You can maintain a much higher average speed when cycling in a group. It also makes the experience more enjoyable when you get to share it with friends.
The thought of riding in a group could make you feel nervous at first but riding in a group sets you up in good stead for events that you may have coming up. Cycling as part of a group will teach you the do’s and don’ts of group riding. When you know these, riding in a group soon becomes easy to follow.
It is so important to be considerate to riders around you and other road users. You need to think about how your actions can affect them and how theirs may affect you. Be observant and warn others when you notice a potential hazard.
When cycling in a group, you are all responsible for each other’s safety. The safest way to ride in a group is if the riders at the front and back act as eyes and ears. Any messages that need to be sent to the people at either end filter through the middle users.
When you notice a hazard, you should tell the others before you approach it. Use hand and arm signals when you are going left or right around a parked car, for example. The same goes for if you have to come to a stop or slow down. Don’t forget to shout out anything that the other riders need to know as well, in case they miss your signals.
Your positioning is key when riding in a group. If you want to travel at free speed, you still need to be careful. Remain at least 30cm away from the rider in front. In order to do this, you need trust and communication. You must trust that the cyclist in front of you rides smoothly and avoids obstacles such as potholes.
An important rule to remember is that, you should never overlap your front wheel with the back wheel of the rider in front of you. When wheels touch, there is a high chance of collision, and injury.
Staying in position makes the ride a lot safer for everyone. If you allow yourself to drift to the back, then you will have to work even harder to gain position again. It can be easy to fall back, hence why it’s so significant that you maintain focus.
You want to ensure that you keep a relaxed posture on the bike. The more you tense up your body, the more energy is wasted.
Relax your shoulders, hold a smooth straight line and try not to shift in your saddle. This should make you feel more confident when on the bike.