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spongebartstatepants
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i'm new to cycling on the road. tell me how to draft/ride in group properly ie where to look, what my cadence should be, how not to die etc.
Thank You!
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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STAY OFF YOUR BRAKES! Adjust your speed by softpedalling and moving out of the slipstream, not with you brakes. Watch and think well ahead so you are not suprised by speed changes. If you brake you will lose too much momentum, and you'll fuxx0r the riders behind you in a big way. They will curse you and conspire to get rid of you. Everyone hates guys who brake in a paceline.

Position yourself very slightly to one side of the rider in front. That way you can see around him. If you are just staring at the butt in front of you you won't be ready when the group slows, turns or moves over.

When it is your turn to pull, keep the pace even. Don't try to be a hero and increase the speed. If you can't maintain speed, rather than slowing the group, rotate sooner.

Ride in a straight line ("hold your line").

Don't ride too close. I like to leave at least a full wheel diameter between my front wheel and the back wheel of the rider in front, unless I know them and know they ride smoothly. If you cross wheels with the rider in front you will go down incredibly hard.

Try to relax. :)
 

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get fit enought to ride w/ people that know how to ride well (racer types) and watch what they do & do what they do. People can talk about what to do here all day long but 'til you see it and do it, it won't make any difference.
 

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think of others

dont just think for yourself..think for the group


know hand movements (stoping, pointing @ objects) and communicate with the other riders.

ride as straight as you can.......and dont tense up.......you'll get nervous....



and have fun...the first few times are a learning experience and after a while you'll be one of the regulars!
 

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The hardest thing to do is ride at the back of a large group. The 'elastic' gets streched with every gust of wind, slight climb / descent, or intentional change in pace.

As another poster mentioned, being fit enough to ride with the experienced riders is very helpful, you'll learn alot from these guys.

Prehaps your local area has a 'recovery ride' day? Here, on Saturday we go out and smash ourselves, Sunday is an easier ride, usually riding 30 - 34kph while on the flats, for about 80km. We wait at the top of the big hills. If you aviod Saturday you might have enough in your legs to be able to ride near the front of the Sunday bunch, and take your turn on the front. The easier pace and larger gaps between wheels makes it easy to learn the techniques you need, and the social setting means you might actually enjoy yourself :)

If there is something you're not sure about, don't be scared to ask one of the obiously experienced riders, better to ask and look like a fool than to take down the whole bunch and BE a fool. There is usually at least one 'vocal' rider in the bunch who might be quick to point out your mistakes. Generally these guys are doing it for the good of the bunch, not to make you feel outcasted so dont take it too personally. If you end up riding next to the guy who told you off, ask him what you did wrong and what you should have done, its part of the learning process.
 
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