Safe riding in groups
If you are riding with a group or Tribe, you should know and abide by the normal rules of etiquette which makes group riding safer and more enjoyable for all.
- Be predictable with all your actions. Maintain a steady straight line and avoid braking or changing direction suddenly, especially if contesting a sprint. Remember that there are riders following you closely from behind. To slow down gradually, move out into the wind and slot back into your position in the bunch.
- Point out and call out any road hazards ahead. These include pot-holes, drain grates, stray animals, joggers, opening car doors and parked cars
- Don’t overlap wheels. A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels and fall.
- Pedal down hill when you are at the head of the bunch. Cyclists dislike having to ride constantly under brakes.
- Stay to the left when in front to allow room for others to pass safely on your right, particularly in traffic. Pass other riders on their right hand side whenever possible.
- Be smooth with your turn at the front of a group. Avoid surges unless trying to break from the bunch. A group will travel quicker when turns are completed smoothly.
- Avoid leaving gaps when following wheels. Cyclists save about 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, especially if the bunch is working together to break away or catch a break-away in a race.
- Don’t panic if you bump shoulders, hands or bars with another rider. Try to stay relaxed in your upper body to absorb any bumps. This is a part of cycle racing in close bunches and is quite safe provided riders do not panic, brake or change direction.
- When climbing hills avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle in a hill which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.