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Double paceline questions(14 posts)

Double paceline questionsstacker
Sep 3, 2002 6:32 AM
I went on a 50 mile ride this passed Sat. This was my first experience at riding a double paceline. Hell, it was my first real experience at riding any paceline. What is the proper way of doing your pull up front and then falling back in a dual paceline? I ended up dropping out completely because I felt like I may be worrying other riders with my lack of knowledge(although nobody seemed too interested in helping me either)at 27-31 mph speeds. I really enjoyed riding with more people and I can see where I need to ride with a club in order to better myself. I usually ride alone or with 2 other people and average 20 mph for roughly 30 miles or so.
It depends,TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2002 6:54 AM
The best thing to do is watch from the back how people are pulling off and follow their lead.

There are primarily two ways to run a double paceline. The first (and most common- as it requires less organization), is to have the two people on the front pull off simultaniously, one to the left and one to the right.

The other is to constantly rotate the pacelines, so that one line is in a constant state of falling back, while the other is constantly moving forward. When one reaches the front, they simply move into the other line and begin to fall back.

The second method is faster, but anti-social, as you don't sit next to anybody for any amount of time. The first is more common, because it's friendlier and easier.
What's the etiquette if you find yourself in a double pacelinebill
Sep 3, 2002 7:16 AM
that is rolling at a speed where you may be reluctant to take even a short pull, for fear of slowing the line or blowing up? Obviously, this means that you're in over your head, but, you know, sometimes sh*t happens. You have to hang as best you can, or you're stuck by yourself 30 miles from home. I've seen guys hang at the back and just wave the rotators on through, which is a whole lot better than blowing up and have everyone swarm around you trying to regroup.
I think it's fair...TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2002 9:31 AM
If there's a reasonably sized group, I think the right thing to do is to open up a gap whenever somebody begins to drop back, so that you constantly remain the last guy in the group. There's nothing wrong with 'sitting on' if you can barely hold the pace.

It is totally taboo, however, to sit on all afternoon, and then win the final town line sprint, or otherwise attack the group.
very very truehycobob
Sep 3, 2002 12:05 PM
We have a few like that who fancy themselves as cat 1 racers, but aren't even cat 4/5. Nothings worse for pissin' other riders off than working through the line until you're 2nd from the lead and dropping out to the back saying, "its OK, I'm a sprinter". All it makes the other riders do is have to work harder to fill in the gap he left open. Plus the rider having to move up to fill in the gap gets a double pull. Not even Mario could screw over his team mates like that continuously, and expect to win.
And if you sit on all day...TJeanloz
Sep 3, 2002 1:30 PM
Furthermore, if you do choose to sit on all day, which, I reiterate, is perfectly legitimate, you have limited bragging rights when you get back to the ranch. There are few things more annoying than dragging some bozo for 80 miles up and down the Front Range, only to later hear him tell his friends that he was 'just going easy, averaging 23 mph; no big deal, I do it all the time.' Come to think of it, I don't like it when anybody brags about riding or racing, but the sitters-on are the most galling.
pertinent infoDougSloan
Sep 3, 2002 2:32 PM
just pull off right awayDougSloan
Sep 3, 2002 7:21 AM
The whole point of a double paceline is to go fast. When I've done these, it means constant rotation. Within about 5 seconds of getting to the front, you pull off.

If some people are staying up front longer, let them, and don't feel like you must match them. The point is to move fast, and if you slow the group by staying up front too long, you are blowing it. It is far better to pull off prematurely than hold up the group, or blow and fall off -- then you are no help at all.

Double pacelinesTig
Sep 3, 2002 9:59 AM
Wow, you might have been on my Saturday ride with those speeds! It has taken 1 1/2 years of consistent riding (after taking a few years off) to be able to stay with my group and even contribute. Once you learn to ride pacelines right, you can at least keep the knowledge even if your fitness level drops.

While in the paceline drafting, keep an eye on the speed so that when you get to the front you know what speed to maintain. Watch the experienced riders in front and mimic them when it is your turn to pull. When the pair in front of you is pulling, quickly check the speed and "memorize" your cadence. Try to keep even with the rider next to you (your partner) without overlapping the wheel in front of you. In a paceline, don't stare at the rear wheel in front of you. Look through the rider to see obstacles and notice what is happening towards the front. You can see a rider a few spots in front of you slow down their pedaling, which lets you know that you will soon be too close to the wheel in front of you if you keep pedaling at the same intensity. Watch an experienced paceline rider and you will rarely see them stop pedaling. They will soft peddle or slow down their pedaling to adjust speed slightly. This prevents having to use brakes. A group of solid riders in a paceline won't have to use brakes except for cornering.

