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I am an unattached cat 4 and usually train by my self, but today coming back from a long ride, five guys from a local team passed me in a paceline hauling some major butt. Hmm.. I thought... a free ride home! So I hopped on in the back, leaving a bike and a half bike length to do their thing. After a few miles, the front guy peeled off and drifted back but instead of getting in the line front of me, he motion me to join in in the pace line. I was feeling guilty about getting a freeride anyways, so I joined them. Their pace was pretty high and I couldnt pull for very long. One guy was really stong taking really long pulls in to the wind. Any how, it was painful but fun, and I got home a lot quicker! For those of you train in team/groups, does it/ woud it bother you to have some stranger on the road to just hop in your group's ride?
 

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MD80 said:
I am an unattached cat 4 and usually train by my self, but today coming back from a long ride, five guys from a local team passed me in a paceline hauling some major butt. Hmm.. I thought... a free ride home! So I hopped on in the back, leaving a bike and a half bike length to do their thing. After a few miles, the front guy peeled off and drifted back but instead of getting in the line front of me, he motion me to join in in the pace line. I was feeling guilty about getting a freeride anyways, so I joined them. Their pace was pretty high and I couldnt pull for very long. One guy was really stong taking really long pulls in to the wind. Any how, it was painful but fun, and I got home a lot quicker! For those of you train in team/groups, does it/ woud it bother you to have some stranger on the road to just hop in your group's ride?
Never bothers me so long as the rider asks the trailing rider if we mind another...
 

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You found some friendly pacers....

many people don't want someone whose skills/knowledge they don't know to pop in unannounced, and I can't find fault with that thinking. The best approach, in my experience, is to just ask the riders. If you find that you are travelling so fast that you can't hold a conversation, they are going too fast for you!!
 

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"Just ask" seems like a no-brainer.

Helps to say either "Can I hitch a ride?" versus "Can I join in?" if you don't think you're gonna be doing much pulling.

As long as you can operate a smooth paceline, it should never really be a bother.
 

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The right thing to do is ask. Something like "can I rotate through with you guys for a while?". Even if you are at your limit, at least pull through to keep the rotation smooth. Nothing worse than someone joining a paceline just to sit up when they get to the front.
 

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Not a bad thing at all, ask if you can ride. It would certainly be a rare occurence if they said "no." I personally have never been told no but have dropped off the back a few times because the other riders attiitudes clearly showed that they didn't want me there (also rare).
 

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As long as you can hold the pace and hold your line then no.
 

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The key word involving pacelines is to Communicate. Since one of the riders invited you to join in then all is well. I still may have asked the other riders if they were all cool with the idea.

While most riders consider the more the merrier, there are other points of view. I often ride in small groups where we all know each other really well. We ride as one unit and it can be a thing of beauty. In this case, strangers are not welcome. It would throw everything off. I would not hesitate to kindly ask that any new additions stay at the back and not rotate in. If they seemed to misunderstand, I would explain.

Once again the theme is communication.
 

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I'd even go as far as saying that no, it's not okay.

Sage advice, Ben.

Not being a d*ck here, but in response to Coolhand above, almost everyone thinks they can hold a line and ride a proper paceline. I have a few guys on my team who think they can--but they can't. They let gaps open, open gaps themselves by pulling hard and faster on the front, don't communicate hazards on the road in advance--sometimes not at all, and aren't solid at holding their lines.

I'm particularly anal about this--others are not. The rider at the front has a lot of responsibility. They're the eyes and safety valve of the group. Failing to look far enough up the road to note large rocks, ruts, roadkill, glass, etc. will serve to possibly injure others and, often worse, bust up their expensive bikes.

I'm not keen on any strangers--regardless of their apparent strength--joining my line. I'm not a pr*ck to deal with on my bike and am not snobby to people, but I take tight pacelining very seriously; a lot more than many I know and have ridden with. Many will point out hazards from the front, only to have the second or third rider stop pointing things out; communication only works if it's the whole group, and it can be done without a single word being spoken (let alone shouted as many do: e.g., "GLASS!!!!!", "HOOOLE LEFT!!!!").

