I don’t know if this is mentioned before, but I consider the fence feature to harsh. There should be a clear distinction between a rider just trying to be in the front part of the pack and a typical flyer. While being in the front pack, lots of time I need to completely stop pedaling to get the fence in front of me again. This is ridiculous and has nothing to do with riding. And sometimes I get dropped from the group because my speed goes low and the riders behind go full throttle.
Being a flyer is something else than just trying to be in the front part of the pack.
Yes I agree that if you ride right up against the fence then you focus more on keeping behind it that you actually do to the ride. But like Gerrie said, the fence is x seconds from the leader and if you are riding with the leader 10 seconds is more than generous. Some ride leaders would disable the fence when sprints come up with the agreement that sprinters need to return to the bunch after the sprint at which time the fence is turned on again. That way everybody has some fun and the ride leader does not have to beg people not to fly.
Lets everybody have fun with their own competence, some riders do have fun with sprinting and others do have fun with a more or less constant effort with sudden power boosts when going uphill.
The current way the fence is working means that going through Titans Grove is no fun at all anymore for me during a social ride. In fact it is more like a h*ll.
The solution is simple to identify real flyers. Make two fences, one at 5-10 sec depending on the size of the group and one at 1-2 minutes depending on the course. If you are passing that fence it means you are a real flyer and you will be instantly removed. Ofcourse passing the first fence will influence the speed of the ride. For this introduce a maximum time in front of the fence of 5 mins, which resets to 0 every 30 mins.
Not everyone feels comfortable with riding that close to the ride leader with the risk of being dropped with a sudden speed burst. I rather prefer to stay in the front part of the pack because of my low FTP.
Yes I normally only do social rides for distance i.e. 100k and these usually take place on flat courses and therefore the fence makes much more sense. Doing a social ride on Titans Cove does not seem ideal.
Yes, if you are part of a group ride, you should. Or wait at the top of the hill if you need to “have fun”. Group rides are not what you are apparently seeking. Go race instead, that might be more engaging for you, or join a faster group ride.
Or, get dropped out of the draft and enjoy trying to catch back up to the group. That might be the way you need to ride in group events.
Just read my proposal for fences and you will notice it is all about trying to ride together and have fun together.
I really don’t understanding why people are not trying to feel a little glance of other people frustrations. If you are high on FTP there is no problem getting back when you are being or getting droppen.
Btw. This social ride was my first training after a period of illnes.
I think I just agree with you. Don’t let this spoil my fun on Zwift and find some other rides to join, even though sometimes I need some easy ride after a period of illness. Rules seem to be more important than having fun together.
What I think is lost in this discussion is how a group ride can be adversely impacted by a small amount of people wanting to be off the front. When multiple people behave this way, you get a draft cone effect that pulls the group apart and away from the leader. This degrades the draft power of the larger group because it’s strung out.
From your screenshot above, it’s clear that riders are strung out, being pulled away from the leader beacon which adversely impacts the group.
The fence is meant to discourage this behavior because it breaks up group rides.
The great thing about the fence (full disclosure, this is my feature) is that it in itself doesn’t change how you ride at all. We don’t sap speed or power from flyers, we don’t drop an anvil on you to slow you down, we just let you ride how you want to ride. The only change we make is that when you’re beyond the fence for too long, we simply upgrade to you a solo ride while leaving the group to hopefully remain well bunched up rather than strung out by others going off the front.
Summary: We want to emphasize the group of group rides and the lead aspects of the leader beacon. This means, stay with the group and let the leader … lead. If this isn’t how you wish to ride, that’s cool … maybe races are more your speed since they have no leader or fence and you’re encouraged to go off the front from the very start.