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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you're riding with beginners, what's the best way to deal with them lagging behind? I've recently been bringing along a buddy to a local (5 mile) trail that isn't technically challenging at all. A few very small logs, some roots, that sort of thing. I mainly ride it to improve my fitness. When I bring my friend along, though, I realize as bad a shape as I am in, he's worse than me and falls behind right away. Being a s-l-o-w beginner myself, this has never really been an issue for me. But either I'm improving, or my buddy is just exceptionally slow. :)

Anyways, is it rude to go ahead and stop at the end and wait? There is no way to get lost on the trail, no technical challenges at all, and nothing really to cause even a beginner problems, besides fitness issues. Normally, I wouldn't mind taking it slow. But I'm riding it to improve my own fitness, and don't get much waiting for him. And I wouldn't mind much if it were an occassional thing, but he wants to go with me whenever I go. So either I tell him no, ride slow, or leave him behind.

I just hate being an ass and leaving someone, but at the same time, I'm riding the trail to get in better shape. Any thoughts?
 

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Tough call

I say you have to break it to this guy that he can't come on every ride. As the "slow newby" myself, I like the fact that the folks I ride with are courteous and tolerant enough not to leave me in the dust. They get a head, slow down and/or stop just to make sure I'm OK. Also, keeping within eyes reach allows me to try to keep pace, and also affords me the opportunity to watch them attempt technical maneuvers, which in turn give me more confidence that I can do them. If they just blow ahead of me and wait for me at the end of the trail, I might as well ride alone.

If you have the patience and tolerance to help your friend, do so, but make sure you also get time on the taril by yourself or with other riders who have similar skills as you. Put it to your friend in these terms and I'm sure he'll understand. After all, we all have needs to improve our skills, and that means riding with others who can make us better riders.

Just my 2 cents.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, that's it. Being the "slow guy" myself the shoe is usually on the other foot for me so I know how it feels.
 

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Feeling a little taller
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Riding with slower friends, kids, spouse can be a frustating event. What I have learned about how to deal with being the faster rider in the group (which doesn't happen often) is that you have to keep the slower riders from feeling alienated while continuing to have fun yourself.

You can do this in a variety of ways:
1) Make sure that you ride with a faster group every now and again and see how they handle you as the slower rider - it will work you out and it will put the events of riding with slower riders in perspective.
2) While they are huffing along up grinds, slow down and converse with them every now and again. It is OK to go on ahead sometimes but the social aspect of riding with friends gets lost when they are just staring at your disappearing carcass constantly.
3) Try to be encouraging but not patronizing. If they look like they are working hard on a tech section or grunt, encouragement and props are good every now and again. Doing it constantly can be aggrivating.

I took my dad and my son on a ride with me the other day. My dad hasn't ridden a bike in many years and my son probably hasn't ridden in months. I took them on a paved trail for most of the ride, which in itself was not a fun experience. If I had just left them in the dust, they would not have had fun so I sucked it up, kicked down to granny and made conversation. Turns out it's almost as gratifying to teach an old dog new tricks as it is a pup!
 

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I would say its fine that you run off ahead a little, I mean if there is something you want to roll through with a little speed coming up, or something you just can't wait to try then go on ahead. However, I would say you should wait for him to catch up at points where the trail splits and in spots where you might just have cleared a section they might have trouble with.

One note I'd like to make is that when you wait for them give them time to catch up and then take a few breaths, let them decide when to start again, I know when I'm laggin' and just as I catch up they take off again, I think whats the point .. they are faster so they get a break meanwhile I'm laggin' because I'm tired but I don't get one.

However I do think its great that your willing to help a slower person out. I find it the best to ride with someone a little better then you, makes you try things you might not because your just following what they do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Every time I ride with my wife I am reminded what it feels like to be the slower rider. :p I've gotten to where I can stay on her wheel but I'm on the verge of cardiac arrest when I do so. She thinks she's slowing me down and tells me to go ahead. I act chivalrous and decline, but I think she's figuring me out. :cool:
 

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if your buddy wants to go everytime you do, it should only be a matter of time before he starts getting closer to your speed. i say give him a chance to improve and keep it challenging for him by keeping up the pace (not in a vengeful way :p ). let him know that he needs to get faster. if he has the same goals you do, he may appreciate the challenge. if he doesn't, well, you'll have to find a nice way to ride with him a little less while you ride with folks that have your same goals.
 

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I ride with my GF 90% of the time. I either ride with her or wait up for her at intersections and we head back off when she is ready to go, or if she's not tired she will just go past me and I'll catch up. This allows her to catch her breath if need be. At more technical sections I stop and watch her go over them and either give her props or pointers. I've noticed that when we first started riding she would lag badly, but now she is getting closer to my pace. At this rate one day she will be biking circles around me.
 

