Sweet Spot Group Ride Alternative

Hello! I’ve just signed up for the Sweet Spot 1 plan and I have a question about the weekend Sweet Spot Group rides. I don’t currently do any group rides and probably can’t make that happen.

What can I do as a replacement, either outdoor or indoor/smart trainer ride? Thanks!



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Aha @bennunan - we are giving you some good coaching advice - ‘do group rides’ - they are important skills training presuming you will ride in a group for the events that you are training for?

Can’t make it happen? Why not ?

Thanks Frank!

I do need to practice group riding skills (as I have none!) and need to research around my local area to find group rides to join, as I’ve never done one and have no idea what’s available. So while I’m trying to solve that problem (as well as random weather restrictions) I was looking for alternatives!

Solve the problem so you can FtFP! Its Tuesday - you have until Saturday.

Are you training for crits or for road races , etc… tell us, otherwise we don’t have enough information to help you.

Some quick background: I’m a reasonably fit 45 year old that got into cycling mid last year. A mate of mind convinced me to sign up for Steamboat Gravel Black Course (yes - a very lofty goal!). Current FTP of 203w and am comfortable with 3 hour rides in z2 so far. Just bought the SS1 plan and then will probably do SS2 followed by the 6 week climbing plan.

From other posts I’ve read on this forum that’s probably the best way to go? And then probably the STB GRVL plan after that.

So part of my ‘what can I do instead of group rides’ is that I’ve never done one so am tentative going out and finding one! Yes - I need to do it at some point!

You need to learn how to ride in a pack for the first coupla hours of SBTG.

Where do you live and ride? We are familiar with just about every cycling community and group ride scene in the US.

Yeah - I’ve watched a few videos and the pack riding does look intimidating at the moment!

I live in dallas (close to white rock lake if that helps)

Sooooo tons of group rides in the Dallas - big cycling community with lots and lots cycling clubs. Hit up your local bike shop for recommendations, show up and make some new friends.

Group rides, I think you will come to realize, are the funnest part of cycling

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Hi Frank - thanks for the advice and the quick replies to my first post on this forum. I’ms super excited to start the sweet spot 1 plan and the following ones as I train this year.

Just found out there’s a weekly Saturday group ride from my LBS (about 2 blocks away) that’s hilly (for Dallas!) and about 22 miles. That should get me started!


Giddy up and have fun. #FtFP

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Some days I dream of a local group ride to do these workouts :slightly_frowning_face: I live in a town of about 1500 and really the only person I’ve come across is a Cat 1 roadie that I do get out with once in a while for a Saturday ride if our training matches up. There’s a local group ride he does on Wednesdays but it’s at a time when I’m already halfway into my workday and it’s a 45 minute drive one way to get to it, unfortunately.

So far I’ve just slowly ramped up the SS intervals from week to week on Saturdays while looking for sections of various routes to fly through to keep it interesting when alone. I start out with something like 3 x 15 and work towards 1 x 75 throughout the 18 weeks.

@JakeL - same deal: where do you live and what are you training for (type of race like crit, mtb, gravel , etc…)?

Don’t be afraid to drive to a group ride in a nearby cycling community - they are worth it that much.

While way less than ideal, you can get some of the group ride training benefits (but not real skills) on Zwift. I live in Michigan and have tons of group rides to chose from, except from December to February when the weather keeps us indoors most weekends. Even when you can get outside, its hard to find partners as all the regularly scheduled rides are shut down. I know its less than ideal but when I can’t ride with a group outside, i do a Zwift race or group ride plus some extra to get the assigned TSS in. Once the ice and snow melt, its back to real group rides.

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Yea, you gotta be safe and when there’s ice on the roads, Zwift is a nice alternative - allows you to FtFP and is sorta similar to sweet spot group riding

Cuba City, Wisconsin and I’m a road guy so mainly road races and some crits. I’ve tried gravel but don’t enjoy it very much on the one bike I have, even with 28s (biggest I can fit on her) it’s just not something that interests me.

The nearby college (Platteville, WI) has a team but they’re off-road focused from what the LBS tells me. I’ve asked that friend I referenced a few times where to go since he knows a lot of the riders/racers in the state and it’s usually “I’ve gone to Madison in the past.” I might drive to Madison, WI once in a while this summer although it’s over an hour one way. The missus sleeps in which is when I train now and she’s content with that…happy wife happy life right?

Many a good bike racer has come out of your area.

All the FasCat Coaches have raced Superweek and Dairyland in the past. Get in your car and drive to a group ride of your choices. Note every Saturday but something like one a month.

You cannot spend all winter riding around on Zwift or by yourself and expect to be able to handle the skills that come from riding in a pack in your upcoming road races.


Thanks everyone for jumping in with comments and suggestions!

I’ll be looking at my local LBS for the Sat group ride they have to at least build group riding skills. I also watched some of the FasCat videos about achieving a TSS during a ride, so will do some of that after the group ride if I haven’t hit the planned TSS. Plan B will be a solo ride to TSS and then if I really have to, I’ll jump in a Zwift race/ride.

Sunday I did a 4.5 hr SS ride on zwift. It actually wasn’t that bad, I did it in sim mode instead of erg mode because it made me concentrate the whole time to stay in the right ranges.

I think the tempus feguit course was surprisingly perfect to do SS work. So what I did to nail the TSS was I stayed at Z2 and there’s 2 segments on that course. One is a sprint so I didn’t bother with that but then there’s another segment that might be called tempus feguit. It’s perfectly in the 10-12 mins range depending on SS wattage. So every time that segment came up on course, I did my SS work on that segment. The first few I did for 15 mins, so I went through the segment. As I got tired it dropped to 10 mins and even shorter as I got closer to the 3.5-4.5 hr mark. But that segment will pop up twice an hour. So it breaks up each hour really well and it put me within 4-6 TSS of my goal.

Hey Ben,

I live in the Dallas area and sent you a DM.

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Thanks for the tip - I’ll have a look at that course!