Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bicycle Pace Line Etiquette


The weather should still be nice for Thursday at 4:30, hope to see you there.

On another note, I received some complaints about the ride I missed on Tuesday, it seems that there were several violations of pace line etiquette taking place. I think this is indicative of a large group of mixed skill riders so I'm proposing some guidelines for this ride. Please pass this along to those that ride with us that aren't on the email list.

What I would like to propose is that we have sections of the ride for ramping up the speed as well as sections for regrouping. Basically, we need to regroup after we make turns then slowly ramp the speed up following pace line etiquette until the group chooses to slow down or make another turn. If you want to do intervals, please drop out of the pace line and do your thing then return to the pace line if you so desire. The goal is to keep the pace line safe, together as much as possible and moving fast.

If the group keeps growing the way it has been we may have to double pace line to keep from getting too spread out. If this occurs, please follow the pace line etiquette but roll out to the right if you are in the right line and to the left if you are on the left line. Allow room for the riders rolling out to drop back.

Please read the attached Pace Line Etiquette file or visit the link to learn more about pace line riding. Below are 4 key areas I would like everyone to know.

Ride at an even speed when leading. Hold the speed of the rider that just gave up the lead until he has time to get on the back then increase speed gradually if you want to. If you are too tired or weak to do your turn at the front of the pace line, don’t pull at the front. Just rotate smoothly through without disrupting the group's pace.
No sudden movements by any single rider, this can be disastrous. This means that abrupt braking, swerving, and any type of erratic riding is always a dangerous, poor technique.
Do not brake or soft pedal at the front of a pace line, this causes the ripple in the “train” behind you.
Keep pedaling as you move off the front. Don't stop or slow your cadence until the following rider has begun to pull through. Don’t drag race the overtaking rider. When the overtaking rider has pulled up adjacent to you, then drop your cadence not your gearing and fall back.

Happy Riding,

Chris LeMoine

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