Southern Suburbs Road Cyclists (SSRC) – Update 14/02/2016

This last week has probably provide the best set of weather for morning rides. Cool with light winds or no winds. The same days also provided some of the windiest weather to deal with in the afternoons! So if you did manage to make the best of the mornings this week, well done! I was jealously watching your Strava data popping up on my Facebook timeline at work! Probably shouldn’t admit that!

Tuesday’s Stragglers ride is still going strong with a few folks making the trip around Hallett Cove and back up the Veloway from Darlington. Apparently there were a few more, but names of these folks weren’t known! If you’re reading this, please let us know who you are!!

Saturday morning dawned and smiled on those of the lycra brigade across the Adelaide region. A temperature in the mid-teens and virtually no wind promised a glorious morning’s riding.

 The official count for the start (by Lynn) was 49, with the L Ride picking up some new riders with other recent newbies returning for more two-wheeled shenanigans.

Pic from the start.

The L Ride took on a new route, suggested by John Thorp, which was met with widespread approval. It was a ride where a huge group of 20 riders took on a few small hills and no one was left behind.

A pic from Carl, below. 

The P Ride started off with 14 riders and the group had previously been given the heads-up that there may be a need to split the group somewhere along the track. As it was we nearly lost the majority of the group on the turn onto the Veloway at Lonsdale, with a good number heading towards the Coast-to-Vines instead! Dan (Major Pain) came to the rescue by hunting down the breakway and wrangling them back to the Veloway in quick time. By this time Al was feeling the worse-for-wear and joined Jolie and myself as the slower version of the P ride. Al peeled off to get home as we passed Seaford Road. We hope you recovered quickly Al. At the next catch-up point, Martins Road it was decided that the slower group of two would cut the ride shorter by travelling East along Malpas Road, leaving the bulk of the group to go and conquer St Johns Terrace. This worked out well with both groups of riders arriving back at Beck’s within minutes of each other.

Any pics from the P ride can be added below in the comments.


The Green Ps hate me! For the second week in a row, the comment has been shot my way, after the ride, that “…next time we’re taking you (Wattsy) with us!” Various expletives deleted. However, despite the groaning and whining, most folks came back with a smile (or was that a grimace) on their face. I do believe that, again, they enjoyed it so much that they neglected to take photographs! I will put it out there that if anyone wants to suggest a route, please put your best pedal forward and let me know. FYI, David Ellison has done just this and we have a doozy for you the next time we depart from Woodcroft (which will be the 27th of February). Also, there is a good chance that Colin will be out of action for a while due to illness (he may surprise us) so ride leaders will be needed for the next few weeks at least. Get well soon Colin and we look forward to seeing you pedal those big circles again soon.

The Green Ps. Heading off to hate have fun!


A thought from the head of Wattsy!

I would like to highlight a, sometimes controversial, point about the management of group rides. Sometimes it is necessary to split groups. It rarely happens in the L Ride due to the ethos of that ride. Namely, we ride together and no one gets left behind and that’s what you sign-up to and expect. Sure, the group gets stretched, but the number of stops over 40km allows people to catch-up and catch their breath. Being a P Ride there are less stops and longer distances. What I have been noticing lately is that the spread of average speeds on the P ride can be as far as 5kph different. You usually get a feel within the first 5-10km that some riders will be falling behind quite quickly. A front ‘pack’ forms and then there are those hanging on, followed by those dropping back. If this happens 5-10km into a 50-60km ride it’s a sign that a reorganisation is required. The reorganisation may take the form of everyone deciding to slow things down, but it is also possibe that the best solution for the group is to split into two and that the slower group do a revised, shorter, route. The decision to split does need to be backed by people willing to take a role in leading the remainder of the ride (usually the faster of the two groups as they will usually have the most experienced riders). The original ride leader should guide the slower group around the remainder of the route and suggest where any shortening of the route could take place. It is best to try and gain agreement among the slower group to follow this shorter route.

It is important to point out that splitting a group does not make a failure out of any rider. It does not predict that they won’t ever get to the stay with the faster section of the group. If you get out for at least one extra training ride for the week will speed-up your improvement and the gaining of strength and endurance.  As I keep trying to tell myself ‘You’re only as good as your second ride for the week!’ A second ride of similar distance and intensity should see you keeping up with the faster group in quick time. I’m sure there are folks who can put a bit more science behind it than that, but you’ll have to put-up with my folksy-wisdom (?) for now.

Rides for Next Week.

With Daylight Saving not finishing until April 3rd, the Stragglers rides are continuing. Carl has organised the following event for next Tuesday evening:


Next Saturday, the 20th of February;

The L Ride, goes up Moritz Road. The most scenic of the L Rides:

The P Ride. New route, remaining relatively flat and short to look after the legs of those doing the first ride in Bicycle SA’s Grand Slam Series the following day. This ride needs a ride leader:

The Green Ps

Another 70km, but, again, fairly flat especially when compared to the two previous weeks! Nick will take this group out.

I won’t be riding next week, littl’uns birthday party is happening so it’s all hands on deck at home! I hope to be hearing of the fun had next week.

Ride Safe.

Cheers, Wattsy.

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Thanks Paul. If you can take the P Ride that would be awesome? As mentioned above, there may be need for a split as people find their feet in that ride.

Love your work, Wattsy. And get well soon Colin.

Good words Wattsy - I agree with your discussion on splits in the group.

With the broad range in skills and abilities in the P groups it is inevitable that splits will form, as many of us do want a challenging ride that helps us develop and improve our cycling. I agree with Pat that this isn't a training ride as such, but "Buffalo Theory" will take effect from time to time.

As a group (or at least a bunch of sociable like minded individuals) there are a few things we can do as riders that help minimise this. The first is to know the route ahead of time, and agree on a few (or at least the next) re-group points along the road. The ride leader isn't going to be able to give directions or round up strays at the front if they are focussed on what's happening at the back.

If splits are starting to form early, then collectively drop the pace a smidge until the next meeting point. If a new plan needs to made then this can happen at the next re-group point.

If you know you're up for a lighter ride, know the route and are confident, put your hand up as TEC and support those at the rear.  Likewise if you're happy to do so, volunteer to bring the slower group home.

Thanks to all of the ride leaders who do such a great job. Having now led 2 rides, I appreciate that there is much more to consider than just the route and pace.

Ride happy - Dan

Thanks for your input Dan. On point as usual. 

I am surprised, however, that no one has commented that this could be the only thought coming from my head! ;-)

Surely only one of many mate.

We are simple people; led by one much wiser than us! :)

Great comments dan. You lead that ride very well the pace was kept as a fast but steady pace so that the riders coming up could improve their pace and fitness
Wattsy's folksy words of wisdom ring true.
As do Pat's and Dan's. The best Green Peas ride I have participated in was one where Dan lead. The communication was great and I think we were, as a group, more aware of what was going on front to back.
I have followed Pat's advice the last couple of weeks and left the group part way round.
There were various reasons. Not wanting to stop, not wanting to shred the rest of the riders before a big hill. Frustration at lack of pace/ability of others on moderate climbs(Hahn Rd for example)
Sorry if I speak out of turn, not criticising or making myself out to be superior...I hope.
The dynamics of group rides is different each week and maybe I'm not treating the experience correctly at times.
Chapeau to the ride leaders and hope that communication(vital in ANY relationship) continues.
Yeah I missed a stop last week. Recovering on a downhill. Isn't that what you do?
Oh well. You live and learn, but I'm not sure how many I will do now. Talk of a paceline etc. Bleh


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