Stupid question time


Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
Group of club riders training in a line taking it in turn to ride at the front while others draft behind. You will no doubt get some more technical answers from the club riders on here.:laugh:


oooh .... aaah ... oooh ... aaah is the sound of the men working on the chain gang, as they train by riding in a close group, swapping the front position regularly, with the guy at the front keeping the pace high and others taking their turn.

Very common on a regular club run and can lead to considerably higher average speeds than if riding individually.
As others have explained
In the sport of cycling, a chain gang is a group of cyclists in a close knit formation usually of two parallel lines.
The formation comes from the fact that it is harder to cycle at the front of a group than in the shelter of another rider. The rider behind enjoys the slipstream of the rider in front. If one rider were to stay at the front all the time, he would tire and the whole group would slow down. If the lead is rotated, the effort is distributed across the group and the speed can be higher or the individual effort less.
This effect is very significant - up to a 40% reduction in effort for the slip-streaming riders while the lead rider also benefits from reduced drag (somewhat under 10%) due to the air not closing up after him


Leafy Cheshire
Hmmm that's kind of what I thought. Didn't realise it made that much difference though. At the moment I am still pootlingslogging around on my Scott hybrid, but am looking at getting a road bike. Am wondering how fit I would have to be to join in with a club run without embarrassing myself.


Cycling in Scotland
Auld Reekie
In Beginners there are no stupid questions, everyone is a beginner at some stage asking questions is how you learn. :laugh:


Nr Cambridge
Watch out for 'chain gang' club rides. Generally they are usually hard rides & done as a form of race training, for example the one my local club chain gang run deliberately has a hilly* loop about 1/2 way which the riders still in a group do to tire them out while the people that got dropped can get back in the chain gang. That said a reasonably sized club will have rides for most ability ranges.

* relative term - hilly for this area


Just about surviving
A guy I used to work with who was a club rider for many years came into work one day with plenty of gravel rash down the side of his face after being off for a couple of days. When asked what he'd done, he'd caught the rider in front whilst on the chain and come a cropper. He was a right mess for several weeks, but still went out training:biggrin:.
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