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aero bars and pacelines don't go together
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There was a crash yesterday in our group ride century at about 65 miles. Strong gusty head wind, 5'-0" wide paved shoulder, and lots of traffic on Labor Day. It was a nasty ten mile stretch that we just wanted to finish so it was a single file and draft off the guy in front. The wind was too loud so no verbal warnings just the front guy hand signals passed down the line. We were maintaining 18-19 mph into the head wind. It was just a big grapefruit sized chunk of asphalt. Maybe the signals didn't get passed down. Maybe it came just too fast and there was no time to react. Two riders signal and pass it fine. Third rider is in his aero bars, so, no signal. Fourth rider in aero bars hits the rock and loses it. 5th guy clips 4th riders wheel and 4th rider hits the pavement(sore and scapped up). 5th rider avoids the deck. 6th rider can't react soon enough and goes over the top of 4th rider, breaks a humorous bone, shreds their upper lip and knocks out two teeth. 7th rider avoids contact, may have been in aero bars. Three of the seven riders had aero bars (either clip-ons or full TT set up).

All riders have +/- 3,000 miles this summer, so I feel there is plenty of experience for all riders. Factors causing the accident. Wind, Traffic, Stress of traffic, poor hand signaling, fatique, and being in the aero bars

Question: Is being in the aero bars the over-riding reason for this accident? What else? What can we learn from this? Be civil.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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i wouldn't pace line in the aero bars unless practicing for a TTT

but big rocks like that in the road might take you out regardless. it happens.



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, as you have said... aerobars make it more difficult to signal. Additionally, I've found that it's more difficult to reaction-steer while in aero.

A couple of other disadvantages:
1. You can't brake while in your aero bars. I'm not saying that being on the brakes would have prevented this, but it's nice to be able to touch your brakes quickly if something comes up on you while you're in a paceline.
2. With more weight over your front wheel, it's going to be less likely to roll over the grapefruit-sized asphalt, and more likely to send you rolling over the handlebars.

Sorry to hear some of your riding buddies took it pretty bad and will be out for a while...

I'll leave the discussion to others as to whether or not you belong in the paceline if the only way you can stay in it is in the aerobars :)
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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I have noticed this in the group rides here. Nobody ever plans for the upcoming obstacles. They direct the entire group right towards them and then go around them at the last second instead of planning the group path away from the large chunks sitting in the middle of the road.

Ride Scoozy Electric Bicycles
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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M Ernst wrote:
There was a crash yesterday in our group ride century at about 65 miles. Strong gusty head wind, 5'-0" wide paved shoulder, and lots of traffic on Labor Day. It was a nasty ten mile stretch that we just wanted to finish so it was a single file and draft off the guy in front. The wind was too loud so no verbal warnings just the front guy hand signals passed down the line. We were maintaining 18-19 mph into the head wind. It was just a big grapefruit sized chunk of asphalt. Maybe the signals didn't get passed down. Maybe it came just too fast and there was no time to react. Two riders signal and pass it fine. Third rider is in his aero bars, so, no signal. Fourth rider in aero bars hits the rock and loses it. 5th guy clips 4th riders wheel and 4th rider hits the pavement(sore and scapped up). 5th rider avoids the deck. 6th rider can't react soon enough and goes over the top of 4th rider, breaks a humorous bone, shreds their upper lip and knocks out two teeth. 7th rider avoids contact, may have been in aero bars. Three of the seven riders had aero bars (either clip-ons or full TT set up).

All riders have +/- 3,000 miles this summer, so I feel there is plenty of experience for all riders. Factors causing the accident. Wind, Traffic, Stress of traffic, poor hand signaling, fatique, and being in the aero bars

Question: Is being in the aero bars the over-riding reason for this accident? What else? What can we learn from this? Be civil.

