Introducing a teen to the SIG rides

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David Regen's picture
David Regen
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Last summer, my daughter, Avery, participated in a 28-day sailing adventure with Outward Bound and came back with new confidence and courage. She's looking for a new challenge and has expressed a strong interest in learning pace line riding skills. She loves riding her bike to school, to visit friends in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and in Central Park. She turns 17 in May; for Xmas, she will receive a proper road bike with clipless pedals (she already has them on her mountain bike).

It's literally been a few years since I've ridden with the NYCC (I got bitten by the racing bug in 2004; I now race with the SIDS team) but I’m delighted to see how much the club continued to grow, and the NYCC looks like the best possible place to introduce a teenager to wonderful sport.

I'm wondering which SIG group would be appropriate for someone of her age/abilities. I’m thinking one of the B groups, or possibly even the A19 SIG. I’m planning on joining her for these rides.

AResnick's picture
AResnick
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A19/B18

Hi David-sort of remember you-I would recommend either:
If you are along- should be able to determine after just the first week if she should go up (from B18);
or down(from A19)-so depending on which one she starts with-switching is allowed-might try to do a 3 lap TT of the park and use that as a guide when talking to some of the leaders/ or co-captains
alan resnick

MGewirtz's picture
MGewirtz
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A word of caution

It sounds like your daughter is quite accomplished and you have a right to be proud of her and to nurture her ambition. I am not an expert on any of this, so you will have to use your own judgment in considering my views. I did the B17 SIG last spring and found it to be a great learning experience in group riding with some reallly pretty and challenging rides. We did a little pacelining which I think was considered loose because although the leaders encouraged us to tighten up on occasion, I did not feel compelled to ride too close to the tire in front of me. I expect to do the B18 SIG this year because I will get to go places I would not attempt by myself, and I have found the NYCC members and leaders to be excellent company. Although I can ride at a faster pace, I do not intend to join the A ride group because I understand that the paceline requirements are stricter and people are encouraged to ride in a tighter line for longer periods than the B group. Now for the controversial part. I am 64; I have been riding for a long time; and perhaps you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but I personally consider paceline riding to be inherently dangerous for casual riders for a number of reasons. I believe that pacelining should be reserved for people who race or ride professionally, who train together for hours, who ride on courses that are without potholes and debris, and who are well compensated for the risks they take. I have seen some awful accidents involving people riding paceliine where one mistake by someone else can subject other riders to serious injury. In riding at high speed in a tight paceline you are dependent on the people in front of you to call out and avoid potholes and debris, and to maintain a very steady pace so that you do not run into the person in front of you or get nudged from behind. Some people agree with me and some are very much opposed. If your daughter intends to become a racer, then I guess pacelining will be a necessary skill. Nevertheless, I believe it is something to be perfected in a very controlled environment and not on casual group rides with people you do not train with on a regular basis. So the bottom line is that your daughter might enjoy the B rides and get to do some relaxed pacelining to see how she likes it. I hope you don't mind my comments, but I feel strongly about this issue, and once a parent, always a parent.

BRoss's picture
BRoss
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age limit in NYCC bylaws?

I could be wrong, but I seem to recall seeing there was a minimum age requirement of 18 (years) for participation in official NYCC rides if unaccompanied by parent or guardian. And that both particpiant and parent had to be current NYCC members. Am I totally confabulating that? I haven't gone hunting for a copy of the bylaws since the website overhaul so I 'm just going on my usual flawed memory here.

DDeLuna's picture
DDeLuna
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Age Minimum

David did say he planned to ride with his daughter on the rides.

BRoss's picture
BRoss
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Ah, indeed he did.

Sorry, I missed that sentence. Good eye, Dan. Thanks.

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