The Peloton

[Original Article on UMM’s Official Blog:  The Peloton]

Posted on Aug 7th, 2012 at 11:19 AM

By Rich Peck

Peloton is a French word for cyclist riding together in a group.

Since cyclists in the front break the wind, those in the middle of a peloton work only 30 to 40 percent as hard as the leaders. That’s a major energy-saving factor.

Little wonder that cyclists take turns leading the peloton and it is no surprise that cyclists who break away from the group seldom stay in front for long.

Pelotons traditionally catch up with foolish cyclists who risk peddling on their own.

Even if three or four cyclists try to cooperate on a breakaway, they are later tracked down by the larger group.

Winning cyclists generally stay near the front of a peloton to reduce the chance of being involved in a crash, but they don’t try to breakaway until they are very close to the finish line. Teammates who know their leader is a better sprinter will frequently take the lead to save the energy of their faster teammate.

The peloton teaches us the advantage of participating in a group. When a man decides he can go it alone, he will frequently find the winds of doubt, frustration, and misfortunes buffet him and he tires quickly. He may decide the race is too difficult and find ways to escape the ordeal.

When, however, there are others who take their turns facing those difficulties, bitter winds seem less daunting.

Some men are able to stay in front of the peloton longer than others. And some are better at sprinting at the last moment. The group succeeds when each member knows his role and no individual decides he doesn’t’ have to take the lead at some point.

In his letter to the church members in Corinth, St. Paul talks about the various roles men can play in the larger group. (I Corinthians 12: 12-27).


1 Corinthians 12:12-27, King James Version (KJV)

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.