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Group riding etiquette

kellkell Posts: 32
edited May 2009 in Road beginners
Next week I am about to embark on my first group ride.
Any tips before I go and make a complete fool of myself?
Thanks :lol:
Kell xx

Posts

  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Don't fall off while stationary at a junction like I did :oops:

    Just let them know before you start. If they're OK, then a few of the wiser heads will look after you.

    Otherwise relax, ride consistently, no quick moves, make sure you know what's around you, don't half-wheel, don't overlap wheels ...
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Half-wheeling the club president or membership secretary will normally give rise to an "Access denied" when it comes time to consider your membership application :wink:
  • HornettoHornetto Posts: 141
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?
    Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    When riding in a group 2 abreast, the front rider keeps upping the pace so they are always half a wheel ahead of the other rider on the front - usually due to over-excitement or ignorance*, but it can be viewed in a bad light.

    Try to keep your front wheel dead level with other rider.

    * - I should probably admit at this point that I have won awards for my half-wheeling :oops:
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?

    If riding in two lines (like Bronzie's avatar), the front rider of one line pulls slightly ahead by around half a wheel, causing the leader of the second parallel line of riders to up his pace slightly to keep up. This continues until an uncomfortable pace is reached.

    To truly "half wheel", the instigator must look nonchalant, and appear not to have noticed that he was causing the rise in pace. :twisted:
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 4,021
    Hornetto wrote:
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?

    When riding side by side, one rider constantly goes a little faster than the other, basically always half a wheel length in front. The other rider (who's trying to keep level) thus has to speed up.

    Edit: Damn you bob!
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Other tips:
    - move up and do your turn on the front when it's your go - if you are struggling with the pace, simply do a short turn and change on the front early or stay sat at the back taking shelter from the headwind
    - ride directly behind the rear wheel of the rider in front (not off to one side)
    - signal potholes and other road hazards to riders behind you
    - likewise when you are turning or have to give way to other traffic (shout "easy" or "stopping")
    - if you are at the front when you turn across oncoming traffic, remember there are people behind you - it's a bit like driving a lorry, don't forget the trailer! - wait until there is a big enough gap to all get across, or if this is not possible, warn those behind of oncoming vehicles
    - even worse than a "half-wheeler" is the new guy that goes blasting off on a climb - leave that for races (unless there is an unofficial burnup for the cafe)
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    Hornetto wrote:
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?

    No apology needed. I was accused of half wheeling when I had no idea either that I was doing it or indeed what it was. It's what the others said :)

    It depends what sort of group you're going out with. There are highly disciplined training groups (chain gangs) and there are relaxed groups like our regular geriatric Wednesday ride where we're all very experienced but not necessarily all very fit. We wait for each other at the top of climbs. But calling if you're slowing is good, as is warning about pot holes by pointing. It's polite to warn of on coming traffic as well. You'll soon pick up the way the group works.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • LittleB0bLittleB0b Posts: 416
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?

    If riding in two lines (like Bronzie's avatar), the front rider of one line pulls slightly ahead by around half a wheel, causing the leader of the second parallel line of riders to up his pace slightly to keep up. This continues until an uncomfortable pace is reached.

    I don't understand why it matters that someone is half a wheel ahead of you - why wouldn't you just let them be?
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    LittleB0b wrote:
    Apologies for newbie question - what is 'half-wheeling'?

    If riding in two lines (like Bronzie's avatar), the front rider of one line pulls slightly ahead by around half a wheel, causing the leader of the second parallel line of riders to up his pace slightly to keep up. This continues until an uncomfortable pace is reached.

    I don't understand why it matters that someone is half a wheel ahead of you - why wouldn't you just let them be?

    It affects the pace of the group and its not very social as you would normally chat to the person on your shoulder
  • v.e.ev.e.e Posts: 46
    I went on my first ever group ride with my local cycling club on Sunday. I was really nervous having read all about having to take turns on the front, not half wheeling etc. However, the whole thing was much more relaxed, we did not ride in disciplined pairs, people just seemed to ride where they felt comfortable. I tagged along at the back as a newbie and one of the less strong riders and left the stronger riders to do the work at the front. No one seemed to mind as I think they knew that I was having to work pretty hard just keeping up.

    Everyone was really kind and friendly and the more experienced riders kept an eye out for stragglers on hills and the group waited every so often for the slower people to catch up. Its given me lots of incentive to get fitter so I can climb hills as well as the fit riders do.

    Just get out there and have fun.
  • DoubleTopDoubleTop Posts: 48
    v.e.e wrote:
    I went on my first ever group ride with my local cycling club on Sunday. I was really nervous having read all about having to take turns on the front, not half wheeling etc. However, the whole thing was much more relaxed, we did not ride in disciplined pairs, people just seemed to ride where they felt comfortable. I tagged along at the back as a newbie and one of the less strong riders and left the stronger riders to do the work at the front. No one seemed to mind as I think they knew that I was having to work pretty hard just keeping up.

    Everyone was really kind and friendly and the more experienced riders kept an eye out for stragglers on hills and the group waited every so often for the slower people to catch up. Its given me lots of incentive to get fitter so I can climb hills as well as the fit riders do.

    Just get out there and have fun.

    Great post I totally agree - I go out with no real club just an un-offical chain gang on a Tuesday night (mixture of 3 or 4 clubs). Always around the 30 mile mark with 4 groups - 10 riders each with the slow group (thats me) going around 19+mph average going all the way to the very fast riders all doing the same course. Went for the 2nd time tonight - wasn't dropped and was able to do a very short burst at the front. When riding in the pack try and help the people behind, by pointing to roadside dangers such as pot holes, drain covers, runners etc, etc. I am sure if you google riding hand signals you should find something, but just riding in a pack for 1 hour you will learn them very quick.

    If you are following in the pack, just one tip - at least drink water when the others in front do.

    Cheers
    DT
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    Try not to freewheel especially when on the front. You need to maintain a constant speed and freewheeling on the flat causes you to reduce speed and go backwards into the person behind.
    M.Rushton
  • Before you get out of the saddle, shout UP so the rider behind knows (often your bike will drop back 6 inches in the move). With practice you shopuld be able to make the transition from seated to standing without losing any forward momentum.
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