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Old 02-25-07, 05:38 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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Pacelines and cyclists safety.

Today we almost had a close one. I am not big on pace lines; but today all rode well. We all kept up. We sort of had a paceline thing going. I was sort of proud of myself.
But, suddenly the cyclists ahead of me slowed down sort of fast. I hit my brakes sort of fast. The guy behind me had to do a sige maneuveur to avoid hitting me.
It's my habit to keep a decent space between me and those ahead. So how does one cope with this situation. I apologized for scaring the hell out of the guy behind me. But asked him, My strong impression the person ahead was doing a rapid stop. As he was. What can I do? What do others do to avoid crashes in such situations.
My habit in the past, should time permit; display a closed fist to the person behind me. TOday there was no time for such a maneuver . You crash, who usually goes down first. ? The guy behind me seemed to understand.
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Old 02-25-07, 06:12 AM   #2
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In a non-race situation I think you can allow yourself a little more room and still get a good part of the benefits of a draft. When I ride with family, I generally pull, my wife rides behind me, and my daughter tucks in behind her. My son generally falls off the back, because even though he's the strongest rider, besides me, he doesn't notice anythng until it whacks him upside the head, and doesn't react to it until 3 days later.

Riding with friends, we'll trade back and forth, but not in regular pace line fashion, meaning not nearly as often, and generally if someone feels stronger they will come up and take a pull rather than the lead dropping back. We still give ourselves room to make quick adjustments.

9 times out of 10, if two riders run into each other, the guy touching from behind will be the one to go down. Both may go down, but the guy in back is generally screwed.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:29 AM   #3
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If everyone in the paceline does not know how to ride one, there shouldn't be one.
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Old 02-25-07, 10:56 AM   #4
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If everyone in the paceline does not know how to ride one, there shouldn't be one.
Wow that's insightful. That's like saying if people can't drive without ever causing accidents they should walk instead.
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Old 02-25-07, 11:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cyclezealot
What can I do? What do others do to avoid crashes in such situations.
First, you talk to the guy that hit his brakes too hard and tell him, in no uncertain terms, not to do that again.

Second, make sure that you have room to move either to the right or to the left. You shouldn't be overlapping wheels with the person in front and the person behind shouldn't be overlapping wheels with you. So the bailout to the side shouldn't take anyone down.

Third, always focus several riders ahead of you, so you have more time to react. Of course, if the person braking is right in front of you in mid-pack and hits the brake for no apparent reason that may not always help.
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Old 02-25-07, 11:50 AM   #6
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yeah, it's the guy in front's fault, provided he knew you guys were in a paceline behind him.
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Old 02-25-07, 12:44 PM   #7
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When pulling a paceline it's the responsiblity of the lead rider to point out (pot holes etc.) or shout out warnings, these warnings are then passed down the line. Communication is key to riding a safe paceline. If he slammed on his brakes without warning you need to find out the reason why. Next time you may not be so lucky.
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Old 02-25-07, 05:20 PM   #8
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As I recall, the guy ahead of me was the first to brake. A car appeared to maneuveur to the right, almost cutting off the paceline halfway back. I tapped on my brakes as his wheel appeared to get too close. There was no room to the right to get out of the paceline, it was all curve.
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Old 02-25-07, 06:56 PM   #9
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I agree with CapeJohn. Pacelining has rules, which are designed to minimize the risks; and if ya don't know them, you should either learn them or don't paceline. The leader has to call out all obstacles, and the people in the paceline must pass the word to the back freely. "Hole," "stick," "gravel," "car up," etc. A paceline requires communicating everything, and hand signals aren't good enough. The rider hitting the brakes should have immediately hollered, "braking," immediately followed by everyone to the rear hollering it too. That might not have helped you, but it might have given the guy behind you a half second extra reaction time.
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Old 02-26-07, 02:51 AM   #10
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The car unexpectedly moved to the right. There was so little time. I have always shied away from pacelines, but when feeling on top, it was sort of fun. Anyone get annoyed when someone you do not know , just uninvited hugs your wheel. I hate that. Happened to me a couple times. At least it appeared as such.

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Old 02-26-07, 06:57 AM   #11
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Wow that's insightful. That's like saying if people can't drive without ever causing accidents they should walk instead.
Shouldn't they? Are you saying that we should allow incompetent people to be in control of a deadly weapon?

Capejohn is right, IMO.
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Old 02-26-07, 07:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
As I recall, the guy ahead of me was the first to brake. A car appeared to maneuveur to the right, almost cutting off the paceline halfway back. I tapped on my brakes as his wheel appeared to get too close. There was no room to the right to get out of the paceline, it was all curve.
Someting else that isn't smart, is guiding a paceline that close to the edge that the rest of you have no bailout options in that direction. I suggest keeping this guy at the back of the line, if he insists on joining.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:07 AM   #13
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Riding pacelines safely takes practice and knowledge that the people in front of you are going to act predictably. Pick-up pacelines typically involve random club members who do not practice together or even discuss their technique, signaling, etc. These can be quite dangerous, especially if they are more than a few cyclists.

The best thing to do is to allow some extra space even if it means you don't get the optimum draft. If you have a group who rides together frequently, organize a paceline clinic and have an experienced rider explain the finer points of pacelines and practice together.
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Old 02-26-07, 09:35 AM   #14
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Wow that's insightful. That's like saying if people can't drive without ever causing accidents they should walk instead.

That is correct. Maybe they should be walking.

But for a pace line, having 100% newbs doing a paceline is just plain stupid. Yes you need to do it to learn how to do it. But you should be one newbie out of 5 or 10 experienced people doing the pace line, not one of many inexperienced people on the same pace line.

By the way, it is common to yell one's intentions not to use hand signals. "Car up", "car back", "stopping", "slowing", etc....
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Old 02-26-07, 09:41 AM   #15
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That's like saying if people can't drive without ever causing accidents they should walk instead.
If people can't drive without ever "CAUSING" accidents, they should walk.

There I said it.

And I absolutely believe it.

If you've "CAUSED" a collision, it ain't no accident. And you shouldn't be allowed to drive.

Gee officer, I ran over that cyclist. But it was an accident (whining/tears).

Bozos. Very few motor vehicle accidents are actually accidents.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:20 PM   #16
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Our ride typically practices a rotating paceline only on roads that have little traffic and good lines of sight. Narrow, twisty roads are definitely not the best places to have a paceline, especially when not all the riders are experienced.
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