group ride

Most activities in life are more fun when done with friends, and cycling is no different. A group ride is worthwhile for many reasons and can offer both social and practical advantages. Riding alongside other cyclists can help you stay motivated and confident, since human nature will make you want to keep up with the pack, and the possibility of having to deal with an accident or mechanical issue alone is eliminated. Once you’ve found a group to ride with, you need to consider your personal role in making it work. Just like any other team effort, a group ride is only as safe and effective as the people in it. Whether you’re preparing for your first group ride or your fiftieth, check out the tips from the Global Cycling Network in the great video below to make it your best yet.

If you don’t have a few minutes to watch a video, or can’t watch it for some other reason, you can scroll down and find that we’ve broken down some of its main points.

Group Ride Etiquette

  • Start in the back
    • If it’s your first group ride, start in the back and take advice from other riders, even if they seem less experienced than you.
  • No sudden movements
    • Check that you have enough space and give indications when you are preparing to make a maneuver.
  • No sudden braking
    • Doing so can annoy other riders, or even cause a crash. Also be aware that a rider near you may make sudden movements or brakes, so make a vocal warning that you are near by.
  • Standing
    • Your bike falls back slightly when you get off of your seat while riding, so speed up or warn riders behind you before doing so to avoid problems with someone who may be following you closely.
  • Indicate 
    • When you’re riding in the front, call out respective action and give hand signals so that riders in the back aren’t surprised at turns or stops.
  • Obstacles
    • Riders in the front should call out obstacles to warn riders in the back. These include holes, cars, and other things that might hinder smooth riding.
  • Spitting
    • Spitting is necessary sometimes, but make sure you do it right. Ride to the side of or behind other drivers, check behind you, and return quickly to your spot. No matter how close you are with your riding buddies, no one wants your spit in their face.
  • No half-wheeling
    • Riding faster and nudging your front wheel past the front rider’s back wheel causes unnecessary speed changes and tension between riders.
  • Climbs
    • Groups can break apart easily during climbs, so riders in the front should stop in a safe place and do a head count once everyone is at the top.
  • Mechanical Problems 
    • Stop and help when another rider needs to repair a tire or deal with any mechanical problems, or assure that someone else does.
  • Encouragement 
    • Provide any necessary encouragement or motivation, vocal and otherwise, to keep the group unified.
  • Basics
    • Control your speed, keep your eyes and ears open, and anticipate problems.

Here are a few more videos on cycling etiquette. Comment below to talk about other ways you’ve seen to be a polite and welcome member of your cycling group or vent about some of your group cycling pet peeves!

Above all, be a polite and considerate member of your riding group and let yourself and your fellow riders enjoy the ride. If you or a fellow cyclist are injured during a group ride, let us know and we will provide a free consultation. As Utah’s Bicycle Lawyers, we strive to protect the rights and dignity of responsible cyclists.

Photo via Google Images

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