The Social Paceline
Our rides will by default assume the two abreast formation, except in the rare instances where this unduly impedes traffic, as this compared to single file pacelines is generally safer for the group and allows traffic to pass a group in much less time, therefore better for all involved.
When double file, we will use the social paceline to rotate. The social paceline is similar to the well known rotating paceline, with a few important distinctions.
Instead of continuously rotating, the social paceline has riders on the front align, take a pull, then rotate the formation by one rider after 30s-3min on the front. Here’s how it works:
- Riders on the front align front wheels side by side, ~3 m between shoulders. They set the pace for the group ‘pulling’ the paceline. When the rider on the front right feels it’s time to rotate (30s -3 min), they call out “Go ahead.” A rotating hand gesture is often used to signal riders behind of what’s happening. Note: Rider on the left can also make the call to rotate if they feel the need.
- The lead rider on the left gently accelerates the left column smoothly forward one bike length while the lead rider on the right maintains the current pace of the right column.
- When the lead rider on the left is safely ahead of the rider on the right, the rider on the right calls out “Clear”.
- Then the rider on the left moves in front of the rider on the right and the last rider in the right hand column moves over to the back of the left column when there is space to do so.
- The left column continues to move ahead until the lead riders re-align.
- The left column gently reduces its pace to match the column on the right. The last rider in the left column calls to the last rider in the right column “Last rider” – this lets the rider on the right know that there is no one behind them. The group continues at a steady pace until the next rotation is called for.
The social paceline allows groups to better maintain a ‘tight and to the right’ formation at all times, and eliminates dangerous periods of riding four-abreast if both front riders were to pull off the sides and drift back at the end of a pull.
This formation will be adopted at all times unless obstructing traffic, or on Tuesdays where the group often splits into smaller, single-file pacelines.