Code Red / Faster Ride / Chaingang

Jim7

10:10 Wed, 23 Nov 2016


Richard mentioned in another thread that the weekly Code Red ride might become unsustainable unless we get more regulars out. Iíve only done Code Red once but I have an opinion which I put here for consideration:

I spent most of last winter chasing the fast group on the A52 chaingang and usually getting dropped. I didnít particularly enjoy limping back on my own or with one or two others for company but I kept going until I got fitter and faster. I still do the chaingang most Tuesdays and Thursdays and these days I do okay and take my turn on the front like most of the others.

When I did Code Red, I got dropped (and got lost!) and limped back with Jon. Whilst I could keep going every week and would surely improve, the fact of the matter is that even if I was Bradley Wiggins, Iíd still be out on my own because itís a Ďdrop or be droppedí ride which ultimately means youíre on your own wherever you are on the course. I donít particularly want to ride on my own - I did enough of that last year - so it basically means thereís no incentive for me to ride.

What I do know from talking to others over the last few weeks is that there is definitely some interest in a faster midweek ride. I donít normally do the development chaingang on a Wednesday but Iím told itís been pretty high in numbers lately and also relatively slow - some people have been talking about running a faster ride alongside it.

Is there scope to turn Code Red into a fast chaingang? Tuesday night is good for me personally (and the A52 route gets a bit monotonous) and clearly itís on the calendar already as a regular ride. Ultimately itís down to those that ride it regularly as to whether they would want to change its ethos though.

Jim7

10:10 Wed, 23 Nov 2016


As we've talked about over the past few weeks I'd be keen for a faster Chaingang that doesn't go along the A52 but I suppose the challenge is fitting it in amongst the other rides and getting enough numbers to make it viable. With decent lights these days I'm not really sure of the need to go along main roads.

robtop

11:14 Wed, 23 Nov 2016


I'd be up for something like that. The Tue/Thu winter route is silly. The ethos of code red has never appealed (mainly because I'm not fit enough)
The usual caveat applies that I'll very rarely make it.
The same old problem will emerge of finding a pace to suit everybody. That's the beauty of the steady Wednesday. It's slow ish but it's gets everybody out and together and nobody gets left in the cold and the dark. Those that want a blast can still do the reverse where we go a bit quicker.

julianb

16:03 Wed, 23 Nov 2016


If it would boost the numbers I'd be happy changing the "ethos" of Code Red. Route-wise it seems to be the least bad option for a hard winter training ride (it's lit and gritted most of the way round, but without too much traffic), and personally I prefer it when it works as a fast group ride rather than an all out smash-fest. And I'd certainly prefer that to slogging around Derbyshire on my own in the dark every Tuesday...

How about for the next few weeks we try it as a fast group ride, not necessarily "no drop", but trying to keep things together within reason? There are really only a couple of places where things are liable to blow to bits, so if the stronger people just back off a little bit on those uphill sections it would hold together OK. If a few people are keen I'll change the description accordingly and post it up for next week.

richard_a

21:01 Wed, 23 Nov 2016


I'd definitely give it a go but I think you need to disuss it wth the guys that ride Code Red regularly first before you change anything - if they're not keen you could end up with even fewer attendees.
We would probably need at least 6 names down to constitute a group.

Jim7

8:22 Thu, 24 Nov 2016


I'd hope people would chime in on here if they don't think it's a good idea.

That said, the interest has been so low recently that I don't think anyone would mind. We've rarely had more than three or four riders on Code Red, and in the last month it's been cancelled due to lack of numbers twice. Six would be a bumper turnout...

richard_a

9:19 Thu, 24 Nov 2016


I think it is a good idea. It is always the Ilkeston drag for me where I get dropped every damn time haha! I cant regularly make Tuesdays though. Running club keep an eye on attendance and will kick people out, therefore I only occasionally do Code Red! I do enjoy the route and the hard workout (I think)!!

Ant

9:58 Fri, 25 Nov 2016


I've posted up Code Red as a slightly different format this week - still fast, but hopefully keeping things together at the front rather than splintering the group all across Derbyshire. Given the numbers recently we don't have much to lose, so I reckon we give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

richard_a

12:14 Sun, 27 Nov 2016


Sounds like a plan.
Is 7pm set in stone or could it be 6.30/6.45 in future?

