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Let me try this a different way(20 posts)

Let me try this a different waylotterypick
Oct 6, 2003 8:19 AM
What was your worst paceline error ever?

Mine was almost causing a crash trying to be helpful. Gotta be predictable.
Assuming those nuts had ever pacelined before ...Humma Hah
Oct 6, 2003 8:50 AM
... having learned to paceline in a track class, I assumed most cyclists who paceline had at least some notion how to do it. So, 2/3 of the way thru the Tour de Palm Springs, when I glanced back and found out I'd picked up a proper paceline behind the cruiser, I figured I'd finally get a chance to practice pacelining with roadies.

Well, I shoulda known anybody who would suck wheel behind a cruiser had no idea how to take a pull.

It wasn't dangerous, just comical. I pulled for about 5 miles. When I peeled off the front to try to drop to the rear and let them pull a while, they just tried to keep following me.
Every time, and I do mean every time, the rider in front of mebill
Oct 6, 2003 9:24 AM
signalled to pull off, I thought he was signalling a turn and followed him. I didn't know the route, so, it was all the same to me.
re: Let me try this a different wayMShaw
Oct 6, 2003 9:50 AM
When I first started riding road, the VA Tech cycling team was doing a TT/TTT practice up the road a ways on one of the very few flat roads in the area. In the last 5-6km of a 40km TT I overlapped wheels and went down.

Good thing it was 30-40 degrees out! I had several layers of clothing on to slide against each other...

No one was behind me, so it wasn't as bad as it could've been.

My worst mistake, oddly enough, was to actuallyOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 9:50 AM
JOIN one this past weekend, for the first time in, oh, 15 years. I was feeling cocky, and one thing led to another. Turns out these nondescript young bucks were racers. I haven't raced since 19**. Took about 30 seconds to realize I was in WAY over my aged hoary head, and 5 minutes to be b!tch-slapped out the back like a rag doll on wheels. Last thing I heard, as they disappeared over the next roller, was gales and peals of laughter.

Good way to stay humble, I must say.
Been there, done thatPaulCL
Oct 6, 2003 11:44 AM
Old age, inexperience, cockiness...all adds up to the same thing: a humbling realization that you ain't Lance.

About 7 or 8 years ago (early in my cycling career)I picked up a paceline while on one of my normal routes. I'd never seen these guys before. I thought I was fast. Five minutes later, my lungs were bleeding, my legs throbbed, and I blew up bad. Must have been real ugly. They actually waved as I fell waaaaaaay back and died. The irony of it all is that I now pick up with essentially the same group and have no problems even though I'm an old man of 41.

Recent stupid paceline tricks. In an organized century last year, my three friends and I found ourselves leading a paceline of nearly 35 riders. Long and dangerous. The four of us were reasonably experienced, but the rest who knows?? While flying along at 23+mph, a rider in the middle of the pack went down and brought down a dozen riders behind her. My instinct was to stop and help, so I kinda pulled out - much to the chagrin of my buddy behind me who didn't want to stop. I almost caused a crash myself. We never stopped to help since a SAG wagon passed us within a minute of the event. By the way - we did the century in 4hr 22min of riding time with less than 20 minutes more off the bike. whaddaride!
hehehehe... the paceline of 24 Huffy's is a BAD omen... :) nmDrPete
Oct 6, 2003 11:51 AM
a side note on that pacelinePaulCL
Oct 6, 2003 11:57 AM
The real reason we didn't stop is becuase we were all rather P.O.ed at our hangers' on. The four of us swapped the leadout for the entire century. Not one single time did any of the 50-odd other riders (total who joined us at one time or another) offer to take a pull. Yes, inexperienced. But one, just one of 'em had to know to swap the pulls. On more than one occasion, we would crank it up to 26-28mph to shake'em all loose. But doing that more than a few times would have killed me.

Was that the Sea Gull? (nm)Gregory Taylor
Oct 6, 2003 12:00 PM
Oct 7, 2003 11:12 AM
Tour of the Scioto River Valley double century weekend. Columbus Ohio to Portsmouth, Ohio on Saturday, then back the next.

This year, my beloved Colnago frame cracked after the first 100 miles. Then I hitched a ride home.
Are you SURE you wanted them to mix in? I wouldn't! nmMShaw
Oct 7, 2003 8:55 AM
Why they still call me The WheelsuckerCory
Oct 6, 2003 10:49 AM
My first paceline was in a century about 15 years ago, when I got back into cycling after 10 years or so as a runner. A friend--also a casual rider--talked me into doing it.
We were rolling along about 19mph when a bunch of guys went by at about 24. I'd literally never heard the term "paceline," but we wanted to see if we could keep up with the fast guys. We got on the back and picked up four or five mph--but whenever anyone rotated back, we'd fall off and let them in ahead of us. We had no idea of the etiquette or of taking a pull--we were just trying not to screw them up, since they were obviously better riders than we were. We must've drafted them for 15 or 20 miles to a rest stop, where one of them got all feisty about it.
He was right, of course...but maybe we shouldn't assume everybody we run into KNOWS this stuff.
You should have seen me 'take a pull' Saturday! LOL! nmOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 11:02 AM
What you did is called Sh1thooking.MShaw
Oct 7, 2003 9:02 AM
Its a very useful skill to know if you're riding with a bunch of guys that are faster than you are.

