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Group / Paceline Question

Old 08-21-19, 01:53 PM
  #26  
shelbyfv
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We pull off to the left, slap right hip as a signal. That cannot be mistaken for pointing out a pothole or such.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:57 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Jack Tone View Post
Went for a group ride last weekend. Mixed group of men and women and different abilities. Usually 15 to 16 average speed. Two racers showed up and decided we'd practice pace lines. Their choice was to have the line maintain speed, and the last person accelerate to the front. One person in the group would not slow down once he got to the front, so every circuit, the group had to catch up, and the person on the left had to really push to get in front of the guy. Pretty soon we're doing 18 to 20 mph. Not fun.
Sounds as if someone was just making stuff up. Agreed, does not sound safe or fun.
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Old 08-21-19, 01:59 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's backwards. Line should maintain a steady speed, and then when the rider on front pulls off, he or she will softpedal and drift to the back of the line. The last person should call out "last" or "end" and the rider drifting back slots in behind. There should be no acceleration except for the tiny bit of getting back on the pedals as you hook on the back.
Agree 100%. But most pace-lines are armature riders that just ride in groups. Pulling in front and trying harder is very common, very few people softpedal when they get upfront. Takes lots of practice and experience to ride a steady pace-line. Even with experience rides somebody will try to pull longer or harder that needed .
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Old 08-21-19, 02:16 PM
  #29  
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I've done a pace line where it was basically backwards from normal. Last person pulled left and moved ahead. Next last person would immediately fall behind that guy and go with him. Basically, two people at all times were pulling with one fresh the other not. It was for high speed only, not for energy efficiency.

Sounds like you already have this all worked out. I wouldn't second guess yourself. The IM guys already have the mileage under them (especially if you consider the hours required to do the bike/run without benefit of drafting).

Just stick with your plan. You can always ramp it up at mile 150 if y'all are feeling spunky. Or, more likely, whoever has the most energy at the end will just spend more time up front.

I've technically only done one double, but it was solo and all climbing. But it's not on Strava, so it doesn't count (Garmin failed)
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Old 08-21-19, 02:21 PM
  #30  
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That you haven't all 4 ridden together may cause you to have a 3-person paceline somewhere around mile 75. Even though it's not competitive, it does help to have everyone on the same page.

If wind isn't a factor, rotating out left or right shouldn't matter. Unless the dude's Zoolander or something.