OK, I'm going to sound like a self absorbed roadie ass, but so be it. The only cause of the accident as described is riders outside there skill level. If you need someone to tell you there is something in the road to avoid then you have a serious problem. If you are on aero bars in a pace line - you have a serious problem. Let me guess - when someone yells "clear" at an intersection the rest of you put your head down and go without looking yourself? You are responsible for yourself on the road, no one else is. As for the wind and pace line, we ride a lot faster than 19 mph in some not so nice wind and no one says a word or uses hand signals. Again - rider and group skill.

"...the street finds its own uses for things"
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [AutomaticJack] [ In reply to ]
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AutomaticJack wrote:
[ Let me guess - when someone yells "clear" at an intersection the rest of you put your head down and go without looking yourself? You are responsible for yourself on the road, no one else is. .

Spot on. I was taught many years ago that what is "clear" for one rider is not "clear" for another. Each rider needs to evaluate the turn himself and not rely on what others call out.

AS for riding aerobars in a paceline, I can't think of something much dumber.

Great blog below on the lost art of the Group Ride.

http://carolinacyclingnews.com/...t-of-the-group-ride/

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Great link. Thanks.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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that link..i was trying to explain this concept to my wife. that some people's group rides they just want to go for a nice ride

and she was like "but, what about zone 12? how do I get ready for the next race? what of the crushing of dreams?"



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [AutomaticJack] [ In reply to ]
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pat your self on the back, then add something worthwhile to the dialogue. You must always have been experienced and fast. I was leading and keeping it at a decent pace to keep the group together and foster improvement in some less experienced riders. I'd love to ride you off my wheel to prove a point.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [AutomaticJack] [ In reply to ]
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So you're saying you ride in a pace lined group ride and no one signals anything? Everyone is on their own 100% of the time?

Interesting, as I've never once gone on a group ride with experienced riders and not had some type of signaling system (hands, voice, head movements). Impressive, no doubt about that!

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
Last edited by: brooks@AllOut: Sep 6, 11 15:33
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Aerobars in a paceline in traffic no less, what's the name of the group "Team Deathwish"?

Absolutely crazy, I think if I was training for something like a team TT (the only reason I can think for doing such a thing) I would want to practice only on closed courses that have be ridden by all the riders in the team so everyone knows where the obstacles are (if any).

I would never ride [close] with another cyclist in a pace line if he/she wants to use aerobars.
Last edited by: rj2501: Sep 6, 11 15:38
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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I ride a TT bike in one of my local group rides, but I never go down into the drops unless I drop off the back on purpose to do so. I always have my hands near the breaks. I am totally not aero, but I at least get to have the legs get used to pedaling in my TT setup. I don't have a road bike because I'm only riding to get better at triathlons.

They accept me fine under those conditions. I'm think they'd start whispering amongst themselves if they saw me in the drops while sucking on someone's wheel.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [SH] [ In reply to ]
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I am totally not aero, but I at least get to have the legs get used to pedaling in my TT setup.

_______

Is sitting on the bullhorns for 90% of a ride getting your legs prepared in the "TT" setup? Sitting up on the bullhorns and riding in the aero are 2 completely different positions.

Are you getting your legs prepared for cycling? Sure

Are you getting your legs prepared in the TT position when your sitting in the bullhorns? I would have to say that would be debateable.

It's a great position to be on in a group ride when all you have is a TT bike, I'm just not sure your actually preparing your legs for the TT setup if your on the 'horns the whole time.

------------------
@brooksdoughtie
USAT-L2,Y&J; USAC-L2
http://www.aomultisport.com
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [brooks@AllOut] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed. I only do that ride 2-3 times a month max. I feel like I get some benefit out of it -- mostly as a longer ride.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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My Group (mostly Triathletes) will always ride their full tri bikes or road w/clip ons during our training rides. We usually try to space out a bit and not bunch up in a tight paceline. When things do bunch up...guy on the front can ride in aero's....and anyone falling off the back (sometimes guys will fall back on purpose so they can ride in aero position)

But like a few others said, sometimes these things happen and there isn't much you can do about it. In this case, if the rider leading the group could have identified the obstacle earlier and steered the peloton out of harms way, it would help alert the group that something is coming and nobody has suddenly swerve out of the way. As a rider who's not leading the paceline, its still their responsibility to be watching more than just the tire in front of them too, which is hard to do in the aero position.

