Group Ride Rules

Saturday group rides ARE BACK!

Meet at Milagro for an 0800 departure and maintain social distancing and masking as required by Milagro and other vendors.

We would ask that start groups be no larger than the State mandated 10 riders

If more than 10 riders are at the start, please break into 10 rider (or less) groups, with a few minutes between each group start.

Be respectful of the wishes of your fellow riders with respect to social distancing and masking. We’re all on the same team, enjoying the same sport.

Please try not to form into a single large group on the road.

There will be no policing of any of these requests. We are not, as a team, going to tell you what to do. As has been the case in the last year, we have encouraged riding, but cannot and will not officially announce a policy in direct opposition of the aforementioned guidelines, recommendations, and rules. Each of us is responsible for their own actions.

(Please read ALL USAC and ZVC guidelines, below.)



After almost exactly one year from the date that we were asked by USA Cycling, and various State and Federal agencies to limit our exposure to one another, there seems to be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel! 

From USAC:


How do we make training/small group rides safer?

  • Assume that you have the virus and don’t spread it to the other riders.
  • Wear a cloth mask to prevent droplet spread. This is not intended to filter the air, just contain droplets.
  • Bring a spare mask.
  • Reduce droplets: if you have to sneeze, cough, blow your nose, etc. drop back and ensure that no one is in your slip stream.
  • Distance: ride side by side or more than 20 feet behind.
  • The farther away the better, but with a mask and low risk riding partners, distances of 20 feet are likely safe.
  • Assume that other riders have the virus and don’t catch it from them.
  • Wear a mask to prevent you from touching your mouth, nose, face or eyes. Not intended to filter the air.
  • No contact: no passing of water bottles, food, etc.
  • Clean your hands before eating, touching your face, etc. Hand sanitizer is very effective and easily transported.
  • Clean equipment after the ride.  Disinfectant wipes, soap and water, 70% isopropyl alcohol all work

Over the last several weeks we have all seen indications in the news that PERHAPS we might be turning a small corner towards a return to normalcy.  As a result of these indications, and the fact that Dona Ana County is now, once again, in the yellow scale, we would like to begin a return to pre-COVID world. 

While we would like to simply just say, “go for it!”, it’s simply not quite that easy.  That being the case, we are taking the first steps towards toward that. 

The state is still setting a limitation on outdoor groups gatherings of no more than 10 persons, and the USAC has issued recommendations as well.  Basically, this is what we would like to try: 

There will be no policing of any of these requests.  We are not, as a team, going to tell you what to do.  As has been the case in the last year, we have encouraged riding, but cannot and will not officially announce a policy in direct opposition of the aforementioned guidelines, recommendations, and rules.  Each of us is responsible for their own actions. 
As I said, we’re not there yet, but let’s start our return to normalcy and the group rides we have come to love and enjoy. 


The first heater began, Wednesday, 17 March 2021. It will continue almost every
Wednesday throughout the summer and fall, we will be once again riding
the Heater!!!!

For those of you who have never participated in this weekly event, the
heater was started about 16 years ago, in response to the desire of
many for a mid-week, super high intensity, training ride (race-pace).

Much like the Saturday group rides that started this last weekend, we will be asking for your patience in observing some cautionary behavior related to COVID protocols. 

We will be starting at the Spotted Dog Brewery in Old Mesilla, until notified otherwise.

Riding this route, as well as all others, requires that EVERYONE follows the rules of the road, and that NOBODY takes risks that put individuals in harm’s way.

This means stopping at stop signs as a group and allowing breaks to re-establish their gap if it closes when they stop.  Riders on the front are responsible for determining the gap and telling all rider what that gap is and letting it re-set prior to resuming a chase. 

Front riders MUST ensure the safety of ALL following riders.  If you make a call that a corner is clear, you are doing so for the entire group of riders you are with.

YELLOW LINE Rule is in effect at ALL times.  If you see a rider intentionally ride over the yellow (say to draft or pass), or simply float back and forth to stay in a draft, it must be pointed out and that rider relegated to the back of the pack (USAC rules).


Rules for every Week!

