Seemingly less interest in Tues night Bamberg this year? - Poll

Not my ride (thanks @Scott for leading it!) but I have noticed the Tuesday night Bamberg loops have been down on numbers from previous years, and wondered why.

I am still thinking about leading a Tuesday gravel ride but figured a poll on the Bamberg ride might help inform both rides (maybe Tuesday is just a bad day for people these days!).

I’m not coming out to Tuesday Bamberg loop rides because (pick as many as you like):

  • Tuesdays are tough for me (I have other things on)
  • The 6:30 pm start doesn’t always work for me
  • The start location doesn’t work for me
  • I’m doing other rides e.g. Wednesday gravel and I need a rest day somewhere
  • The format doesn’t work for me or my training goals
  • I’m not finding a group on a Tuesday that matches my fitness level

0 voters


Thanks for doing this Oliver. Numbers are definitely down and I’m very interested in the poll results.

1 Like

As a follow up, what could be done to make Tuesday a more beneficial ride, I am seeing Format doesn’t work for my training goals and I’m not finding a group that matches my fitness. Would there be more interest in a group that rides hard but smooth and waits at stop signs to regroup to those who are reasonably close, similar to Thursday G3? Any other ideas? I’m sure @Francqlife has some thoughts too!

1 Like

LOL, that is called group 2 Sean and it is the natural group that follows group 1 after they roll out. Group 2 is a smooth rolling, hard working group of cyclists that may not be quite at the level of group 1 (yet or anymore) but still strong and experienced and wanting a hard ride. Group 2 will wait briefly for those that have dropped and are close or working very hard to catch. And typically any dropped riders from group 1 will join in with group 2 eventually and make it just slightly harder! :slight_smile:

Group 2 is a group and not just something that gets formed after riders can’t keep up to group 1. Group 2 allows riders to build their fitness and their skills so that they can move into group 1 if desired. It use to be that after group 1 left the lot, group 2 would roll up and get filled up to the 12-15 riders before a group 3 was formed.

I am not able to make Tuesdays anymore partially because of work but I would say that the Tuesday (and Thursday) rides taught me a lot about pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do and realizing that this old gal does have a zone 6!

Just my two cents,


My comment on the format fall somewhere in between @kaellis and @Sean_MacCormack While I have not been out on a Tuesday evening ride this year, my experience with Group 2 last year was that the group did fall apart way too quickly. Typically there was limited waiting on the “out section” of lap one and then gradually less and less waiting. (I even had a - I’m sure exceptional - experience where the group didn’t wait when I was the last to get to the stop sign and the only one who waited for traffic to go by)

1 Like

I would say that the true group 2 experience was really pre-covid as it has not been the same since then but I also haven’t been to a Tues since pre-covid.

1 Like

To me Tuesday is more similar to the hunger games than any of our other rides, which I enjoy, and I know many others enjoy as well. Go ride as hard as you can, and if you get dropped, you get dropped. This has been fairly consistent with every group that shows up on Tuesday, and the group number really doesn’t match with our ride cultures, especially on some of the larger rides where we have had 5 or 6 groups on the road.

I do realize that this might not be a ride culture that everyone enjoys, and there may be people who want a good hard ride with less worry about getting dropped too early, or are unfamiliar with the ride and getting dropped early can be discouraging. Bamberg is a great route to me, with a bunch of hills, and customizable length for a second lap, which could provide a great training ground for riders of all skill levels.

I just really want to see a bigger turn out for what is my favourite ride of the week!


@Sean_MacCormack I am a person of few words and rarely reveal my opinions on this forum. But…

  1. Agree with Kelly (as always). :point_up_2:. We encouraged a few stronger G3 people to join G2 last week. And they loved it. Silky smooth, strong, mature ride. :ok_hand:

  2. Tuesday used to be our largest ride by far with 60-80 riders out in the summer. @Oliver_Smith you’ve managed to capture the potential options and reasons, yet again. :+1:

If I had to hazard a guess??? Here are some musings…

G3 isn’t anything special. But it does have a core of riders that sits in the middle of the club.

G3 is about 12-20 regular riders.

