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I've sworn off riding in Paceline with unknown's (rant).....(11 posts)

I've sworn off riding in Paceline with unknown's (rant).....Len J
Jun 25, 2001 9:40 AM
Riding in a local century this Sunday, nice ride, nice day, nice riding group. About 75 miles in we pass a rider who jumps on our paceline, he seems OK what the heck, one more to pull. He works his way up to the front & is pulling OK. We are on a One lane each direction road with no shoulder. We call up from back Motorcycle back, He begins to pass two other bikers at a steady 22 and then at the last minute changes his mind breaks and ducks in behind the two riders. I'm second from back of a 7 member paceline with somone behind me, an almost stopped bike in front of me, no shoulder and a motorcycle coming on. Thankfully the guy behind me (who I know) let's me know where he is as We Break agressivly. No one crashed, but it was only because of some great bikehandling. Guy couldn't understand why everyone was upset.

What should we have done differently (besides dropped this guy early).
No one got hurt, everyone learned something (hopefully),bill
Jun 25, 2001 10:00 AM
I would consider it a disaster averted and move on. People make mistakes. Why would you have dropped the guy early? How would you (or anyone) have known what to expect from him? I wouldn't be so hard on him or you. You took a chance on him, you didn't lose, and he learned something. Not a bad day, really. He'll never do that again. I promise you, he feels worse than you do.
Just to add a little food for thought. I still am wetbill
Jun 25, 2001 12:30 PM
behind the ears -- I've ridden in only a small handful of pacelines. I've got to where I can go fast enough to keep up, but I lack experience. My last time out, I flubbed my turn at the front EVERY TIME. When the leader signalled that he was coming out, I just followed his a**, because I thought we were making a turn. He didn't get upset, he said, "You'll get it." Which is leadership and cool, and inspiring, and, dadgummit, I'll do better next time. I understand that this guy's mistake endangered all of you, but, when dealing with a newcomer, I can tell you that some slack is well-appreciated and is a lesson in itself.
At least you didn't do the usual newbie trick...AlexR
Jun 25, 2001 1:05 PM
which is to accelerate 5mph when you get to the front. It's amazing how universal this is. I certainly did it in my first few pacelines.

keeping speed sameDog
Jun 25, 2001 5:25 PM
My method for keeping the speed the same when going to the front is stay in the same gear, and keep the cadence the same - you just press harder on the pedals a bit; that seems to be easier than watching the speedo.

One one thousand, two one thousand...AlexR
Jun 26, 2001 8:47 AM
This is especially useful on the track. When I'm second or third from front I count out the cadence in my head. When I'm first I just keep the rhythm. I haven't got a computer on the track bike, so I can't eyeball the speed.

re: I've sworn off riding in Paceline with unknown's (rant).....mr_spin
Jun 25, 2001 10:14 AM
It's not clear if you and the rest of the line followed him as he tried to pass when the motorcycle was coming. If that was the case, that's one thing you shouldn't have done! Don't follow a stupid move.

I've learned that with unknowns, you must allow room for dumb moves like that. That means everyone, all the way down the line. Ride a little further back and ride a little off the ideal line so you can get a better view of what's coming. That's key: get a better view! If you are coming up on riders and know passing them will be dicey, anticipate the stupid move. Try to anticipate the reaction of the rider in front of you, and make sure you leave a slot for the rider behind you.

We have a guy in our group (not an unknown!) who breaks all the paceline rules. He rides his tri-bars, he winds up the speed when his turn comes, and after he pulls off, sometimes he'll just crash back into the middle of the line instead of the end. We are always yelling at him and lecturing him, which lasts for a few rides, but he doesn't really change. Our solution when he acts like this is to let him take the front, and when he puts the hammer down, we watch him go off into the distance.

Either drop the bad guy or let him go, but get rid of him!
re: I've sworn off riding in Paceline with unknown's (rant).....Len J
Jun 26, 2001 6:25 AM
We did follow him, because there was plenty of room. It was a Motorcycle passing us, not a car. We were giving him a little extra room, that is the only thing that saved us.
what I've learnedDuane Gran
Jun 25, 2001 12:51 PM
Ironically during the AIDS ride I had an experience that really rings a bell with what you describe. By the third day I was working with a good group and we were all pretty comfortable. Occassionally someone jumped in, which was cool, and sometimes they fell out, which was also cool. However....

This one guy joined in our line and really put the fear of God in all of us. His speed was erratic, he would ride no-hands in the line (poorly, mind you), attack on the downhills and die on the uphills. He slowed down once on the flats and someone rubbed his wheel. At that point I had to step in.

I rolled up to him, introduced myself and had a little light chat and then bluntly told him, "I'm glad you are out riding and such, but you are scaring the hell out of us." I proceeded to explain a few things to him about pacelining and group ettiquette. He seemed receptive, but then he started doing dumb stuff again.

We dropped him. I have never done this before, but he was endangering us all. I'll admit it, I worked him over on the hills and we cracked the whip on the flats and disconnected him from us. We all sighed in relief.

So here is my advice... talk to the person first and if that doesn't work, drop them if possible. If they can't be dropped, or if that makes the situation more dangerous, kindly ask the person to leave the line or sit in the back. If this seems cold, keep in mind that anyone is capable of riding safely. It isn't too much to expect it from someone.
and as someone who fears being that guy, this is exactly howbill
Jun 25, 2001 1:09 PM
i'd expect to be (and want to be) handled.
Thanks for putting up with the rant.......Len J
Jun 26, 2001 6:32 AM
and thanks for the balance. After the incident, I did ride up and have a very calm conversation with this guy. Started off by asking him if he knew what happened. He said he started to pass & then decided that he would wait for the cycle to pass. I asked him if he knew what that did to those in the back of the paceline & he looked at me as if I had two heads. I then explained to him about the importance of steady predictible moves in a paceline & why it was important, he listened and then proceeded to give he 10 reasons why he did the right thing. I tried one more time, with no sucess. We then geared up the line & left him (Hopefully) thinking. I hope that he gets it before he hurts someone.

Ride on