I still do this if I'm on a group ride where I want to stay at the front, but not ON the front. There's usually about 12-15 riders willing to pull, I sit behind them and sh1thook, keeping idiots from screwing up the rotation, keeping out of trouble, etc.

One big caveat: if you are going to sh1thook, make sure that you don't go sprinting OTF. Sh1thooking is for those that aren't quite strong enough to work in, not for sandbaggers.

As long as they knew that you were there, that you weren't going to screw anything up, what's the problem? The minute you screw up the paceline, things get real nasty...

Slightly off-topic, humorous paceline observation ...Humma Hah
Oct 6, 2003 1:03 PM
Amtrack century a few years ago ... my first formal century. I'm cruising on the cruiser, my little license plate completing the effect, announcing that Humma Hah's rider is "Tom". There were a number of very long pacelines of riders with identical jerseys, out for a good time, and friendly. "Hello, Tom," they'd say as they passed.

But the same pacelines kept passing me. "Hey, look, its Tom. How'd he get ahead of us AGAIN?"

The answer was, every few miles, I'd see those pacelines on the side of the road, one or two bikes in the process of fixing flats, or they'd take too long getting everyone on the road at SAG stops.

Pacelines are very fast, when they're moving. The big mistake, if you're trying to go fast, is to forget the rules of Italian Pursuit: drop the slow riders.

But maybe they actually had it right -- forget about using the paceline to go fast, use it to have fun in a club atmosphere. And in that environment, let the strongest rider, or strongest few, pull the whole way.
Similar experienceScot_Gore
Oct 6, 2003 2:50 PM
I'm a member of a MS150 team. Most of the riders are casual riders who get ready for the 150 but beyond that, don't ride much. We have a team jersey so even if we don't know each other we can recognize each other on the road.

I started the ride alone and planned to ride at my own pace and not worry about others at stops or whenever. I'm cruising along and before I know it I look back and there's 6-8 team jerseys behind me. Now, I knew many of the riders, so there was no way I was going to swap out of the front and get behind one of the weekend warriors, so I just stayed on the front and pulled them all along. A good time was had by all. They enjoyed the pace and I got to ride my own ride as planned.

It all fell apart at the next rest stop, but formed a couple of more times along the way with a different set of team mates each time.

Getting Dropped! nmbimini
Oct 6, 2003 2:19 PM
Labeling a guy as a FRED and then watching him drop my A$$...biknben
Oct 6, 2003 6:00 PM
One truly humbling group ride involved the hammers of a local club. I showed up and looked around at the other guys. I didn't know anyone. A few guys were talking in small groups but the overall reception was cold.

We started off and I paid attention to some of the other riders, their habits and styles. Picking out the guys that looked fast and so-on. One guy was riding an old bike that looked like it hadn't been maintained in 15 years. He's in a T-shirt, tube socks, aero-bars, and a few other tid-bits that catch my eye.

I'm thinking to myself that I want to stay away from this guy. He's trouble. About half-way through the ride I finish a pull, slide back and find myself behind this guy. Suddenly, the group picks up the pace dramatically. I'm struggling at the back. I could only watch as this guy slowly pulled away from me with the rest of the group. I was doing 28mph and getting dropped. The
i other
guy didn't seem to mind the high pace at all.

I eventually caught up to them when they slowed down. I dropped my ego and had a much different attitude towards the guy on the old clunker. I don't label people by what they ride or look like any more.
Labeling a guy as a FRED and then watching him drop my A$$...TNRyder
Oct 6, 2003 7:40 PM
I'm guilty of the sittin on a wheel and not taking a pull thing my self. I had never ridden in a group on the road before and I was riding in the first slot behind the point man when he takes off on a sprint. I'm hammering my arse of in just trying to keep up with the guy and he tries to move over. I just stay on his wheel. He moves again and slows down. I still just sit on his wheel. Then the guy says to one of his buddies "He won't take a pull." At that point, I finally figured it out. Not that I could have taken a pull, when he was trying to drop off, I was blowing up!
Mine;KG 361
Oct 7, 2003 9:50 AM
I was riding an MS 150 ride with group of about 4 or 5 and 2 of us had pulled ahead on a climb. I was behind my friend, "Rabbit", when he called out, "hey Mark, is Bill back there?". So I stood and turned to look, touching his wheel and taking myself down. Fortunately he stayed up and we were climbing, so we weren't going very fast. Just a couple of minor scrapes and wounded pride. However, I did see Bobby Julich do pretty much the same thing in an OLN broadcast of a race earlier this year, so I don't feel quite so bad.....