Sitting on a wheel
This is a valuable thing to learn, its here where you get the most protection from the wind. If there is a rider on your wheel then you have a number of obligations
- Don’t slow down without warning
- Don’t leave any gap open with the rider in front of you
- Pass on all instructions up / down the line
Don’t be lazy 😉
Once you get a bit stronger you are obliged to get off the back of the bunch and make your way to the front and do your bit. Not going through messes up the rhythm of the group. Missing turns and cruising at the back all day is a quick way to lose other riders’ respect.
Relay all cycling information
It’s important that you let everyone behind know what’s coming up. Those at the back won’t be able to see, so are relying on you to give them adequate warning and keep them safe. These include hand signals (for pointing out pot-holes for example) and verbal shouts that there is a “car front”, “car rear” or that you are “slowing”
The biggest hazard in group riding is people stopping quickly and unexpectedly, hence why it’s commented on in topics above. More accidents and mass pile-ups are caused by people panicking and grabbing a handful of brake than anything else. If you stop suddenly, the person behind is just going to run into you, and a collision is likely to bring down other riders as well. If something happens in front, look for ways to avoid it while maintaining speed and shouting back a warning, rather than simply slamming on the anchors.
Other general group riding rules;
- You are responsible for the safety of those around you as well as yourself.
- When you come to a hill, maintain your effort not your speed.
- Don’t stop peddling going downhill if you’re at the front. That’s when you almost certainly need to work hardest.
- Don’t leave gaps
- Show respect to other cyclists and road users (yes, and vehicles 😉 )