I’ve found a local group ride series that adds some nice variety and challenge to my regular riding. Its been my goal to keep up with the front of the group - I manage it on some days but not others. Overall, I’m improving, but there’s one thing thats likely to cause trouble - the final climb, a couple of miles from the end of the ride. It varies, but its a common feature of the rides. I do fine with climbs earlier in the ride.
Any advice on how to improve in this particular regard? I’m sure its a common challenge.
Try and be a little selfish/conservative one week and don’t pull as much. See if you have enough physical and mental umph left for that last climb or not. If you do, you know you just have to ride more conservatively in the future if you want to be there in the end. That may not be as fun or feel as rewarding, though.
Or try more fuel one week.
Try riding ugly—whatever it takes to stay on the wheel in front.
You’ll get there eventually if you keep working at it via training and tactics.
Also, know that those in front either get there by other sacrifices in life that just aren’t worth it to you, maybe more time availability, nicer home and work lives, ‘longevity and health supplements’—who knows! It’s fun being with the best occasionally. I don’t find it fun to be with them year round.
Is it the location in the ride (near the end) or its characheristics?
Bear in mind that in a lot of fast, group rides, the group will might well be using that as a “showdown” spot and riders may be emptying their tanks at that point. There is a good chance that the are “trying” to drop everyone at that point and there should be no shame in finding it tough.
At least it is only a couple miles from home and you can then use the last couple miles as an easier cool-down section and maybe there is a cafe regroup at the very end?
That’s all mental gymnastics to not feel bad that it’s a tough spot for you. As other posters have said, work on sellfishly conserving energy to that point and ensuring that fueling has been up to scratch throughout the ride, and keep working on that final section and you’ll soon be keeping up no trouble…
Watch what people are doing in the miles up to the climb. Are they slowing a bit and saving watts? If they are then this last climb is their big goal and it’s supposed to be really hard to hang on with them as they are probably pushing deep into the red themselves.
Just to add to this, are they hiding in the draft prior to the climb? If you’re out front, you’re wasting energy prior to the climb.
Getting stronger, paying attention to nutrition and or riding smarter (being less on the front, not wasting energy on surges and conserving energy for what is probably an ‘eye balls out’ sprint up the last hill), could be options. I’m probably guilty of the latter two.
Different chaingangs (pacelines) so not entirely comparable. But on this one, on the flat, will get me towards the end with constant intensity, its stable and then I pop perhaps better nutrition will help.
Early season and its a bit shorter I’m comfortable all the way.
This one is loops and ramps up in intensity, I’m probably also wasting too much energy in the easy laps and under nutritioned in the intense lap.
I think I got the nutrition right on this one and rode that wee bit smarter when the lad half my age was surging and apart from the two that shot of the front towards the top of the penultimate climb (or the steep middle bit of the long climb), I dropped the rest of the group as I chased the two off the front. Ideally I would get stronger and held on to them but at twice their age there’s a limit to that