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Excerpt from Ride Guidelines 2024
  • Riding in a group can help you conserve your energy, allowing you to ride longer and faster than riding alone.
  • A larger group of cyclists is more visible than a single rider on the road.
  • Riding in a group of experienced cyclists can help you improve your own riding skills and performance, not to mention the opportunity to meet new people and form new friendships.
  • Hold your line, be predictable and stay in your spot, never brake suddenly, and never allow your front wheel to overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you, maintain a bar to bar position with the rider beside you.
  • The Cobourg Cycling Club uses two methods of riding within the “tight to the right” formation.
  • These methods are known as the Single Paceline and Double/Social Paceline.
  • For intermediate and advanced rides the Rotating Pacelines will be implemented at the discretion of the Ride Leader.
  • Please ride within your limits.
  • Ride expectations will be discussed or posted before each ride.
Single Pacelines
  • This is the most basic formation and best suited for small groups of about a half dozen riders.
  • It consists of one line of riders, each riding about a foot (depending on the comfort and experience of the group) from the wheel in front of them.
  • Each rider takes their turn at the front and then pulls off to the side and drifts to the back of the line.
  • Used anytime the road narrows to a single lane whether by road design or parked cars
  • When switching from a double to single paceline, the left rider should tuck in safely ahead of the right rider all the way down the line. Riders on the left side of the Social Paceline will move forward and ahead of their partners.
  • Rotations happen in a clockwise manner as per the Highway Traffic Act which specifies passing on the left.
  • Pay attention to the group’s average speed and effort and maintain those levels when you’re at the front. Try not to make any sudden surges or increase in speed, remain smooth and steady.
  • Stay off the brakes and keep your pedals turning as much as possible. Make incremental adjustments in your speed as necessary by soft-pedalling, feathering the brakes lightly to scrub speed, and sitting up or shifting over slightly to catch a bit of wind.
  • Establish a range—two to three minutes is a good norm for how long each person should stay at the front.
  • Continue pedaling and stay close to the line as you pull off and drift back so as to not lose all momentum and lose the back of the pack.
  • Keep your eyes forward. Look through the riders ahead of you, rather than staring at the wheel directly in front of your own. That way, you can naturally adjust to changes in terrain, rather than reacting (or overreacting) to the rider right in front of you.
  • Call out obstacles in the road. Always call out potholes and other obstacles so everyone is alert and has time to react.
  • Flick your elbow to signal you’re pulling off; this lets the riders behind you know you’re about to drift over and back.
Double Paceline
  • This formation works best for larger riding groups.
  • The rules are the same as for the single paceline, only now you are riding two-up.
  • The front riders take their pull, then drift off to their respective sides of the pack as riders behind them pull through.
  • You’ll face the same hurdles you would in the single paceline, with the additional challenge of the front riders maintaining the same pace side by side without half-wheeling (riding just in front of the rider next to you).
  • This disrupts the rhythm of the pack and is considered bad form, there is less room for error in a larger, tighter formation.
  • All the rules of single-paceline riding apply here.
  • In a double, you should also take care to: Think shoulder-to-shoulder. Stay in line with the rider next to you, especially at the front, by keeping your shoulders in line.
  • When rotating, the lead rider in the slower line should yell “Clear” when it is safe for the left rider tmove into position in front of their wheel and “Last wheel” to the back right rider about to switch lines.
  • Pull off in sync at a safe place. Be mindful that the left-hand rider will be pulling off toward the edge of the road.
  • Work together at the front and agree on good pull-off points that give you and everyone in the pack the room they need to negotiate
Rotating Paceline
  • This is an advanced variation of the double paceline: Both lines are in constant, circular rotation, with the inside line moving faster than the outside line.
  • No one rider pulls for any length of time in this formation.
  • Rather, when you are the front rider on the inside, faster line, you start drifting left as soon as the rider in front of you has moved left and has drifted back one bike length. Then, you soft-pedal back, and the next front rider drifts to the left-hand line. 
  • When you hit the back of the left-hand, slower line, you drift right into the slightly faster line.
  • This formation is considerably more challenging to execute smoothly than the single and double paceline.
  • The biggest pitfall comes when there is a huge disparity in speed and effort between the two lines, so riders find themselves forced to make repeated punchy efforts to keep up with the faster line, which wastes rather than conserves energy.
  • Pay attention to pedal pressure. The trick to maintaining a rotating paceline is to pay very close attention to the pressure you’re putting on your pedals. 
  • You should feel like you're pedaling consistently and normally as you work your way up the right-hand side and are soft-pedaling as you retreat down the left-hand side. If riders in the advancing line start surging to the front, the
  • If riders in the advancing line start surging to the front, the effort will become unsustainable for a long ride.
  • When rotating, the lead rider in the slower line should yell “Clear” when it is safe for the left rider to move into position in front of their wheel and “Last wheel” to the back right rider about to switch lines.
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