A C Riders dilemma

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Anonymous's picture

So here it is January, and once again I am wondering whether it is worthwhile to renew my membership. The problem for me is a lack of good C rides. Ok before you start huffing and puffing, I know that there are C rides throughout the year, but not as many as A and B rides.. There is frequently only 1 per weekend. In fact, there were hardly any last July and August (and August is one of my favorite times to ride).

Some of the B rides look nice but I just don’t think I can keep up. While I can comfortably do a 45-50 mile hilly ride, I just can’t do it at a B15/16 pace, especially when you consider that rides frequently go faster than advertised. And before more huffing and puffing and explanations about the complexities of ride speed, let me just say that I think a C14 ride should mean the speed the ride will go on relatively flat ground. A little slower on an upgrade, and a little faster on a downgrade. But I have been on C14 rides that have gone 16-17 mph on flat ground, requiring a lot of effort to keep up. And to give due credit, I have also been on C rides where the speed has been exactly as advertised.

And it would be nice to have some recurring C rides, so you would know that if you missed one, you could always tray again later. How about a monthly ride to Piermont exploring different ways to get there each time. Sure I go to Piermont all the time, but it would be nice to do it in a group. And the Pascack Park ride seems to be only done once a year on the Newcomers ride in June. Why not do it in August or September as a regular C ride?

The bottom line is that while there are a number of interesting C rides, they aren’t common enough. It seems that whenever there is a good C ride, I have already committed to ride with a friend somewhere or the ride is rained out. It wouldn’t be a problem if I knew that there were plenty more where that came from but I know it may be weeks before another C ride comes up.

So what’s the outlook for C rides this year?

Anonymous's picture
Carol Waaser (not verified)
New Series Planned

This winter I've been deveolping a new series of rides for the spring/summer. They will visit various historic sites in Bergen County. These routes are perfect for C and B rides. I plan to lead them at a B-15-16 pace. I'd love to have some co-leaders to do the same route at a C-14 pace. We could meet up for the historic tour and lunch. So far I have 5 routes that I plan to do one per month May through September. Any takers?

Anonymous's picture
julie b (not verified)
C ride leaders

"I would love to lead some C rides once I""m back in shape from the B SIG. I've done some C rides with a friend new to riding and the club and we know all about the shortage of C ride leaders."

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)

"There will always be a shortage of ""C"" rides. People serious enough about riding to lead will quickly advance to the ""B"" level."

Anonymous's picture
Peter Hochstein (not verified)
Not true!

">>There will always be a shortage of ""C"" rides. People serious enough about riding to lead will quickly advance to the ""B"" level.<<

The case that C-riders can't be serious about riding and therefore somehow all the leaders turn into B-riders is bogus, bogus, totally bogus. The shortage of C rides is caused by A-riders making serious C-riders feel unwelcome.

Case in point: I used to lead 30+ C-rides a year. Some were with the C-Sig. Some were Wednesday night jaunts, either 3X around Central Park or down to the Battery and back from Engineers' Gate on long summer evenings. Some on weekends were to Piermont or Nyack. A few were River Road workouts.

Guess what? The A-riders who pretty much run the club copped an attitude and decided that group rides merely circling the park weren't really rides. And that if they happened to go down to the Battery they weren't rides either, because most of the rides in that series were in Central Park. And that C-Sig rides weren't really worth crediting except to the leader in chief. (Usually there were two to four co-leaders who coached beginners, kept an eye out for safety, swept and fixed flat tires.) The board's snotty attitude, ""No credit for you, you mere C-Rider. We are above such rides.""

So the Board kept its so-called high standards and I quit. Nor was I alone.Other C-leaders quit, or gradually lost interest in leading rides, because club ""management"" treated us like something that got left under the sink by mice.

The C-Sig seems to get along without us, the Wednesday night Central Park C-ride is history, and in my case there are seven fewer rides to Nyack, Piermont and the Major Andre memorial than there used to be.

Instead of leading rides, I got a life. These days I ride happily solo, mostly in the Hamptons, mostly in the mornings. Afternoons I hang by the swimming pool, waiting for news of the latest A-rider with attitude who broke his clavicle.

The truth is, this club does not welcome, does not encourage, and in fact sneers at C-riders – protests to the contrary. A few courageous leaders like Maggie Clark, Gary McGraime and Paul Hoffherr (each of them faster than C) and the Janofs bravely carry on regardless, but the fact is, this is not a friendly club for beginners or those of us who ride to enjoy the scenery rather than the speed, or who consider ourselves bicycle tourists rather than bicycle racers who want to make the planet eat our dust.