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high plains drifter
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that ego thing

its really easy to get into that look how fast I'am when riding with newer or out of shape riders .and then they will never want to ride with you .so try letting them lead or riding in your big ring the whole ride .not every ride has to be balls out just go for an easy cruise you just might see something you've missed flying down the trail at 90mph.save the hammer fest for the other times your out there alone or with your fast buddies
 

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Usually I'm the slower rider... but I like that it's the slower rider doesn't rest. I'm slow, but get there constantly. But when riding with another friend, he's slower, takes time, doesn't like to get his bike dirty :rolleyes: I like riding with him, but I don't always go with him, and actually, I think he's leaving riding. It's been a while since I've heard him going someplace :(
 

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well i take along a friend who is alot slower than me. I let him get far ahead of me and then i chase him down for fun. I try to not out run him to badly cause i don't wanna worry about him getting hurt. I try to bring him on rides when i'm not going all out. then if i really wanna pound out the miles i'll go on my own.
 

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oh yeah and when they are alot slower than me and i don't wanna leave them hanging...i just ride wheelies all the time and jump off of every little thing i see to keep my self entertained, but then sometimes i do dumb things and fall and make myself look dumb.
 

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Ride Instigator
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You say you have a 5 mile loop? Try standing on it and lapping him, at the end you get two laps and he gets one.

I have a friend whose wife rides with us sometimes and he hangs back to coach her over logs and other obsticals....or maybe they're just lollygagging along talking :rolleyes: . Most times when I get a ways ahead of them I just turn around and double back to meet them when I come to an intersection instead of sitting there waiting.
 

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I really should change my title to "gettingslowmtnbkr". :) But when I'm riding with a newbie or somebody I know is slower, I write the whole thing off and commit to riding side by side or riding one or two bike lengths behind or in front with him/her. A small sacrifice to pay for good company.Besides,I've had my time to rip thru the local trails and trying to hang with the fast group.
 

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Any day on the trail is a good day.

What's more important, your 'fitness conditioning' on an easy singletrack, or bringing the love and passion of mtBiking to someone new.

Slow down, help, coach and have a good time. Go riding for fitness some othertime without the nOOb.
 

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When I ride with slower riders, I let them take the lead. That way they learn to scout out lines, and I'm not always having to check my speed and be glancing over my shoulder. If it's smaller loops, and I find they get tired before I do, I ask if they mind if I take a solo loop at my own pace once we get back to the car/truck. That way I end my ride on a positive note, and they get to rest up or practice stuff near the trail head.
 

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eto said:
When you're riding with beginners, what's the best way to deal with them lagging behind? I've recently been bringing along a buddy to a local (5 mile) trail that isn't technically challenging at all. A few very small logs, some roots, that sort of thing. I mainly ride it to improve my fitness. When I bring my friend along, though, I realize as bad a shape as I am in, he's worse than me and falls behind right away. Being a s-l-o-w beginner myself, this has never really been an issue for me. But either I'm improving, or my buddy is just exceptionally slow. :)

Anyways, is it rude to go ahead and stop at the end and wait? There is no way to get lost on the trail, no technical challenges at all, and nothing really to cause even a beginner problems, besides fitness issues. Normally, I wouldn't mind taking it slow. But I'm riding it to improve my own fitness, and don't get much waiting for him. And I wouldn't mind much if it were an occassional thing, but he wants to go with me whenever I go. So either I tell him no, ride slow, or leave him behind.

I just hate being an ass and leaving someone, but at the same time, I'm riding the trail to get in better shape. Any thoughts?
Everyone in a group ride is at a different skill or physical level. There is nothing wrong with going ahead and then waiting . I spend time riding with newer riders and then push ahead. I ride with a group sometimes and there are faster riders and slower riders. I push ahead sometimes. Other times, I climb a steep long climb at a higher front chainring to push myself and then I spend time riding with the others. I know that a new rider can get frustrated and a person just ahead to pick the line can be helpful. I usually ride alone for a physical workout. I sometimes ride with a younger rider who goes ahead and waits for me. It doesn't bother me. Other times I climb long hills and wait for him. When I ride with others, I plan on spending time riding along with the group, and other times at my own pace.
 

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When i was getting back into biking my ridding budy would ride alongside talking encouragment & also ride ahead then turn around to catch me again then pull a wheelie alongside me. I learned to make small goals on each ride untill i could do the whole hill without getting off to walk. I am still a poor climber mashing on my flat pedals but my abbilities have greatly improved, not a hard core xc guy but just havin fun. If your friend is willing to improve his skills then you have a chance. Now days when i ride with begginers i try to enjoy the ride the way i was brought back into it by my buddy.
 

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I'll just normally ride my own pace and see how they compare. If I leave them behind I'll just wait at certain points to see them come into view and go again. If I don't see them in a set amount of time, I go looking for them. If they are faster I just try chase them down. Riding with a slower rider can be entertaining, watching someone learn the sport and reach the level of doing something they thought they could not do.

And the first rider on the trail clears all the spider webs, so sometimes it's good to be behind someone.
 

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ride behind them...ride up to them then go back to the beginning of the trail and then start back at them again....they will feel good because they are out in front....and psycologically they will ride faster (because they think they are doing good instead of being a slow rider) ...always let them lead...and you can just session stuff behind them
 
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