Hi - I just saw that squadra coppi hosts a ride on sunday from the clarendon area java hut at 8:30 - or at least that is what is says on the website. I had heard elsewhere through the grapevine that it was at 7am. Anyone know if it's at 8:30 for sure? And any general reviews regarding neccessary experience level, avg speed, etc regarding this ride would be appreciated - thanks!
The Coppi ride does leave the Java Shack at 8:30 am on Sundays. It pauses at the Pierce Mill building in Rock Creek Park sometime in the 8:50-9:00 am range to pick up District people, and then heads north out of the park. Total road time is ~3 hr if you start at the Shack and finish the loop back to Georgetown. The bulk of people return to the Shack for coffee and muffins, but that is in the opposite direction of where I live so I rarely join in.
The 7 am ride you have heard about is the Saturday DCVelo ride, which leaves from Beach Drive and East-West Highway. Total road time is ~2:15 - but it will be the hardest 2:15 you work all week. It is extremely well-attended and although it is DCVelo's weekly team ride, it features members from almost every local team, including the semi-pro/pro Harley guys.
The best comparison I can provide is: Coppi ride is building fitness/endurance with a few sections (always the same) of road racing simulation. The DCVelo is about 15 min of warm-up followed by balls to the wall road racing simulation for the rest of the ride. There is a rally point at the top of Brickyard Road, on Falls Road, but the second half is just ride until you get back to the parking lot. I'm always off the back by this point so I spend it picking up stragglers from the main pack.
I can't speak to average speed, but both rides require comfort in tight group riding and enough handling skills to pace-line closely, follow a wheel closely, and navigate bunches. These are road riders, not triathletes, and although they are welcoming and their rides are great training, their races are extremely different from ours.
Thanks for the info and description, Kelzie! That was exactly was I was looking for. I think I'll give the Coppi ride a try tomorrow and see how I like it. Although from your description sounds like I'll be doing a lot of drafting, which probably isn't the best thing to be practicing too often...but I"m hoping it will be a good up-tempo group workout. Sounds like I'll have to gain some more fitness before I give the DCVelo ride a shot. Thanks again!