The club ought to be re-named ""The New York Cycle Like A Bat Out Of Hell, Run All The Red Lights, Scream Obscenities At Pedestrians With The Right Of Way And Then Sneer At Cyclists Who Don't Race Club.""


Anonymous's picture
HL (not verified)
yep...I would definitely buy the 2007 Club Jersey if....

"The club ought to be re-named ""The New York Cycle Like A Bat Out Of Hell, Run All The Red Lights, Scream Obscenities At Pedestrians With The Right Of Way And Then Sneer At Cyclists Who Don't Race Club.""

Anonymous's picture
bill vojtech (not verified)
under new management

How long ago was that? Maybe you should include leading a few ""C"" rides in your new life.

I've never read the club bylaws, but I doubt they exclude the types of rides you mentioned.

I didn't say that no one stays a serious ""C"" rider, just that because some, (a good many?) riders start at the ""C"" level as novices and progress up the ""food chain"", they join the ""B"" and sometimes ""A"" groups.

I know of very few people who follow the opposite route– join as ""A"" and work down to ""C"". Because of the unidirectional flow, you will get more ""B"" and ""A"" riders.

I do agree about the ""attitude"" in the club, but now that most club business can be taken care of via e-mail, the meetings are superfluous. When would you even meet an ""A"" rider anymore? You don't even have to acknowledge each others existence. I can't see a ""C"" rides coordinator turning down any ride that you've described."

Anonymous's picture
Eva Wirth (not verified)

C Rider,

You bring up many valid points in your posting. Have you ever thought of leading a C ride? If more members would lead rides, there would be many more rides offered all year long.

Anonymous's picture
C rider (not verified)

I have thought of trying to lead a c ride, but doesn't that require you go through the SIG series? That starts a bit too early in the season for me.

The Bergen county rides sound perfect if they can be done at a C14 pace.

Anonymous's picture
Scott Wasserman (not verified)
Requirements to lead

Absolutely not. There are no requirements for leading a ride other than being a member of the club, having a route with which you are somewhat familiar, and a desire to help the club. I may join Carol in her series as a C leader but why not try leading a ride to Piermont and see how it goes?

Anonymous's picture
Wayne Wright (not verified)
Go for it!

I led my first club ride after I'd been a club member for about a month. At that point I knew one route to Nyack. My first ride destination? Nyack; I knew the way.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)

"Not to dampen the enthusiasm but I'd be sure to review the following before endeavoring to lead a ride:

NYCC Leader Guidelines


Notes from NYCC First Aid class

And if you feel ride leading to be a ""calling"", consider enrolling in this:

5BBC Leadership Training Series

Just as you as a ""newcomer"" would show up, expecting a modicum of experience in a ""leader"", so would others.


Anonymous's picture
Joe S. (not verified)
re: Go for it!

Similar story here. Started riding this past September, and noticed that the rides at my speed had all but dried up during December, so I started leading rides up to Piermont and Nyack. Turnout has been great - on an early January ride (granted the weather was unseasonably warm), we had 30+ riders.

A few tips:
1. There are lots of great routes in the ride library
2. There was an earlier thread about C rides, where several people were discussing setting up an email group to organize C rides. You might want to get in touch with those folks
3. Find a co-leader. That might help to motivate you to lead rides.

Anonymous's picture
HL (not verified)
Simple solution.... Join the 5BBC - they cater more to C rides

than NYCC

Anonymous's picture
hindy schachter (not verified)

The best strategy for C riders is to join both clubs. Scott leads some great C14 rides for the NYCC but if you depend on the NYCC alone, you will not have many rides at this level or lower. You support the best variety by joining both organizations.

Anonymous's picture
Josh (not verified)
more C rides

I'll be co-listing a C12+ ride to Rossville, Staten Island, that's about 40 miles on Sunday, March 25, with Alfredo Gracia, with both clubs. We'll keep a brisk pace, but the big difference from B rides is that we like to accommodate everyone. There'll be two meet ups: 9:15 at the Donut Plant (Grand & Essex, worth meeting there just for the triple chocolate donuts and homemade chai tea); the 10 am ferry, which we'll be on, at the SI Ferry terminal in lower Manhattan.

cycling trips