How fast to hang?

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#1
Couldn't think of a better title, sorry.

Seems most of the weekend rides are too fast/hard for me at the moment, but something I want to build up to. Half fast rides might be better of course. Anyway, can someone give me an indication of what sort of pace (average I guess?) I should be aiming for before I can dare to try to hang with you guys at least part of a route?

Reason I ask is that I'm generally aiming to increase distance, as that's what so far I've enjoyed. But at some point I'd really like to learn drafting, riding in a group etc. if only so I can understand it and get even more enjoyment out of watching races!

Would like some numbers to aim for. And yes, I recognise this is probably a stupid question and I should just HTFU. :)
 
May 22, 2007
3,595
1,422
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#2
Yeah - Half-Fast rides are mostly a disorganised rabble. Trying to do anything like drafting is an exercise in frustration with so many independent-minded people seeking recreation.

If you can cycle unaided at 30 kph for an extended period, I'd say it's worth tagging on with the wattmeisters.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#3
Yeah - Half-Fast rides are mostly a disorganised rabble. Trying to do anything like drafting is an exercise in frustration with so many independent-minded people seeking recreation.

If you can cycle unaided at 30 kph for an extended period, I'd say it's worth tagging on with the wattmeisters.
That's what I thought. Thinking of joining a ride sometime for the social aspect though.

"Extended period" means how long exactly? I'm struggling to understand the use of the average speed from my garmin as it of course includes the very slow rolling near traffic lights speed etc.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,002
176
83
Tokyo
#6
Just learn to draft and let the others do the work...
By doing that, most of the flat rides along the Arakawa you should be able to hang with the group. If you are going to slow when it's your turn to pull in front, the group will get annoyed and the next rider will come up quickly. Voila!
More realistic race race simulation for anybody that way, nobody pulls the same amount anyways.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#7
The golden average is roughly 33.8kph. When you can sustain that over at least an hour, then you will earn your 'group merit badge'. This means, riding at about 35kph without nose bleeding, cramping, keeling over or requiring an AED. If you plan on 'learning drafting', you are in the wrong country. Except for spurious sessions that seem to arise with similar consistency of a tourettes episode, riders in Japan simply don't ride 'as a group' - unless, of course, you define groups as being similar to a pack of cats running down a street or path. As Gunnar said - rotations occur generally from behind by an annoyed or similarly (dis)inspired individual to blast ahead of anything within gunsights and call that 'taking a pull'. So, you could practice this very well by just randomly sprinting as hard as you can to get in front of whomever is in front of you whenever you feel like it. That would be pretty much like 'group riding' in Japan. And if you can do this at least 2 or 3 times within the context of said 'group ride' , you'd be 'hanging'.
 

theDude

Maximum Pace
Oct 7, 2011
773
111
63
Tokyo
app.strava.com
#8
I'd recommend just giving it a go. Most rides starting in Tokyo will involved some river riding to get to the hills. See how you go down the river, turn around when you are happy with your ride. You should at least know how to get home though.

Agree with others, figure it's going to be in the low 30s.
 

saibot

Maximum Pace
May 29, 2012
793
934
113
Taito
#9
rotations occur generally from behind by an annoyed or similarly (dis)inspired individual to blast ahead of anything within gunsights and call that 'taking a pull'. So, you could practice this very well by just randomly sprinting as hard as you can to get in front of whomever is in front of you whenever you feel like it. That would be pretty much like 'group riding' in Japan.
Haha! Right on! I don't think I ever seen a "proper" group rotation while I've been here… although it's starting to rub off on me as I've been guilty of the same bad habits lately. Hopefully we can get it right this weekend.

Back to topic though, back home we used to say that if you can manage a 32km/h average (without any stops etc) you could easy keep a 〜
36kmh average in a "non-japanese" style group with the same effort.
 
Likes: Musashi13

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#10
If you can cycle unaided at 30 kph for an extended period, I'd say it's worth tagging on with the wattmeisters.
And if (like me) you can't, try Half Fast. I've been three times. The first time was easy-peasy, as billed; the second and third were not so billed and were fast by my crap standards. I kept up, just about. That meant that I got some good exercise, and it was enjoyable too. No drafting of course but it might help prepare you for that. If a ride turns out to be too far/fast you can bail out; if too slow, you can probably think of some tactful way to remove yourself.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
62
78
#11
I'm old, fat and slow, I'm working hard on the second one, I hope the third one will change, and I've given up on the first one :)
The HFC longer rides are what you need, they push me really hard, but the great thing is that there are always regroup points once we hit the rivers and it usually divides up into groups, fast, medium and then whatever group I'm in. Go out on some of these rides, push as hard as you can with the faster guys, then when you run out of gas, drop back with the next slower group, if you go on a lot of rides you will get better.
Cheers!
 
