How to Ride in a Paceline
Below is an excerpt from the book “The No-Drop Zone: Everything You Need to Know About the Peloton, Your Gear, and Riding Strong” by Patrick Brady. The 250-page book outlines all aspects of road cycling for beginners, from riding skills to bike gear to the cycling lifestyle. Learn more about the book here.
The first step toward riding in a group is learning to draft another rider. Drafting can cut your effort by a third—sometimes more—depending on how close you follow the rider ahead of you and how large that rider is. The bigger the rider, the better the draft. The best way to learn how to draft is to ride in a paceline—and they come in three flavors.
The simplest form of group riding to learn is the single paceline. Single pacelines are usually made up of a small group of riders—they can be hard to keep organized with more than 10 or 12 riders. Your turn at the front is like playing locomotive to a train and it is called “taking a pull.” This isn’t literal, of course, but your effort is referred to as your “pull.”
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