Pace Lines are fun!

A few weeks ago, I joined Union Bay Cycling / Wines of Washington cycling team. However, with Microsoft Flag Football games on Saturday (Fatal Errors are 10-0! Playoffs after holiday! Woot!) and my son being born two weeks early, I haven’t been able to join the Saturday devo (development – Cat 4/5) rides. Well, today was our football bye week, so 9 AM I met up with another 50-odd new friends and off we went!
One of the reasons for joining a team is to learn how to ride fast in a group. Certainly, there are classes available, such as the one Cascade holds . But ultimately, the theory is pretty easy to get across for a paceline: ride about a foot off the wheel of the person in front of you, keep your eyes on the shoulder not the wheel, and don’t pull (be at the front) more than you should. What you then need is lots and lots of practice. Riding a foot off a wheel while dealing with changing speeds along the road is a lot tougher than it appears… and invariably, your reaction to almost anything is to slow down and get some space — which means you open up a gap of more like 3-6 feet between you and the next rider. The difference? One enables you to draft, the other gives you a face full of wind.
Tomorrow is the skills clinic the guys put on… lots of additional detail outlining what us rookies should be doing, how to ride together, team strategies, and so forth. Good stuff… I can’t wait!