# Variable Gradients as an alternative to Banded Group Rides

An alternative to banded rides that will not hold you back or ping you forward or break/drop you.

For group rides they can have a narrow band that the group lead rides in. Most group rides have fliers as the pace is too low, or those that get dropped as the pass is too fast.
Some of this I think is down to wanting to be in a group ride for the social side but not being in the correct power bracket or being a different weight to the ride lead.

So my thought is to over lay actual gradients of the maps with a parabolic modifier based on where the group lead is.
For Example:
If the Yellow Beacon is currently on a 0% grad those within a certain distance of the beacon will also be at 0%. Those that fall back will start to have -1%, -2%, etc to make it easier to chat up. Fliers out the front will start it get 1%, 2%, 3%, Etc to make it harder.
Very simple premise that maybe the lead could change the size of the ‘flat’ section and how ‘steep’ the change is.

Who would this help.

• Lighter Riders compared to the leads w/kg on flat courses
• Heavier riders compared to the leads w/kg on hillier courses
• Those that are new, recovering from injury or just on a recovery ride but want to ride with a group for the social communication. (Less of a gradient than the Beacon by being near the back)
• Those that want to have a harder ride while still having that social aspect of a group ride. (More of a gradient by being near the front)

This would adjust to the local gradient of the lead. So if the Yellow beacon was climbing a 4% hill Those with similar power/weight will be climbing a 4% hill. If they want a harder workout they can push forward to climb a 5%, 6% hill or return to the group for 4% again. If heavier riders or less powerful riders start to drop out the group the gradient would lower to 3%, 2% the further back they get, allowing them a chance to catch up.

Reverse also happens on the downhills. Those at the front would be riding ‘flatter’ gradients and those behind the beacon would be riding ‘steeper’ gradients.