10 Group Riding Rules

Ride Like A Pro: 10 Group Ride Rules!

RULE 1

Rule 1: It’s Not a Race

A group ride is NOT a race. You are not to “Attack” off the front or try to show everyone how strong you are. That’s what races are for. This is a simple rule, but it is possibly the most broken rule. If you want to ride away from everyone and end up riding alone, then just go out and ride alone in the first place. A group ride is, as the name suggests, a group ride!

Ride side by side, bar to bar (DO NOT HALF WHEEL! more on this in Rule 2), if you are not side by side, you are doing something wrong.

There are always going to be group rides of different levels, so make sure you pick a group that is suited to you and your abilities. But if you are siting at the front of the group and dropping the rest of the group, you are not impressing anyone, you are just showing your inexperience, and probably need to learn to ride before you move up to a faster paced group.

RULE 2

Rule 2: Bar-to-Bar

This is probably THE most important rule. Whenever riding in a group you should be riding 2 by 2, side by side (with only a few centimeters between you, you should not be able to fit a bus between you and the rider beside you) and be perfectly handlebar to handlebar.

Do not at any time sprint ahead and disrupt the flow. Even if there is a corner coming up, stay side by side and go through the corner like a well oiled machine. Riding with your bars ahead of the rider beside you is called “half-wheeling” and is a major "faux pas". It’s up to you to keep up with the speed of the slower rider next to you. And for goodness sake, please try to keep to the side of the road, there is no need to take over the whole lane and annoy car drivers.

Bar to bar – keep it tight! You should almost be able to touch the rider next to you if you open your hand.

As with everything, there is an exception to the rule. If there is an uneven number of riders in the group and you don’t have anyone to ride along side, you should place yourself in between the two riders ahead of you, with your front wheel between their two rear wheels. This allows the riders behind you to remain bar to bar and to keep the group tightly together. The riders behind you should ride with their front wheels either side of your rear wheel. It’s not acceptable to sit directly behind the rider ahead of you and leave a gap to your side.

Now, before you spark up and say that riding between the wheels of the riders preceding you is unsafe, let me point out, that if everyone is riding bar to bar as they should be, you are guaranteed the space of a handlebar’s width within which to move, which should be ample. So even if the two riders ahead of you knock into each other, you should have plenty of space. This is a pretty safe place to be.

RULE 3

Rule 3: Peeling Off