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3 Tips for Group Riding – How To Ride In A Group

3 Tips for Group Riding – How To Ride In A Group


Three essential tips for riding in a group It’s so pleasant to be in a group of cyclists and riding together it’s one of the most enjoyable athletic things imaginable you get the sensation of collective consciousness in a very intense way and The the willpower and the mindset and the collective thinking of the group it becomes almost when it’s working well a Single organism and you can cover way more ground With the same amount of effort in a group than you will ever be able to when you’re by yourself so group rides are some of the funnest athletic things that you can enjoy in the world and Being safe and enjoying them is also a big part of the lure when I Was a professional cyclist and one thing I’ve noticed in the group rides that I have done recently We had a way of communicating with each other that kid that kept us As safe as humanly possible We had almost an intuitive rapport with each other for the tempo we needed to go To anticipate dangerous situations and react to obstacles and dangers as they presented themselves That a lot of the techniques that we developed and involved in our team to 7-Eleven team and my teammates are sorely lacking And a lot of the group rides I’ve done recently so here’s three tips to enjoy your experience in group rides further tip number one and I’ve noticed this and This goes throughout the entire level of the sport all the way up to the top professionals And I see this every day on the races. I commented on at the professional level riders in front do not point out obstacles to the riders behind them nearly as Frequently as they need to when we would drink together when my teammates and I would train together the front riders point to everything that could cause grief in the line of riders that can’t see where they’re going as well as the riders in front very common courtesy point out obstacles potholes greatest incredibly dangerous Vehicles that are parked in the road just a little signal to the rider behind you lets them know that they need to be alert to look and we point right at the Obstacle so all the riders down the line behind Know what? Is coming up and they in turn point to it? So by the time you’re the last guy you can barely see where you’re going You are totally dependent on the eyes of the riders in front of you To guarantee your safety, then when you rotate to the front when is your turn in the front you do the same Then you have an incredibly cohesive group. That’s as safe as it can be The second thing I’ve noticed is riders Rather than make a gesture to point out obstacles Yell out What they’re doing I don’t know when this started to develop, but I’ve noticed it lately and riders will yell things like slow and Every time I hear that is jolting and it and it’s just I don’t know why like Why people do that when if you’re not paying enough attention to? The rider in front of you to not see when they’re slowing down You need to practice more before you go on a group ride Stopping is another thing people yell and Once you’ve started slowing the inevitable conclusion is you’ll be stopping and to hear people yell collectively I Find that very jarring so my second tip would be not yet unless It’s an absolute emergency When a car is coming at high speed And it looks it’s inevitable that there will be a collision unless there’s some warning that is yelled out Please don’t yell help Of the common sense things that you don’t need to yell about that If your group ride yells at everything and You have one person that doesn’t You could probably carry on yelling out the instructions of what you’re doing But a hand signal Is much better than a scream. Okay? That’s tip number two tip number three The agenda of the group is a consensus that’s arrived at organically in many ways in many in many ways and When you realize? When you think about what the consensus might be do not Try to intercede with your own agenda if a sixty mile ride is planning for example and It starts snowing halfway through and Most of the group want to stop and get some coffee. This is just one example and One or two the stronger riders want to keep going and insist to keep the group keep going That’s not going to be a good group ride That’s going to be a bunch of people following the agenda of one or two riders, so do not be that person If you’re gonna go in a group ride Always, ask yourself. What’s the best thing for the group and? act accordingly if you want to do more miles if You want to? Go faster, always ask yourself is this the best thing for the group and Act accordingly you can exercise your own free will when you’re by yourself Active leisure, but be aware of what is best for the group every minute of every ride throughout the season and Everybody in the group will enjoy group riding a lot more like I said It’s one of the great pleasures of bike riding it has such a powerful allure Bike clubs group rides organize rides gran fondos centuries all the way up To professional races there is the collective consciousness? There is a mutually beneficial Understanding of what is best for the group all the time ask yourself what that might be and act accordingly Alright, everybody follow me on Facebook and Twitter thumbs up greatly appreciated Please comment if you have any other suggestions About some essential tips for enjoying group rides making them safer. Please share them with me in the comment section If you’d like to subscribe click on my face merchandise like this rather snappy long-sleeve Red and white Bob PPV period t-shirt just press on the t-shirt icon. It goes straight into the merchandise. Thanks a lot everybody

61 comments on “3 Tips for Group Riding – How To Ride In A Group

  1. Thank you, Bob, for this thoughtful commentary. Sadly, the negatives you listed described my local club perfectly, (GRAVEL!!!!) but you inspired me to get out of the solo rut and gather some more trusted friends together.

  2. lol… bob needs to organize a ride or find a better group 😀 must have had a few stressful rides recently 😀

  3. Bob, have you ever surveyed your folllowers to find out who you audience is and what type of rider they are? Broom wagon has race fans. Bobke tv maybe more casual geoup?

