Tips for cycling in groups
When cycling in a group, it's important to follow proper bicycle etiquette and basic rules to help stay safe and have a smooth and fun ride.
Use clear signals and verbal warnings
It's always essential to pay attention to your surroundings while cycling, but in a group it's important to communicate any hazards to other cyclists. Not all cyclists will have a clear view of the road. Announce road hazards and point down to them. These hazards may include holes, bumps, gravel, rocks, and debris. When riding in the front of a group, use verbal warnings and hand signals for turning, slowing, and stopping. Be sure to give notice as early as you can to avoid accidents. When riding in the back, announce approaching traffic.
Leave room between bicycles
Keep at least one bicycle wheel length between you and the rider in front of you. You can even ride slightly to one side of another rider's wheel. Avoid overlapping wheels to steer clear of accidentally bumping.
Keep your pace consistent
For safety, cyclists need to ride straight, steadily, and smoothly. Before riding in a group, it will benefit you to practice your pacing, so you remain at a constant speed. When riding in a group, you'll want to match the pack's pace and avoid sudden changes in your speed without warning.
Hold your line
Holding your line is riding in a straight line parallel to the edge of the road. This also means to look ahead and not at the wheel of the person in front of you. This allows all the cyclists in our group to follow one consistent path.
Change properly from double file to single file
You can ride in a single or double paceline in a group, depending on the road and traffic. When riding in a double paceline, your handlebars should be in line with your neighbor's. It's courtesy to fall back to a single paceline when cars are trying to pass. Make sure all cyclists in your group know how to change formations before heading out.
Since the lead cyclist has the responsibility of communicating to the pack, fatigue can set in. To give your leaders a break, rotate frequently. It is important that everyone in your group train for the proper way to rotate before hitting the road.
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*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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