Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a recent post in this forum by Wingnut, he refers to a problem during a race, which he refers to as "rotating right". I'm doing my first race in about a month and dont want to wreck or cause a wreck, but have no idea what rotating right means. thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,859 Posts
Rotating in a paceline

megmarc said:
In a recent post in this forum by Wingnut, he refers to a problem during a race, which he refers to as "rotating right". I'm doing my first race in about a month and dont want to wreck or cause a wreck, but have no idea what rotating right means. thanks.
In a paceline, the rider at the front does the most work, because they must cut through the air (the rest of the riders are in the front rider's slipstream). Therefore, riders share the work by taking turns on the front. Exchanging positions in a paceline is known as "rotating". Typically, this "rotation" is performed by the front rider pulling off to the side at the end of their turn on front and drifting back, and then rejoining the group at the back of the paceline. To maintain order and proper function of the paceline, lead riders typically will always swing off to the same side when leaving the front of the line. "Rotating right" means that leading riders pull off to the right when their time at the front is done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
paceline jargon

in a paceline(peloton, echelon, etc) the riders in front take turns leading. when the rider in front is finished his turn and wants to drop back, he can cut right or left depending on the wind. someone else will need to say which is the correct rotation direction based on wind, as I am also a beginner. my guess is that if wind is coming from right, rotation is left and visa versa


megmarc said:
In a recent post in this forum by Wingnut, he refers to a problem during a race, which he refers to as "rotating right". I'm doing my first race in about a month and dont want to wreck or cause a wreck, but have no idea what rotating right means. thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,713 Posts
crosswind rotation

bauerb said:
in a paceline(peloton, echelon, etc) the riders in front take turns leading. when the rider in front is finished his turn and wants to drop back, he can cut right or left depending on the wind. someone else will need to say which is the correct rotation direction based on wind, as I am also a beginner. my guess is that if wind is coming from right, rotation is left and visa versa

Not quite right. Desirable direction of rotation may depend on several factors, including the wind and road conditions. If the line is on a narrow road and trying to stay to the right to avoid messing with traffic more than necessary, the leader will generally pull off to the left, to keep most of the riders further right most of the time.

If there's a strong crosswind and you have more road to work with, the most desirable shape for the pace line is an "echelon", or diagonal line, in which each succeeding rider is offset to the downwind side, rather than straight behind the next rider, because that's the effective wind direction and the best place to draft.

In that case, the leader usually pulls off to the UPWIND side (e.g., to the right if wind is from the right), because otherwise he'd have to swing much wider to avoid colliding with the riders behind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks again

Great additional explanations. Very common sense, but helpfull for someone competing for the first time. thanks.
 

·
Squirrel Hunter
Joined
·
3,806 Posts
Training Partners

megmarc said:
...doing my first race ...have no idea what rotating right means.
Ask the guys you train with. It is far easier to see it done than explain it in a post without illustrations. You do train with other riders since you plan to race next month?

Keep in mind that rotation direction varies based on a number of factors. One factor is if it is a race or a touring ride or a massive charity ride. Some touring groups have very formal rules on how rotations are to be done. Traffic and road conditions are another factor. Single or double pacelines or echelons and race packs can be a factor. The size of the group or any team tactics can influence the rotation too.

Just remember you need to adapt to the group you are riding with. In JC's narrow road example some groups would prefer to have the lead rider pull off to the right so that he is not potentially pulling left into a passing car that he could not see because of the riders behind him. Both options have there merits, you just need to learn what the group is doing.

As a rule of thumb if there is a crosswind then pull off into the wind since the rider behind you may be overlapping your wheel to hide from the wind. This requires that everyone in your group understands the rotation direction will change and that they are aware where the wind is coming from.

Like all group riding, be smooth and predictable. In addition communication is a key although it does not necessarily need to be verbal, instead the flick of an elbow can indicate you are pulling off and which side you want the rider behind to pull through on.

Good luck with your race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,720 Posts
JCavilia said:
Not quite right. Desirable direction of rotation may depend on several factors, including the wind and road conditions. If the line is on a narrow road and trying to stay to the right to avoid messing with traffic more than necessary, the leader will generally pull off to the left, to keep most of the riders further right most of the time.

If there's a strong crosswind and you have more road to work with, the most desirable shape for the pace line is an "echelon", or diagonal line, in which each succeeding rider is offset to the downwind side, rather than straight behind the next rider, because that's the effective wind direction and the best place to draft.

In that case, the leader usually pulls off to the UPWIND side (e.g., to the right if wind is from the right), because otherwise he'd have to swing much wider to avoid colliding with the riders behind.

Sometimes I read a post and think to myself, Damn I'm such a newbie.. :eek: Thanks for the explaination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks but one more question

SH, thanks for the additional explanation. All the posts have been very helpfull. Yes, I do train with a group but it is a much smaller group than my first race, which is a Cat 5 of course, and limited to 50 riders. I have only done three competitive rides (and they were not a race) with groups exceeding 20 riders. I have led and rotated, but did not know that is what it was called and only followed what others did in front of me rather than picked right or left myself. The explanations make perfect sense. I think I'll have to experience it to really understand. I assume in changing conditions the rotation could change. What generally is considered a signal that you or the lead rider is changing the side of rotation. Mick
 

·
Squirrel Hunter
Joined
·
3,806 Posts
Elbow Flick

megmarc said:
...I assume in changing conditions the rotation could change. What generally is considered a signal that you or the lead rider is changing the side of rotation. Mick
If I am pulling off to my right and expect the second rider to come up my left side to take the lead in front I will wiggle my left elbow. Think about overlapping wheels as riders hide from the wind and you should pull off into the wind so you will not take out another riders wheel, generally you should exit the front by moving into the wind. And always think smooth and predictable.

In a Cat 5 race there are rarely organized pacelines and you often times can simply sit in the pack and never take a pull. If you find yourself out front ask the question why am I up front and how is it helping me do well in the race. Don't spend too long pondering the answer because you probably should not be in front anyways so go back and hide in the pack.
 

·
Moderatus Puisne
Joined
·
15,886 Posts
I don't like this idea of sitting in back. Dude, it's what EVERYBODY tries to do in a cat 5 race, and so the pack goes like 18mph.

What are you there to do? It's not some tour stage where you've got to conserve every bit of energy possible. I think beginners (myself included) need to use stupid tactics sometimes, or pull a jackie durand, or whatever, to learn their limits and push themselves more. It's no fun if everybody just crawls around the course, and then there's a weak-ass bunch sprint where everybody crashes. Just MHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Technically, rotating to the right can only be done in a rotating paceline or a double echelon, where one column of riders is advancing and one column of riders (or staggered column in the case of an echelon) is dropping back. In otherwords, the pack has to be riding double file.

In a single paceline, it is more properly termed "pulling off" to the right. Pulling off to the wrong side in a single paceline isn't very dangerous -- it just gives the other riders less of a draft. "Rotating off" to the wrong side -- especially in an echelon where riders are overlapped -- can be dangerous because you are basically cutting off the advancing column of riders. Rotating pacelines are hard to explain unless you actually see one and if often takes lots of time to learn how to ride one properly.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top