When on a long bicycle ride across a country it is important to understand the ride etiquette to help it go as smoothly as possible.
The cyclists will come with a variety of different levels of ability and motivations. With the different shapes sizes and fitness levels it’s important to get the strongest cyclists in front and for everyone else to fall in line. The front cyclist has to do the most work and also acts a windbreaker for the rest of the team
Only one person needs to call out any potential obstacles or road signs. This should obviously be someone at the front of the group. You don’t need 12 people screaming the same thing at the top of their lungs
Most information that needs to be relayed to other cyclists can be done by using hand signals and gestures
Never allow more than 6 inches between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the person in front of you
Having said that do not try and double wheel, keep some distance between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the person in front of you. Your front wheel and the rear wheel of the person in front of you should not overlap. Wheel overlap is just to give cyclists room when changing speeds to prevent crashes.
Try to keep no more than two people side by side
Constant communication, if you are about to pass another rider inform them of your intention to do so. Group cycles to raise money for charity are not races. A little competition can help motivate cyclists but remember this isn’t the tour de france.
There is such a thing called a sniff stream, if you’re behind someone in their sniff stream then trust us it’s in your benefit to let them know.
When people are struggling offer encouragement not judgement
There may be times in cycle where you are leading and you’re getting tired and need to drop back. In this situation you need to do what is called peeling off. To peel off you need to check briefly that there isn’t someone overlapping your back wheel, then both riders slowly and gradually move to the outside and let the group come through the middle. Do not suddenly veer off to the side; peel off in a steady and controlled manner.
If someone peels off infront of you then it is important that you run through the middle. It doesn’t matter if you’re tied too or not. It is too late for you not to pull through the middle. Once you are in second wheel you must pull through the front.
You can’t have gaps in a ride if you see a gap gradually fill it in. Do not race to it and slam the brakes to fill it.
If someone changes speed to slow down you don’t need to slam on your own breaks. Just adjust your speed accordingly using the aforementioned wheel overlap as your wiggle room.
When you have finished the cycle, you will more than likely be overwhelmed by emotion. Just let it happen. You can cry if you want to. It’s expected and ok.
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