaining as inclusive as possible? What approach should the group take when mechanical issues arise? When new riders who are slightly outmatched join the group?
  • When should we officially start rides this year?
These are just a few of the things that we are trying to wrap our head around. If you have other thoughts or concerns please let us know.

Given that there is a decent core of riders that join the ride each week, we are considering the possibility of setting up a gathering of some sort—perhaps drinks after work or maybe lunch on a weekend. If you think it would useful for us to arrange a gathering to discuss what the group should look like this year drop me an email or post a comment.

One thing that everyone should be aware of is that over the winter a group of cyclist from local groups and representatives from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine have been working to develop a set of group riding guidelines that should be in place for this upcoming season. The guidelines are intended to promote cyclist safety, encourage behavior that respects motorists, and adhere to Maine's cycling laws. We plan to follow these guidelines on our rides this year and will post a copy of them here as soon as they are finalized.

Finally, I'm considering riding this Saturday and would enjoy some company. It isn't forecast to be quite as nice as tomorrow's 45°, but it's time for me to get back on the road. Drop me an email if you are interested and I will update this post by Friday at 7:00 pm if we'll be leaving from the shop.