Oct 15, 2010
669
10
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#12
...No drafting of course but it might help prepare you for that.
Not that hard to draft. Some newbies don't realize that they want their front wheel within 10cm and half a wheel of the wheel in front of them. The closer the better. When the wind is coming from an angle, you need to adjust your position, but work on that once you figure out the basics. The closer the better, but you have to pay attention to not hit the person pulling you. It is not that hard, you just need to practice once on a group ride or with a buddy. Doing that, it should be 10 to 20% easier to go the same speed as it would otherwise. If people know you are a newbie and making an effort, I don't think they'll be expecting you to be doing much pulling, just sit behind someone and enjoy it. When you get to the hills though, you'll be dropped instantly I recon, and if there are other newbies, and it is a WATT (wait at the top) ride, you'll have a chance to catch up within reason, but might want to stick to the flats for now.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#13
Personally I don't want any unknown riders on my wheel and will usually do my best to shake them, block them or let them go by. The risk for them taking me out is too high for idle practice or freeloading on a commute or social ride. If you want to practice a pace line, the do it in a controlled and organized fashion , preferably where you can maintain steady speeds and pace over at least several km.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#14
Agree with all said but,

I go by my average moving speed, and with this you have to consider terrain of the rides, but if you can average 25km on a 100+km ride through the mountains and then slog back on the flats then I'd say your fine for most of TCC rides.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
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#15
As Gunnar said - rotations occur generally from behind by an annoyed or similarly (dis)inspired individual to blast ahead of anything within gunsights and call that 'taking a pull'. So, you could practice this very well by just randomly sprinting as hard as you can to get in front of whomever is in front of you whenever you feel like it. That would be pretty much like 'group riding' in Japan. And if you can do this at least 2 or 3 times within the context of said 'group ride' , you'd be 'hanging'.
Yeah, true, but if there is absolutely no rotating going on in the first place, this is bound to happen; not always the fault of the person overtaking into the front position (who may or may not be doing so in a bid to get things moving faster).

Anyway, I am looking forward to the ride on Saturday where we will be sticking firmly to the 'correct' way of doing things. Hopefully after that, when a few of us have got firmly into the habit, this can filter through to all the rides that happen. Has to start somewhere and all that!
 
Oct 15, 2010
669
10
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#16
...you just need to practice once on a group ride or with a buddy...
I hope this was not misleading. On a group ride I would explain to someone you befriend that you don't have any experience drafting and would like to get some tips from them and see if they mind if you ride behind them. What would be better is practicing with a buddy. Randomly sneaking up behind people you don't know tends to make most people uncomfortable.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#17
I hope this was not misleading. On a group ride I would explain to someone you befriend that you don't have any experience drafting and would like to get some tips from them and see if they mind if you ride behind them. What would be better is practicing with a buddy. Randomly sneaking up behind people you don't know tends to make most people uncomfortable.
Thanks, from the "random" people, for mentioning this detail.

I hate when people do that.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#19
The golden average is roughly 33.8kph. When you can sustain that over at least an hour, then you will earn your 'group merit badge'. This means, riding at about 35kph without nose bleeding, cramping, keeling over or requiring an AED. If you plan on 'learning drafting', you are in the wrong country. Except for spurious sessions that seem to arise with similar consistency of a tourettes episode, riders in Japan simply don't ride 'as a group' - unless, of course, you define groups as being similar to a pack of cats running down a street or path. As Gunnar said - rotations occur generally from behind by an annoyed or similarly (dis)inspired individual to blast ahead of anything within gunsights and call that 'taking a pull'. So, you could practice this very well by just randomly sprinting as hard as you can to get in front of whomever is in front of you whenever you feel like it. That would be pretty much like 'group riding' in Japan. And if you can do this at least 2 or 3 times within the context of said 'group ride' , you'd be 'hanging'.
This is disappointing to hear. One of the joyful sights back home was seeing the group rides with rotation going on - joining up when I was younger is one of the things I regret not doing in my life.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#20
And if (like me) you can't, try Half Fast. I've been three times. The first time was easy-peasy, as billed; the second and third were not so billed and were fast by my crap standards. I kept up, just about. That meant that I got some good exercise, and it was enjoyable too. No drafting of course but it might help prepare you for that. If a ride turns out to be too far/fast you can bail out; if too slow, you can probably think of some tactful way to remove yourself.
OK I really am going to have to do this. So many of my cycling mates are too busy with jobs, kids etc. I'm always cycling alone!