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A couple years ago I was out for a morning ride with a couple of friends. We were out in the country and in a nice little 3 man paceline rolling through the countryside. I had just finished pulling and moved over to let the next guy come through. Just as I tucked in behind the last guy the lead rider slammed on his brakes. The second guy was able to grab a handful of brake but I never had time to react and hit the deck after running into hisback wheel.

I never thought much of it or whether it was my fault or the lead riders but we got into a debate about it the other day. The guy who slammed on his brakes did it because a dog came out to the road and he thought it was going to charge us.

What is the protocal for the lead rider. Was that the right thing for him to do? I don't think there was any way I could have reacted fast enough. It was a bit like an accordian.
 

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sounds like the lead rider might have overreacted a bit, unless the dog had jumped out right in front of him and he was going to slam into it. if that was the case, he should at the very least yelled out "stopping hard" or something to that effect. might have been nice if he pulled over to the right or left before he slammed his brakes. the lead rider is definitely in the best position to evade any threatening objects so he/she has got to be calm, predictable and communicate all hazards loud and clearly.
 

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I've always found that I can focus up the road much better in 2nd spot and just keep an eye on the rider in the front. YMMV

AFA am concerned, you shouldn't hit the brakes hard in a paceline unless its the absolute last thing you can do to avoid whatever situation you've found yerself in. Do everything gradually if you can help it. That includes moving over after you've pulled, slowing, starting a hill, etc. By the time whatever motion you've just done gets to the back of the line, its magnified a bunch. Been on both ends of that one!

Constant effort, not constant speed when yer going up a hill!

Rant over. Seems that there's no one teaching the younger riders about pacelines, echelons, etc. any more. Shame really. There's something magical about being in a properly working paceline.

M
 

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Worst crash I ever saw was one I caused in my first real group ride. I was pretty strong (and much younger), and all full of myself, taking my turn at the front, going faster than I'd ever gone on the level, when a possum ambled out of a roadside ditch. I hit the brakes without any warning--I'd never been in a paceline before and didn't even think about the people behind me. The line was 15 or 20 bikes long, and it telescoped and three riders went into a 10-foot deep flood channel lined with riprap--they went off the pavement and over the jagged, head-sized rocks to the sandy bottom of the ditch. It trashed four wheels, bent one fork back against the down tube, broke one guy's collarbone and scuffed everybody up. I ride by that spot occasionally, and I look at it now and wonder why nobody was killed.
If I had it to do over, and had one second to think, I'd lift the front wheel and run that marsupial down.
 

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If you are still having this discussion 2 years later - I wouldn't ride behind that guy again - he hasn't learned lead rider protocal, as discussed above.

He sounds dangerous.
 

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When I teach newbs about riding in a group I equate it to pulling a trailer behind your car/truck--everything needs to happen smoother with a lot more forethought and no sudden moves. You wouldn't do it to your ski boat, why would you do it to your buddy? :idea:
 

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lowlife28 said:
sounds like the lead rider might have overreacted a bit, unless the dog had jumped out right in front of him and he was going to slam into it. if that was the case, he should at the very least yelled out "stopping hard" or something to that effect. might have been nice if he pulled over to the right or left before he slammed his brakes. the lead rider is definitely in the best position to evade any threatening objects so he/she has got to be calm, predictable and communicate all hazards loud and clearly.
yep.

Zipp0 said:
Maybe yell "DOG!!!" so at least everyone knows something screwy may happen real soon.
yes.

pdh777 said:
If you are still having this discussion 2 years later - I wouldn't ride behind that guy again - he hasn't learned lead rider protocal, as discussed above.

He sounds dangerous.
correct.
 

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When you are in front you have to be very aware of things around you and not make sudden moves, everything has to be calm and you have to show all obstacles.

Original post reminded me about something I'm trying to forget. I was just over the top of a small hill, and starting to descend at some 35 km/h a dog came out of nowhere (bushes and tall grass). I hit him with front wheel and felt nasty. Ended in hospital with screws in my shoulder. All ligaments that hold collar bone in the shoulder were broken. Now I have collar bone permanently dislocated to remind me how unprotected we are on the bike and how careful I have to be.
Don't have to say I'm slowest descender in the group now and I always brake when I see a dog :)
 

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Call your brakes.

