I'm not a regular here, but was surprised when I stumbled across this forum, with a thread specifically on a ride I have been doing now for a couple of years: The North Road Ride, originally the 6am but now the 5:45.
I think the 5:45am option on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a more organised safer alternative than the "hour of power" at 6am. The group slots nicely into "two a breast", and there are rolling turns off the front to keep the group moving at a steady pace after reaching the turn back to St Kilda.
6am however has none of the afore mentioned organisation, it is every man for himself. However this is not a critisism, simply a statement of fact.
My point is this. I enjoy the 5:45am option because of these key differences. I do from time to time like to test my nerve at 6am, but I need to be in the mood. Of late the "North Road Ride", escpecially the 5:45am option has become more popular, and I think this is great! Come along and have fun! I hope you enjoy the hit out as much as me...
... However, we need to keep this ride what it is. Organised and safe. Maybe I'm more sensitive than others, but I have noticed of late more and more (for want of a better word) "silly" things happening in the bunch.
I hate to put a negative spin on what looks like such a positive thread, and I hate to sound like I'm raving, but I want this ride to be preserved for what it is (plus I'm a little frustrated after this mornings events).
Below are listed a few simple things that may help new comers, and anyone else interested in maintaining this great bunch ride.
** I usually sit front quarter but this morning I was chatting to some mates near the rear of the group. If you are at the rear, expect that if the bunch is big, it is likely it will be split by a red light at some point on the way down. Please stop! Work with the guys around you to catch up. This morning I witnessed two guys not too far after we left off run a clear red just to stay in touch, and just about get cleaned up. There were others too. Have these guys forgotten the Hell Ride innocent already! You just never know whats going to happen at a red.
** Don't cross the guy or girls wheel in front of you. This means don't ride past the wheel you are following. This is how you will bring yourself down, and probably about 5 others depending on when you decide to do this.
** On the way back, it can get tough. But just remember, when you are badly fatigued you are more likely to come down. There is no shame at all in having to pull out because you can't keep up. Please don't try and hang on at all costs. It may not feel like it to you, but you are probably peadally the wrong cadence, not looking where you should,and swerving a little. In bunch riding, correct decision making about your own limits is as much for the safety of the person next you as your own. Pull away in a safe and controlled manner. And have another crack at holding on longer next time.
** Don't try and pick up ground on the bunch by passing on the inside. Even if there is heaps of space, remeber that the inside line will not be expecting you there.
** Let someone in. It's not the end of the world if you lose one spot on the way down. They may even return the favour sometime.
** Be friendly. There is so much arrogance and elitism in this "clicky" sport already, that we don't need to foster it by not saying hi back to the person next to you when they do.
I may have said to much here on what is otherwise a very friendly, fun organised and safe ride. But I just had to get a few little things off my chest that had been annoying me.
Seeyou out there.