Communication and dependability are key, and taking sensible, steady pulls is next on the list.

My two cents' worth. To each his reach.
Nige
 

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the spyder said:
As long as you ask, what's the problem... They can only say no, and you are no worse off at that point.
sounds easy enough but not so in practice... uh... I guess I'm thinking about something else...
 

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GiantNigel said:
Communication and dependability are key, and taking sensible, steady pulls is next on the list.

My two cents' worth. To each his reach.
Nige
Don'tcha just LOVE the guys that get to the front and think they've gotta tear the legs off of everyone? Kills the paceline. I used to get stuck behind stud muffins like that frequently 'cause in Sandy Eggo, there's really no such thing as a paceline.

I was taught to pull up to the front at the same speed you were doing, pull over, and skip about one pedal stroke/slow down ~1/2mph till you get to the back of the line. Repeat. 'Course no one's been teaching people to paceline (outside the track) down there, so there's ALL kinds of 'intersting' stuff going on.

I was also taught (out of necessity) how to sh*thook. That's the art of riding the back of a moving paceline without rotating thru. Its not too hard IF you know whatcher doing. The biggest trick is to not interfere in the rotating line while still getting a good enough draft to save your legs.

M
 

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biknben said:
The key word involving pacelines is to Communicate. Since one of the riders invited you to join in then all is well. I still may have asked the other riders if they were all cool with the idea.

While most riders consider the more the merrier, there are other points of view. I often ride in small groups where we all know each other really well. We ride as one unit and it can be a thing of beauty. In this case, strangers are not welcome. It would throw everything off. I would not hesitate to kindly ask that any new additions stay at the back and not rotate in. If they seemed to misunderstand, I would explain.

Once again the theme is communication.
Sometimes its hard to see but there is a line between Narcissism and your average roadie
 

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Wow, some people take life a bit to seriously. Join in and have fun! I would try and ask of course but if they have a problem with it then it really is their problem.
 

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just ask,and check their speed

if they say yes jump on the back. if they are going too fast at the next intersection, say "Thankx for the pull" and turn off (whether you need to or not.)
I'm not bothered by people who ask as long as they have decent skills, unless they do nothing but wheelsuck or sh!thook asMShaw says. We had a fast paceline a few years back, about 10 guys taking pulls and another 3o along for the ride. You were doing 1-2 minutes at the front max, when you rotated off, you'd slide back and the lead sh!thooker would open a space for ay.
 

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Sh!thooker?

atpjunkie said:
I'm not bothered by people who ask as long as they have decent skills, unless they do nothing but wheelsuck or sh!thook
I have never heard the term "sh!thooker". Could someone please offer up a definition? From the context, it sounds like it is not something that one aspires to be...
 

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Stogaguy said:
I have never heard the term "sh!thooker". Could someone please offer up a definition? From the context, it sounds like it is not something that one aspires to be...
He/she is a person in the paceline that will open up a place for you to pull back in after your pull. This action allows them to maintain their riding speed without actually doing any of the work. It also allows the guys who are doing the majority of the work at the front to get a better workout since they get to pull more often. Of course I am being facetious. There are lots of these people out there who are capable of at least pulling through to maintain a rotation. You don't have to pull if you are already at your limit, but the couteous thing to do is to continue the rotation even if you immediately roll out and fall back, you at least provided a draft for someone to recover. Two pet peeves on this, the sh!thooker who acts like they are doing you a favor by opening the gap, and the
sh!thooker who will take part in a sprint after doing absolutely no work.
 

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oh naw they don't

any sh!thooker that tries to take part in the sprint I'll go straight up 'baby eater' on them!!!!
Their gonna find a gutter, curb or fence faster than they can say "Abdujaparov"
ATP ain't playin' that game.
 
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