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Paceline etiquette

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Old 07-12-18, 05:47 AM
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acboett
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Paceline etiquette

Curious how others think of it. I got scolded for filling in a pace-line to keep it stitched together when well more than a bike length opened up. It was not seen as unsafe but a breach of "etiquette"
Also there seems to be a disinterest to pace-line with this group of 7-10 riders. Might someone have thoughts why that may be ? Am I wrong to think a group this size would ride more efficiently/effectively (faster) rolling though a pace-line rather that 3-10 min pulls at the front and therefore long periods sitting on.
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Old 07-12-18, 05:56 AM
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indyfabz
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Have you thought that, for whatever reason, the group is not interested in any efficiency gains pacelining might produce?

Don't try to force your will on a group of people who aren't interested in buying what you are selling. Find a group that rides the way you want to ride.
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Old 07-12-18, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by acboett View Post
Curious how others think of it. I got scolded for filling in a pace-line to keep it stitched together when well more than a bike length opened up. It was not seen as unsafe but a breach of "etiquette"
Also there seems to be a disinterest to pace-line with this group of 7-10 riders. Might someone have thoughts why that may be ? Am I wrong to think a group this size would ride more efficiently/effectively (faster) rolling though a pace-line rather that 3-10 min pulls at the front and therefore long periods sitting on.
Did you consider that the gap you saw may have been deliberate? Pacelining is a discipline and many cyclists don't want to devote that kind of attention to it; they just want to be sociable while riding.
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Old 07-12-18, 06:03 AM
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Paul Barnard
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I think your best bet is to discuss it with the group you were riding with rather than asking us to guess.
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Old 07-12-18, 06:07 AM
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Were you part of this group, or just out riding around solo, saw a paceline go by with a gap in it and tried to fill in the space?
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Old 07-12-18, 06:23 AM
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I don't like pacelining because it makes the ride easier. I space out or ride alongside on purpose.

I wonder why people who do it do it every ride - they're just making their rides less of a workout to pad their numbers, I suppose. What do they do when they are faced with 2-3 hours of solo riding into a headwind?
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Old 07-12-18, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I don't like pacelining because it makes the ride easier. I space out or ride alongside on purpose.

I wonder why people who do it do it every ride - they're just making their rides less of a workout to pad their numbers, I suppose. What do they do when they are faced with 2-3 hours of solo riding into a headwind?
Uh, they just ride a bit slower?
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Old 07-12-18, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I don't like pacelining because it makes the ride easier.
It never gets easier...
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Old 07-12-18, 07:42 AM
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It occurs to me that every change in system state - the instant configuration of the riders, their relative positions and velocities - will involve a concordant risk. Very small perhaps and dependent on their skills and environmental influences, but nevertheless a slight added risk.

Possibly the group is more interested in just riding together at a fast pace while mitigating risk than in maximizing the speed of a particular ride, and felt that you were unnecessarily aggressive in rushing up to fill an empty space.
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Old 07-12-18, 07:52 AM
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There is no single right way to group just as there is no single right way to ride. There is what the group or the rider wants to do, and if they don't match, the rider should find another group or go solo.

I'd rather have my teeth pulled than put up with the regimentation needed to maintain a paceline. I also like the sense that my very long rides are entirely the result of my own effort. Neither of those things is a knock on anyone who likes riding in pace lines. They're not wrong, we're just different.

The only time I care about whether someone is "padding" their numbers is if it causes them to ride too fast to be safe on the road or path. If you're consistently near-missing people to squeeze out 0.1 in MPH, we might be having a talk. Otherwise, pad away. Who cares?

Last edited by livedarklions; 07-12-18 at 07:53 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-12-18, 07:56 AM
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Have you checked Velominati ? The Rules for validation?

/sarcasm
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Old 07-12-18, 08:24 AM
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thanks

thanks for the opinions, plenty to think about
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Old 07-12-18, 08:25 AM
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acboett
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part of the group
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Old 07-12-18, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by acboett View Post
Curious how others think of it. I got scolded for filling in a pace-line to keep it stitched together when well more than a bike length opened up. It was not seen as unsafe but a breach of "etiquette"
Also there seems to be a disinterest to pace-line with this group of 7-10 riders. Might someone have thoughts why that may be ? Am I wrong to think a group this size would ride more efficiently/effectively (faster) rolling though a pace-line rather that 3-10 min pulls at the front and therefore long periods sitting on.
Was the group riding two up and you changed lanes to fill a gap?

