First and foremost, welcome to Powerhouse Racing!
We are excited to have you join in on our group rides and hope you have a lot of fun, meet some great people, and get a solid workout in a safe environment. To help ensure your safety and enjoyment, we’ve prepared this set of guidelines.
Please read and become familiar with them prior to joining the group rides and if you have any questions whatsoever, please ask your ride captain or any of the Powerhouse Coaches.
We are a triathlon training group and our group riding norms are quite a bit different from typical road cycling clubs. Most cycling club rides are based on a group approach, structuring their rides around closely packed groups riding at the exact same speed. Because triathlon is an individual sport our rides are structured to allow each athlete to execute their specific workout within a group setting. Our rides typically string out in a single file with relatively large gaps between riders or, in the case of the most experienced group, in a tightly packed single file pace line resembling team time trial. Because of this fundamental difference, it is important to be aware of our rather unique norms.
Hard and Fast Rules
* An approved cycling helmet is a fundamental requirement. NO hat, NO ride.
* Earphones are highly discouraged. If worn, the rider is required to remain well separated from the group. *Remember that USAT races strictly prohibit the use of any listening devices (ear buds or speakers) and will result in penalties assessed or a DQ.
* Obey traffic rules. Stop at all red lights. Some lights will not change for bikes and require running but that will be accomplished en masse and only after a complete stop. “Slow roll”, “one foot touch”, and “California stops” are permitted at stop signs only if no automobiles are in the vicinity. Blowing thru stops at high speed is never recommended and violates traffic rules.
* Be courteous and friendly to other cyclists and especially automobiles. We are ambassadors of the sport and representatives of the Powerhouse. Act like it.
* Pre-ride briefings are required to identify the group leader, review course, share training goals, introduce new people, etc.
* Be on time. Know the route. Know how to change a flat. BYOSpares.
* Stick with your group for the whole ride. If you need to split off, tell somebody.
* Excellent communication prevents accidents. Hand signals, verbal cues, letting people know way in advance if changing course or speed is highly encouraged.
* Predictability is also highly regarded by others you ride with. Maintaining a steady pace, steering straight, holding your line through corners, announcing all new moves well in advance lets your partners know how to react. Unexpected changes cause accidents.
* Recommend bringing a cell phone with you and share your digits with other riders.
IT Group – Interval/Training
This group is our most experienced group mostly focused on hitting training effort intervals, not maintaining set group speed. Typically cruises at an average 20/22 mph with training intervals much faster. Typical distance is 2+ hours. Drafting is encouraged. Aerobar use is acceptable at all times. Individual intervals are executed within the group by drifting out into the wind or outside the group by pulling ahead of the pack and riding alone. Group may not stop to assist with flats. Riders are expected to be 100% self reliant; able to finish the ride alone, make their way back to the starting point, or find one of the other Pace Groups for company. Because of how the IT group rides, they have developed a very specific set of group riding norms, the specifics of which are too detailed for this document. If you wish to ride with this group, please meet with the ride captain before the ride, be honest about your riding skills and they will help assimilate you into the group. This will usually entail hanging out at the back of the pack (and getting dropped several times!!) while you catch on to how the group works.
PGA – Pace Group A
This is the “Sophomore/Junior” class of triathletes. Its focus is split between intervals and set speed. Typically cruising at 17/18 mph for up to 2 hours, this group tends to stay in a long, strung out line for the first part of the ride, execute intervals in the middle, regroup at predetermined points, and cruise back home as a group at the end. Close quarters drafting using aerobars is allowed but only practiced by more experienced riders and only in small (2-3 people) packs. This group will usually stop to assist people with flats (unless someone is in the middle of an interval). Riders in this group are also expected to be 100% self reliant; able to finish the ride alone, make their way back to the starting point, or find one of the other Pace Groups for company.
PGB – Pace Group B
This group is for the Freshmen class. Cruising in the 15/17 mph range for 1.5 hours or less, they ride in long single file lines about 3 bike lengths apart. They do not practice drafting and do not use aerobars when in groups. Typically monitored by a more experienced rider or Coach, this group focuses on developing riding skills, building strength, and discussing cycling fundamentals – gears, cadence, efforts, hand signals, etc.
From time to time special groups are formed to execute specific plans. Long 6+ hour Ironman rides, race rehearsals, special “Newbie” or “no-drop” rides, for example. These rides are usually announced well in advance and are well Coached/supported.