Thursday, May 30, 2013

The A's and the B's

I'm sure you are tired by now of hearing my rants on how the A's like to "bully" the B's.  I decided to do something about it and hatched a plan to make sure that the A group would finally leave ahead of the B's and hopefully stay separated.  Don't get me wrong,  I like the guys in the A group,  I know most of them and respect them all.  They are strong riders and I have learned a lot from the times they decide to ride a little bit slower.

And just to clarify,  I'm ok with other folks riding faster than me.  I just don't want to ride that fast, and there are others in the group who feel the same way.  So, what I did tonight, was nothing sinister or with ill intention,  I simply wanted to clarify that the B group needs to ride at a B group pace, and not feel like they have to chase down the A group which wants to ride faster.

I decided that the best way to get the groups to separate was to lead the A group.  Understand that the A's are so driven and have trained to chase breakaways and they simply cannot stand for anyone to be up the road ahead of them.  I decided that if none of the A's wanted to separate, I would roll out solo. 

Sam announced that I was leading the A group, which obviously drew a lot of questioning stares and funny comments.  I rolled out and about 10 guys followed.  The B's were to leave a few minutes after.

I took the front of the train and held a steady pace on the parkway.  We rolled the couple of miles to the first downhill to the creek then the climb up to the I-26 bridge.   I sat up a little, kept a high cadence and slowly drifted to the back of the pack.  And then I really backed off.  I mentioned to a couple of people not to wait for me if I didn't make it over the top.  I let a gap form,  and let it grow.  A couple of cars came up behind me and I waved them around.  They came around and were slowed by the group ahead.  I hid behind the cars until the group was out of sight.  Then I sat up and waited for the B's to catch me.   The plan had worked out perfectly. 

Again,  no offense was intended, only to make a statement that " A's are A's and B's are B's, A's are welcome to ride a B pace, but please respect that we don't want to ride an A pace". 

Only a few minutes later they came into view with Kevin Hessler pulling the train.  The dude is strong.  The rest of the ride was spent at  a mostly B pace, with some rotating pace lines and the obligatory sprints. 

Oddly enough, today's average was slower that Sam and my Team Time Trial average from last week. 

Kevin, dropping in my draft to recover a little bit. 


Christopher Neubert said...

It is great that there is two groups and the route is the same. I am a B rider and if I knew the route I would always start out with the As and hang with them as long as I could and try to keep improving that distance to make myself stronger. And be very happy there is a B group to hang with and getting a little recovery time before they catch up.

Chris Neubert

My name is Stephen said...

that is a good idea and one can definitely benefit from riding above their level, however, riding above level without enough recovery between efforts is detrimental and leads to burnout/overtraining

Christopher Neubert said...

The key for me as a B group rider when in the A group is stay off the front as much as possible and conserve energy in the pack. But from the looks of it your pack was pretty small to reap a lot of the benefits of the pack.

I have also been in groups where the B group drafts the A group pack. Those one always amaze me how efficient they work. The a group does their rotation and when the front A rider comes to the front of the B group the lead B rider drifts back a bit to let the A guy in. Fun stuff for sure.

Stephen said...

If you stay off the front as much as possible, you become the wheel sucker who does not contribute to the whole. I like to do my part and if I can't contribute, then I move to the next level, up or down.