What's the etiquette hanging behind people in Regents Park and generally?

imafatman
imafatman Posts: 351
edited May 2017 in Road beginners
I have started going early morning rides to Regents Park and come across many club and group rides.

Most of the serious groups are too fast and zip by and the slower groups I overtake but occasionally there is a group which I can keep up with and I will hang back perhaps 1.5 meters away. Far enough that I'm not putting them off and getting in the way of their rotation but close enough that I get a little advantage. (especially when they are 2 abreast)

On Saturday for example I was behind an IslingtonCC group for like 6 laps. I was just managing to hang on so it was a great workout for me as it gave me a reason to keep pushing.

As a side note- I consider myself an excellent rider as far as bike control is concerned. Have been riding mountain bikes for 15 years and I'm confident and in control and I signal my intentions and give people plenty of room.

P.s. if you see a fat bloke with blue shorts that's me.

Comments

  • e999sam
    e999sam Posts: 426
    Just let them know you're there and don't get to close.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,868
    icc are pretty friendly, i chat with a couple of them sometimes, doubt that most people will mind, just be polite as above

    but keep in mind there're a few real idiots who ride around rp, typical sign is passing other riders, parked cars etc. with a few inches space while giving no hand signals, never rely on stranger(s) in front, stay aware of what's ahead

    also watch out for squirrels and joggers, both run into the road without looking
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    imafatman wrote:
    I have started going early morning rides to Regents Park and come across many club and group rides.

    Most of the serious groups are too fast and zip by and the slower groups I overtake but occasionally there is a group which I can keep up with and I will hang back perhaps 1.5 meters away. Far enough that I'm not putting them off and getting in the way of their rotation but close enough that I get a little advantage. (especially when they are 2 abreast)

    On Saturday for example I was behind an IslingtonCC group for like 6 laps. I was just managing to hang on so it was a great workout for me as it gave me a reason to keep pushing.

    As a side note- I consider myself an excellent rider as far as bike control is concerned. Have been riding mountain bikes for 15 years and I'm confident and in control and I signal my intentions and give people plenty of room.

    P.s. if you see a fat bloke with blue shorts that's me.

    "I consider myself an excellent rider....."

    Oh dear. Pride/fall?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • I lived in London for some years and used to ride round RP a few times a week. If you want to just hang behind them rather than join then just give them an acknowledgment you are there. I usually found that once a group knew you could handle group riding and were fit enough to keep up they would have a bit of a chat and just absorb you into the rotation (if you wanted to that is).
  • imafatman
    imafatman Posts: 351
    Oh dear. Pride/fall?

    I'm just saying because one of my own worries about riding with others is their ability to stay in a straight ine and not cause an accident. That's all.
  • imafatman
    imafatman Posts: 351
    sungod wrote:
    also watch out for squirrels and joggers, both run into the road without looking

    Heh funny you say that, on Saturday a squirrel ran right into the group, no idea how it missed everyone but it's reflexes were amazing and it managed to dodge about 20 wheels going at 35km/h.

    And yeah fair few dodgy riders too. As you say, obvious one is when they ride next to parked cars at 10cm gap, you just know when a door opens they will be swerving right into you and ending your day.
  • burnthesheep
    burnthesheep Posts: 675
    In the US the only groups that really "absorb" riders are pub crawl rides going about 12 mph or so with many stops.

    Usually if I'm faster than a group I wait for a good area to pass the group where I'm sure they won't be able to draft a hill down and re-pass playing leapfrog. Usually that's a flat straight or a hill.

    If I'm slower and see them coming I try to stay ahead until a good place for a pass then move way over and intentionally motion them by and slow for a second so they get away.

    If it's obvious I'm going to be near a person at same pace for a few minutes I'll say hi and ask if it's ok to hang nearby until we part ways. If I see headphones on them, I don't bother. I just stay away.

    I accidentally came across a large sportive one Saturday headed to the same cafe. I had to pass about 3 groups of 10. But they were tired from a longer distance so I got by easy as I was at like mile 10 of only 25. An announce of the pass, a friendly wave and "good luck on your race/sportive" and headed off.

    That was awkward pulling into the cafe, their welcoming crew was all "wooooohhh, great job!" I'm not good at situational comedy, so just ducked away to get my latte.
  • benjamess
    benjamess Posts: 159
    imafatman wrote:
    sungod wrote:
    also watch out for squirrels and joggers, both run into the road without looking

    Heh funny you say that, on Saturday a squirrel ran right into the group, no idea how it missed everyone but it's reflexes were amazing and it managed to dodge about 20 wheels going at 35km/h.