The route varies, from a ride south through the valley, south on Las Alturas, Ochos, Dripping Springs, etc.  It will be announced NLT Tuesday prior to the Wednesday ride on this group.

There are some rules. (Particularly important rules and egregious behaviors are bolded and in red below!)


1) We will do a quick safety message at the
beginning of the ride.  Please step up and say something if you see
someone not following these safety guidelines.  Police each other
. Some of the Heater
rules will be covered, to include:

a) Start time is departure time, NO EXCEPTIONS.  The ride will depart

at 1700 (5:00 PM) until there is enough light in the evening and at
that time, we will move the start to 6PM.  We leave on GPS time, so
don’t be upset if we roll out of the parking lot while you are getting
water, fixing a flat, getting you bike out of the car, etc.  There is
no malice, it’s just the way it is.

b) NO HELMET, NO RIDE!  Period!!!

c)  No aerobars in the peloton.  For some this is an unpopular rule,
but it is in place for the safety of the riders.  If you chose to ride
the Heater with aerobars, you MUST be at the VERY BACK of the pack,
and  stay there.  This is non-negotiable, and is in place due to the
close proximity of the riders on this ride, the very high pace, and
the inherent inability to handle a bike in the aero bars as well as a
standard road bike.  These are the same reasons aerobars are not
allowed in mass start USAC events.

c)  No headphones/earbuds in the peloton.  This also may be an unpopular rule,
but it is in place for the safety of the riders.  Road riding in close proximity of one

another demands that everybody can take audio cues from other riders. 
Headphones are not allowed.  Please adhere to this rule for your safety and the safety of others around you.

d) This is a ZiaVelo cycling training ride.  As such, many of the
riders in this group are ZVC members.  We certainly respect the safety
of all, but do not want to hurt our own teammates particularly.
Please, please ensure that you don’t let your desire to be competitive
lead to reckless decisions.
  Remember that we are riding for fun, and
be cognizant of others.

e) This is an intentional drop ride.  You flat, you are dropped.  You
have a bad day, you are dropped.  You have a good day, you still may
get dropped!  There WILL BE ATTACKS!!!  Every effort will be made by
some to attack, attack, and attack again, until this ride splits
apart.  Hang in there, you will get better as a result of the Heater.
Again, no malice, just training.

f) If you do not know the course, you should not be on the front.
This is a no holds barred ride.  If you take a wrong turn because you
don’t know where you are going……see you next week.

g)Watch for dogs, call out holes, protect the riders safety behind
you.  IF dogs, cars, etc. are present and as a result the pack is split, courtesy says 
regroup!!!  Don’t take advantage of others misfortune!!!!  This behavior will cause risks and it will not be tolerated.

h) In almost all past years we have  had some VERY poorly (read non-racers, unfit,
inexperienced, newbie, etc.) prepared riders attempt the Heater.
Many only lasted through the warm up, about a half a mile!!!  This is
not a ride for someone just starting out in the activity of cycling.
The average pace for the Heater is in the neighborhood of 27mph, with
bursts that can exceed 35 mph at the end (or during attacks).  This
is not for a casual or recreational rider.  Please do not invite folks
out that will hate the atmosphere of a highly intense road ride.  This
makes the newbie hate ZVC as we look like a bunch of elitists.  We are
not unfriendly, we are just training.  This is a training event for
those that like to race, and ride very fast and hard.

i)  Roll out from all starting locations is neutral, as is the first half mile or so of the route.  Attacks are permitted after we pass the agreed upon point.

j) Follow the rules of the road, and watch out for your fellow riders, and their safety.

Thanks for following the rules….
If you choose not to follow the rules, one of the seasoned HEATER riders will likely be very happy to provide verbal correctional guidance at no cost. 

Many arguments have taken place during the Heater, mostly in response to unsafe riding or inappropriate riding.  Accept that these occur in the heat of the moment.  Listen, learn, and move on .
Again, please don’t take offense, it’s most likely the heat of the moment if the tone is “abrupt”.

Finally, this year there is a high probability that we will change the course quite frequently from this route, to the Ocho route, to the Las Alturas frontage road route.  Should make for interesting dynamics and offer a lot of variability to the riders.   These will be announced, via email,  the Tuesday before it happens.