Bicycling in and around
Sullivan County, NY
Beginner – Advanced
Riding in an efficient, consistent paceline can easily add 1-5 mph to
an average speed. These tips and etiquette rules are based on a
group that is trying to remain together in a smooth, efficient
Pacelining Tips and Etiquette:
- The distance between bikes is determined by
the comfort and consistency of the group. Closer is better for
efficiency but also more dangerous.
- If you are leading the group avoid holes
and road debris by one foot if traffic permits. This gives the
person in the back of the line enough room.
- When it is your turn to be up front and
“pull” keep the speed/effort consistent.
- When you pull off it is your responsibility
to slow down so the new lead person does not need to speed up.
- When you stand up, keep your cadence smooth
and move forward on the bike gradually so as not to lose too much
distance. Please practice this!
- Predict when the person in front of you
will stand and give enough room in case the bike drops back.
- Don’t ride perfectly in-line with the rider
in front of you. Try to be an inch or so to the left or
right. This will give you better visibility and if there is an
abrupt change of pace you will have more time to react.
- Never overlap your front wheel with another
rider’s back wheel. The person guilty of this is the one who
- Predict pace changes by looking and
thinking ahead. Speed will increase on downhills and decrease on
uphills and at intersections.
- If you are too tired to pull through you
still need to take a turn at the front to keep a smooth paceline.
Pull off after 2 seconds if necessary but keep the pace smooth.
- If the person behind you yells “Pull Off”
it probably means that you have slowed down and should pull off.
Don’t hog the front.
- Leave extra space between bikes when going
through stop signs, traffic lights, and busy intersections. If
you are up front it is your responsibility to slow the pace gradually
and give a short distance after the intersection at an easier pace to
allow everyone to tighten up the gaps. Once the gaps are closed,
accelerate gradually back up to speed.
- If you are tired/hurting never take a
strong pull down a hill heading into an uphill. As soon as you
are out of energy at the bottom of the hill a fresh rider will keep the
pace up and you could get dropped.
- The strongest climber should lead the
climbs but at a pace everyone can handle.
- The heaviest, most powerful, rider should
lead on the descents but pull off with enough time to recover before
the next climb.
- When you pull off the front stay close to
the line passing you and start accelerating before the last rider
passes so you can drop into the backof the paceline. It is also
courteous to let the person know if you are the last rider.