Shameful act – north west mtb club
Enjoying a splendid spin along the side of Windermere between hawkshead and newby bridge a few weeks ago on the road bike, and pass a girl pushing her 5 along the road, I stopped (naturally) to ask if she needed help, and indeed she did. Her chain had become horrifyingly tangled in her chainrings. After a little elbow grease and a bit of force (couldn’t be bothered getting the Allen keys out, and she couldn’t have caught me if I’d snapped something) I got the chain out.
She then went on to explain to me that she’d been out riding with a club that will remain un-named, however for those curios it rhymes with log-rotters and they’d straight up told her that she wasn’t fit enough to go with them so had to ride back to the cars on the road. I almost fainted amongst the fallen December leaves when she spoke of these shameful actions. Now I’m sure all the riders in the club that rhymes with log rotters have got World Cup cross country races to train for so their ride pace is important, but it was also the girls first ride with them and I got the impression she was jolly miffed!
Should they have dropped their pace a little to include her and maybe done a motorpacing session in the afternoon to make up for it? Or did they do the right thing? Obviously I cannot account for the precise happenings of what went on but the end factor was a first time group member left walking along an a-road with a broken bike, in an area she did not know, on her own. Not great for participation/memberships! Possibly a few training tips and recommendations of a slower group after the ride over a couple of scones would have been a better idea.
And discuss….Posted 4 years agoslowjoMember
I’m sure someone will be along to give a different side of the story soon but, on the face of it, it does seem well out of order.
There is no excuse for dumping someone though, especially a new rider and without being sexist, a girl too. Like it or not, they do have a specific set of vulnerabilities that suggest seeing her back to the car park would have, at least, been the decent thing to do.Posted 4 years agorobdobMember
I used to ride with a University club and they used to do the same. I was just able to keep up but hung off the back most rides. Used to be pretty miserable, but I didn’t know anyone else or the area. If anyone new came they wouldn’t be warmly welcomed and no-one but me would chat with them. I generally used to ride with them at the back to encourage them but it would be very rare you would see them the next week.Posted 4 years ago
I don’t think they ever liked me as they would have to wait a bit for me on the uphills but they had zero technical skills so I would thrash them on the downhills even though I’d be knackered. Taunting them about that probably didn’t help!! 😉
IMO your post could be unfair as you don’t have the full story.
lets say she couldn’t make the first mile and there was another 15 very hilly/technical miles to go.
advising her to abandon the ride could have been the best option for all.
I used to ride with these guys and I found them to be hugely hospitable to new riders!
I seem to remember lots of information on there website about the rides they put on. They used to rank them ‘easy, medium, hard’ etc and state a rough level of fitness you’d ideally need for each ride. in fact they had maps with all the terrain / info too.
it sounds like she was unfortunate getting her chain stuck…not the clubs fault IMO. you said this was on a road too (so probably close to her car…so he wasn’t abandoned in the wilderness)
Also you have to think about your other members too. what if 20 riders have prepared / travelled upto 2 hours to the ride to find out its ruined by a woman ‘who’s massively bit off more than she can chew’?Posted 4 years agopostierichSubscriber
Jeeeze if you can not keep up with the BogRotters on a Saturday you must be friggin slow. Rides are posted up with level of ride and they will vary with types of riders Saturdays do attract a lot of lady riders. The rides usually have a leader who makes the calls, pretty sure the lady in question would have been giving options/made sure she had the right equipment and knew how to get back to her car. This time of year is usually cold and wet group of 10-15 hanging around not a good idea, maybe she did not bring the £2 to ride with us 🙂Posted 4 years agowwaswasSubscriber
Regardless of her ability to keep up one of the faster riders who knew the route should at least have been detailed to make sure she returned to the start point safely before rejoining the ride.
But really, unless it was advertised as ‘hard ride/experts only’ why turn her away?
Be interestign to get the other end of the story.Posted 4 years agoCaptainFlashheartMember
I’ve been out with groups of pretty mixed ability and we’ve never[i] left someone behind.
Ride at the pace of the slowest, even if it means someone has to sacrifice some of their fun. On big mixed group rides, we tend to take it in turns to lead and sweep. Someone gets to lead out a fun section, then they take their turn at the back sweeping up the stragglers after that. Those of us who act as sweepers always try and make sure we’ve got tools etc as well, as often we find that the newer/one time riders don’t. Very much the case for things like Bike Stag rides, where non-bike friends come along and join the ride group.
Never leave a man, or woman, behind. Simple.Posted 4 years agoStonerSubscriber
if it werent for the extraordinary patience of members of the Chiltern 1stXV MTB club over 10 years ago, there were would be quite a few of us who would never have gone from slow novices to the slow pro riders we are today.
A social ride rides at the slowest pace. If you want to rag it, organise a tempo ride.Posted 4 years ago12fiftyMember
What a bunch of cocks, at least one of them should have accompanied her to the car, even a northerner should be able to grasp the concept that you never drop the slowest on a group ride it’s just safety/common sense.
Ok I’d have to ride with a paper bag on my head lest someone saw me riding with someone on an Orange 5 but I’m always happy to ride at the back with the newbies.Posted 4 years agoeltonerinoMember
Also you have to think about your other members too. what if 20 riders have prepared / travelled upto 2 hours to the ride to find out its ruined by a woman ‘who’s massively bit off more than she can chew’
I would think that at least one person would break off from the main group and either take a shorter/easier route with the newbie. Or at least chum them back to the car if they didn’t want to carry on.
I rode with a club for the first time the other day and was by far the slowest up hill (my main weakness), they are primarily a road club but mountain bike in the winter. There was always one or two riders who hung back with me while the rest rode at their usual pace. They took it in turns too, so it wasn’t a big problem for any one rider.Posted 4 years agopostierichSubscriber
Just to nip this in the bud it was the Xmas club weekender and she joined the wrong ride and ended up on the moderate ride instead of the easy ride. Decided to head back to Hawkshead YHA and enjoy the XMAS market but had chainsuck caused by a bent chainring on route back.
Put ya Hobnobs back 🙂Posted 4 years agoOmar LittleMember
From their point of view it can be a bit inconsiderate if someone turns up to a club ride way out their depth in terms of fitness or skills despite being told in advance what is expected. When this is the case some people (including myself as ive been in the position before) would prefer to ride on alone and let the group go on at their own pace. Some others say they want this then afterwards complain about the pace being too high and being left behind. I have no experience of the club in question but i doubt they are all dicks and it was as simple as telling her to go on her way and make her own way back to the car without someone at least offering to show the way.Posted 4 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
Someone from that ride has posted in response already, although the flamefest continues unabated. Certainly paints a slightly different picture.
Obviously it’s best if group rides stay together, but there does come a limit when the cumulative effect of a slow crawl on a short day can mean the arrival of darkness for the whole group. The key thing was whether she was told to sling her hook, as she claims, or came to that conclusion herself. If she wanted to stay with the group, then the group should have been flexible with the intended route.Posted 4 years ago
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