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28-10-2022 | Wouter Fioole

The five biggest annoyances of gran fondo riders

Sometimes a gran fondo gets the label 'chaotic' due to the (driving) behavior of participants. Not a pleasant recommendation for the organizers. That is why we, the CycloWorld team, took stock of which behavior of gran fondo riders provokes the greatest annoyance. Here's our Top 5.

1. Dumping waste 

Top of the list at number 1 is dumping garbage outside supply or designated areas. As Pieter puts it, "Wrappers ... just put them in your pocket, you're potentially ruining future editions and it's bad for the environment. And after all, you don't want someone to throw a wrapper of a gell in your yard either!' We make an exception for the banana peel.

2. Taking the lead as fast as possible/ riding too fast whilst in the lead

Nearly all Cycloworld team members mentioned the topic of riding head over head in their list of annoyances. Nicolien is particularly annoyed by people who don't understand how that works: 'With good cooperation at one nice pace, you are much faster than pulling all the time.' Or as Eveline says: 'Those in the back have just ridden in the lead and are on nearly dropping and so work extra hard for a very long time. Those people who take over too hard and ride hard in the lead think they're doing the group a favor, but they don't realize it's working so hard in the back.' 'Which causes the little group to break down or I really blow my legs up,' Rob adds.

3. Not riding up front

Many times there are riders in a group who do not ride in the lead or even disrupt the group by riding in second position without taking over. Not taking over because you are not strong enough is not a bad thing. Just stay behind the riders who are in the race. But very irritating is 'wheel sucking at a hundred kilometers from the line and letting others do the work and then accelerating uphill', Pieter said.


4. Pushing ahead before and during the start

A good example is the Gran Fondo Vosges. An early start where it is still quite fresh. Luc and I want to qualify for the WC and are at the front of the pen as much as possible to be able to join a fast group. How annoying is it then when people throw their bikes over the barrier until one minute before the start and squeeze themselves in? They have stayed warm and are in an excellent spot when the starting gun sounds. Irritating situations also occur immediately after the start. Koen: 'Pro-like behaviour, including elbowing and dangerous riding, while you start as number 1204 and will probably not finish very much higher in the classification.'

5. General riding behavior

Finally, a collection bin of things to do with riding behavior, riding at a high pace in a peloton: wrong position on the road causing you to put others on the edge or into the wind, not passing on signals, braking too suddenly, swerving when you grab your water bottle, emptying your nose halfway through the group.

If you really want to ride gran fondos competitively, also train riding at race pace in a peloton. At many cycling clubs you can join a weekly club race for a small fee. Or tip from Peter: try a local race.

What is your biggest annoyance from this list? Vote via the poll below.

Poll: What's your biggest annoyances of gran fondo riders?


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