Riding in a Paceline is a Basic Cycling Skill

Here are some additional tips for becoming a more efficient paceline rider:

  • Get used to following closely to the rider in front of you to get the benefit of the draft. You use much less energy following a cyclist than riding out in the wind by yourself. Top riders feel comfortable riding within inches of the wheel in front. In a rotating paceline, stay as close together side to side.

  • Put weaker riders behind stronger ones. A paceline is a team. It's only as strong as its weakest member is, so help that person.

  • 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. Avoid hitting the brakes.
  • 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 the rider at the front charges off, let that person go and hold your speed. If you're in a double echelon, move over and fill the hole just created.

  • 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 paceline. 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.

  • 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.

More: 8 Cycling Hand Signals for Your Next Group Ride

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