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Old 08-21-19, 02:23 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
We pull off to the left, slap right hip as a signal. That cannot be mistaken for pointing out a pothole or such.
I prefer the barely-discernible elbow flick, myself.
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Old 08-21-19, 02:26 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
I've technically only done one double, but it was solo and all climbing. But it's not on Strava, so it doesn't count (Garmin failed)
That stinks. Last year when I did this ride solo my gps cut out for about 10 miles - some of which was climbing - and while it corrected most of the mileage (the road was pretty straight there) it showed my Avg speed for the ride at 18.3mph. I was able to figure out my time - added a conservative 40 minutes for an average of about 17.5 or maybe a bit higher. But it still shows as 18.3 on ridewithgps - haha. My bike computer had me at 17.8, but that had a slight hiccup as well - go figure. I have a better GPS this year!
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Old 08-21-19, 02:47 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
That stinks. Last year when I did this ride solo my gps cut out for about 10 miles - some of which was climbing - and while it corrected most of the mileage (the road was pretty straight there) it showed my Avg speed for the ride at 18.3mph. I was able to figure out my time - added a conservative 40 minutes for an average of about 17.5 or maybe a bit higher. But it still shows as 18.3 on ridewithgps - haha. My bike computer had me at 17.8, but that had a slight hiccup as well - go figure. I have a better GPS this year!
Take a powerbank. Assuming you have a computer that can be used while charging.
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Old 08-21-19, 03:12 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's backwards. Line should maintain a steady speed, and then when the rider on front pulls off, he or she will softpedal and drift to the back of the line. The last person should call out "last" or "end" and the rider drifting back slots in behind. There should be no acceleration except for the tiny bit of getting back on the pedals as you hook on the back.
This is proper advice but incredibly hard in practice. There's nothing more satisfying than being a part of a good paceline where everyone's on the same page. I found out over the years that you need at least a dozen riders in a fast rotating paceline. Also, quality improves even more if everyone has similar fitness levels. My biggest pet peeve is someone less fit than the group average shows up to our Sunday group ride. That person drops like a rock on the slower side as soon as he completes his pull since he's likely on/over the limit. What happens is that creates a mess in the back of the slow lane people yoyoing. Is it a bad thing to ask that guy to stay off the back?
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Old 08-21-19, 03:19 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
This is proper advice but incredibly hard in practice. There's nothing more satisfying than being a part of a good paceline where everyone's on the same page. I found out over the years that you need at least a dozen riders in a fast rotating paceline. Also, quality improves even more if everyone has similar fitness levels. My biggest pet peeve is someone less fit than the group average shows up to our Sunday group ride. That person drops like a rock on the slower side as soon as he completes his pull since he's likely on/over the limit. What happens is that creates a mess in the back of the slow lane people yoyoing. Is it a bad thing to ask that guy to stay off the back?
Yes. What you need to do is ask them to stay off the front, basically rotate off as soon as they get there. Keeps the paceline cohesion and they can usually hang with a draft. This is me a lot of the times when I'm out with higher category racers. If you're competent and just don't quite have the fitness this is what you do. Trying to take your turn at the front and blowing up doesn't help anyone.
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Old 08-21-19, 03:54 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Take a powerbank. Assuming you have a computer that can be used while charging.
Yep, I did that last year and will take it again. I have the Elemnt Bolt now and the battery lasts a long time but will need charging. Also will be able to charge lights in case something happens and we end up out later than planned.
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Old 08-21-19, 04:20 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rower2cyclist View Post
This is proper advice but incredibly hard in practice. There's nothing more satisfying than being a part of a good paceline where everyone's on the same page. I found out over the years that you need at least a dozen riders in a fast rotating paceline. Also, quality improves even more if everyone has similar fitness levels. My biggest pet peeve is someone less fit than the group average shows up to our Sunday group ride. That person drops like a rock on the slower side as soon as he completes his pull since he's likely on/over the limit. What happens is that creates a mess in the back of the slow lane people yoyoing. Is it a bad thing to ask that guy to stay off the back?
The main thing is to not upset the cohesion. If you have a rider who's strong enough to hang on to the group, but not strong enough to pull through, it's better that they hang at the back of the rotation and allow the rider who's dropping back to slot in ahead of them.
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Old 08-21-19, 06:45 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's backwards. Line should maintain a steady speed, and then when the rider on front pulls off, he or she will softpedal and drift to the back of the line. The last person should call out "last" or "end" and the rider drifting back slots in behind. There should be no acceleration except for the tiny bit of getting back on the pedals as you hook on the back.
I think that bass-ackward paceline thing is a training drill. I don’t remember what it’s called, but I’ve done something similar in the distant past.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:12 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Agree 100%. But most pace-lines are armature riders that just ride in groups. Pulling in front and trying harder is very common, very few people softpedal when they get upfront. Takes lots of practice and experience to ride a steady pace-line. Even with experience rides somebody will try to pull longer or harder that needed .
I learned to ride pace lines at the velodrome. The pace would start out slow and each lap the pace would go up 2 miles an hour, usually half lap pulls (400 meter track). The idea was to keep the same distance and smooth transitions at the higher speeds that the line had at the slower tempos. When the pace was too fast, you pulled off at the front and let the line keep going. It seems to me the same idea would be effective for teaching pacelines on the road. Work it on a rest day when everybody needs to go easy anyway. Work out the issues at a low speed and then increase the pace. During a big ride is not a good to learn how to ride in space line.

Last edited by colnago62; 08-21-19 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:07 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
Or, more likely, whoever has the most energy at the end will just spend more time up front.
This. I recently rode a double with 3 of my friends. Although it was part of an organised ride, after our first stop the big peloton began to thin out massively, and we mostly rode on our own, although we did catch and ride with other groups along the way. The last 1/4 of the ride, myself and one of the others spent most of the time on the front as we were the stronger of the 4.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:01 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
I've done a pace line where it was basically backwards from normal. Last person pulled left and moved ahead. Next last person would immediately fall behind that guy and go with him. Basically, two people at all times were pulling with one fresh the other not. It was for high speed only, not for energy efficiency.
Sounds like a dangerous mess.

