Riding with a group offers a lot of benefits to riders of all skill levels. Whether you’re a casual or a competitive biker, group ride can help give some variety to your cycling. It is also hugely beneficial on your overall fitness. Ultimately, it allows you to ride faster and further.
Participating in group rides is a great way to train. But you also need to understand that group riding isn’t about who pedals the fastest or who the best cyclist is. This isn’t a competition. If you want to become a regular at a local group ride, you need to try your best to be a member of the group.
When it comes to cycling, it’s all about safety. Listed below are some rules and etiquette every cyclist needs to know. These rules spring from a foundation of safety, so they ought to be honored by each member of the group. Be sure to follow these rules if you decide to venture out on a club ride.
Find the right group for you
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Riding with a group can be fun and enjoyable. However, the lack of skills and fitness can be frustrating. It may also cause you to crash and even take others down with you.
You don’t need to be a competitive rider in order to enjoy the benefits of group riding. However, you need to join a group with the same skill level and fitness as you. If you’re looking for a group to ride with in your area, your local bike shop is the perfect place to start. Often, these groups start in the parking lot of a local bike shop.
Keep a consistent speed
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Joining a group ride can help improve your fitness and motivation. But if you aren’t aware of the basic principles, it can be dangerous. Group rides provides a great opportunity to see how you compare to other cyclists. While a little competition is fine, you need to remember that this is not a race. Since you’re in a group, you should keep everyone tightly together.
You should be riding two by two, side by side with another cyclist. There is no need to take over the whole lane or annoy car drivers. This isn’t the time to show everyone how strong you are. That is what races are for. If you think you’re the fastest rider of the group, then you should stay at the front. But please don’t ramp up the speed as you get in front. This will make it difficult for other members of the group to keep up with the pace. Ride with the group’s pace.
Use hand gestures
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You need to communicate with other cyclists in your group in order to ensure a smooth ride. However, shouting constantly with one another isn’t a good idea. Hand gestures are a powerful aspect of communication. You can use hand gestures to send a message to other cyclists.
When riding in a group, decreasing speed, standing up out of the saddle or hitting the brakes without alerting others can lead to a crash. If you do anything sudden, it will likely cause a crash. A lot of cyclists would jump for their brakes when someone slows down ahead of them. Before making a move, it is important to send a signal to others if you are planning to change position, speed or direction.
Oftentimes, the front cyclist is the only person who has enough visual warning. So if you are riding in front, you are expected to keep an eye on the pack. It is your responsibility to warn those that are behind you. To warn others of rough pavement and ground debris, point to the ground and snap your fingers. Wave your hand above or behind you to warn others of larger road hazards. Also, signal for turns regardless of your place in line.
Fill in any gaps as soon as you see them
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Members of the group should ride in close proximity with one another. That means there should be no gaps in between each rider. Gradually fill in any space as soon as you see them. There is no need to sprint into the space and then suddenly hit on the brakes. Just ride into the space in a controlled and steady manner. Remember, the key to group riding is to do things steadily and gradually.
Pick your position wisely
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The stronger riders usually stay in front. They are the ones who set the pace for the group. If you feel tired and you’re having a hard time keeping up, make sure that the person beside you knows that you are peeling off. You need to determine together when you’re pulling off.
Depending on which side of the pack you intend to drift back on, flick your right or left elbow away from your body. This will alert the next rider in line that it’s their turn to come through to the front. Then, move to the side in a controlled and steady manner. Do not suddenly veer off to the side.
Before you do that, check to see that there isn’t someone overlapping your back wheel before moving to the side. Remember, you are riding very closely to one another. Failure to do this can lead to a crash. This can result in you and other members of the group going down.