Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pacelines

The Monday Husker ride was interesting for me this week. I don't usually get nervous riding in pacelines, but there were a number of newer riders who I didn't know that well, and several factors contributed to me feeling a little cautious:

The pace was really slow, as in 15-17 mph (which is fine for what is advertised as an easy ride), but seemed to fluctuate a lot - causing an accordion effect, with people constantly getting too close to the person in front of them, resulting in grabbing of brakes, then speeding up as a gap opened, then grabbing brakes to slow back down to the line's pace, etc. This makes it hard to get into a nice groove with the line.

We were doing a double rotatating paceline, and some had never done that before - they would go too fast off when moving over, causing a gap. Chet did a great job coaching them on this, and eventually it got better.

We were riding about 4 inches from the right side of the road, and when the left side of the line would pass the right side, handlebars were getting really close. No actual contact, but it made me uncomfortable enough that after about a half hour, I dropped a few feet off the back and rode the rest of the ride just behind the line. Easier to hold a conversation that way, anyway. I feel like can only concentrate that hard for a given amount of time, after that I'm not doing myself or the group any good by tensing up, so better to just get out of there.

On another note, I'm trying to decide if I want to do the teamFIRE ride tonight, or go hear one of my favorite t.v. personalities and authors - Anthony Bourdain - speak at Kimball Hall. I'm thinking the weather will get me out riding - it's not going to be this nice much longer this year.

1 comment:

kew said...

Glad you joined us Bob. I know what you mean about the paceline thing. Sometimes, it's better just to hang back.

I've been doing that more and more lately -- but I'd be in the back anyway.