Cycling in a group is great fun but requires additional care compared to cycling on your own. Be aware that riders are cycling at their own risk at all times.
All bikes need to be roadworthy. We are predominantly a road cycling group and most of us use road bikes. Mountain bikes and hybrids have considerably more rolling resistance and we do not recommend them for most of our rides.
We try to be as inclusive as possible but where a cyclist is unable to keep up it affects the ride for others. In these circumstances we would normally guide that person to a railway station so that they can return by train.
We find that many new cyclists do not inflate tyres sufficiently and would recommend that they use a track pump to near the maximum recommended pressure on the tyres. This will lead to easier cycling due to decreased rolling resistance and better puncture protection.
Riding Safely in a Group
Riding behind another cyclist can reduce effort by up to 50% so generally people can cycle longer distances more easily in a group .
The following guidelines should be observed:
- ride in single file when appropriate, and never more than two abreast
- when riding “doubled up” try to keep pace with the rider next to you – it’s not a race
- if you are at the back of the group when riding on a narrow singletrack road and you realise that a car is waiting to overtake, shout “tail” to signal this to the riders in front and let them know to move into single file
- if you are at the front of the group when riding on a narrow singletrack road and you see a car approaching, shout “nose” to signal this to the riders behind and let them know to move into single file
- if your “nose/tail” signal is ignored, you may wish to shout “SINGLE UP!”
- when riding in fairly close formation, always remember to call out obstacles (potholes etc) so that riders behind you will be aware of them .
Leading a ride is a significant responsibility. All our ride leaders are experienced cyclists, as are most of our club members. We ask that all members follow the Ride Leader’s instructions at all times. Anyone who cycles in front of a designated ride leader is not part of the group and not covered by our insurance. On occasion the ride leader may be at the back of the group to offer assistance but there will always be another ride leader at the front.
While we appreciate that this sounds like a lot of information to assimilate , all our members will offer assistance and any new rider should follow the lead of others around them and will rapidly become accustomed to group riding.