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HomePaceline Guidelines

By Ron Rogers at

  1. Don't OVERLAP WHEELS!! This is especially important with some riders -- it can be a formula for disaster. Unless you are an exceptional bike handler riding behind a remarkably steady and predictable rider, the advantage gained by close following is not worth the risk of crashing.
  2. When on the front, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, CALL OUT THE JUNK, and WATCH THE LIGHTS. You are responsible for the safety of many riders. Don't let them down. Don't worry about what gear you are in or if you have an acorn in your cluster. Anticipate stoplight changes (It is your responsibility to get the entire group through the intersection safely). Go easy off the lights or around corners, give the back time to get going without getting the "whip syndrome".
  3. If you MUST chit chat in the pace line - SKIP THE EYE CONTACT. WATCH THE RIDER IN FRONT OF YOU AND THE TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD - ESPECIALLY AT THE FRONT. When on the front, don't talk: you have too much responsibility.
  4. Watch the rider in front of you, constantly. Depending on who it is, back off, especially when approaching a challenging rise in terrain or jump in pace. Some people, even on the best of days have an inconsistent speed that causes the bike to go back and forth. Other people brake suddenly or excessively. Know who these people are and stay back from them. When in town look ahead for stoplight changes.
  5. Ride in a straight line at a consistent and predictable pace. If you have to wipe your tires don't slow down or stop pedaling. Remember there are a bunch of riders behind you.
  6. When moving from a seated to a standing position, stay on the power so you do not fall back into the bike behind you. Even some really strong riders tend to do this so be forewarned.
  7. Never pass on the right unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN there is:
    1. Plenty of room
    2. The rider in front absolutely knows you are coming around...(because you YELLED "COMING BY ON YOUR RIGHT" and saw a visible reaction).
    3. Some riders disapprove of this under any circumstances - it depends on your bike handling skills and who you are passing.
  8. If you find that you can't hold with the paceline that you're in, signal, then pull out of the pace line and back off - don't start thrashing, weaving or gapping. If you are smart, you can jump back on AT THE REAR and get a break too. Unless you are at the tail end of a fast group who is determined to drop you (or you are about to be tandemectomized), back off on the steep or twisty descents.
  9. If you must spit or blow your nose move out of the paceline enough so no one is directly behind you. The guys and girls behind you will appreciate your efforts not to do this.
The BCC would like to thank the Diablo Cycling Club for giving us premission to let us share this information.