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New to the group ride? Here are 10 rules that can help you stay safe and have fun.
If you are new to cycling, something you absolutely must experience is the fun and excitement of a group ride. Before you go pretending you’re in the pro peloton, be mindful of everyone’s safety and proper group etiquette. These helpful tips can make time spent in a group safer and more enjoyable.
Rule #1 Protect your front wheel
Always protect your front wheel. This is key to keep everyone in the group safe. Draft the rider in front of you, but don’t allow your front wheel to overlap their rear wheel.
Rule #2 Bar to Bar
You should be riding two by two, side by side, bar to bar. A few inches between bars is optimal. Become comfortable being in close proximity.
Rule #3 It is not a race
Don’t take unnecessary risks when nothing is on the line. Don’t be that person who causes a crash because of foolish risks.
Rule #4 Peeling off
When you’re at the front and feel its time to go to the back, make sure the rider next to you knows you’re peeling off, then check your back wheel, finally both riders slowly move to the outside and let the group come through the middle.
Rule #5 Pulling Through
When the rider in front of you peels off to the side, it is your job to go to the front and take a pull. Don’t accelerate hard to show the group how fast you are. Maintain the speed of the pace line to avoid the “accordian” effect in the rear.
Rule #6 Gaps
There should be no gaps in a group ride. When you see a gap open up, smoothly accelerate to close it. Don’t sprint ahead to be forced to brake.
Rule #7 Point out the Dangers
All obstacles such as potholes, debris, and glass should be pointed out so the riders behind you can safely avoid any pitfalls. A simple hand gesture will suffice. No need to scream and startle people.
Rule #8 Yelling
Screaming and yelling only causes tension and nervousness, which leads to accidents.
Rule #9 Slowing
Don’t be that person who slams on their brakes just because the person in front of him/her starts to slow. You will cause wheels to overlap. See rule #1.
Rule #10 Spitting and Snot Rockets
Please be courteous to those behind you by pulling off to the side, by first making sure your wheel is clear and discharging your fluids so nobody takes a shot to the face.