Fifty Plus (50+) - Pace line ride
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Got invited to ride with a group this morning for 44 miles which was the same distance I did last Saturday. WOW did this morning's experience add a new dimension to riding. I had ridden before with another rider and knew the benefits of drafting, but this morning we have 6 riders (all 50 plussers). I was concerened that I was not ready to ride in a group---that I would get dropped right of the bat. I am in better shape than I thought and hung with them the whole way---though I know one of the riders was holding back. We ended up riding 44 miles in 2.5 hours averaging a little better than 17 mph. It was great to get a pace line established and the social aspects of the ride were great as I got to meet some pretty nice folks. I rode in about 40 minutes less time than last week (not having the same mechanical problem certainly helped). Time and miles just seemed to click by riding with others.
Gave me confidence that I can do that century come October. I know that I cannot maintain that pace for 100 miles at this point but feel like I could in the 15 to 16 mph range if in a pace line.
Still having great fun!! It was neat being with a bunch of 50+ folks out riding a bicycle.
05-20-06, 05:45 PM
I agree, pace line riding is the best! However, be super cautious, ride smooth, hold your line and dont overlap a wheel from the guy in front of you. Especially when the group starts pressing hard it is easy to make a mistake when your heart is about to explode and you dont want to fall and possibly take out several guys.
05-20-06, 06:11 PM
Pace lining is a great way to cover some ground at a higher speed than normal and can be a lot of fun. I agree with all that Stevie47 said (having overlapped tires once and taken a serious tumble at about 24mph). One other word of advice you may have already heard is when you are at the front of the line; move smoothly through to the front and make sure you maintain the same pace the line has been maintaining, keep your pull to the same time as everyone else. I've seen folks get so excited about being in front that they pick up the pace, sometimes say in front to long and eventually get dropped. On the flip side of this I've seen folks who don't pull their weight and take advantage of the group. I use to ride with some guys who were much faster than me and it was agreed that I would take half the pull time as everyone else, this worked out fine but everyone knew what I was doing and was cool with it. Enjoy the new experience.
05-20-06, 06:48 PM
All as above. My problem is getting lulled into a rhythm and then there's a slowdown you don't anticipate because you're looking at the guys jersey pockets in front of you or somebody forgets to signal debris ahead or whatever. Simply, stay alert and pick a good time to diddle with your water bottle.
05-22-06, 08:46 AM
Keep going it will add another dimension to your riding. I started doing group rides on Sundays about 2 months ago and now it is the favorite part of my week.
Good to hear you discovered another really neat and fun aspect of cycling!! A good pace line is absolutely wonderful and you've done a very nice job of capturing many of the benefits in your post. It's especially nice when folks will push a little but everyone is about the same skill level and is considerate of when some folks need to take a little break.
BTW, you probably can sustain that pace for a much longer period. Just continue to drink and eat along the way and your body will adjust. Funny, but when you start thinking you "can't do it" you start feeling worse all of sudden........there's a lot of mind games in this cycling stuff!!!
I stumbled into a really nice paceline last year on an organized english century. It was a dream. It startd with a big group and about 10 of us were off the front at about 30 miles. We covered 102 miles in 4hrs 50 mins and averaged a little over 21 mph. That was a blast!! I didn't know any of the guys when we started but go to know them pretty well along the ride.
Like Stercom, I often ride in a pace line with a small group of friends of varying ability. The "hosses" regularly take longer pulls. They also take a little bit easy on us up hills. If they want to attack a hill once in a while, they quickly slow down over the top so we can form up the pace line again. One of the young guns is a tri-guy and sometimes he will get down in the aero-bars and pull us along at amazing speeds (for us!) like 24 mph or so. It's cool!
This way, everyone gets a workout and we still have a great time. We are very used to one another and ride quite closely together in the line. Jan. 2 this year, I just kissed the rear tire of my buddy in front of me and instantly went down. My friend behind me on his giant-sized Cannondale ran right over me. Fortunately, we were all wearing winter clothes and no one was hurt. Mimi was repaired for less than $200.00. BTW, my helmet was the first thing to touch down and "break" my fall. SMACK!
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