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Group Ride Ettiquite(11 posts)

Group Ride Ettiquitelaffeaux
Mar 18, 2002 12:41 PM
Is there a web site some where that explains group ride ettiquite? I usually ride alone, but occassionally I meet up with other riders while on the road, and I'm not sure what's expected of me in a pace line.
re: Group Ride EttiquiteBike Bum
Mar 18, 2002 1:24 PM
Take a look at this Site it may help ;
Thanks, but...laffeaux
Mar 18, 2002 4:01 PM
I understand the concepts, but I'm not sure exactly how to do it.

If I start riding with three other guys, and I get tired of pulling, how do I signal? Is there a universal sign for "it's your turn to pull?" Is it generally accepted that I let them pass on the left or right? These are the types of things that I'm unsure of.

I rode a century recently and pulled for an extended period because I didn't know how to stop. The group finally got tired of me and left me in the dust, and I couldn't keep up because I'd been in the lead way too long.
No universal signal, but...Brooks
Mar 18, 2002 4:56 PM
you can work it out yourselves. In a normal paceline (not an echelon in a crosswind), riders usually drop from the front to the rear along the left (traffic lane). Presumably you are riding as far to the right as practically possible. The lead rider is not as likely to get squeezed off the road or have the others veer around them. After an equal pull, say one minute, the lead rider may look over their left shoulder, maybe wag the fingers a bit, and pull out of the straight line that they have been riding. Verbal warnings like "pulling off" may help as well. Whatever you work out, all should know. Ride safely.

here ya goTig
Mar 18, 2002 3:59 PM
re:here ya goDjudd
Mar 18, 2002 6:10 PM
Maynard is absolutely priceless. If we didn't have him he would have to be invented.
My pet peeveKerry
Mar 18, 2002 5:23 PM
is people who are leading and then just slow down and move over, in that order. Everyone bunches up behind them. Just as you want to drop, give three harder pedal strokes and then move into the wind (left or right). If the wind is nearly dead ahead, move toward the left (into traffic). Make your drop clear and obvious by accelerating slightly (three strokes) and then actually coasting. I can't tell you the number of times the pace line has followed some guy all over the road because there was no clear signal of a drop. This uncertainty also leads to people passing the leader even when the leader didn't intend to drop. A clear signal, and short leads (1-3 minutes at a tempo pace, less if you're really hammering). With strangers, it doesn't hurt to say "dropping" at first until you get things figured out.
That's It!MikeC
Mar 19, 2002 8:01 AM
I agree with Kerry. Other riders EXPECT you to give up the lead, and I've always done it by standing and hammering for a couple of strokes, giving a quick look over my left shoulder, and pulling over to the left. If you're really hammering, then one-minute pulls are fine, and others tend to fall into the same rhythm. In more leisurely lines, I tend to go more on the order of three minutes.
re: Group Ride EttiquiteLen J
Mar 19, 2002 5:46 AM
As someone else said, most people move off the front to the left as they pull off. In the group I ride with, we use hand signals for everything (It's very windy here & sound doesn't always carry well). When someone wants to pull off the front they simply use thier left hand to point left before they pull off, since the person behind them is looking for hand signals, this works well. A couple of other things to remember:

1.) Don't slow down until you have pulled off the front. Slowed prematurly will cause the paceline to brake which is usually very dangerous. This is a mistake that is often made by inexperienced riders.

2.) Maintain a constant speed (assuming flat riding). Whatever pace the line is running before you pull, maintain that pace as close as you can. Don't spped up when you take over, or slow down when you get tired. If you start to feel yourself slowing, pull off. The safest pacelines are those that are predictible & consistant.

3.) When you are pulling, alert people in the line about obstacles, bumps, sticks, changes in line to avoid cars etc. It is your responsibility to give people notice of anything in front of you that might cause a problem. Remember, they can't see what you can see until they are on top of it. Nothing is worse than having the lead swerve to avoid something at the last minute without notice & having the entire line surprised, this has caused many crashes.

4.) When you are in line, don't focus on the wheel of th rider in front of you, it can get mesmerizing & cause you to react slower. Focus a couple of riders ahead Glancing occasionaly at the wheel to make sure you don't overlap.

5.) Relax. Don't follow the wheel in front of you too close until you are comfortable. Start at about a foot & a half & gradually (as you get more comfortable) close the gap. Always know which way you will escape if the bike in front of you has to do something crazy.

6.) Try to get behind someone who has a "Smooth" wheel. Someone who rides straight true & even (as opposed to wobbly, with inconsistant speed). This will make your ride much safer. I try to give "Bad" wheels more room than good wheels. If you ride with the same group, you will start to know who the good wheels are. It's OK to sit on the back, and open a gap to let other riders in front of you (as they peel off the front) until you get the rider in front of you that you want. Try to become a "good" wheel.

7.) It's OK to rest on the back, pass up a pull or two or take a short pull once in a while. Most people would rather have consistant speed than have someone blow-up on the front.

Remember this is a learned skill, be aware that in the beginning, you will not be a "good" wheel, work on learning the skills.

Pet PeeveBroBiker
Mar 19, 2002 8:52 AM
Thanks for the good advice on group riding. I've only been riding a couple of years, so I haven't learned all the little things that come with experience.

Speaking of pet peeves, here is one of mine. Perhaps its me just being pissy or one of those things that is unavoidable with large group rides but here goes. I join a group ride on Saturday that consists of approx. 45-70 riders and the route has a few lights during the first 10 miles. Even with the lights the pack gets stretched out and the faster riders generally are on the front. However, when we hit a traffic light the slower riders catch up and move to the front (sometimes blocking cars and spilling over into the road). What this does is block the fast riders and bunches up the group (causing problems with automobile traffic). The same thing happens at ever light! Part of me says that when a group is stopped by a light you should maintain your position (relative to the group). But the other part of me understands the motive, the slower riders want to maintain contact with the group and getting to the front at traffic stops helps.

I don't want to sound like a jerk but sometimes is just a bit frustrating.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

My thought is that 70 riders in traffic is a bad idea.Alex-in-Evanston
Mar 19, 2002 11:12 AM
Stay safe out there.