Yes, this is probably one of the most common safety related issues seen in our group rides. I personally try to mitigate the possibility of propagating brake surge by calling my brakes immediately and in synchronization with the tendons in my right hand going taut. (one word to remember, SLOWING) Encourage others as well. Actually our last two rides have involved 2 separate “braking” incidents where calls were not adequately made; one with 2 bikes down hard the other a near miss by several….
 

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I was riding with three friends one time. We were in a box formation, two in front, side-by-side, and two in back the same way. Not on purpose, but it just ended up that way. We're on a quiet country road, so it's no big deal. I was on the left-front. I see a dog come shooting out at the speed of light from a yard on my left. I quickly calculated that I was screwed. I couldn't go right because my buddy was there, I couldn't stop because another buddy was behind me. I couldn't go left because the dog was there. All I could do was keep going straight and pray.

It turns out the dog just wanted to scare us and stayed a few feet away. My non-reaction was the right thing to do. Sometimes it's like that. If you elect to join a group ride, you give up certain things, such as the ability to brake hard or swerve wildly. And you take on the responsibility of looking out for everyone else. People who can't do that shouldn't do group rides.
 

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djetelina said:
Yes, this is probably one of the most common safety related issues seen in our group rides. I personally try to mitigate the possibility of propagating brake surge by calling my brakes immediately and in synchronization with the tendons in my right hand going taut. (one word to remember, SLOWING) Encourage others as well. Actually our last two rides have involved 2 separate “braking” incidents where calls were not adequately made; one with 2 bikes down hard the other a near miss by several….
someone shouting "slowing" on a group ride is a sure sign that you're on a ride with squirrely freds.

just sayin'
 

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swerve, then brake if you gotta

Unless there is IMMEDIATE brake-or-crash danger, DON"T do anything more than feather the brakes as lead in a paceline, or guys WILL go down.

If you've got an emergency, barring a couple of semi-hypothetical weirdo situations, you can usually get over, while shouting "UP!" or "slowing!" or the like before you squeeze.

Really, though, solo or group, there isn't much that will suddenly appear that braking helps with. Dogs and other animals, you're better off dodging IMHO. If they're so close that you can't, you probably can't brake, either.
 

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botto said:
someone shouting "slowing" on a group ride is a sure sign that you're on a ride with squirrely freds.

just sayin'
It's like the guy yelling "on your left" when passing you in a race. I always think about responding "Thanks.! Now I don't have to look." Then I shut the door.
 

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First off..the is nothing wrong about saying 'on your left' in a race, if that rider wants to make it clear...that is his right. That fact that is bothers you is a sure sign you are an irratable rider who takes offense out of the smallest details. I'm just sayin
 

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Hindsight is always 20/20. Yeah, I would have been ideal if the lead rider had yelled dog. It would have been great if all 3 riders had seen the dog. It would have been nice if the rider had fell had better reflexes. It would have been nice if the dog owner had restrained his dog. As it was explained and as I understood it, IMO, it was just one of those things that happened.
 

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Cyclists who overreact to situations cause a lot of crashes. The person leading the pacing has a responsibility to keep his/her eyes open, call or point out obstacles, and avoid sudden movements or slowdowns if at all possible. When you're in front, you should be Mr. Smooth.
 

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tarwheel2 said:
Cyclists who overreact to situations cause a lot of crashes. The person leading the pacing has a responsibility to keep his/her eyes open, call or point out obstacles, and avoid sudden movements or slowdowns if at all possible. When you're in front, you should be Mr. Smooth.
"Smooth and Steady. I'll be Mr. Smooth, you'll be Mr. Steady."
 

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djg21 said:
It's like the guy yelling "on your left" when passing you in a race. I always think about responding "Thanks.! Now I don't have to look." Then I shut the door.
I had a guy yell the same thing once during a race. I yelled back "If you have to say it, you don't have it."
 

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Whenever there is a line of riders, the rider ahead of another has a greater responsibility to those behind themselves because those behind have limited vision. For Ranger Pride and his cycling buddies, it sounds like the lead rider overreacted. I've ridden behind such panicky riders, but not for long.

At the same time, trailing riders are not absolved of all responsibility. Their eyes should not be glued to the wheel in front of them but they should also be scanning the road as a second pair of eyes for themselves and the leader.
 
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