Cycling doesn’t have to be about riding on your own. Being able to ride in a group can be fun and offer you many benefits. If done the right way, group cycling can raise your fitness levels and make riding a lot more enjoyable. It doesn’t matter if you’re an excellent rider or a novice. Whatever your ability, here are a number of Easy Rules to Group Ride safely.
Rule 1: a group ride is not a race.
Riding in a group is not the same as riding in a race. If you find yourself at the front of the group, it is important to cycle at a pace that is smooth and controlled. This is because everyone in the group is riding close together. What you should avoid doing is increasing your speed to show off how strong you are. If you accelerate too fast or are always braking, you may end up causing a crash.
Rule 2: Stay aligned.
It’s important when riding in a group that you cycle in a straight line. You should avoid weaving about on the road. If the road allows, the likelihood is that you’ll be cycling in two lines, level with your partner. When you start out, you’ll find it useful to stay at least a wheel length away from the back wheel of the person in front of you. What you want to avoid is overlapping your wheel with the back wheel of the cyclist in front of you. As those in the group are all riding close up to each other, it’s vital that you keep your speed steady and constant. This means no speeding up or repeated braking.
Rule 3: Preparation.
Successful group cycling means being prepared. Before setting out you should check your bike to make sure that there are no problems with it. If gears are misfiring or there are problems with the brakes, this could make you a risk to other members of the group. Being prepared is also about knowing what’s going on all around you. This means not just focussing on the wheels in front of you. By being aware of what’s going on all around you, you can react to anything that happens on the road. The result is a safe ride.
When you’re out cycling with the group, you’re also at risk of the elements as well as problems with your bicycle. As part of your preparation, it’s worthwhile making sure that you have the equipment needed to fix any problems with your bike. You should also carry suitable clothing with you in case the weather changes.
Rule 4: Keep road rules in mind.
When you’re on the open road cycling as part of a group you will encounter traffic. It’s, therefore, important that you ride according to the rules of the road. For your safety, this means obeying not just road traffic laws but also the rules of the group.
Rule 5: Communication.
A key factor to riding safely in a group is communication. Out riding, you may find there are times when you need to warn others about a hazard so they can take action to avoid it. For everyone’s safety, it’s important that you pass on any messages to others in the group in plenty of time. This is because there could be riders in the group who are a distance behind you who cannot see the hazard. When calling out messages, you need to make sure that your message is clear to others so avoid yelling.