Many of the G3 moved en mass to a regular Wednesday / Saturday Gravel cadence at the start of COVID when club rides were off. And they were some of the first rides to come back because you could maintain distance and there was no rotating pace lines, so it opened rides up to an entire cohort of people who would ride together regardless of ability or speed.

And that culture seems to have stuck and grown. With Wednesday’s being ~40 weeks of gravel (spring, summer, fall) and the other 12 being Fatbikes or track in the winter. So that may have squeezed out former (and would be) roadies from Tuesday’s over the past 36 months?

Something else to consider? On Tuesday’s there was always group 3a (attacking) 3b (hard, steady, dropping) and 3c (steady, no dropping).

Group 3 was the big “pig in the python” rider demographic that would capture and accommodate half of everyone that was out. G3 could adjust, split and transform to G4 or G2 depending on time of year and who’s out on Tuesday. So without that large cohort of adjustable swing riders in the middle, we might have lost options below G2?

Again, not that G3 is anything special and not the sole cause of the decline on Tuesdays. But we also moved en mass (10-12) to Zwift and DISCORD together over COVID and many will now stay on Zwift on Tuesday’s far into the Spring or as a recovery ride during the week.

Finally, and I can’t speak for the G3 group as a whole…but we’ve aged (evolved) together over the years and it is clear that our preferences change over COVID.

Many of us no longer have an appetite for riding hard all the time. We used to faithfully buy M3 licenses and race a a few road or CX ocups every year. We used to set goals, have a plan, use Tuesday’s to gauge and improve fitness.

Now. No one has a UCI license anymore in our group? We are no longer in pursuit of improving our fitness as a means to an end. We used to ride 5 days a week. Now we’re lucky to ride 2. And when we do…it’s all about catching up.

Since we don’t do Tuesday’s…we tend to use Thursday’s for HIIT. Very hard sprint, climbing and race-sim efforts…with tonnes of recovery in between.

Oddly enough…this year’s G3 is the strongest it’s been in our history. Go figure?

I could be wrong about all that. :point_up_2:. But often, I’m not.


We seem to be agreeing on most things, just looking at it from a different point of view.

  • We are missing a G2 this year, and I think last Thursday was the first time that we have had a proper G2 on a week night ride. Part of that could also result in your last point, with this being the strongest G3 you have saw this early in the season!
  • To me what we are missing on Tuesday are the 3a/b/c that you described @Francqlife , where there often is only 1 G3, and it has been trying to be everything for everyone, and that has resulted in some ‘confused’ rides. I’m not sure if we have had a Tuesday yet where we have had 3 groups at the start.
  • To me, this really comes down to lack of participants, which is what we are hoping we can improve upon. The more groups we have on Tuesday the more we are able to group people with similar strength riders and ones with similar goals. What can we do to draw new riders into this ride, as it does seem like we have lost many over the past years, for the reasons that @Francqlife mentioned.
  • Does anyone have any ideas for how to draw in new, or returning Tuesday riders?

Here is a photo of early last year. I think this year there’s soo many different ride options that it leads to the paradox of choice - the more options someone has the less likely he is to make a choice.

Last year there was only Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for roadies (Wednesday and Saturday gravel) where pretty much all groups started at the same time and location. These days there’s so much of everything it’s hard to keep track.

Personally I’d reduce the number of official ride postings and try as much as possible to have everyone meet at the same time and location to start. There’s no need to post three times if multiple groups start in same location. Routes and distances each group chooses can be different to reflect the culture (recreational, intermediate, fast etc.).

2 weeks ago Kevin mentioned to me how “people are creatures of habit”, and to create habits there needs to be a consistency in action aka go to the same time and location every week. When there’s a limited availability of ride options to choose from you automatically create that habit. Once you’re at the meet up spot you can decide how hard you want to ride based on the groups/members available there. Also, bamberg can include a recreational group for 1 lap (or 2 half laps to avoid that huge hill) rec group is very good at rotating.

P.S. last year I remember doing LGTR at bamberg which lead some new members to continue with Tuesday rides, idk if this is also the plan this year

P.S. #2 intermediate special excursions were so fun last year


What a fantastic thread! A+

@Bike i remember your first few rides with us on Tuesday.

