The 11 Mile Paceline

An 11 Mile Paceline ?

At 10′ per bicycle, that’s 6,292 cyclists!

Rather, this was the first time I rode with about seven other riders…north on route 47 in Hadley, Ma, for 11 miles, no stops, lights or rests.

It was simultaneously exciting (first time), tiring (had to concentrate), beautiful (great scenery) and boring (enough already). Yes, I’d do it again.  For our group, maintaining that kind to cohesiveness is a rare treat.

On Long Island, where we normally rode, we were  lucky to keep a paceline together for more than two or three miles because:

  • we hit a hill
  • the leader picked up the pace and have the group goes after him/her 
  • we hit a stop light.

Anyway, back to the 11 miler.

There was a 7-12 mph headwind and a slight uphill pitch (less than 1%) to the road.  As defacto leader it was my task to keep the powerful and weaker riders together for about 45 minutes. In our group, some of the people could have done the entire run at 15-20 mph, while the weakest rider was ‘hanging on’ in the back at 13-16 mph.

When in front it was easy to set the pace.   From the middle or back a reminder to keep the pace steady, called up by each rider usually worked.

Even at this pace, it was evident that the stronger riders were getting tired as the pulls went from 2 minutes down to 30 seconds.

It was a wonderful start to a really nice ride.

It was a long time ago,  2007,  I think,  but I still remember.


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