The point of a paceline is to ride very close.

The people moving in front of the rest of the group is a great opportunity to clip a wheel and have the rest of the group plow into them.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:40 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Sounds like a dangerous mess.

The point of a paceline is to ride very close.

The people moving in front of the rest of the group is a great opportunity to clip a wheel and have the rest of the group plow into them.
Grossly inefficient, too.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:03 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I think that bass-ackward paceline thing is a training drill. I dont remember what its called, but Ive done something similar in the distant past.
Sounds like the cycling equivalent of what we used to do running - "Indian running" (which I'm sure as a more-PC name now) where you'd run in a line and the person in back had to sprint to the front, and then the next and so on. Different goal of course - train ability to sprint while already a bit gassed from running.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:07 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Sounds like the cycling equivalent of what we used to do running - "Indian running" (which I'm sure as a more-PC name now) where you'd run in a line and the person in back had to sprint to the front, and then the next and so on. Different goal of course - train ability to sprint while already a bit gassed from running.
Exactly! Certainly did that drill for college X-C and track and it could be what I'm remembering.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:20 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Exactly! Certainly did that drill for college X-C and track and it could be what I'm remembering.
We did something like that in boot camp. I think it was called a fartlek? I don't remember. Fartlek isn't exactly the best name in the world, either.

Anyway I hated running then and I hate running now.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:25 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
We did something like that in boot camp. I think it was called a fartlek? I don't remember. Fartlek isn't exactly the best name in the world, either.

Anyway I hated running then and I hate running now.
For me, Fartlek, which I believe means "speed play" or something in some Scandinavian language, was just a run at some baseline pace with sprints intermixed. Hope you didn't have to do yours in ODUs or equivalent and boots. That would be enough to turn anyone off.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:34 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
For me, Fartlek, which I believe means "speed play" or something in some Scandinavian language, was just a run at some baseline pace with sprints intermixed. Hope you didn't have to do yours in ODUs or equivalent and boots. That would be enough to turn anyone off.
Yeah you're probably right. But we also did the "guy at the back runs to the front" thing too. It was 20 years ago so the details are a little fuzzy.

We never did PT in our BDUs (I'm not sure what they call them now but I also don't care because army acronyms are dumb) but I remember an incident at AIT where we shared a facility with some USMC units and we were out doing PT one morning and a bunch of marines ran by in full uniform.

I watched them, partly out of disbelief because running in combat boots seemed kind of pointless to me, and for whatever reason the fact that I was staring at them was offensive to my drill sergeant who came over and yelled at me a bunch and made me do a bunch more pushups or something because I had committed the grave offense of watching the marines run by.

Making me do extra pushups when we were already in the middle of working out also seemed dumb to me.

In fact, most things about the army seemed dumb me then. And now. But somehow they promoted me to staff sergeant before I got out.
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Old 08-22-19, 01:59 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Exactly! Certainly did that drill for college X-C and track and it could be what I'm remembering.
My kid's soccer team does it for conditioning. But I've never done it on a bike.
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Old 08-22-19, 08:40 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
My kid's soccer team does it for conditioning. But I've never done it on a bike.
I have done it before. Anybody remember Eddy Bs book, Bicycle Racing, or something like that? It had a section with a bunch team interval drills and I believe that was one I saw in his book. I always felt like team intervals were not very efficient. Somebody ends up resting too long or not enough.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:31 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's backwards. Line should maintain a steady speed, and then when the rider on front pulls off, he or she will softpedal and drift to the back of the line. The last person should call out "last" or "end" and the rider drifting back slots in behind. There should be no acceleration except for the tiny bit of getting back on the pedals as you hook on the back.

That at would be fantastic If people would hold to that. For example, on a ride last week I had pulled for a couple minutes at 26.5-27mph, when I drift over and started soft pedaling the persons that was now the leader kicked the pace up to 29mph before I was back in the line. So the soft pedal tuned into a hard sprint just to grab a back wheel. Not fun, considering I was already recovering from a long hard pull. I guess its just human natural to blow it out when you get on the front.
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