You will remember you were mercilessly dropped! But we encouraged you to keep coming out and soon you’d be dropping us.

And you did! And now you do !!!


Is the beauty and genius of Tuesday’s.


Also…the only place to properly learn strong, smooth double rotating pace line.

Maybe it’s time to head out on Tuesday’s again.

1 Like

Thanks everybody for chiming in and please continue to. I would love to see us get some of the crowds we had pre - covid.

As some have said, the small size and number of groups this year ( generally 2) means group 2 becomes a catch-all and doesn’t function as it has in the past - greater range of fitness/ skill levels in that group. Having more people would help with more groups and choice - and a group to drop back to if you get dropped.

I do wonder if the number of rides available per week, including the popular gravel rides, are having an effect. I don’t say that to be critical, as I love that our club riders have so much choice, but I’ve wondered if that’s part of the Tuesday decline.

Lastly, I’ve noticed there only appear to be about 10 ’ racers’ coming out. Anyone know the status of the Faction Team - how many riders do they have this year?


@Scott hopefully since the WCC sponsors the Faction raceteam there must be someone on the Board who can tell you an exact list of who the “sponsored” riders are and who is on the team as a whole. It would be great to know who are racers are so we can encourage them and be motivated by them!

1 Like

Just wanted to chime in from a new members perspective.
One of the main rides that I was really interested in joining is the Tuesday night HIIT Bamberg ride. Currently I have a few conflicts with kids sports but that is quickly coming to an end and I would very much like to partake.
To date, I have done almost exclusively gravel Wednesday and Saturdays (which has been fantastic!).
Looking forward, I hope to get out for Tuesday and possibly some Thursday rides while keeping at least 1 club gravel ride per week in.
The issue that I see is that based on the low numbers, there is apprehension to join this ride due to the fact that the ability level will be so varied.
I am most likely a “group 3c” rider and do not want to have faster riders having to hold back to prevent me being dropped. Conversely, if you are going to be dropped very quickly, then you have to ask yourself why am I not just riding alone?
@Bike said it very well. There are so many options that all of the rides end up being somewhat diluted and the small groups do not serve the training purpose that they were intended for.
I feel that if you can solve the numbers issue, the whole group 1,2,3 issue will take care of itself.
Post COVID it will be take a real effort to build back. I do feel that if we can make an effort to have groups of multiple abilities rolling for this ride and communicate it properly it could grow (even if they are initially smaller than ideal). There are most likely some riders that aren’t confident enough to give it a try and there could very well be some really fast riders that might not be feeling challenged enough.
This might require some scheduling changes to allow for recovery. And from what I have seen, adding more rides through the week will only serve to exacerbate the problem.
Just my 2 cents.


Currently the most popular group seems to be the learn to group ride. Which makes sense because statistically speaking there are more people who are beginners compared to racers. So in a distribution of group sizes the recreational one should supposedly be the largest and group 1 the smallest. To increase group 1 means having a bigger pool of beginner riders progressing their fitness over time to get there.

Due to this high demand I think a LTGR format can be more frequent. A weekly/biweekly group on either a Tuesday or Thursday (or switch it around) doing the same/similar route to the rest of the groups (Bamberg, Fergus) but for beginners and recreational riders. Maybe I might be able to lead some these from time to time I like the recreational pace

I had a long rambling post (as is my way!) but decided to keep it short :slight_smile:

Looks like there is a general willingness on the responses to try and make the ride work but the poll does indicate otherwise a bit.

It looks like a good chunk based on the poll are doing other rides e.g. Wednesday gravel. I’m assuming this is a group of people who will not come back to Tuesday (unless gravel moved to Tuesday which personally would work for me!).

The second two tied results are not finding the right groups but also the format doesn’t work for them. While we could try and force some groups (like @bike idea for rec rides) if we can find some ride leaders and build a critical mass but I’m not sure that will help with the format.

