1. Majority of the ride will be a double pace line. Where the road narrows ride a single pace line.
- On narrow roads ride the group should ride in a single pace line.
- A pace line is different than an echelon, in a pace line the rider at the front pulls from anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more, depending on their conditioning.
- After taking your pull swing off and move to the back of the line (this is different than swinging off in an echelon).
- Be aware of the direction of the wind and after your pull; swing off into the wind by simply pulling over far enough for the riders behind to move past you which the rider should be able to do without having to steer around your handlebars.
- The person hitting the front needs to keep the same pace and not accelerate or decelerate when they hit the front. Accelerating at the front will cause the rider pulling off to accelerate to get back on. This creates an uneven pace line and causes the group to splinter.
- Be steady and predictable.
- Use your elbow to indicate that you are pulling off at the front of the pace line so that the next person can pull through.
- Where road conditions dictate, ride double pace line.
- All the characteristics of single pace line are the same as the double pace line except that when the riders pull off the front the riders always swing off to their respective sides.
- The cyclist leading on the ride side pulls off to the right of the line, the cyclist leading on the left pulls off to the left.
- No half wheeling ever or overlapping wheels.
2. Echelons are the most complex part of the pace line. In an echelon there is no pause at the front. It is like a rotating circle. An Echelon moves diagonally across the line. WW do a rotating double pace-line. The description of an echelon is for information on how to form one in case of extreme wind situations.
- As soon as the rider is on the front, that rider is pulling off.
- There is one line moving forward (fast lane) and the other line moving backwards (slow lane).
- When pulling off to the side into the slow lane, give ample space to the rider behind you to move forward.
- As you are drifting back, hold your line. Do not lean into or move into the fast lane.
- Each rider is at the front for only a few seconds.
- In an echelon you are going only as fast as the slowest rider.
- Echelons that are not coordinated end up getting caught by the group behind or if trying to catch up to a group not making it.
3. If the person at the front is not pulling at the pace you want to go wait your turn to be at the front, do not accelerate as you are pulling through, just take a longer pull, gradually increasing the speed. Riders that do not want to take pulls should sit towards the back of the group (not second or third wheel) and make space for the riders that are falling back after their pull so that they can slot in. Communicate that you are sitting out on the pulls.
4. Cyclists who can go up hills fast will have to set the pace at the front such that the group can crest the hill together. Similarly cyclists with good descending skills who can go down the hill fast should also keep the pace on the downhills such that the group descends in a safe manner. Do not accelerate when you get to the front or ride a few meters off the front of the group just because you can. This disrupts the pace of the group and leads to a fragmented pace lines.
5. For very fast downhills, it is better that we are separated by a “few meters”. Even 15 meters at 40 mph is still less than a second. We will light pedal at the bottom to regroup.