Hope your buddies heal up quickly!
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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When my roadie friend posted that link to Facebook, I asked if a "small ring" meant a 53 tooth instead of a 54

@idking90 | Strava | IG: idking90
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry dude, and sincerly sorry for those hurt, but, if you are an experianced rider you should of not let them ride a paceline in aero positions in traffic. If they wanted to, you should of left the ride. I do not mean to sound harsh, but how are unexperianced riders supposed to know its not smart to do that with traffic unless someone speaks up. My two cents. I sincerly do not mean to offend
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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M Ernst wrote:
There was a crash yesterday in our group ride century at about 65 miles. Strong gusty head wind, 5'-0" wide paved shoulder, and lots of traffic on Labor Day. It was a nasty ten mile stretch that we just wanted to finish so it was a single file and draft off the guy in front. The wind was too loud so no verbal warnings just the front guy hand signals passed down the line. We were maintaining 18-19 mph into the head wind. It was just a big grapefruit sized chunk of asphalt. Maybe the signals didn't get passed down. Maybe it came just too fast and there was no time to react. Two riders signal and pass it fine. Third rider is in his aero bars, so, no signal. Fourth rider in aero bars hits the rock and loses it. 5th guy clips 4th riders wheel and 4th rider hits the pavement(sore and scapped up). 5th rider avoids the deck. 6th rider can't react soon enough and goes over the top of 4th rider, breaks a humorous bone, shreds their upper lip and knocks out two teeth. 7th rider avoids contact, may have been in aero bars. Three of the seven riders had aero bars (either clip-ons or full TT set up).

All riders have +/- 3,000 miles this summer, so I feel there is plenty of experience for all riders. Factors causing the accident. Wind, Traffic, Stress of traffic, poor hand signaling, fatique, and being in the aero bars

Question: Is being in the aero bars the over-riding reason for this accident? What else? What can we learn from this? Be civil.


Yes, among other things, being in the aero-bars in a pack / group ride is one of the primary causes for this accident. The other things are: lack of experience amongst all of you. Those in the tri bikes should have been holding the base bars and if they wanted to ride in the aero bars then they should have kept their distance. For those in the road bikes they should have steered clear of the guys on the aero bars following someone else. Riding 3,000 miles in the summer doesn't correlate to experience and wisdom - it simply means they rode 3,000 miles this summer. If I happened to be riding the same road as you guys were riding and you passed me, I would have stayed off your entire group as soon as I saw those riders in the aerobars in the middle of the pack. Absolute recipe for disaster.

I ride in my aero bars all the time but I keep a 20 foot distance from the rider in front of me for two reasons: (1) My reaction time riding close to the guy will be too slow in terms of braking and in terms of avoiding obstacles, (2) I ride aero to be strong as an individual rider without the benefit of a draft. What's the point of being in an aero position if you are drafting anyways. This only makes sense if you are practicing TTT. Note that even the pros practicing and racing TTTs in aero positions crash.

Civil enough?

.

.........................__0.............0
...................._.-\ <,_.........</\_
.....~_.o^,....(...)./.(...)......._/\...
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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It's why I haven't gone in a group ride in 14 years. Last time I went, I was 4th in a double wide pace group, rider in front of me did not signal obstacle, he moved left, I headed straight into big rock on the road going about 22 mph. Flipped my bike, landed on my tail bone, broke two discs in my back, took two years to recover. Yep, you guess it, guy in front of me was on his aero bars. So no more group rides for me, not worth it because there is always someone who is inexperienced, on their aero bars, and dangerous.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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To be brutally honest, people who ride on their aero bars in a group, deserve themselves.

I refuse to ride in a group with people who ride on their aero bars.

IF I'm in an unfamiliar group and some dickhead ahead of me is on aero bars, I leave a huge gap, until I can get out of the group.

