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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-01-01, 06:21 AM   #1
TriBob
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Back commuting for a couple weeks and it is still getting better. Just over a mile into my ride a group of 3 passes me. Well my warm up just ended. I wasn't letting this train go. Only one guy looked like a 'Road Warrior' so I took up the rear. We crusied for 4-5 miles before they turned off.

Another unexpected pleasure during a commute.
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Old 05-01-01, 08:06 AM   #2
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Yeee, Haaaaa!!!

That was sneaky of Mr. Fate, now wasn't it?
Happy trails and keep us posted!
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Old 05-01-01, 09:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by TriBob
Back commuting for a couple weeks and it is still getting better. Just over a mile into my ride a group of 3 passes me. Well my warm up just ended. I wasn't letting this train go. Only one guy looked like a 'Road Warrior' so I took up the rear. We crusied for 4-5 miles before they turned off.

Another unexpected pleasure during a commute.
I'll bet some motorists had nightmares that night, after witnessing four cyclists commuting together! What's this world coming to!
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Old 05-01-01, 10:47 PM   #4
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Thats awesome bob, i know i have grabbed the back end of a pace line on my way to work a few times, its great fun, and you can meet some fun cyclists in your area.

However, sorry if i take this off topic, when should you, and when should you not jump into a pace line? And should you ask if you can join a pace line? Im sure the "rules" are different for competitive cycling, club rides, recreational and commuting, but it would be interesting to find out what you think.

I had a older guy draft off me one day to work, he kept the draft for close to 5 miles, when i motioned him to take over so i could rest, he shook his head no and dropped my draft, that seriously ticked me off for some reason.
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Old 05-02-01, 05:56 AM   #5
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Joe,
Don't be ticked. That old guy was probably like me, just barely holding on behind a fit young colt like you! He probably didn't have anything left after trying to keep up with you for 5 miles.
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Old 05-02-01, 06:15 AM   #6
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Good Question Joe. I was still warming up doing 16-17 mph and they passed me going a little faster so I decided to jump on. We group was holding about 19-20 mph and they were not rotating that much and when they did switch I rode up beside them and offered to do a pull.

If I see a Team or club ride that is obviously out of my league, I won't attempt to go with them.

On the way home yesterday, I passed a teenager and he hoped on my wheel. After several miles, I asked him if he was going to the park. He was and I slowed down to force him to take the lead. We rotated the rest of the way. I don't blame him for hanging back for a little while to feel out the pace. I did the same thing in the morning; but, after you know you are at the same level a little comunication goes a long way for everyone to enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-02-01, 12:23 PM   #7
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i would annouce yourself as you jump onto a rotating paceline. if the pace is such that you can barely hold on, ask them if you can "sit in" - that is, you will stay at the back and enjoy the draft but they will continue to rotate in front of you.

this a a good question, because to actually integrate yourself into a paceline is a bit of an etiquette issue. if they are working a smooth paceline then you are probably very safe with them. but are they safe with you? some members of the group may not feel instantly comfortable in a tight paceline with an unproven rider. of course if you are safe then most riders would see this and hopefully do the friendly thing - invite you in!

but be aware that you are at risk if you just hop on someone's wheel that you don't know. they could slow or change their line - basically, the person behind is at risk. if your front tire taps their rear tire, you might go down - but they'll barely feel a thing.

-jb
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Old 05-03-01, 06:01 AM   #8
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Good Points, JB.

Maybe I will put a sign on my messenger bag that says "Have Pace Line will travel"
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Old 05-22-01, 08:40 PM   #9
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I am reminded of something I read about a "bicycle bus," or something like that. It was really a group of cyclists
that rode (two abreast?) with a "driver" in the front and another "driver" in the rear. They made scheduled stops.
If you wanted to join, you had to be there on time. They follwed a specific route. Has anyone heard of such a thing for cycling commuters?

Sorry, I felt like asking this question one more time.
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Old 05-22-01, 10:12 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Pete Clark
I am reminded of something I read about a "bicycle bus," or something like that. It was really a group of cyclists
that rode (two abreast?) with a "driver" in the front and another "driver" in the rear. They made scheduled stops.
If you wanted to join, you had to be there on time. They follwed a specific route. Has anyone heard of such a thing for cycling commuters?

Sorry, I felt like asking this question one more time.
There is actually a group in Sydney who do it on a daily basis. There was an article on them in an issue of Australian Cyclist a while back. I'll see if I can find the link for it.

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Old 05-22-01, 10:20 PM   #11
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Ah yes, here it is http://www.bfa.asn.au/cyclist/400issues.htm

You need to scroll about half way down the page until you get to the New South Wales section.

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Old 05-23-01, 05:50 AM   #12
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Chris L,

Thanks for the follow up. I don't think we could find enough commuters to make a bus in Philly, Pennsylvania.

Bob
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Old 05-23-01, 03:24 PM   #13
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I just wanted to say that i've been following this thread and the idea of a commuting paceline sounds like a much better alternative to the Critical Mass rides. It seems to me that cyclists would gain more respect by riding to and from work in a group on a regular basis than they do by riding around together one day a month, usually on a Friday during the after work rush-hour. What do ya'll think.
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Old 05-23-01, 08:20 PM   #14
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On the question of paceline etiquette, in my experience, it varies.

If a group is acting really focused, like it's a serious training ride, probably best to let 'em go. But 95% are just schmoes out to have a good time, and glad to have anyone join in.

If you want jump on, fall in behind the last guy and ask if they mind if you join in. Some pleasantries and questions about where they're headed, how many miles, etc., are usually a good way to break the ice and give them a chance to tell you anything they might want to. (Like last winter when I jumped on with a couple of guys, the second guy explained the leader was training, and pacing himself with a heart rate monitor, and needed to stay in front. No prob, dude! A free ride's a free ride!)

Anyhow, normally everybody takes a turn at the front, and rotates off at whatever point seems reasonable. Try to match your pace to the group. If you can't hold the pace long, rotate off sooner (that is, if someone doesn't pass you first). If you want to go faster, accelerate slowly so as not to drop the group. If you don't pull through at all, they'll probably think you're a schmuck (see Joe's post), whereas if you do even a short pull, that's okay. When you're ready to rotate off, wait 'til there are no cars coming from behind, pull to the left, slow a little (in that order), and signal "come on" with your right hand, so they'll know your intentions.
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Old 06-10-01, 07:36 PM   #15
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This is a dated thread, but I was reminded of another important piece of paceline ettiquette today. (By a group that knew this, thankfully.)

When you come off the front, give the next rider a good place to take over. Or at least, not a bad place. For example, pull to the top of a rise, let the next guy take over at the crest. Don't pull to the foot of a climb, and turn it over just before the hard part.

Just a rule of thumb, exceptions do arise...
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Old 06-10-01, 07:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L
Ah yes, here it is http://www.bfa.asn.au/cyclist/400issues.htm

You need to scroll about half way down the page until you get to the New South Wales section.

Chris
This blows my "weenie" American mind, Chris. You guys are so far ahead!
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Old 06-11-01, 08:11 AM   #17
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Hi Pete,
We're having a bus strike in British Columbia right now and there have been bike buses started here, i work shift work so am unable to use them but they are a great idea!

Andre
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