Training on public roads

Ride hard where possible, ride slowly where it’s needed

Timing and spacing
Many groups do bike workouts on the road. Where you do what kind of training depends largely on the width and openness of the road. The time of day also comes into play. In fact, this also applies to groups that only go for a hard ride. They must also know when and where you can go hard as a group, and more importantly, when and where you cannot.

smalle wegWith lots of  commuters, you might want to avoid certain roads to perform your exercise. An hour later, it might be excellent for a large group to do echeloning.

A route that’s almost empty during the spring, might be crowded on a beautiful summer’s evening. On “our” route, or so it feels a bit, where we also rode with bad weather. Yet you would be wise to take all this into account when planning your rounds and training exercises.

Individually, in pairs, in groups
Individual exercises, riding in pairs or echeloning with a larger group set different requirements for room and openness of the road. You can do an excellent individual exercise on a narrow and confined road or cycle path, while a solid ride with a group of six could already be risky.

Use the possibilities that the route and the time give to make the best out of your training scheme. Conversely, if you want to train certain things, find a route and a time where you can do that well.

hele weg

Use all the way in places where it is as safe as possible. There’s an oncoming vehicle, so move over to the side of the road.

Rest interval
The least open parts of the course are perfect for resting intervals or displacements.
photo group quietly in succession.

Final
We ride the final on the broadest / most open roads. If you split a group that’s in for the final into smaller groups, those finals will be safer. In addition, more people get the chance to be ‘up front’ ( in their sub-group).

Organization
The advantage of organized training groups is the explicit organization. There is a trainer, there are orders and subgroups often have road captains. Thus, you can respond much more easily to a situation. Also, more difficult parts of the course can be put to good use in training. Loosely organized groups are created spontaneously by the group dynamics, which do not always take the traffic situation into account. Explicitly agreeing on what to do certainly helps, but it is difficult.
See also: Mindset and group dynamics.