Group bicycle riding can be great fun, however it is still very important that you into learn the basics first. If you’ve never been on a group ride, let me be the first one to tell you that you are in for a real treat. It takes bike riding from a solo sport and converts it to an amazing social experience.
The first thing you should do is find what is called a “no drop” ride. This is a ride for beginners where the group will not go any faster than the slowest rider. In addition, generally speaking the leader will be very open to providing tips on how to ride in a group format. When riding in a group your focus becomes critical, as there is a person several inches behind you. What this means is that it is imperative that you do not take any actions that can create the person behind you to touch your front wheel.
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In practice this means understanding and giving hand signals and verbal signals prior to doing anything that will upset the group dynamics. When you’re riding in a group you are able to go approximately 30% faster than the same effort. What this means is you will be writing generally riding at speeds much greater than you can do alone. This is great I was for several reasons. One, you can go much faster and much farther than you could alone. Second, you get to enjoy the experience with other people.
I post a series of blogs throughout the year talking about my experience in riding in groups and providing some tips I find important. Today I want to focus on riding smooth and what that means: 1. Riding Predictable and Not Yo-Yoing!
When you ride in a group you want all your actions to be predictable, so the person behind you can anticipate what you are about to do. In addition, you want to provide advance notice to the rider behind you of any upcoming hazards, ie, potholes, walkers, runners ahead, etc. This can be done verbally or using hand signals. It is also important that you keep a very consistent pace. This way the person behind can keep a very steady distance behind you. This is important, as it allows the group to more efficiently “draft” behind the person is front of them. In the next post, I will talk in more detail about drafting and different types of pace lines. BTW and added benefit of group riding is it is much safer, as a group is much more likely to be notice than a solo rider. Here is a link to a good article on group riding.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Accident Lawyer/ Enthusiast