The victims lay by road sides, the resolute retire to mark their 'books' for revenge but NEVER will the perpetrator with the long bike ever raise his hand (unless he has too many Belgians at the club Christmas do)
The half-wheeler will never talk about half-wheeling. At least, not before the others do. But the others will. And the others will decide, always and without fail, that it was HIM.
Yes, it's our favourite guilty pleasure that sparks a lively debate in almost ever group ride: the dark art of half wheeling
It was HIM.
The rider beside you has a bike that appears to be longer than the industry standard. If you can, you match this pace. His bike grows again. And so on, and so forth. If you can't match his pace then it's a threshold effort hanging on to the coat tails that wasn't on the plan for the Z2 Sunday session. At best, you are not happy. At worst, you are bonking before the end of the ride.
Look evidence! It was HIM.
Are you sure? Have you measured the length of your own bike recently?
Established club and group rides have history and rides have tradition. Newly formed groups follow suit very quickly. For this reason we don't feel the need to express the unwritten rules. Like the slamming of a stem and the matching of the bar tape, these are things to be learned. No need to state the obvious, right?
Wrong. It happens again, and again. And it's bad etiquette. Forcing your pace on to a group which might not want to ride that fast is not productive if you set out to ride 100km as a group. Starting too strong will eventually drop riders and either split the group or force it into 'get home safe mode'. Not cricket. And if nothing else it creates a danger on the road as the group is stretched out.
You might say that with watts comes responsibility on the group ride. Abuse that power and it will render you with a bad name and very quickly bad feeling in your group.
A TIME AND A PLACE
It was ME.
We all at some point have allowed that front wheel just to drift forward a touch.
Is there more juice in the tank? Does he even remember what he did two weeks ago? Time to balance the books maybe?
His heavy breathing has started already. I'm feeling fresh. The coffee stop is only 15kms away and it's the Saturday run so everyone knows the score. Plus, the season is just three weeks away. Let's check the engine, yeah?
Just make sure everyone is on the same page first.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
Whether you are the victim or the perpetrator, try to remember where this fits into your schedule. The long bike beside you might be too much to resist on Sunday morning but that revenge might cost you later the following week.
Different riders have different preferences for solo and group riding. But if you decide to join the peloton, make it match your training plan and then make your riding suit the group.
Otherwise, you might be HIM.
Photo credits: Ronen Chernyak