Group Riding Tips

Pre-ride Checklist
What to bring:

  • Helmet
  • Water- 1 oversized water bottle is good, 2 are better.
  • Food- take food if you will ride for more than 2 hours.
  • Pump- a frame pump or Co2 securely attached to your bike, or carried in a pack.
  • Spare Tubes- 1 is good, 2 are better.
  • Tire Levers- take at least 2.
  • Patch Kit- you made need more than those 2 spare tubes.
  • Money- to buy your friends coffee.

Tips on group riding

1. Do NOT overlap wheels with the rider in front of you. This is the #1 cause of most crashes. If you do overlap the wheel in front of you don’t blame the person in front of you when you crash.

2. Be punctual and be ready to ride when the group pushes off.

3: When you’re second in line to take a pull, look down at your speed and KEEP that speed when the guy in fronts pulls off. DO NOT blast away like a rocket when you get to the front. Keep the same speed and or increase your speed slowly if that is your goal. When at the front and taking on a hill, you’re suppose to continue the ‘effort’ not the speed you were doing.

4: When in front, point out objects as far ahead as possible and move your train over slowly. Imagine that you’re a semi and not only do you have to worry about your cab hitting the hole, but also the rear of your rig. Give the train behind you enough time to move over seamlessly. Always be vocal about big hazards, pointing does not always help. If the road is extremely bad (full of potholes, etc) break the line. A paceline works when you are not snaking through mounds of pothole. Restart the line when it is safe. If the leader points at an obstacle, you should point it out too. The guys at the back cannot see all the way up front in a large group.

5: Always make sure that your water bottle is FIRMLY in it’s cage (if that’s where you keep it).

6: When you see a deer cross the road in front of you, look for the SECOND deer. Do not sit up and turn to your buddies to talk about the first deer.

7: Stay on the correct side of the yellow line especially around blind corners. We don’t carry dead people home.

8: When taking a pull and coming up to an intersection with a red light, indicate that you’re stopping for it far enough in advance so that your train can also slow down. The best way to indicate is to shout out “SLOWING”, “STOPPING”.

9: When climbing a hill, yell “STANDING” a few seconds before standing up. This lets anyone behind you know that there will be a slight decrease in your speed as you stand.

10: When last in the train, yell “car back” if there is a car coming up from behind.

11: If you get a flat in the middle of a pack, call out “Flat!”. Raise your hand, if it is safe to do so, so other riders can spot you and not run over you.

12: Always assume that there is a rider behind you, and on your left, and on your right, until you can prove otherwise.

13: Eat and drink at the back, and *never* while pulling. Drop to the back when blowing your nose.

14: Know the route if you are going to ride ahead. The worst thing is to miss a turn and have everyone wonder what happened to you.

15: Let the ride leader or others know if you are going to end the ride early or going to take another route.

16: Have fun and encourage the new riders.

Helpful videos:

How To Ride In A Group – An Introduction
How To Be A Gentleman/Gentlelady Cyclist

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