Let me do another poll ( I love a good poll!). Please only vote on the below if you want to see a change. I’d like to see both the numbers asking for an other option and what the waiting on the choices are:

I don’t like the Bamberg loop format, I would rather we ran this on a Tuesday:

  • A gravel ride
  • A more touring road ride (like a Thursday or Saturday ride)
  • Something else ( please put a note in below what that would be)

0 voters

Lots of good replies here. I thought I’d chime in as someone who tried the Tuesday night ride a few seasons back and noped out :grinning:

My experience was actually pretty good. There were still lots of people coming out and I had checked before as a noob and was advised to go out with the last group. The pace was immediately faster than I could manage, but I knew that was kind of the deal and tried to hang on as best I could as all the blood drained from my brain to my legs and lungs!

The group was really accomodating. Seeing me struggle, someone quickly said: “dude – if you are struggling, just don’t take a pull”. Even hanging off the back, I was off the group by Maplewood (on the way out!). But, a second group started to form and invited me to jump on. I kinda-sorta hung on to them until the turn at Greenwood. After that … it was solo.

Reading later, I learned that getting dropped is part ot the experience, which made me feel a bit better, but I didn’t really understand that going in. Even knowing that … and even with a really accomodating group of riders … the whole thing just felt a bit too overwhelming to be fun for someone like me.

An observation here: there are lots of different kinds of riders (and rides) in the club. There are the folks who raced or still race; who follow professional racing and have a grounding in the tactics of the sport. Then there’s people like me who aren’t really interested in the ‘sport’ side of things and just love the feeling; the zen of moving on a bike. I’ve been riding nearly my whole life, but I’m pretty ignorant of some of the useful side of ‘sport/competition’ knowledge, including how to deal with getting dropped and managing extended, hard efforts. The gap between my skill level and the Tuesday rides was big enough that it wasn’t fun (for me).

I really enjoy riding the intermediate gravel rides on Wednesday and Saturdays – they suit my riding style really well. I think the question is – can you (or should you) tweak Tuesdays to make it more attractive to someone like me? Or would that kind of diminish the ride for the folks that really love it? My gut is – it’s the latter and that it may be better to keep this ride focused on what works for a smaller group (assuming it’s still viable at 14-ish riders).


Good question @TonyF !

That is where I’m kind of torn:

Is there sufficient interest in a different kind of ride on a Tuesday that would work for those not interested in the current ride and if there is, how would that impact the numbers of the current Bamberg ride?

I have a feeling there isn’t much overlap for those wanting a different ride and those that love the Bamberg loop and are committed to it. However, there might be enough converts that it makes the Bamberg loop ride no longer viable :frowning:

I personally like riding Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with the club but the current two groups on a Tuesday is tough for me.


FWIW, as a new member I was looking forward to trying out the Tuesday Bamberg ride as a Group 2 rider to start. Once my comfort level improves maybe Group 1 :grimacing:.

Convenient to my home. Good timing. Sounds like a good healthy competitive workout.

1 Like

The format of the Tuesday Bamberg ride is distinctly different from the other road rides. That’s why I think it’s great and that it should continue. It’s the main reason why I join the club. I would be totally uninterested in another night of cruising around the country side:-)

When I first joined (12 years ago), I was too intimidated to go out on a Tuesday. It wasn’t until the second year that I gave it a try. First time out I got dropped from group 4 (or was it 5) before Bamberg. Week 2 I made it to Bamberg. Probably 4 or 5 weeks before I did a full loop. Then I was totally hooked. Nervous before every ride wondering if I should try moving up a group - but mostly just watching for people I recognized from the previous week (I think I can stick with him).

I’m not particularly competitive, so that’s not the attraction for me. It’s just the feeling of going fast and the satisfaction of working hard and (ideally) staying with the group. You don’t need to be a racer to appreciate the fun and time efficient workout you get on the Bamberg loop.

In the past, the goal used to be to achieve a high average pace for the loop, which is done by keeping the group together. At least that was the thinking of groups 3, 4. Yes, a couple people would get dropped, but eventually they’d hang on. Then some other new person would come out and go through the same (somewhat painful) process. Maybe we need a bit more focus on keeping the group together, at least for the slowest group, which at present is group 2.

I understand that Tuesday Bamberg may not be for everyone, but judging by the large turn outs of years past (like 80), I think it can work for a lot of people.