Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Group Riding Etiquette

Brake carefully
Ride safely and try to stay off the brakes. If you are inexperienced and too nervous to ride close to the wheel in front of you, stay alone at the back and practice. When the pace eases, don’t brake suddenly, instead ride to the side of the wheel in front of you and ease the pedaling off, then drop back on the wheel. Practice on the back and soon you will be able to move up the line with a partner.
Point out obstacles
Point out obstacles such as loose gravel, broken glass, holes, rocks or debris on the road, calling out “hole” ect as well as pointing is helpful in case someone is not looking at your hand when you point. It is just as important to pass the message on, not just letting those to the front know. Another obstacle is a parked car, call out “car” and sweep our hand around your back to let people behind you know. Point out runners or walkers on bike tracks and slower bikes if you were passing someone on the road.
Don’t leave gaps when following wheels
An appropriate gap between your front wheel and the person in front is around 50cm. keep your hands close to the brakes in case of a sudden slowing. Maximize your energy savings by staying close to the rider in front. Cyclists save 30% of their energy at high speed by following a wheel. Each time you leave a gap you are forcing yourself to ride alone to bridge it. Also, riders behind you will become annoyed and ride around you. If you are in the bunch and there is no one beside the person in front of you, you should move into the gap. Conversely, if you are that person and no-one moves into the gap beside you, you should move back into the bunch, the next pair to roll off will come back and one of those riders will fall beside you.
Don’t use you aero bars in a bunch ride
Don’t use you aero bars in a bunch ride – not even if you are at the front. Using aero bars means that your hands are away from the brakes. Aero bars are for time trial or non-draft triathlon use only.
Pedal downhill
Pedal downhill when at the front of the bunch. Cyclists dislike having to ride under brakes.
Experienced riders should share their knowledge
Experienced riders should point out ant mistakes made by less experienced riders. This must be done diplomatically of course, but it is important to make people aware of unsafe riding and help them learn the right behavior. Riding in a bunch is about everyone’s safety.
Courtesy of road Grime Website

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