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Race etiquette - never stop pedalling?

salsamuffin204salsamuffin204 Posts: 27
edited February 2017 in Amateur race
Hi guys,

I'm new to racing. I'm an ex-pat living in South Korea and I've joined a race team.

I was recently criticised for stopping pedalling in the bunch. I guess I do this automatically to slow down when I'm in danger of crossing wheels with the rider in front or if there is a pothole or something in the road.

They tell me I should always pedal even if it means pedalling while applying some brake to avoid the wheel in front. They say a rider stopping pedalling makes the rider behind nervous.

I don't remember this never stop pedalling etiquette from my club riding days in the Uk. I'm curious if it's a local thing or if it's a universal racing pack etiquette thing.

Posts

  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    I soft-pedal usually rather than stop and freewheel completely. So legs slowly turning around against no resistance.

    1) it means I can start pedalling again quickly if I need to (quicker to put the power down as my legs are already moving rather than stopped)
    2) I also can modulate my speed better than by freewheeling and braking, braking is the thing you shouldn't be doing really, whether you're pedalling or not!
    3) the most annoying sound on a group ride is someone's loud ratchety freewheel behind you constantly going on and off. In a bunch it's not as bad but still, I prefer to keep soft-pedalling rather than coast in the bunch where possible.

    How do they go around corners if they are always pedalling? :lol: Presumably there's some agreed-on space before a turn when you're allowed to stop pedalling without frightening the rider behind into a crash?
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    A guy once had a word with me after a criterium saying that I tended to stop pedaling when I was taking a drink. Along the lines of "not a big problem, but keep an eye on it". Presumably I drifted back a little when I was doing this so I now keep that in mind. I think that is a slightly different situation to the one you're describing. I can't see why you would always keep pedaling as long as you're in control of your movement with respect to the riders around you.
  • As long as you hold the wheel, pace and your line it's fine to stop pedalling. The biggest problem is people who stop pedalling on the front of the bunch going downhill. It makes everyone else drag their brakes.
  • No problem as long as you don't suddenly de-cellerate. B/S claims like this are what spoils racing.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    When I race I pedal as little as possible. Watch some pro races, plenty of freewheeling going on.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    It's a race.

    Don't act dangerously, but free-wheeling to manage the gap to the guy in front isn't dangerous.

    The guy behind is nervous? Good, he's losing.

    Paul
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,142
    Not something I've ever come across - I assumed the thread was going to be about people just sitting up maybe when they are cooked if they decide they aren't going to contest the sprint.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    the pros never stop pedalling ever since Sky figured out it was paramount to winning ... look at all the teams now .. when they finish a race, they get straight on a turbo .... never stop pedalling !!!!!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    paul2718 wrote:
    It's a race.

    Don't act dangerously, but free-wheeling to manage the gap to the guy in front isn't dangerous.

    The guy behind is nervous? Good, he's losing.

    Paul

    If the guy behind is the sprinter on your team and you're making him nervous by stopping pedalling then you're no good as a leadout - and he's probably not going to come to much either ...

    But ... riding on someones wheel is a matter of trust - and if the team the OP is riding for don't stop pedalling then the OP should take note of that and not stop pedalling at least while he's got a team member on his wheel - you can pedal without putting effort in and pedal whilst braking if you really need too.
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    If your sprinter is that nervous close to other riders then he's not going to be winning anything.

    However you look at it, vulnerability to the guy in front coasting is a weakness that needn't be there.

    Paul
  • fat daddy wrote:
    the pros never stop pedalling ever since Sky figured out it was paramount to winning ... look at all the teams now .. when they finish a race, they get straight on a turbo .... never stop pedalling !!!!!
    Which has nothing to do with not pedalling during a race. Many riders go straight to the rollers because its the most efficient way to warm down after a massive finishing effort. But winning a race is about using as little energy as possible until you need it, so sitting in the bunch it is common not to pedal or at best soft tap when appropriate.
    Froome did plenty of non pedaling on the descent of the Peyresourde for example
  • Was that whhhooooosssshhhhhh from Team Sky flying past or something else???
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    Was that whhhooooosssshhhhhh from Team Sky flying past or something else???


    I think it was something else .... pretty sure it went right over On the Ropes Head :mrgreen:
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I must admit I have never had a bollockin whilst racin for not pedalling. A few words about either pedalling too hard. Or not hard enough... racing folk..hard to please.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,253
    What's the point in keeping pedalling? Keeping smooth, modulating speed and avoiding overlaps are what counts. Unless you're riding fixed on a track in which case keep pedalling at all times!!

    The main one that bothers me in a bunch is people not timing the point at which they get out of the saddle leaving a drop in forward momentum at just the wrong time.
  • stretchystretchy Posts: 149
    Pross wrote:
    The main one that bothers me in a bunch is people not timing the point at which they get out of the saddle leaving a drop in forward momentum at just the wrong time.

    This is the worst! :shock:
  • stretchy wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    The main one that bothers me in a bunch is people not timing the point at which they get out of the saddle leaving a drop in forward momentum at just the wrong time.

    This is the worst! :shock:

    Any tips to avoid doing this?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    "Throw" the bike forward when you stand up, basically. Try it next time you're out riding a hill and have to get out of the saddle. When you sit down when riding in a bunch you already unconsciously do the opposite to prevent your front wheel from going into the rider ahead, it's just that most people don't think about it when they stand up as their wheel is going backwards and therefore they don't see it happening.
  • Thanks for that, definitely going to try that out!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    I don't 'throw' the bike forward, never have. Just learn to get out of the saddle without interrupting your pedal stroke.
  • ProssPross Posts: 24,253
    Yeah, just use the downstroke on the pedal to lift yourself out of the saddle and you should maintain forward momentum.
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