- Be Courteous - "Let people in" when needed you are an amateur and this is not a race show courtesy when interacting with others or giving feedback. Overcommunication is ok this inlcudes phrases like "on your right", "inside", "outside", "hole", etc. Talk to your fellow rider it's OK.
- Point Out Objects - Manholes, potholes, sticks, debris, boxes - to name a few - the person(s) behind you depends on you making them aware of obstacles that can affect their ride and safety. Call out and point out more severe hazards. This is a common group riding practice.
- Don't Overlap Wheels - This is very basic important group riding advice - if you have an overlapped wheel correct it carefully and as soon as possible to avoid having someone swerve and catch your front wheel possibly sending you and others flying (See picture below to see what overlapped wheels like like)
- Use Hand Signals - Here is a link to the most common hand signals that help you communicate with fellow riders but the most common point out hazards, direction, and slowing / stopping. Please get to know them and use them. (See graphic below with a summary).
- No Riding in Tri Bars or Praying Mantis Mode - While tri bikes are not completely banned on most group riders do get uncomfortable when they see them - so the riding in the aerobar position while in the group is generally banned. That goes for "Praying Mantis" style riding as well. Unless you have an active signed pro contract and are off the front of the ride - these maneuvers are generally not welcomed or allowed as, in the group, you can't take evasive measures or get to the brakes fast enough to be safe. (See picture below where a rider demonstrates the Praying Mantis riding style).
- Stop at Red Lights - Obey all traffic laws and stop for red lights. Even in the early morning hours. Make sure to communicate so others can safely stop as well.
- Use Only One Lane - Cars find group bike rides confusing when riders leak five or six wide into more than one lane it gets worse and can affect the safety of the whole group so don't do it - use only one lane at most.
- Left Turns Suck - This is true on any ride - except in Ireland - be careful, look back and front for clear, communicate with your fellow riders. Traffic from behind and the cutting in front of bikes/cars to make "your" turn can make it extremely dangerous for the next riders behind you. Be careful and think about how your move could affect the safety of others.
- Be On-Time - riders that join the ride while underway create additional hazards for other riders and they can also miss important safety announcements at the start of the ride and can affect the flow of the ride - if you must join on the route do so carefully from the back
- What else did we miss? Let us know in the comments and we can include it in the next post or on the website.
Getting a great ride in is important but not as important as rider safety. Most of the items below apply to just about any group ride but always check with ride leaders on the ride you are on if you have any questions.