Okay, you finally find a few like-minded cyclists to ride with. It is exciting, yet, it has its own demands. As enjoyable as a group cycling ride can be, it also is not easy to pull one-off. Group cycling demands a certain sense of social awareness, discipline, and camaraderie.
Well, before you get onto the road with your mates, here are 10 tips to make your group cycling a success:
The cornerstone of a group cycling success is always ideal communication. From signaling to verbal calls, there are several ways to convey your thoughts or observations.
And if you are in the lead, every obstruction, dangerous turn, the hazard should be relayed.
From riding solo to cycling in a group, a mindset shift is a must. Remember, group cycling is not a race. This is a priority and the quicker you adapt to riding the pace of the group, the better.
The purpose of group cycling is to ride as a group and your riding mentality must serve the purpose.
Please do not be the average, careless Joe who asks others for a water bottle or even a mudguard. Though this sounds minor, it disrupts the mood in the group.
Being self-sufficient is a priority. Hence, prepare for the ride sincerely.
Not many understand the intricacies of group cycling. It is more than just a bunch of cycling enthusiasts riding together.
It starts from chalking out the route of the ride. From identifying rest points to establish the starting positions, every facet needs to be planned.
Understanding your fellow riders and their cycling abilities is important while planning.
Set the pace
Do not be ‘that guy/girl’ who ramps up the speed and moves ahead of the group. Also, do not lag so much that the others need to wait for you.
Plan the pace of the ride based on the abilities of each rider. The experienced ones should take the mantle of scheduling position shifts.
Auto-regulation of positioning
Despite planning to the T and setting the pace, there exists a window for auto-regulation. This cannot be chalked out but can be anticipated. The lead rider may not be able to lead the group for the whole period. At that time, the synergy takes over and another rider who is comfortable with leading must move forward.
While riding in a group, brakes can be a lethal enemy. For ideal riding, minor speed adjustments must be made and not braking at all times. Riding into the wind is a common instance where consistent braking derails the pace of the group.
Obey traffic rules
Cyclists are notoriously known for flouting traffic rules. This is due to the lack of demarcation of the traffic rules that are binding on the cyclists. However, for the safety of all, being obedient to all the traffic rules is ideal.
Also, one cyclist jumping a traffic signal is a dishonor to the entire group. While cycling communities are just gaining traction, disobedience to traffic rules may derail all efforts.
Half-wheeling your fellow riders or overtaking without notice is a crime during group cycling. Likewise, stay away from overlapping as much as possible. It may devalue every effort gone into the venture and demoralize other cyclists.
The final tip to be the best co-rider in a group is to stay relaxed. Relax the shoulders and try to ride seamlessly for as long as possible.
Following these 10 tips sincerely is a sure-shot to a great group ride. The aforesaid etiquettes may be tiny in stature, but their importance is unparalleled.
SPOKE HERD wishes you Happy cycling!