In a group I used to ride with, every time a new person would join in, we'd give them the rules. Not just verbally, I'd hand them a sheet of paper with our rules. Most of the rules were basic and common, but better to make sure everyone was playing by the same rules. One guy was a bit "slow" and would pull bonehead moves from time to time. So, we introduced a new rule. 3 bonehead moves (or breaking of the rules) and you were kicked out of the group! He got to two strikes and several gentle reminders before he got the hint. I don't ride with that group any more (they are too fast for me) but I heard from one of them the other day, that he's back up to 2 strikes! LOL

In your case, riding on the aerobars is a major factor in the accident. Quite simply, on the aero bars you

1. can't see up the road as well (to get as much advance warning as possible)
2. can't react as well or as fast
3. can't signal as well (if you're not lead dog that is)

How to improve safety?

1. Don't allow people to use aero bars in the bunch
2. Don't ride with people who break rule 1.

TriDork

"Happiness is a myth. All you can hope for is to get laid once in a while, drunk once in a while and to eat chocolate every day"
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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blog wrote:
The internet and a power meter do not replace 50,000 miles of experience, but try telling that to a fit forty year-old, new to cycling, on a $5000 bike. Or, god forbid, a triathlete.

Touché.
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Wow

Is see pace lining in aero as worthless unless they bring back Clearwater.

Really though, tri bars don't belong in the group rides with roadies. If you are riding with triathletes then feel free to use them, but make sure you are keeping the 3+ bike lengths between each other.

As for pointing out ALL obstacles, there is a core group of us on our team that really trusts each other. When the hammers are flying and heads are down I know whose wheel to stay directly behind and who I need to drop a little off and over to the side so I can see for myself.


Tim
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Looks like the truth hurts as much as the results of being stupid on a group ride. If being blunt doesn't give you the guidance you were looking for, then that's too bad.

As others have said, aerobars in a pace line in traffic is just dumb. As for directions in a pace line, not necessary if you are doing it correctly. By the way, riding in a pace line is not the same as a group ride. Different skills, different rules. The C group in the bike club rides in a group just fine, they would never be safe in a pace line, apparently like you and your buddies.

Which brings me to my point (again). If you think it is OK to ride in a pace line on aerobars in traffic, you have serious problems.

"...the street finds its own uses for things"
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [M Ernst] [ In reply to ]
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Pick any of the following.....

M Ernst wrote:
There was a crash yesterday in our group ride century at about 65 miles. Strong gusty head wind, 5'-0" wide paved shoulder, and lots of traffic on Labor Day. It was a nasty ten mile stretch that we just wanted to finish so it was a single file and draft off the guy in front. The wind was too loud so no verbal warnings just the front guy hand signals passed down the line. We were maintaining 18-19 mph into the head wind. It was just a big grapefruit sized chunk of asphalt. Maybe the signals didn't get passed down. Maybe it came just too fast and there was no time to react. Two riders signal and pass it fine. Third rider is in his aero bars, so, no signal. Fourth rider in aero bars hits the rock and loses it. 5th guy clips 4th riders wheel and 4th rider hits the pavement(sore and scapped up). 5th rider avoids the deck. 6th rider can't react soon enough and goes over the top of 4th rider, breaks a humorous bone, shreds their upper lip and knocks out two teeth. 7th rider avoids contact, may have been in aero bars. Three of the seven riders had aero bars (either clip-ons or full TT set up).

All riders have +/- 3,000 miles this summer, so I feel there is plenty of experience for all riders. Factors causing the accident. Wind, Traffic, Stress of traffic, poor hand signaling, fatique, and being in the aero bars

Question: Is being in the aero bars the over-riding reason for this accident? What else? What can we learn from this? Be civil.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: aero bars and pacelines don't go together [trackie clm] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks. Good "civil" dialogue. I think that much of what happened could have been avoided.

A leader needs to think and lead. I should have avoided that stretch of road.

Better decisions could have been made all around.

Maybe we all learned something. ;)
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