The new event feature has garnered a lot of praise for being well considered and executed, but one topic that comes up now and again is the lack of ability to join a ride in progress. This comes about either because you started riding without explicitly choosing to join, started riding before the event was listed or more often you show up a little later than when it started. This is my proposed remedy.
If you are just logging in and the ride has started, give the option to join it in progress. Show how far along the ride is (15km of 35km, for example) and if the person joins the ride place them 30s ahead of the group facing the same direction so they can get up to speed. For kicks, have a little chat message to say “J.Blow has joined the group”.
If you are on course riding and there is a group ride in progress (or coming up soon) show an icon in the lower left saying “group ride” that can be expanded. The expansion would show the current count down timer if it hasn’t started, and if it has then a “join ride” button. If you choose to join a ride in progress, change the view so that the only riders on course you see are already in the group. Give a suggestion for the person to either hold course or turn back to get to the group. Present this in a way that says something like, “ride easy at 2 w/kg and the group should catch you in 5 minutes” or “turn around and and watch for the yellow beacon”.
If you turn around, the system should automatically turn you again when you get within 30 seconds of the group. During this whole time you should see the same group chat messages.
This is effectively what I’ve done in times past joining up with WWR or other groups when I’m a little late to the start. An in-game overhead map would do wonders to help this work better, but I think these modifications would go a long way to solving this issue. Some of these ideas, such as clicking the “join” button on screen may need mobile analogs as well since not everyone can practically interact with a keyboard while riding but I think this expresses the general idea. Refinements and reaction is welcome.