LOOKING PACC PRO We will mostly ride in double pace-line, 2 riders abreast and however many stacked long. Sloppy bunch formation is deserving of ridicule. Wearing club kit makes you extra pro. Wheel sitting - You will be expected to be able to do this. Your front wheel should be 30-40cm behind, and no more than 10cm laterally of the wheel in front and your handlebars level with the person next to you. On particularly bicycle un-friendly roads we will go single file, as called by the ride leader.
STAY TOGETHER When riding, stay in bunch form at all times. The bunch should stay in formation and behave as one large PREDICTABLE slow road user. Specifically don't carve the bunch up to go around cars at traffic lights. If the bunch breaks formation we expect that riders will be smart about how and when they do this keeping respect for other road users.
SPEED DATE 5 minute turns on the front. The pace-line will act like a “speed-date” – front left partner will slow slightly while front right partner will roll to the left in front of them. The rider previously behind the front right partner will now become the front right partner. Repeat.
ROLL OVER When it’s time to roll over, this needs to be communicated between the front pair so that it is smooth and does not cause any unnecessary braking or overlapping of wheels.
NO HALF-WHEEL HARRYS Halfwheeling (ie. riding slightly ahead or behind your partner) - just don't do it. It’s rude to the rider next to you, and disruptive to the bunch as this will cause riders behind you to do the same thing to their partner.
HAND SIGNALS Hand signals - point out road hazards and call them by voice if necessary. Don't point out or call things that don't need it. Potholes, glass, 3cm+ rocks, sunken man hole covers are things to point out – eg anything you wouldn’t ride over no-hands. Ride around the obstacles rather than over the top and then point it out. Point out stuff either side of you – don’t point out stuff on the other side of your partner, that is confusing to everybody. Give plenty of notice, and everyone in the bunch signal hazards as they approach. Failing to make or pass signals is not cool or pro, and will signal to others in the bunch you are unreliable and not a good wheel to follow.
OVER Changing lanes/Turning right – the rear right partner will shoulder check that there are no approaching cars and then clearly yell “Over”, which will be communicated forward.
TRAFFIC LIGHTS The front pair need to make an accurate and quick judgement whether to stop or to roll through if the lights change, based on distance and speed of the bunch that the WHOLE bunch can stop in time and safely. Yell “Rolling” or “Stopping” nice and loud, and together. Both hands on your brakes is better than indicating.
PREDICTABLE Be predictable. Keep an eye on the person in front and an eye on the person in front of them. Stay aware and keep your mind on the job in hand. Don't swerve all over the road and avoid making sudden movements unless there's no other choice. Voice calls are very useful for alerting the riders behind you.
SILKY SMOOTH Be smooth. Learn how to sit pace nice and smoothly, instead of slinky-ing back and forth. Learn that brakes have a whole spectrum of use, and not just OMGLOCKUP! Learn how to negotiate corners towing a bunch who are almost blind to it. Conversely, learn to trust that the rider in front is taking the right line through a corner.
NEW RIDERS There really is only one way to learn how to ride in a bunch – by doing it and consistently practising. Plus if you don't know something, the quickest way to find out is to ask! The bunch riding calls and behaviours may start out being a bit foreign, but with everyone in the bunch doing it, they will just become second nature.
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Road: 7:30am Saturdays at Bici Espresso e Pasticceria, 259 Hutt St
CX: Parklands Pootle (MTBs welcome) 5:30pm Mondays opposite the Stag, 299 Rundle St