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second rider direct
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Author:  icycle [ Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:46 pm ]
Post subject:  second rider direct

At the MTB summit last weekend, one of the ride lead techniques discussed was this thing called second rider drop or second rider direct. It's a way to run a group ride at a steady pace yet keep everyone together. It works like this: the ride leader is up front the entire time. Ideally you also have a designated sweep rider who stays in the back. The second rider behind the leader is responsible for stopping at the next turn/trail junction and staying there to direct everyone behind him while the leader and everyone else keeps riding. When the last rider/sweeper shows up, the stopped second rider now jumps in ahead of the sweeper and heads towards the front again. Meanwhile, the new second rider will be stationed at the next turn to direct everyone else, and so forth.

We used it successfully on the day 1 Otis ride, although I hated to stop and direct because it reset me to the back of our mixed ability pack. I mentioned this to the person describing the technique, along with some ideas on how to fix it, but he said this way gets you more exercise (and passing technique) because it's expected you'll pass your way to the front again. I was doing it wrong by not passing. My idea for improving it was a hybrid approach where the 2nd rider stops and let's, say, 3 people pass, then the 4th person takes his place and let's the 2nd rider ride again. Keeps the stops shorter and keeps people of closer riding speeds together, but requires a little more thought.

Anyway, I figured I'd pass this info along in case anyone wants to try it. It does beat everyone ride, then everyone stop and wait...and wait...to regroup.

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