No fooling...ABC's Thursday Night Fast Ride returns on April 1, 2021. As part of our Thursday night format we will continue to focus on group etiquette, riding skills and safety, while riding at the advertised pace. The fast ride will be broken into appropriate sized groups to manage social distancing following 2 advertised paces of “fast” (A) and “moderate” (B). The 2 defined paces are:
The B group(s) will begin shortly after the A group(s) following the same route. As reference, the A ride attracts a collection of Category 3-5 racers. This doesn’t mean you have to race to participate in this ride. It is simply for perspective. Our routes typically include 2 climbs, averaging a total of around 1800 feet over 30 miles. Our ride lengths vary from 25 - 35 miles depending on the available evening daylight.
With 2 groups, we expect to attract riders with varying skills and abilities. As a cycling club, we want to focus on developing those skills. In the past, we have had riders join race teams from our fast ride as they continued to advance in their abilities. We continue to promote both the A & B rides as “no drop” rides. With this being said, we know that an "A" and "B" group is often not enough to accommodate the riders who attend. To support “no drop”, the ride leaders will specify the re-grouping point or points prior to each ride. If it is clear that either the A ride or the B ride must be further divided, the ride leader will state this at the regrouping point. We will try to maintain subgroups that will promote the group riding skills and no drop format. Don’t be afraid to go with the faster subgroup. However, if you are caught in the middle, ease up your pace and fall back to the group behind. Subgroups should check for other riders around them, particularly at the top of climbs and regroup by soft pedaling. No one will be left behind.
Routes are published in advance, but we encourage folks to join the club's groups.io site to stay current in case of any last minute information. We often need to change our plans or re-route due to construction projects. Please check the route each week for the latest information.
Since routes are published in advance and we're in the information age, we do not provide maps to start the ride. Our routes have all been created using Ride with GPS. For those with GPS units, we encourage you to download the current link to your GPS unit. If you'd like a printed copy of the cue sheet, please access the information on-line ahead of the ride and find a printer. Alternatively, you can download the Ride with GPS app to your phone in case you need to pull up the route mid ride.
We invite any new or visiting riders to the ride to join the TNFR crew, but ask returning riders to become members of the club.
Skills & Safety:
As a cycling club, we want to promote the development of group riding etiquette, skills and safety. If you are new to group riding (or if you want a refresher), please review the following videos to better appreciate our focus. Ride leaders and other experienced riders will provide advice and instruction during rides to assist. Do not take this personally, as this is done for the safety and development of the group. Any observed unsafe riding will be addressed individually after the ride.
Depending on the size of the groups, participants in the Thursday ride should generally expect to ride 2 abreast in a paceline format i.e Double Paceline. Riding a double paceline reduces the length of the group making it easier for cars to pass (although many drivers may not think so). Please keep the 2 lines tight. If you have any questions or want to discuss group riding, please reach out to one of the ride leaders. Periodically, we may choose to focus on a particular skill as part of our ride (such as riding in a paceline). This will be included in the ride description for the week.
Please be sure to bring extra tubes, CO2, pump, multi-tool, etc. for any mechanicals you may encounter. Also, bring front and rear lights. These promote safety and alert drivers to our presence during all hours of the day.
Addressing Coronavirus - Akron Bicycle Club COVID-19 Group Ride Guidelines:
Rider health and safety is still our primary objective. The following mitigation guidelines are aligned with USA Cycling recommendations and must be followed for ABC Group Rides, based on the current situation:
- All riders should check their temperature before arriving at a group ride. If you are not well, or don’t feel well, or have been exposed to COVID-19, do not show up!
- “Sign In” for group rides will be managed by the ride leader. All riders must report in to ride leader prior to ride and provide required information for the sign in sheet. Only the ride leader will handle the sign in sheet.
- GPS is the preferred option for ride navigation. If GPS is not available, there will be a map link on the ABC Ride Calendar for riders to print out the ride map/cue sheet at home, prior to the ride. No cue sheets will be handed out at the ride.
- All riders should carry a mask and hand sanitizer with them in case a need arises to use during the ride, as both are easily transported.
- Social distancing rules of 6 feet minimum should be followed for both pre and post-ride.
- Riders should ride side-by-side or keep a minimum distance of 10 - 20 feet between riders. If any rider needs to sneeze, blow their nose, cough, etc. they should drop back, so no one is in your slipstream.
- All Group rides will start out in groups of 8 riders. If more than 8 riders show up, break into additional groups of 8 riders maximum. A ride leader is required in each group
- Starting in groups of 8 will allow for flexibility during a ride in case riders fall back or ride ahead. We must hold to a MAXIMUM of 10 Riders in any group at any time
- Multiple groups should maintain a 5-minute gap between group starts.
- No food stops prior to, during or after group rides. All riders should carry water and nutrition needed for each ride so sharing is not needed.
- Each rider should carry any needed tools, equipment and clothing so sharing is not needed.
As with all ABC rides:
- Always arrive at least 10 minutes before start time to allow for adequate check in time.
- All cyclists must wear bike helmets, obey all traffic laws, and no use of ear buds or cell phones while riding.
- Use of rear-view mirror, headlight, tail light and reflectors is highly recommended.
- ALL ABC Rides are for members only please join by clicking Join ABC.
Maps and Related GPS Files:
2021 Thursday Night Fast Ride Routes
Following are a handful of short videos (many from the Global Cycling Network - GCN) to provide examples of the etiquette, skills and safety we wish to promote. We encourage everyone to take a look at these videos when you get a chance.
How to Ride in a Group - Group Riding Etiquette
How to Climb in a Group
How to Descend in a Group
How to Draft Like a Pro
How to Communicate With Signals
How to Corner in a Bunch
How to Ride Like the Pros - Riding in a Double Paceline
5 Cycling Skills Every Rider Needs
How to Improve Your Bike Handling
Cycling Skills & Safety - RoadID Rules of the Road
How to Improve Your Balance on a Bike