Avoiding a Full Moon in the Peloton

December 21, 2022 0 Comments

Alaskan road in winter with snow along the sides and snow-covered mountains ahead

We’re well into the holiday season, and that means winter is in full swing in much of the northern hemisphere. If you haven’t already, it’s time to dig up your winter cycling gear so you can make sure you stick with your riding commitment even through the colder months.

If you’re like a lot of cyclists, you may not think about getting out the winter gear until it’s time to jump on the bike for a cold ride. You quickly dig through that tub of winter clothes and pull out the old favorites — the long-sleeved jacket, long-fingered gloves, and thick socks. And, of course, that cozy pair of tights you’ve loved so well for … how long?

It doesn’t matter. You’ve got what you need, right? So, you throw it on and set out on the road with all the other cyclists who just did the same thing. Soon, though, you may come to second-guess your choice.

Sunrise on the Peloton

Regret doesn’t hit you right away. As you set out on your favorite Saturday route with your usual group, the sun is just breaking over the horizon behind you. You feel your jacket and tights soaking up the heat to warm you as you fight off the morning windchill.

“The pace is always slower at the beginning of a cold morning ride,” says longtime cycling coach Darryl MacKenzie. 

As the sun starts to shine on the whole peloton, though, the frost melts away and your group picks up the pace. You may have questioned your commitment when you started the ride, but you’re feeling good now. Looking ahead, you watch morning shadows fade from the back of the rider in front of you. Your eyes drift downward … and then you see it.

A Full Moon in View

As you inadvertently look upon your fellow rider’s behind, you catch your first glimpse of the full moon in the peloton. Those tights look like they have seen more than a few rides, and they’re completely threadbare, leaving the poor rider quite exposed. 

This sudden revelation presents you with an uncomfortable dilemma.

“Unwritten pace line rules dictate that you should not stare at the rider in front of you for safety reasons,” says Coach Darryl. “Most likely, though, they weren’t considering this specific situation.”

So, do you stay where you are and just deal with the view? Do you move to the back and expose another rider to the full moon? More pressing, do you tell the other rider that their worn-down tights have created an embarrassing scene? 

“It is like having a brake light out in your car; unless someone tells you, you may never know,” Darryl notes.

You realize you should probably tell them face to face, but that could be uncomfortable for several reasons. Ultimately, you’d like to finish the ride without getting socked in the face for embarrassing another rider. 

Reality Check 

As you consider your dilemma, you face the fact that there is no easy way out of it. Before you decide what to do, though, a more troubling realization dawns on you. 

Are my tights that bad?

Maybe you should have checked that before you set out for a ride this morning. Let this be a lesson for next time: Always inspect your old cycling tights before you start another season of winter riding. Otherwise, you might be the one to bring a full moon to the peloton.

It’s a good lesson learned. If you forget, though, perhaps you should move to the back of the peloton. Your fellow riders will thank you.


Looking for more ways to be a good peloton partner? Follow our blog every week for the latest tips — and check in with Coach Darryl over at his website.