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Old 05-30-12, 06:59 PM   #51
AzTallRider 
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I think you are still off the mark, gregf83. Partly because you focus on the TTT, which is restricted by its size to a very small group, and is also a short distance. It just doesn't apply to other situations. You are also ignoring the totally wasted effort when you are drifting to the back in a single line. That's huge. It means that it is not more efficient. You are burning watts and not pulling anyone but yourself. You never want to be doing that when maximizing the performance of a group. And why is it that you think a breakaway isn't going as fast as it can? It is going as fast as it can, for the distance it has to cover.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:41 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
I think you are still off the mark, gregf83. Partly because you focus on the TTT, which is restricted by its size to a very small group, and is also a short distance. It just doesn't apply to other situations. You are also ignoring the totally wasted effort when you are drifting to the back in a single line. That's huge. It means that it is not more efficient.
Yes, it is wasted effort but in a single line you can drop back relatively quickly and get back on. Then the line is single for a while. Add up the amount of time riders are in the wind on a single line and it will be less than a double line.

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And why is it that you think a breakaway isn't going as fast as it can? It is going as fast as it can, for the distance it has to cover.
To go as fast as it can all the riders in the break would need to be on their limit and in a breakaway that's not going to happen. Have you ever seen Cancellera (extreme example I know) rotating in a paceline trying to stay away. He would love that, I'm sure, but it doesn't usually happen because everyone else in the break knows they would be destroyed at the end and Cancellara would be fresh. They ride as fast as they can while still sharing the load fairly. If they really need to make time the rotating line breaks down and the stronger riders take longer pulls.
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Old 05-30-12, 07:48 PM   #53
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Understand, gregf, that I'm not trying to come down on you. I'm only presenting some aspects that you don't seem to be acknowledging.

Last week I was out with a group of 5, 2 of which could really hammer. They sort of took it easy on the other 3 of us, but even so, I fell off the back about 28 miles into the ride. I think my buddy Duane talked them into waiting for me at an intersection (I was maybe 30 seconds behind). Once I caught up, my buddy put me next to him on his right, while the 2 hammerheads were 2 abreast in front of us. My buddy told me to take advantage of the "sweet spot" and to recover a bit.

The point of the story is, that having 1 rider directly in front of me and one on his left, while I had one on my left, created more of an "eddy" than just being behind a single rider. Even with no crosswind, that configuration makes a difference, and reduces the wind resistance even more.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:04 PM   #54
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Also, many have commented on riding hills with slower riders and it seems the theme is to drop them, beat them to the top, do your own thing and etc. If I were to ride with John and assuming he is slower, I would ride next to him on the climbs not in front or behind. The reason is that if I try to lead, I will go too fast. If I ride behind, he feels the pressure to ride faster. Riding next to someone is more encouraging and allows him to ride at his own pace. Sometimes the presence helps the slower rider to relax and they do better. And it is more fun.
I do think it's great when faster climbers, especially the women, ride alongside and chat, or just listen. You're right about the behind thing, I do feel like I can't take a break when a faster rider is behind.
I didn't want to give the impression that I am against pacelines, I'm just not a fan of turning every club ride into a race. I often challenge the wheelsuckers to do the whole ride without drafting, but nobody has taken me up on it yet.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:25 AM   #55
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Interesting thread. Most of what there is to say has been said, I think. If he's around, I'd like RacerEx's perspective on the rotating pacelines versus TTT single line debate, he's probably got more experience of the latter than anyone here.

FWIW, I think Greg has a point. If the object of the exercise is to get all or most of the riders to the finish line as fast as possible, it must make sense for the stronger riders to take longer pulls. When riding in a rotating paceline (we call it riding "through and off" here) the strongest riders aren't going to be working as hard as they can unless there is no intention to keep the group together, because if they really go for it some of the others are pretty soon going to be drifting off the back.

In more social circumstances, on club runs or moderate-intensity training rides, we often use what one might call a slow-motion version of the rotating paceline. That is, once at the front we take a pull of a minute or so, then move out to make room for the next person to "inherit the lead" (love that phrase, btw) but don't immediately drop back, staying alongside the new leader until the next change, thus effectively being in the wind for two minutes. (Obviously, these times can vary according to circumstances). Having the rotation working at that more leisurely pace makes it easy to adjust the length of pulls to the strength of the riders, and very easy for anyone who is suffering to avoid pulling at all. They simply indicate that they want to move out into the retreating line before getting to the front, and a space is made for them.
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