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pacelines and potholes(7 posts)

pacelines and potholesStan_B
Apr 10, 2001 4:37 AM
I do a good amount of my riding solo. I do enjoy riding in pacelines from time to time. I find that I end up hitting many more potholes and debris when in a paceline because I'm having trouble seeing the road ahead. I've tried riding just to the side of the rider in front of me but sometimes the other riders don't like this. Any ideas on how to avoid obstacles when riding close behind another rider?
Easy....Greg Taylor
Apr 10, 2001 4:56 AM
...if you are with a group, or a group of riders lets you into their paceline, the rider(s) in front should be calling out stuff like potholes, etc. It is their obligation.

If, however, you are out back sucking wheel and the rider out front don't know that they are there, you take your chances.

Riding off to one side can annoy other riders because they are afraid that you will creep up and overlap wheels. It's like riding in a blind spot. If the rider out front pulls out or has to swerve and you are there, there will be an accident. It can also screw up riders pulling off the front and heading to the end of the line. It's a bit different if have cross-wind and EVERYONE agrees to echelon across the road.
Are potholes called out in races?Steve Davis
Apr 10, 2001 6:03 AM
I have done only a few races and it seemed that the normal group ettiquite of calling out road hazards was non-existent. A few years ago I rode in a citizen's race at Killington. Several of the riders were cat 4's and 5's who missed the time cut on the previous day's stage as a result of flatting after hitting holes. One poor guy was riding second in line and went over a hole when the guy up front didn't call it out. He flatted again...

Is this normally the case in the heat of competition?
Seen it both waysDog
Apr 10, 2001 6:15 AM
Normally, if the group is tooling along on the flats at a comfortable pace, things get called out. When hammering, it's every man for himself. It might even be a bad idea to remove your hands from the bars to point things out. I've never seen intentional leading over hazards, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens now and then. But, what goes around... In earlier Cat 5 races, the officials told us not to swerve, even if there is a large rock in our way -- "just hit it" was the instruction, rather than swerve (of course, a bunny hop could come in handy), indicating it was better for one to flat rather than swerve and take out 20 riders.

In races run around loops, just be more careful and watch the first time around. For crits, inpect the course during your warm up ahead of time.

Doug
Yup...Greg Taylor
Apr 10, 2001 6:51 AM
Doug's got this nailed. On short crit courses (1) it is short enough so that you can figure out where the trouble is when you are warming up, and (2) you have to hold a line in a tight pack, and swerving is a no-no.
What I would doDog
Apr 10, 2001 6:07 AM
The front rider has an obligation to point out hazards, either for safety or tire damage. If they are doing that, I would politely point out to them that you are hitting a lot of things, and it would be better if they would point it out. However, what I frequently hear in the more aggressive pacelines is simply, "Hey, point that shi!t out!" (literally) Gets the message across.

If they refuse or just are to absorbed in the riding to do so, I wouldn't ride with them. Riding out to the side really isn't a good choice, for several reasons. First, if you are near traffic, either you or the one behind you, and so on, will be forced into traffic -- if you go to the right, same thing, but you force someone else into the gutter or into the additional junk near the gutter. You could stagger left and ride, but that really doesn't work very well, as far as pacelines go. It really does increase the chances of accidents from overlapping wheels, and is less efficient. The whole reason for riding in a paceline is so that the whole group can move faster than solo riders.

If you point out that they are not pointing things out, they'll probably get it. If not, find another line, IMHO.

Doug
pace line etiquetteBreck
Apr 10, 2001 9:03 AM
Would be in agreement with every one who claims it is the up-front riders benefit to point down at the road, left or right, road pot holes, glass, etc. that might up-set the following rider and endanger the peloton of the pace line when ever possible. Out of the saddle climbing being more of a verbal warning. If the guy in front of you misses the danger you can not pass it on down the line.

Shouting can not always be heard. Pointing down at least gives some idea which side to watch out for. You lead and you follow so pace line etiquette is a "team for all" thing. Educate your fellow rider. He/ she may not know the rules of the road.

Peak climbing etiquette: Shout rock to those below if you loosen some. This is amore easily understandable graphic interpretation of "etiquette". We all need some.|

cheers
bgcc