Good stuff

I had a great ride last night. It was the “Bro Ride,” a group that meets up in Hermosa Beach at 5:45 PM on Wednesdays and does a 35-mile pedal through the city during rush hour. You would think that’s dicey but you’d be wrong. Thanks Matt Miller for keeping things safe and fun.

In addition to the obligatory flat tire change we also did some paceline practice on Westchester Parkway. Joann Z., Kevin S., Tom D., Joey C., Geoff L., and Matt were all amenable to receiving some screamed instructions by a rabid Wanky, and four of the riders did their first paceline ever, acquitting themselves quite well.

You take it for granted that everybody’s done a rotating paceline before but that’s not the case. We did a little seminar at the curbside before starting, and I told everyone not to worry. “I’ll be screaming like a batshit crazy drill sergeant. You’ll never be in doubt as to what you should be doing.”

Funny thing is, it took very little instruction other than yelling “Pull off!” “Pull through!” and “Quit surging for fuck’s sake!” at the right time. Before long people really got the hang of it and commented on how much fun it was. Riding a paceline takes huge concentration, not to mention trusting the wheel in front of you. In LA, where group rides are more akin to mobs, and where there aren’t many unbroken stretches of road where you can rotate, the Parkway proved perfect.

Basic riding skills can be taught quickly, you just have to stop what you’re doing at the time, divest yourself from the moment of “being in the ride,” and take a minute to talk, practice, and learn. Good stuff.

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26 thoughts on “Good stuff”

  1. I was on a group ride with BCCC L1 group (those are the guys that are fast and supposedly know what they are doing.) It was a motley crew at best. I was impressed when the ride leader stopped the whole group, safely pulled them to the side of a quiet road and basically said “this group is a mess and have to straighten up and this is how it’s done…” The rest of the ride went beautifully. A little time, instruction, and people willing to listen and change their behavior goes a long way.

  2. When it is working, it is some of the fastest, hardest, freaking fun you will ever have.

  3. Riding in a group is tons of fun if everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect from the others.

    Maybe you guys can try some CyclingSavvy “Got Your Back” lane changes on Westchester Parkway next time.

    1. This is all wrong. That biker gang is riding two across, using the WHOLE lane and blocking traffic. Plus one of them is reclining and none of them are wearing pyjamas. And I don’t see any Carbon Fiber at all! WTF is this?!!!!!

      1. It’s an outrage, that’s what!! Fuggin’ biker gang twig-armed shave legged bald headed beer swillin’ carbon ridin’ gangster rowdy bastards!

  4. My first paceline ever and I have to admit I was nervous at first because…1. I don’t like to be yelled at and 2. I don’t like to be yelled at by Seth…I found it to be thrilling and a while lot of fun. I can’t wait to try it again!

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