Cars & Bikes

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Hey, that cyclist is in my lane!

Carson Valley is home to some outstanding road cyclists, including a few national and world champions.  This is a top cycling destination. Some riders decide to live here after visiting the valley with so many close proximity and challenging rides just outside their door.  Its also a valley where the majority of vehicle drivers are very considerate of cyclists, pulling over to give far more than the required 3 ft passing room.  This is really appreciated, even if the rider is holding the bars too tightly to give you a friendly wave!

Virtually all cyclists are also vehicle drivers, so are acutely aware that some of their maneuvers might be considered annoying by drivers.  For example, what appears to be a rude cyclist farther out in the lane while others are along the edge of the road.

You may be witnessing a ‘pace line’.  The key limiting factor to a cyclist’s speed is wind/drag.  Therefore, cyclists like to ride in a line for better aerodynamics and greater speed.  However, the person in front does most of the work, or “pulling” as it’s called.  After pulling anywhere from thirty seconds to a few minutes, the lead cyclist typically moves to his left, allowing the pace line to pass him on the right, upon which he takes his place in the rear, until the next leader does the same process.

Photo courtesy of AACC.

So, if you happen to drive by a group of cyclists, and one seems to be behaving ‘rudely’, they may have just finished their pull and are making their way back to the end of the line.  Thank you for being patient and kind! It equally helps to consider you may be witnessing some of the top athletes in the country who could be on a 50 or 100 mile training ride.

This submission is presented by the Alta Alpina Cycling Club.

The Alta Alpina Cycling Club (AACC) is a road and mountain bike club in the Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, Carson City, and Markleeville areas whose primary focus is to promote cycling and to create an environment in which cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the sport and socialize with other riders.

There are many activities for all ability levels. For the recreational riders, there are organized rides almost every weekend both mountain bike and road. For the more competitive riders, there is a spring race series with categories for beginners as well as for the more experienced riders.

Club rides are open to non-club members. We encourage you to join AACC.