pacelineHey folks we had a great first ride on Wednesday, hopefully everyone went away with a little more knowledge. Here is a follow up for those who were there and information for those who did not make it.  Looking forward to this Wednesday’s ride!  Amy


Many group rides can turn into survival of the fittest, where the novice is quickly sent off the back. Ideally, a group should contain both novices and experienced riders who don’t feel compelled to prove themselves on every ride. The key is riding safely and effectively in a paceline. Pacelines are either single or double. A single paceline, everyone lines up behind the first rider, who maintains, and this is important, a constant speed. The rotation occurs when the front rider pulls off to the side and soft peddles to drift to the back of the line. The next rider then sets the pace. Riders stay on the front from a few seconds to several minutes.  If you have a crosswind it will determine which way you pull off. Always move into a crosswind. This way, the advancing line that is already working harder gets some protection from the wind. Here are some tips for efficient pace line riding:

  • Get used to following closely to the rider in front of you to get the benefit of the draft. One foot away.  It’s scary at first but with practice you will get used to it. You use much less energy following a cyclist than riding out in the wind by yourself.  In a rotating pace line, stay as close together as possible.


  • Ride smoothly and predictably. Never accelerate or brake quickly. If you are running up on the wheel in front, slow down by moving into the wind slightly, or opening up your legs. Avoid hitting the brakes, tapping them slightly works better.
  • Maintain a constant speed when you get to the front by glancing at your cycle computer. The tendency for new riders is to jump and pick up the pace. If you do this you will loose your fellow riders behind.


  • If the rider at the front charges off, let that person go and hold your speed. That way you keep the group together.


  • If you’re If you tire, sit out as many turns as necessary at the back. Let riders coming back know that you are resting, and give them space to move in ahead of you.


  • As the speed increases, gaps may develop because riders can’t hold the wheel ahead or miss the last wheel as they try to get back on the end of the pace line. Strong riders need to fill these gaps in order to preserve the flow, even if it means jumping across and moving back up the line early.


  • When climbing hills remember to keep a steady pace or reduce your effort up hills because the draft is less. Conversely, accelerate through more quickly on descents so everyone won’t stack up from behind.
  • Remember when you are in front signal to hazards in the road, you are responsible for the pack.
  • In most situations the rider or riders in who hit the wheel in front of them will go down, be constantly aware of how close you are to the rider in front of you.