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  1. #1
    Miles over Matter spoke50's Avatar
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    Paceline Question?

    I was in a paceline on one of my nice flat group rides yesturday and decided to take a pull. First let me tell you that I really sux on flats, so there has to be a good reason for me to have the guts to jump out and lead the line. Anyway, I was three bikes back on a long flat stretch and the line seem to slow down a bit, so I pulled out and moved to the front. I thought I was pulling the group for a while until I looked back and noticed the line wasn't on my wheel. A few seconds passed and looked back again only to see the line about to blow by me. Once the whole line got by I had to really mash hard with my allready tired legs just to get back in line. I know that the normal way to start pulling is when the lead guy pulls out and allows the number two man to start pulling, butin my case where I moved to the front should you slow down some once your in front to allow the line to get on your wheel or is it up to the line to just get on your wheel?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Sounds more like you made a breakaway being the third guy in line. They let you go and then pulled you back and passed.

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    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    When I'm in a pace line on the flats I look at cadence before I take my next pull and match the cadence to what the guys ahead of me were riding. Riding off the front makes the 2nd guy do more work to catch catch up, or they will just leave you go. I've got a riding buddy who brags about not needing our using a computer, however, he is a terrible rider to be behind in a pace line, since he always speeds up the line on his pulls. From your post it looks as if the two riders in front of you didn't keep up the pace and after you took the lead the rest of the pack rode around the two or waited until they cycled back. Weaker riders who can't pull the line need to pull through without doing any work to keep from breaking the constant speed of the group.
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  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    You know your group better than we do. Is it customary for a couple of the same guys to always be in the front and control the pace? Many group rides / double pace lines and etc. run in this manner. And many riders prefer to ride in the lead because they do not trust the bike handling skills of the rest of the riders and do not rotate. I think along these lines unless I know the other people in the paceline.

    If you come from the pack to take a lead position, take note of the pace and hold it the same when you get to the front. If you accelerated the pace, they just let you go. They then increased the speed and once they caught you, you were faced with an faster pace line and were forced to the back.

  6. #6
    Miles over Matter spoke50's Avatar
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    Lots of good etiquette info in that thread, but I can't imagine pulling for 5 miles or even 5 minutes sometimes. Unless of course there are some hills to slow the pack down. Then I have a chance.
    When I'm in a pace line on the flats I look at cadence before I take my next pull and match the cadence to what the guys ahead of me were riding. Riding off the front makes the 2nd guy do more work to catch catch up, or they will just leave you go. I've got a riding buddy who brags about not needing our using a computer, however, he is a terrible rider to be behind in a pace line, since he always speeds up the line on his pulls. From your post it looks as if the two riders in front of you didn't keep up the pace and after you took the lead the rest of the pack rode around the two or waited until they cycled back. Weaker riders who can't pull the line need to pull through without doing any work to keep from breaking the constant speed of the group.
    Your'e right about the two guys in front of me. When I got passed, the lead rider was a girl who was behind me before I pulled out in the first place. She is a strong rider, but when she dropped out after pulling for a while I let her back in line and a gap formed and we both got dropped until the group got stopped by a traffic light.

  7. #7
    Miles over Matter spoke50's Avatar
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    If you come from the pack to take a lead position, take note of the pace and hold it the same when you get to the front. If you accelerated the pace, they just let you go. They then increased the speed and once they caught you, you were faced with an faster pace line and were forced to the back.
    That's exactly what happend.

  8. #8
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    When you are in the pace line you are getting sucked along and it seems easier particularly as the leader begins to fade. It almost seems too easy to break away as you let the draft of the first two riders accelerate you into the front - you then have momentum and the rush can keep you going as you widen the gap. All of a sudden your way out in front. Then you start to fade but you have no support and the line passes you by. Then you struggle to catch it and when/if you do you have consumed a lot of your reserves and it takes a bit of sucking wheel to get it back. You just hope a roller doesn't come because you may not have enough left to stay in position without another gap forming and burning even more to catch up again. Moral of thte story - team work, resist the temptation to pull any faster than the previously established pace and don't let the excitement of being the lead dog get the better of you.

    BTW - it has been my experience that riding with women, particularly those who are training for triathelons is an incredible experience. They seem to have more discipline than most guys and after about 40 or 50 miles they will wear you arse out.

    Good luck!
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  9. #9
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    In general, it's considered bad form to "pull out and move to the front" of a paceline.

    By doing so, you disrupted the group (since you left a gap when you pulled out, forcing riders behind you to close it).

    It also sounds like you went out too hard when you went to the front...another newbie mistake.

    It's usually better to wait your turn in the line as lead riders peel off. When you're second wheel, pay attention to speed. Then, when the rider in front peels off, hold that speed for at least the first 30 seconds or so. After that, if you're feeling frisky, you can start to slowly pick up the pace a bit.


    Note: some of this depends on the nature of the paceline. If it's a friendly social group, then it's best to be patient, wait your turn, take a reasonable pull, and then drift to the back. If it's a racing group, then all bets are off, and it comes down to how much you can suffer and/or how much you want others to suffer.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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