  4. Absolutely perfect Tips / advice. I started group rides in 2017 and love it although there is something about solo rides that are magical.

  5. I have an early season rule to avoid being in the A group until I'm strong enough. The A group is trying for the fastest time collectively, and best individual performance. It's more complex than a race and as you say, "organic"—if you can't hang, don't try.

  6. Haven't done a group ride in about 20 years. Sounds like I'm not missing anything. Fourth tip don't try to be king dick on the ride. Prove how strong you are

  7. 1) More Pointing out:
    I am totally one of the riders that does not point out every single little pothole… it just gets annoying and I feel like it confuses the riders behind more then it is helps them. Of course if there is e.g. a parking car… that will be signaled.

    2) No shouting:
    Have never seen that anywhere (yet?) : D. The only exception is the "Free" shouting when going over or into an intersection which makes sense cause its hard to wave hands and speed up at the same time.

    3) Group ride agenda:
    Overall I agree, unless you have the agenda that every rider can go as hard as he or she wants and whoever gets dropped will be mocked at in the end! 😛 (That's my favorite agenda! And yes, sometimes I am getting dropped :P)

    One additional tip would be to ask beforehand what the planed route is. I always like to know where we are going and what is coming up etc.

  8. Hahaha. As soon as I hear people start yelling things like "Slowing or Stopping" I'm out. You'll never hear that in a race. Ok, maybe cat 5. 😂😂😂

  9. Disagree in not shouting out! Depending on where you are riding, shout outs are the only way to save your following riders. I lead a lot of group rides around NYC (native Bronxite) and here is a perfect example of where a hand single means nothing! Approaching a right turn and a delivery truck is park at the corner that you are turning right into. The truck is rather large greeting creating a blind spot hiding head on traffic that I the lead rider did not see until I'd cleared the blind spot….. I'm now heading into the blind spot and naturally both hands would be on my bars and heading into the blind spot, only yelling "CAR UP!" would be the only way to prevent following riders from swinging wide into head on traffic…… personal note: I'm 6'7" at 240lbs, I'm also a rolling blind spot.

    But I do agree on that the lead riders being responsible for the safety of their following riders and do use a lot of hand single to move pace line over and point out road hazard……. When riding in group ride where you might have a couple of novice and newbies mixed in the group, they maybe following another newbie or novice riders that might not know an open hand behind the front rider is the sign for slowing down, or tapping my rump means, follow my wheels….. Also, to avoid conflict on a group ride is to announce what kind a ride it is, social, newbie, race pace, billy goat, hill repeats, intervals, hammer time! 🙂

  10. Agreed with everything but shouting. My old group would point out obstacle (i.e hole, grates, weird cracks etc) – but would also say what the obstacle was. We pointed out stopping – didn't just slow and expect everyone to slow – we said "stopping." So for me, I don't agree with not saying what you were doing. But ALL other points, I totally agree.

  11. I love watching the classic team 7 Eleven training videos, “cycling for success” is a classic, especially the music. I’m Bobke’s age and it brings back good memories.

  12. (1) Pointing out every pavement irregularity quickly gets tiresome. A better alternative is for the lead rider in a pace line to choose a line AROUND avoidable hazards. The rider behind should be following in the leader's tire tracks to maximize draft anyway (except in a crosswind echelon, when following riders have a clear view past those ahead). This way the lead rider need point out only major obstacles, parked cars, wide pavement holes, etc, plus indicate turns in the route.
    (2) Yelling: riders further back can't hear the leader anyway
    (3) A group ride is not a race, no prizes for winning it. The objective should be to work together, each person varying the length of their stint at the front according to what they can handle, skipping stints if necessary.
    I'd like to add:
    (4) Avoid stopping pedaling (unless you have finished your stint at the front and pulled off to go to the back). It scares the rider behind you, makes them think you are about to slam on the brakes. If you need to lose some speed, take pressure off the pedals while still keeping the cranks rotating (you can even brake gently while doing this).
    (5) Evaluate the skills of the other riders in the group, deciding who you can trust and draft tight behind and which are the squirrelly ones that you should not get too close to.

  13. when i started cycling i devoured everything about the sport. etiquette and safety was part of that. i remember discovering sheldon browns website. that was quite useful too. the point is is that im very surprised how terrible many cyclists are with the basics.

  14. To me just about all the yelling from the front blurs together and all I hear is "Uhhhhhhhhh". And since hardly anyone is pointing, I have no idea on what side of my file the Uhhhhhhh is on, when "Uhhhhhhh" is properly interpreted as "hole". The only voice signal that seems to work is when people on the back yell "car back". O.K. Otherwise, stop yelling and use your hands, people.

  15. #4. Do Not Increase Tempo When It’s Your Turn To Pull. I see this a lot with newbies and young guns. If the ride is scheduled at a certain pace, go that pace unless (as you said) the group organically determines a faster pace.

