"Cycling group"As is the case with almost any athletic activity, cycling is much safer when done in groups. Unless you are simply going on a short ride around the neighborhood or down the street to the grocery store, you should not be cycling alone. Particularly for mountain bikers and those who spend time on trails far from civilization, traveling with companions helps ensure your safety and allows you to have a built-in rescue party should something go wrong. Groups of cyclists can rely on each other for moral support, directions, rescues, poor weather conditions, etc.

Below, we have discussed in further detail several of the benefits that come with cycling in groups:

You will be more aerodynamic

Cyclists who ride in groups stick to certain formations that help them ride successfully with the wind. Most groups ride single-file, in either one or two lines. Riders who travel in a pack learn to move like a pack, adjusting their speed and direction to match those of the other cyclists.

Groups of cyclists also take turns riding in the front, at the back, and in the middle to share the work loads. By traveling in a group, you are less likely to become fatigued because the pace of other riders is forcing you to maintain a constant speed.

You will learn new terrain

If you cycle alone, you probably travel the same stretches of road and bike paths over and over again. By traveling with a group of other cyclists, you gain the advantage of learning new terrain. Each cyclist will bring with them the knowledge of different areas, roads, and parks, which means you can infinitely increase your cycling “resume” each time you ride with a new group.

You will learn to ride with cyclists of different skill levels

If you have been riding alone or with only one other cycling partner, you likely do not have much experience interacting with cyclists of other skill levels. By riding in large groups, you will be exposed to many different types of cyclists who have a variety of techniques and approaches. Regardless of whether you are one of the better cyclists in the group or toward the bottom of the skill levels, you can learn from the strategy and experiences of other members of your group.

You will be better protected in the case of an accident

Unfortunately, cycling accidents happen all the time. Whether these accidents involve motor vehicles or falls down rugged mountains, they are not situations you want to find yourself in alone. Traveling in cycling packs means safety in numbers. If you become injured, lost, or ill, you are automatically provided with a group of people who can take care of you and help you return to safety. Having other cyclists present at the scene of an accident can mean the difference between you receiving treatment for your life-threatening injury on time and you attempting to call for help or flag down a passing driver while alone in the mountains. It is always safer to cycle with others, and it is safest to cycle with as many “others” as possible.

Source: Bicycling.com

Photo Courtesy of Mikel Ortega and Creative Commons