First, two-up can facilitate conversation, if the road conditions permit this formation. A more social group riding at a conversational pace benefits from a 2-up formation because everyone has someone to talk to for a few minutes, assuming each pair or riders pulls at the front for at least a couple of minutes.

If you made a lateral move to fill a gap, some people freak out. I do it, but I make my intentions very clear, vocalizing my intent and also using hand signals.

If the group was single file and you passed a few riders to fill a gap that you saw opening up, then the riders you passed might have assumed that you thought they were getting dropped and that you wanted to fix the problem before you were gapped off and riding with dropped riders. This is not against etiquette, unless it was clear that the gapped rider had opened the gap intentionally and that nobody was going to get dropped.
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Old 07-12-18, 11:09 AM
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The only etiquette that matters is what the specific group has determined to be the etiquette. The few I have ever bothered with had vastly different rules and expectations.
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Old 07-12-18, 11:21 AM
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What ChicagoGal said. Depends on the situation, but generally you're expected to fill a gap if you can do so safely. If anybody is going to be yelled at, it's the rider who allowed the gap to form. At least on the rides I do.
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Old 07-12-18, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
what chicagogal said. Depends on the situation, but generally you're expected to fill a gap if you can do so safely. If anybody is going to be yelled at, it's the rider who allowed the gap to form. At least on the rides i do.


+1
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Old 07-13-18, 03:02 AM
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Some groups do pacelines only on training rides where safe and when everybody knows what to expect. Other group rides are informal, even if the pace is fast, and traffic and road conditions may make pacelines too dangerous.

If you and others in that group want to do paceline training you can probably spin off your own sub-group and choose a place where it's appropriate to do so.

A local club I've ridden with on some casual rides does their paceline training in a park that requires paid entry, with good paved roads and very little vehicle traffic. Officially they don't do pacelines on other group rides on public streets, although in reality there are usually groups of 3 or more riders working together at the front and the whole thing turns into a hammerfest with some folks getting dropped off the back.
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Old 07-13-18, 04:06 AM
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Quite frankly I think letting a gap open up between you and the rider in front is a severe breach of etiquette and the correct punishment for this crime is for the rest of the group to beat the offender around the head with their frame pumps but nobody has frame pumps anymore and throwing your CO2 cartridge at them just isn't the same. Now get off my damn lawn.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:32 AM
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Nah, they won't beat you with frame pumps or jam 'em into your spokes. That's inappropriate.

But...

They're going to yell at you.
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Old 07-13-18, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Have you thought that, for whatever reason, the group is not interested in any efficiency gains pacelining might produce?

Don't try to force your will on a group of people who aren't interested in buying what you are selling. Find a group that rides the way you want to ride.

Exactly!

Find a new group or ride alone.
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Old 07-13-18, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
What ChicagoGal said. Depends on the situation, but generally you're expected to fill a gap if you can do so safely. If anybody is going to be yelled at, it's the rider who allowed the gap to form. At least on the rides I do.

That's right. Same here.

If a gap opens then it is an indication that the rider can't hold the wheel and the group is about to split. The gap is fair game.

Sometimes faster riders caught at the rear will jump forward to stay with the lead group, fight for the gap and force the guy who let it open to retreat.

You gotta keep up.


-Tim-
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Old 07-13-18, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Don't try to force your will on a group of people who aren't interested in buying what you are selling. Find a group that rides the way you want to ride.
This.
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Old 07-13-18, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by acboett View Post
Curious how others think of it. I got scolded for filling in a pace-line to keep it stitched together when well more than a bike length opened up. It was not seen as unsafe but a breach of "etiquette"
Also there seems to be a disinterest to pace-line with this group of 7-10 riders. Might someone have thoughts why that may be ? Am I wrong to think a group this size would ride more efficiently/effectively (faster) rolling though a pace-line rather that 3-10 min pulls at the front and therefore long periods sitting on.
You could ask. Por ejemplo:

You: Hey guys, let's rotate. It's more efficient.
Them: Nah. It's just a casual chit-chat ride.
You: Oh okay, cool.
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Old 07-13-18, 12:23 PM
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I don't see what the problem is with filling a gap in a paceline, as long as you don't make any dangerous moves.
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