Question: I am considering going on a 10 day bike tour in Italy. Everything about the trip looks great except for the fact the average speed of the riding is significantly below what I am accustomed to. Is there a device one can attach to a road bike that can consume 50 to 75 watts? — Luc G
The RBR Coaches Respond
Coach John Hughes
When I led tours that had riders of different abilities I did several things.
- Have the stronger rider(s) start a little later. Not so late that they’d screw up rest stop timing.
- I also include bonus miles. If someone was faster they could climb another pass or something.
Tours are not just to get from point A to point B but also to see what’s along the way. A stronger rider has more time to take photos, check out interesting things en route, have a coffee in a cafe. I didn’t invite back riders who weren’t interested in the journey.
On PAC Tours when I was much fitter than others I made a point of riding with the slower riders, learning about them and generally helping them along. I’d be sure I spent some time riding with each person. Very rarely was someone so boring I didn’t want to talk to him/her.
I’d also time trial to the first rest stop and then I was sufficiently tired I’d be fine riding more slowly.
(Turned out that Coach Fred has indeed written about the topic, and we found it! How Can I Force Myself to Slow Down)
The solutions are along the lines of: going ahead to get in a hard effort and then riding back; climbing up the hill to the top then going back down and chasing back; letting gaps open and then going hard as you want to close the gap – stuff like this. You end up looking kind of foolish to the other riders, but if it’s the only way you can tolerate a slow pace, then you got to do what you got to do.
Coach Rick Schultz
Agreed. Do your sets of intervals, then when done, settle back in with the group. Maybe do 1-legged drills, etc.
Regarding if there’s a device one can attach to a road bike that can consume 50 to 75 watts? Yes, tighten the rear brakes so they drag.
Jim’s follow up:
Ah, yes, the old dragging brake trick 😉 Good one, Rick.. sometimes used at rest stops to goof on your unsuspecting buddy. I guess installing super heavy tires and tubes would add some watts – like thornproof tubes and wire bead tires. Then run them at too-low pressures.
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