How to road group ride Tips for finding group rides and ride safety and etiquette.
Group rides are a great way to meet new friends and explore new routes, especially if you’re new to cycling. However, not all group rides are the same, so it’s important to find one that fits your skill level. Here are some tips on how to find a group ride, and how to ride in a group on the road.
Find a ride
Your local bike shop is the best place to find a group ride. Check their social media pages, websites, or stop in store and ask. Group rides are often set up based on skill level, so if you’re new to cycling look for a ride that has “no drop” in the description. This just means that the group will ride at the pace of the slowest cyclist so no one is left behind!
Hone your bike handling
Before you start in a group, make sure you have decent bike handling skills. If you can’t ride successfully in a straight line and often find yourself correcting your direction, you might want to practice a bit more before joining a group as you’ll be riding close to others.
When you’re riding in a group, communicating with your fellow riders is critical. If there’s a bump or pothole in the road, point it out to those behind you. If you need more room, ask. If you’re riding at the back, callout vehicles approaching from behind. Talking to the other cyclists in your group is the best way to avoid unexpected hazards on your ride.
Pay attention to your surroundings
When you ride in a group, chances are high that at least one of your wheels is very close to someone else’s. Make sure you are paying attention to everything going around you, not just staring at the person in front of you. This way you’ll see hazards in time to react and alert other riders, instead of being taken by surprise when the person in front of you slams on the brakes. Being aware of your environment while riding is important for accident prevention.
Share the lead
The person in the front is always working the hardest because they are breaking the wind for the rest of the group. Make sure you’re taking turns with the leader to help them avoid bonking. Once you are done with your turn in the front, look behind you for cars. If there’s no traffic approaching, move to your left and let the group pass. Once the group has passed you’ll take your place as the last cyclist in line.
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