It is your responsibility to practice safe cycling skills, especially when cycling in a group setting. The following are tips on riding in a group.
- Riding safely in large groups requires a mature and positive frame of mind.
- Riding safely in large groups requires communicating with other riders around you. Call hazards, call when passing, and listen to others. Give hand signals when stopping or turning. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all group-riding communication etiquette.
- Recognize that in a large group there will be riders who ride at your pace. Find these riders at the start through open dialogue. No matter what your pace is, do not be in a hurry at the start. This is a tour, not a race! If you purposely ride the first 5 miles at a slower, controlled pace, you will find a comfort zone.
- Passing on a bicycle is a two-way event. The passer and the passee both have responsibilities that will make the pass safe and friendly. The passers have the responsibility to ease up as they approach and wait for safe conditions to pass. The passees have the responsibility to listen, hold a steady speed and line, and go to single file to make room for the passers to get around.
- Maintain your personal space by avoiding proximity to other bikes while riding in a big group. Ride smoothly and predictably. Ride in a straight line. Do not weave. Avoid sudden sideways movements.
- Be considerate of slower and faster riders around you.
- Be careful, signal, and let others know when you’re slowing or stopping.
- Listen and respect the ride marshals, medics and law enforcement officers – they are looking out for your safety.
- Common group-riding mistakes include riding in pacelines when you are inexperienced with the general process, overlapping the wheel of the rider in front of you, riding more than two abreast and crossing over the center stripe. The bottom line is to ride friendly and respect the communities that we ride through. Enjoy the ride. Remember that this is a fundraiser to find a cure for MS, not a race!