  16. I like quiet rides, too. But my groups are such a mix of good riders and jackasses that we feel like we MUST yell because our hand gestures aren’t passed back. And yes, we have PLENTY of riders who are as strong as can be, but don’t pay any attention to what’s going on around them. They overreact, can’t hold a straight line—and don’t get me started about turns!

  17. I got used to a vocal club in Birmingham AL, and CAR BACK and CAR UP are essential, in my opinion, but "pass it down" usually works better than full-throat yells. I found that not everyone understands hand signals, especially in centuries with riders from all over. "Over signalling" for every bug on the road is just as annoying, but I would rather be annoyed than pothole. It all boils down to group consensus, but on charity rides with strangers, yelling might be necessary, when your teammate in front of you breaks a spoke in a mass cornering.

  18. I never ride in groups. Everyone has too many different ways of riding. IM the slow one.Im always behind the whole "4x" ive tried riding with people. I might as well ride alone. PLUS people talk too much. I cant hear anything at all when im riding so why talk? Just better alone for me..

  19. the few times ive ridden with people I dont look at hand signals..i would rather hear a shout out personally..

  20. love the comment about yelling, it couldn't be more true. I noticed it more over the last couple years and it startles me too!

    Another tip: if the group has a solid pace line going don't sit in the middle of it without pulling through, if your tired and want to sit in fine, but do it at the back of the group out of respect for the riders in front doing the work and the riders behind you that are willing to help but you are blocking. Put more bluntly contribute or get out of the way.

  21. CAR BACK!!!! PASSING!!!! CAR UP!!!! HOLE!!!! You are so right on this Bob. Unpleasant at best and unnecessary. Hope some of my local "team" get to see this. Love the shows and commentary.

  22. If your group can't ride at the posted speed limit don't block the the roadway by riding 3 or more wide. You might get a little respect that way. Share the road applies to you too.

  23. Excellent video. I agree with everything you said. Makes sense and I will practice those as I was doing most of the wrong things.

  24. Does this mean it is less than courteous to silently and unexpectedly bunny hop the worst road hazards for my own amusement? No wonder my local club hates to ride with me 😐 I'm 10-20% faster alone, without exception. Although I enjoy the lazy group rides, sadly I'm just not built for even-tempo grinds.

  25. To participate in group ride should have well maintained bike. Not pleasant listening to squeaky, grinding equipment. Also not pleasant looking at a filthy bike either.

  26. I ride the "public" Tour De Troit (about 30-miles) every fall. This "group" ride is approx. 4,000 participants from every walk-of-life. We're talking children to people that have no business on a bike. The most common mishap that I see is derived from folk changing lanes, resulting in nicking the guy's front wheel behind you. All this results in the either poor (inattentive) guy quickly obtaining a case of road-rash. And the "clicking" of the 4,000 cassettes washes-out most hopes of voice signals.

  27. I’m curious about your “don’t yell” comment. I’ve seen a lot of onboard camera footage from pro tour races and there is sometimes lots of yelling to each other. For example this was from the top of my search: https://youtu.be/QE97iUvSHk0

    I wonder if it’s not such a bad idea.

  28. Tip #3 – Wonderfully spoken!
    Remember, it's a group ride! If you don't want to ride WITH the group why did you show up?

  29. Advocate the flick of the elbow after a pull…it's more pro than taking a hand off the bar and tapping your ass cheek.

  30. Great video, I do a lot of group rides including pace line rides w/ my club. Great times indeed. We have several hand gestures for various things which are mandatory IMO. Some verbals e.g. slowing, or stopping. I've ridden my fastest pace on group rides. For me that was a couple ticks under 20 a mph average.

  31. The yelling is most likely from the charity ride safety videos. I know it is a common theme in the American Lung Association rides I have done.

  32. nicely stated! will forward this to our Durango peleton heads of state…
    not that anything will change fr(om) the good ol' days, hasn't yet, we still just hammering, yet? ilg will try to send your wisd(om) forward…. thank you!

  33. The last tip, 3, is just so damned difficult to get across. If you're out there to do your own thing, why are you on a group ride? Ride for the group or go home.

  34. I don't know about you, but I would appreciate someone yelling out when the group is approaching naked women or bikini models. Just saying.

  35. #5 – Yo-yoing, when following pedaling a super high cadence, speeding up to the rider in front, then stopping pedaling to slow down, only to repeat again. Maintain a slow to medium cadence, try not to over react to minor fluctuations in speed.

  36. One more: swing off before you have to start slowing down! When people sit on the front way too long, gradually slowing until someone inevitably attacks from behind to take over, it ruins what could have been a nice steady pace. This seems really obvious – who would want to be in the wind longer than necessary? – but some guys seem to think it's a proof of manhood thing (similar to picking up the pace when hitting the front).

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