I do 2 - 3 group rides each week and I’ve noticed that recently there are some horrible glitches with pacing.
I did a ride today and maintained a constant 2.8 w/kg pace on the flat Watopia routes (starting Out and Back).
One minute, the yellow beacon would be next to me…15 seconds later it would surge ahead and be 100m down the road with a massive gap to the main blob.
One minute, my w/kg keeps me comfortably at the front of the group, the next minute I’m having to pump out 3.5 w/kg just to hang on the back. The other riders are not surging and are saying that they are riding at a constant power also.
Further to this, I’ve noticed a really weird glitch where if I’m riding ahead of the yellow beacon, close to the fence, the required w/kg to maintain pace with the group is much LESS than if I’m in the main blob.
As an example, I was averaging 1.8 w/kg and coasting at the front, but then if I slip back I’ll need to hit 3.0+ to stay with the group.
This makes no sense at all - if I’m in the blob then I’ve got the draft; if I’m ahead of the group I have no draft and should find it more difficult.
During events, the ride leader/yellow beacon will frequently be asking ‘flyers’ to slow down, but we ARE slowing down - literally not even getting a decent workout - but the group behind pushing 3.0 aren’t catching riders by the fence riding at 1.8.
It’s all just really chaotic and I’m sure it didn’t use to be this bad a few months back.