Make Every Ride Enjoyable

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Before You Ride

  1. Bicycle—Your bicycle should be in good mechanical condition. It’s fine if you change a flat slowly, but please know how.

  2. Helmets—You must wear a properly fastened helmet on all group rides.

  3. Food and fluids—Most rides have no meal stop. Some stops don't take credit. Bring food that works for your stomach, a little cash, and sufficient water or sports drink for the route and weather. 

  4. Tools, etc.—Carry tire levers, a spare tube, and a pump or CO2 cartridges. A mini-tool is handy, as is your phone—for emergency calls or checking maps. A baggie will keep that phone dry.

  5. Lights—Front & rear lights add visibility if you're separated from the group and ride alone. Near dawn or dusk, they're a must.

  6. No aero bars—Triathlon or time-trial bikes aren’t a hard no, but using aerobars is dangerous in a group. If you don’t own a traditional road bike, then use the base bar handles throughout the ride.

  7. No earbuds or headphones.

  8. Arrive early—Allow time to get ready. Stated start times are observed. Pre-ride is a great time to introduce yourself to the ride leader.

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 How We Ride

Road Etiquette

  1. Traffic laws apply to cars and bikes. Stop at red lights. Ride single file where required and max two abreast. If a rider ahead rolls through an intersection, still be prepared to stop, regardless of signage. Check for yourself, and don’t make a bad decision because you feel hurried. This goes doubly in the case of blind intersections.

  2. If you’re at the front, keep others safe. Use hand signals to make a turn or, by pointing down, to alert riders of upcoming obstacles. 

  3. Ride for the back. When crossing busy streets or pulling away from lights, waits until others are on before accelerating to cruising speed. If the group gets split at a changing light, wait on the far side until the dropped riders rejoin.

  4. Don’t spit. If you need to clear your throat or do an air hanky, wait until you’re in the back or pull to the left when it’s safe to do so.

  5. Be predictable. Unexpectedly hitting the brakes or swerving around a pothole can crash those behind you. Alert people first. If the street's right edge would cause you to weave between obstacles, pick a straighter path away from the curb.

  6. Don’t overlap wheels. A common mistake for new group riders is overlapping the wheel in front of them. The danger: Adjustments made by the rider in front could cause their rear wheel and your front wheel to touch, leading to an accident. Instead, stay directly behind the rider in front.

  7. Keep a consistent speed. When it’s your turn to pull at the front, it’s easy to go harder than you realize. That bump in pace could put others into difficulty.
      When on the front, keep the speed consistent by monitoring your miles per hour or power numbers.
      
    If you’re stronger than others in the group, take a longer pull. Not a faster one.
    •   If you feel fatigued, decrease the length of your pulls — not your speed.

  8. No hogging. Even if you're on fire, keep your pulls to a few minutes, max.

  9. Help others. If someone gets hurt or has a bike breakdown, make sure that all riders stop safely out of traffic. A single rider should never be left alone on the road. Lending a hand will also help the stranded rider rejoin the group quicker.

  10. Have a good attitude. Sharing your love for cycling with others is part of what makes group rides fun. Friendly competition is OK, but it’s more important to have a good attitude, encourage others and keep the mood light. Group rides are a time to learn from others, make friends and enjoy the camaraderie.

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Ride Leader Responsibilities

Every Group Ride Will Have a Designated Leader

  1. Arrive early.

  2. Introduce yourself and any newcomers.

  3. Assign "buddies" as appropriate to newcomers.

  4. If you're leading a "B" ride, appoint a sweeper.

  5. Describe the day's route, stops, and muster points; review group etiquette.

  6. Start on time. Depart when the "6-corners" traffic light is red. This avoids a split in the group or riders' dangerously rushing through a stale green.

  7. Get to the front at the route's key turns.

  8. Take responsibility for the riders with you.

  9. Coach riders who are not adhering to rules of the ride.

  10. Review paceline rotation methods as required.