Jim7

14:12 Sun, 27 Nov 2016


Majority view rules (it's not my ride, after all), but for me any earlier than 7pm is really pushing it - I'm rarely home from work in time to start at 6.30pm.

richard_a

15:00 Sun, 27 Nov 2016


Previous experience suggests the route is noticeably busier at 6:30, with the tail end of the commute traffic as well.

richardb

16:02 Sun, 27 Nov 2016


Thought I'd drag this thread up from the depths with an update. Numbers on Code Red are still pretty dismal (3-4 most weeks), but it's being ridden much more smoothly than it was. The pace is still high (just over 21mph average this week), but it's holding together much better than it was - at the front it is now more like a fast chaingang than a "drop-or-be-dropped" smash-fest.

Unfortunately the turnout remains pretty demoralising, to the point where I'm not sure how much longer to stick with it. I'm hoping we'll see more people over the next few weeks as the weather improves and the racing season approaches. However, if it's still only a 2-3 rider "chaingang" come March I may well give up and start looking for an alternative midweek ride.

richard_a

14:42 Fri, 27 Jan 2017


:/

mikew

8:43 Sat, 28 Jan 2017


We need to keep this going. A52 is not clever. Be good if a few of the new riders started to come out on this. everyone goes on about how much they enjoy the reverse loop of the dev cg. This is 26 odd miles at that pace or a bit slower.

Phil G

15:37 Sat, 28 Jan 2017


But with loads of hills.
I found that I can do it on my summer bike (it was dry last time so I used it and it was fine) but I can't on my heavier winter one.
I don't want to have people waiting for me because that's just embarrassing, and I don't want to struggle round on my own because it's a horrible route to do on your own in the dark.
I also prefer the 6.30 start which I can get on the other chaingang so all in all it's not really working for me.

Jim7

11:13 Mon, 30 Jan 2017


I like this ride but I can't maintain a speed of 21mph over that course. I did this a few times at the end of last year and managed about 19.5mph so quite a way off the pace. I might be tempted to start this again (I can't make it this week) as a change from the A52 but will struggle to stay on.

Colin S

16:25 Mon, 30 Jan 2017


Average speed alone isn't really a good indicator of how hard it is - 22mph sitting in a big group is often easier than 19mph on your own. I guess it's a bit chicken-and-egg though - the bigger the turnout, the easier it is for riders to sit in the wheels if they're struggling. And with more riders there's the option of forming a second group if people get dropped.

I can see why people don't like it though - I spent a year or more getting dropped every week, and most weeks I still find it a struggle. It's not really a hilly ride, but it's a certainly much tougher route than the chaingang. And because the uphill sections come fairly early on, it can be a lonely ride if you get dropped. Not much we can do about the geography, but the good news is that if you can hold on until half-way round it's literally all downhill from there. :-)

In any case I'll keep posting Code Red up on Tuesdays for now. It has been much better the last few weeks, so hopefully it will keep moving in the right direction. I'm not sure it's sustainable unless we get a few more people out regularly, but we'll see how it goes.

richard_a

22:21 Mon, 30 Jan 2017


Don't give up on this ride it is quite a good ride for weaker riders like me to aspire to.
I have not been there for the last few weeks as I have just had a hand operation.
There is of course the option if you get dropped like me (usually at Kimberley) to modify to a shorter route and loop back to the start.
Hardly a traffic free route.....but it beats the A52 which I won't do.

Andy K

18:37 Wed, 1 Feb 2017


I enjoy the ride. Just wondering what numbers would be like on a different day? Unfortunately I can very rarely do Tuesday!

Ant

18:48 Wed, 1 Feb 2017


What time does this ride start? If it's 7pm then it's going to be a late finish (for me anyway) - I've just looked at past rides and it's 7pm so that makes for approx 8:30 finish?

grayble

21:29 Wed, 1 Feb 2017


It's usually 7pm Phil. Ride time is about 1h20m (give or take five minutes depending on the pace), so home about 8.30pm.

richard_a

23:31 Wed, 1 Feb 2017


It finishes a bit late for me but I think I will give it a go next week

grayble

14:59 Thu, 2 Feb 2017


I used to do this regularly and really enjoyed it. In fact my memory tells me that Mike W, a different Rich A and I ride the first of these on a slightly shorter route. It was my fave ride every week. Lowest was 2 (Steve P and me) but we regularly got double figures. It was ridden hard but kept together until Ilkeston drag but there was a respite of sorts allowing a regathering of sorts. New riders were sometimes dropped early but if they kept coming back lasted longer each week.

I'd love to do just that as I'm in comeback mode but can rarely get out on Tuesdays. But I encourage others to have a go. All riding is good riding.

Mat

20:43 Thu, 2 Feb 2017


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