Once you dive into the world of cycling, one of the most fun activities to do is group cycling. When you are cycling in a group, you get the chance of meeting your friends, or even new people, and have some fun doing your favorite sport.
Besides the social advantages, riding in a group is also easier, because you are receiving shelter from the rider in front of you. One rider can save you 50% of your effort, while two riders in front of you can save 60-65% of your effort. With that said, with the same amount of what you give during your solo session, you will be able to travel much further than usual.
As intriguing as it sounds, for beginners, riding in a group can be quite intimidating, especially when you are doing it with a group of experienced cyclists. Not only do you have to be aware of your safety on the road, but you are also responsible for other’s.
But, not to worry! There are some tips that will allow you to get started on group cycling properly. Let’s check it out!
Remember, cooperation is key! Everyone in the group has to take turns to ride in the wind and in the shelter. This way, everyone will be spending less time in the wind compared to when they are riding solo.
The safest way to do a group ride is to divide it into two lines. This way, the time needed for a car to overtake your group will be much shorter, compared to if you are all in a snakey line. For cycling itself, you will want to keep yourself at a close distance with the rider in front of you, but not too close to give some clearance in case of braking. Also, do not let your front wheel overlap their back wheel, as you will have a bigger chance of bumping into each other and causing an accident. For starters, you can give the length of one wheel for clearance distance and then work your way closer as you get used to it. It is important not to leave too far of a distance as you will lose the shelter benefit and then slow the whole group down.
To change riders taking the wind, you will want to do it every 5 to 10 minutes. You can do so by both riders going to the side and then head to the back. Another trick is to change clockwise, or anti-clockwise, where only one rider will head to the back and the others switch their positions either to the side or to the front diagonally. The difference is that with the first method, you will have the same partner throughout your whole ride. The second trick will change up your partner every 5 to 10 minutes and give you a chance to talk to different people on your ride.
Riding on the road means you are all responsible for each other’s safety. The riders at the back need to trust that the riders on the front will communicate potential hazards upfront. The front rider has a job to communicate the important information to the rest of the group, you can shout and give hand signals for potholes, turning, braking, crossing people or even animals. Then, the rider behind has to pass the signal down to the group so everyone is aware of it.
The rider at the back of the group also has to let everyone know if they are struggling and wanting to slow it down, or even take a bit of a break. Communicate your situation by shouting so that everyone can stop and sort out the issue before continuing the ride.
If you are unsure about cycling hand signals, make sure to discuss it with your group before starting the ride. Or, you can learn about basic cycling hand signals by clicking here!
Fast riding can be fun. But, when you are in a group ride, take into consideration that there might be slower riders in your group. Before starting, discuss with the group whether the ride will be a fast or a slower one. The key point is communication, especially when the speed escalates during the ride. Do not hesitate to tell the group if you are struggling, so that everyone can slow down and keep the group together.
In the topic of speed, during group rides, it is best to slow down when you are riding uphill and give more clearance between riders to prepare for braking and slowing down. Then, when you are on the downhill or the flat, you can keep pedaling and have a steady speed to keep everyone safe and together.
Etiquette is important so that the group can ride safely and comfortably. Make sure you are always continuing the communication or hand signals to prevent accidents. Also, you have to have clean cycling clothes. You do not want to be the cyclist behind someone that has not cleaned their clothes and smells stinky. So, make sure you are not doing that to your group as well. If you want to clear your nose or spit, move to the side of the group and do it out of the way, so that you are not giving it to the cyclist behind you.
Lastly, practice on steady braking. You do not want to hit your brakes full force and cause a collision with the back. Make sure your hands are always covering your brakes, either on the hoods or the drops.
And that wraps up the tips we have for group riding. To increase your safety and comfort whether during a solo or group ride, make sure you also have your proper gears. You can shop for bike helmets, apparels such as jerseys, pants, eyewear, gloves, and also other accessories to ensure your safety such as lights.
Visit Rodalink Malaysia now to shop for your bike essentials! Click here to shop online, or look for kedai basikal near me and visit our store location closest to you! If you choose to shop online, you can get free local delivery, enjoy 0% installment, and choose from our various payment methods. We are also having a sale for bike accessories, this is the best time for you to shop! Also, when you sign up to become a member, you are eligible for special events and promotions. Let’s get shopping now!