    And yeah fair few dodgy riders too. As you say, obvious one is when they ride next to parked cars at 10cm gap, you just know when a door opens they will be swerving right into you and ending your day.

    does that not imply you are the one in the wrong (by giving them a 10cm gap between you and the car?).....you give a doors width + a riders width and they can be as close as they like for all you care? suppose the rider behind would be the nervous one :shock:
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    In the US the only groups that really "absorb" riders are pub crawl rides going about 12 mph or so with many stops.
    Are american pub crawls very different from british pub crawls ? This could get very messy very quickly.
  • 964cup
    964cup Posts: 1,362
    IMO if it 's a club group with a proper rotation, by all means say hello but do as you are doing and hang a couple of metres back. It depends on pace, but if I'm eyeballs-out in the fast group I don't really want to be factoring a random into my riding. Slow groups (say 8 minute laps and above) or groups riding two up without a constant rotation, I'd introduce myself and join in - chat laps Friday being the best time to get to know people. If it's just a couple of riders and again they're not obviously heads down on a fast lap, why not tag along and take a turn in the wind? Certainly wouldn't bother me, and I'll probably welcome a bit of a draft.
  • burnthesheep
    burnthesheep Posts: 675
    Fenix wrote:
    In the US the only groups that really "absorb" riders are pub crawl rides going about 12 mph or so with many stops.
    Are american pub crawls very different from british pub crawls ? This could get very messy very quickly.

    Usually it is a pub that is also a brewery. You start there after a drink, ride 10-15 mi kind of slow, then you have some more after you finish.

    Once or twice a few segment races have broken out for a couple minutes during said rides. :lol:

    This weekend there is a 100 mi one with 3 brewery stops.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    imafatman wrote:
    Oh dear. Pride/fall?

    I'm just saying because one of my own worries about riding with others is their ability to stay in a straight ine and not cause an accident. That's all.


    How about experienced road cyclists being worried about an inexperienced road cyclist thinking that is he more experienced/better than them?

    Surely it would be better to gain a lot more inter discipline skill before declaring yourself "excellent"
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • imafatman
    imafatman Posts: 351
    Thanks for all the helpful replies, I'm going to make a point of saying hello more. As a Londoner spontanoues social interaction doesn't come naturally.
    benjamess wrote:
    does that not imply you are the one in the wrong (by giving them a 10cm gap between you and the car?)

    I give plenty of room but that doesn't stop them wiping out and flying into the road or swerving wildly, in which case anything can happen. I could be 5 meters behind and still get into trouble if two riders colide up front.
    How about experienced road cyclists being worried about an inexperienced road cyclist thinking that is he more experienced/better than them?

    Surely it would be better to gain a lot more inter discipline skill before declaring yourself "excellent"

    Have you got anything constructive on the topic or do you just liking picking at peoples posts?

    I suggest you stop worrying about what other people think for a start. And secondly I don't think I'm better than anyone, I simply stated that I have excellent bike control skills i.e. I'm not in danger of knocking someone over.

    I don't want to get into a debate about road cycling and mountain biking because they are very different disciplines but there's a reason why Peter Sagan has such excellent road bike skills. I may have a lot to learn about road in general but certainly have bike control covered from years of bombing downhill and freeriding and plenty of awareness from commuting through London. I cover the brakes at all times and looking well ahead.
  • It's great that you like riding with people but I suggest you ask them first. You could make new friends and it would be a way into some faster riding but unless you're in an organised group then it's disconcerting to have an unknown rider hanging at the back. The others will be unsure of your intentions, especially if you don't make them clear, and especially if you don't have road kit.

    Are you/they on road bikes? If you're on an mtb and they're on road bikes then you may be ok hanging well back but would be weird and likely too hard to go through on an mtb in any kind of road group. Mtb experience is no good in a road bunch but you can quickly learn road skills.

    Finally if they don't know you're there then they may brake without warning and you'll be down. So always let them know.

    Hope you find some new groups to ride with.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,868
    imafatman wrote:
    ...
    I give plenty of room but that doesn't stop them wiping out and flying into the road or swerving wildly, in which case anything can happen. I could be 5 meters behind and still get into trouble if two riders colide up front.
    ...

    yep

    i was on the other side of a fairly wide road when someone riding too close (imo) to a parked car got doored by a driver who wasn't looking (imo)

    a body hitting a car door at speed makes a surprisingly loud bang

    their bike flew across the road, landed right in front of me, i just managed to stop in time to avoid running into it, if i had i think i'd have gone over

    he got taken away in an ambulance, i ended up as a witness, afaik the driver's insurance company caved before it got to court

    accidents happen, people riding too close are a danger to themselves and to others
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rpherts
    rpherts Posts: 207
    Generally, dress in team kit (Rapha Cycle Club is a favourite) and then ride in a chain gang, overtaking other cyclists with about a foot of clearance. Extra points for shouting something to one of your gang as you overtake, thus sh*ting them up even more.

    Repeat, going around in circles, then spend the rest of the day looking at the 4,000 Strava segments you rode through.
  • imafatman
    imafatman Posts: 351
    rpherts wrote:
    Generally, dress in team kit (Rapha Cycle Club is a favourite) and then ride in a chain gang, overtaking other cyclists with about a foot of clearance. Extra points for shouting something to one of your gang as you overtake, thus sh*ting them up even more.

    Repeat, going around in circles, then spend the rest of the day looking at the 4,000 Strava segments you rode through.

    :lol: made me laugh mate. yep seen a few of those.