The Blue Hills Cycling Club has scheduled morning rides 6 days a week running March through November. Additionally, many other rides are created through our email list and social media. At BHCC there is always someone to ride with.
The Blue Hills Cycling Club has an exceptional safety record and road reputation. We would like for these to continue. The following rules must be adhered to during all Club Rides. If you have any questions about these rules, please ask a BHCC ride leader.
• Obey all traffic laws; this means stopping at stop signs.
• Do not ride beyond your ability, you do not always have to ride with the pack.
• Make sure your bike is in good working condition and safe before showing up for the ride. The pre-ride meeting place is not a place to ask others for repairs!
• Know how to modulate brakes during a hard stop – using your front brake only will have you flying over your bars.
• Ride no more than 2 abreast. In traffic, single file riding is required.
• Ride as far right as is safe and practical. On a two lane road, block a lane if it is the only way to safely navigate the road, then clear the lane asap.
• Communicate loudly to other riders, warning them of cars, flats, etc. Use of hand signals should also be encouraged. Please take the time to understand what the different hand signals mean. If you are not familiar with hand signals used on a ride, please ask
• Point at obstacles ahead of you, for safety reasons, to the rider behind you. Remember to give them enough time to react.
• Wear a properly fitted helmet.
• Do not confront motorists.
How to Ride in a Paceline
By Fred Matheny, courtesy of www.RoadBikeRider.com
Solo rides are a great part of the cycling experience. Nothing beats cruising along and looking at the scenery, or attacking a climb at your own pace and intensity. But riding with a small group can be even more fun. You cover ground faster, meet people, and experience the thrill of shared effort. Paceline riding isn't difficult to learn. Here are the basic skills:
Riding a Straight Line
Start by learning to ride like you're on a rail. Practice by holding your line during solo rides. Put your wheel on the road's white edge line and keep it there. Relax your upper body, keep a light grip on the handlebar, and fix your peripheral vision on the line. Keep your actual focus 20 or 30 feet in front of the bike. Remember, the bike will go where your eyes go.
Following a Wheel
Drafting another rider saves you at least 15 percent in energy output. It's foolish to be bucking the wind all the time when you're with other riders. Share the work by drafting them and letting them draft you.
Position your front wheel 1 to 3 feet behind the rear wheel you're following. The closer the better, in terms of the draft, but closer also requires a lot more attention. When necessary, turn the cranks without putting pressure on the pedals ("soft pedal") to maintain correct spacing. Use the brakes sparingly. Jerky braking creates chain reaction problems for riders behind you. If you need to brake, feather the levers lightly instead of clutching at them.
If a gap opens, don't make things worse by accelerating too hard, overrunning the wheel in front, then grabbing the brakes. Instead, ease back up to the rider in front. If you don't become proficient at following a wheel, you can waste more energy than you save by constant yo-yoing. Look past the rider directly in front. Don't stare down at his rear wheel or you won't see things that may cause him to brake or swerve.
First rule: Be predictable.
Don't accelerate when it's your turn at the front. Note your cycle computer's mph and maintain the group's speed when the lead rider pulls off. The rider that comes off the front deserves to rest.
After your own bout against the wind, pull off to the side agreed upon and stay close to the others as you soft pedal and slide back to the rear of the paceline. This enhances the drafting effect for the whole group. It also keeps everyone as far out of the traffic flow as possible, making paceline riding possible even on busier roads.
As you come abreast of the last rider in the line, pick up speed and then slide over behind his wheel as he comes past. When done correctly you won't need an energy-wasting acceleration in order to latch back on. Once in the caboose position you can take a drink or stand to stretch without disrupting the paceline's smoothness.
Protect your front wheel. If your rear wheel is struck a fall is unlikely because it has nothing to do with steering the bike. However, if your front wheel is contacted it will often be twisted off line faster than you can react. You'll almost certainly go down. Help prevent this by never overlapping someone's rear wheel.
- Start times may change to accommodate less daylight in the spring/fall.
- See Calendar or The BHCC Google Group for start times and announcements.
- Kelly Field rides meet M-F at 6:30 and are a no drop ride that average 16-18mph.