OK, it is your turn to pull since the pair in front of you is pulling off. ALWAYS pull off towards the outside of a double paceline (left side goes left, right side goes right). Notice how they didn't slow down until they were out of the advancing paceline's way? I like to give a little extra input to the pedals for 1 stroke as I'm starting to pull off just to make sure I clear the wheel behind me. Hopefully the riders also communicated that they were done by saying something like "out", and/or flaring their fingers or wiggling their elbows (chicken wing style!). Communication is a must for safety!

Let the riders in front pull out and drift back, but don't try to speed up to "fill the gap". If a headwind is strong you will instantly slow down if caught unaware. Try to maintain the pace given to you without slowing down or speeding up. Keep even with your partner. Stay on only as long as you feel comfortable. You don't need to prove anything to these people by pulling too long. Besides, you won't impress them very well when you immediately get dropped after a macho pull. Call out obstacles and point if needed. I like to tell my partner something like "OK, I'm about done", followed by a louder "OUT" and either a flashing hand flare signal or elbow pump. You should have some energy left to stay within 1 or 2 MPH of the advancing paceline while you are drifting back.

If you weren't able to maintain the existing pace toward the end of your pull, you stayed up there too long. If you are dead and decelerating quickly after the pull, you stayed on too long. A fast, quick-pull paceline will have a line(s) of riders drifting back constantly toward the back while others are in the advancing line(s). If at the end of your pull you fall back too quickly (going too slow) you will be screwing up these guys behind you that are also drifting back at a faster speed than you are going. They know it is easier to keep their speed close to the paceline's so that they don't have to accelerate hard to try to get back on to the tail end.

When you are the last one in line at the back and you see a rider drifting back after their pull, tell them something like "last one" when they are close so that they know where to pull back in. On a fast, quick-pull echelon some riders who are pulling off will tell the new puller "clear" when there is enough room for them to take over the space. This kind of paceline is so fast that you usually never pull for more than a few seconds. The advancing line is constantly moving forward, filling the space. These are almost like a well choreographed ballet.
Group Riding 101 ArticleTig
Sep 3, 2002 10:02 AM
Server problems have kept this article unavailable for the past few months, but it is now back. It has plenty of great tips.
Thanks for the info everybody, it shouldstacker
Sep 3, 2002 11:20 AM
help me out quite a bit on my next ride with these guys. Now I just need to work on the "language" of hand signals and phrases and I should be good to go. Thanks again!
you also should be aware that different groups use differentbill
Sep 3, 2002 11:49 AM
conventions; you just have to watch what the insiders are doing. Some groups do longer pulls than others. Some groups have very visible, audible, definite signals, and some don't, signalling with just a little flick or not at all.
It actually takes some guts to risk continuing to seem an outsider by just watching for awhile and not really participating (hanging in the back, in other words) until you figure out the way a group does things. There is no one convention.
Remember that even groups that seem unfriendly (far too many, really) will abide you if you seem to want to learn. In addition to the social retardation that seems to go with this solipsistic sport, it is a safety issue, and newcomers mean unfamiliarity and possible menace. Ask the stupid questions early and often; you'll learn faster, and you may avoid the mistake that ruins everyone's day. One or two superjerks may exploit your vulnerability, but most appreciate it as not only an icebreaker but as a sign that you want to help the group, always appreciated.
Points well taken. I willstacker
Sep 3, 2002 12:07 PM
try to be more observant and ask plenty of questions. Funny thing is, while we were waiting for somebody with a flat, nobody spoke to me at all. Now, I know that I didn't smell badly(yet) and I was friendly enough but I thought it to be a bit odd. Oh well I figured, they are just upholding a bit of the "roadie" stereotype that many people refer to. I wasn't upset over it because I understand the end result of having some new guy make you wipe out at speed and took that into consideration. I will admit however to having my spare pair of mtn shoes on and I did have an older Derosa with downtube shifters(full Dura-Ace). Maybe they were too busy wondering what I was doing there.
an old DeRosa with downtube shifters will GAINbill
Sep 3, 2002 12:25 PM
you points in almost any group I know. Far worse, believe me, would be showing up with a BRAND NEW Record-equipped DeRosa with hairy legs and MTB shoes. Then, no one knows WHAT to make of you.
Roadies can be tough, no doubt about it. Some groups are friendlier than others, but none are all good or all bad. I usually speak up a little, make little jokes (usually self-deprecating, although at the risk of, as my father always said, not being rich enough to wear those [poor] clothes), and see who laughs. I gravitate to the folks who laugh; the rest may come around, or not. Nothing I'm going to do about it other than to do what I do.