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Paceline vs riding in a pack ?

Old 06-02-07, 07:04 PM
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snhrider
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Paceline vs riding in a pack ?

Recently, in one of my group rides, I had a conversation with a rider who said that he rides in another group that averages 23-25 mph and they ride paceline. Also I learned that they are all strong riders and have been doing this for quite a while. On the other hand, none of them has ever raced before. I tried to complement him by telling him that he and his fellow riders will do well in racing and should give it a shot. I also made a comment something like "but riding in a paceline is not quite the same as riding in a pack". I quickly realized that it was not the wise thing to say because he was noticeably upset after that. As for me, I am a Cat-5 and have entered enough races to see the dynamics of a pack. I have been thinking, my comment may have not been appropriate but was it accurate ?
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Old 06-02-07, 07:23 PM
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Yeah, my brother-in-law is like that with his buddies. They're really fast, but they do realize that racing is different -- without being offended. I still think they'd do well racing, but they'd have a lot to learn. It's like being really good at throwing a ball up in front of you and whacking it with a bat vs. playing baseball.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:41 PM
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In the Cat4 / Cat5 races I've been in, the "pack" is pretty darn disorganized compared to a pacelining group ride. The difference is that an organized ride tends to be more steady and aerobic; races tend to have brief periods of anaerobic effort followed by lots of freewheeling and grumbling since everyone wants the pace to be faster but nobody wants to be the one doing the work to actually make it faster.

But that's just Cat 4/5. It might be way different in the better categories for all I know.

As for having a lot to learn, I consider myself in that boat.

--Steve
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Old 06-02-07, 09:40 PM
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In a paceline, the goal is to share the work. In a race, (unless you're chasing, off the front, or working for a team mate) the goal is not to work and make everyone else work as much as possible.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by zimbo
In the Cat4 / Cat5 races I've been in, the "pack" is pretty darn disorganized compared to a pacelining group ride. The difference is that an organized ride tends to be more steady and aerobic; races tend to have brief periods of anaerobic effort followed by lots of freewheeling and grumbling since everyone wants the pace to be faster but nobody wants to be the one doing the work to actually make it faster.
You should see our Wednesday night group rides then.....at some points, I wonder if I'm on a recovery ride....then the next instant, someone is attacking up a hill off the front and soon we're redlining it.

Lots and lots of accelerations, hill sprints, head-down-and-hammering, along with plenty of spinning/freewheeling along and B.S.ing while spread out down the road. It's almost like one big, irregular interval session with recovery built in. Kind of like a race, in some aspects....
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Old 06-03-07, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
You should see our Wednesday night group rides then.....at some points, I wonder if I'm on a recovery ride....then the next instant, someone is attacking up a hill off the front and soon we're redlining it.

Lots and lots of accelerations, hill sprints, head-down-and-hammering, along with plenty of spinning/freewheeling along and B.S.ing while spread out down the road. It's almost like one big, irregular interval session with recovery built in. Kind of like a race, in some aspects....
ive been on rides like these. if u live in socal there's a ride down near long beach every tues evening that costs 10 dollars, and is basically an unofficial race, with timers, line judges, etc. i raced in the cat 4/5 group and have to say it was pretty darn easy compared to an official uscf race. there's just something about an "official" race where results count that gets the field a lil crazier than any group ride.
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Old 06-03-07, 11:35 AM
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In almost every pack, there is a paceline at the front (and usually one towards the back made up of the guys trying to hang on). These are the guys that are driving the group. Then it tends to bunch up in the middle. I guess this is the "pack" the op is talking about.
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Old 06-03-07, 07:15 PM
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Paceline = protocols.
Pack riding = implied expectations
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