Group Ride Guidelines

If you're new to riding in a group, here are some basic rules to keep your ride safe and fun. Riding in a group is a rewarding experience, both physically and socially!

Basics

Riding in a group is different than riding solo. If you're new to biking, this can be a little intimidating. There are lots of things to pay attention to: your bike, your speed, your muscles, the road conditions, other riders, traffic, road signs and stop lights... the list is pretty long. With practice and a little patience, it will be easy to be comfortable in a group.

The idea is to stay behind the rider in front of you to benefit from the reduced effects of wind (like drafting in auto racing). You shouldn't be so close to the next rider that you're in danger if he or she slows suddenly, but there shouldn't be a gap of more than a few feet. The rider behind you will be doing the same thing, so be aware of your braking. Pulling out of the line and moving to the back is a good idea if you're not comfortable.

Hand Signals

Ride leaders will use a combination of voice and hand signals to alert the group of things like stops and turns. Each rider is expected to mimic these signals so that the rider behind them is aware of the group's intentions.

Hand signlas

Additionally, it is common practice to point out potholes or other road hazards; or by yelling "HOLE!". If a rider pats his/her buttock, this means there is an oncoming ubstruction on the corresponding side, such as a pedestrian runner or parked vehicle.

Traffic

Traffic is one thing that is very intimidating for a lot of riders. It is the cause of much frustration between both cyclists and motorists alike. However it IS possible for both parties to be courteous and lawful at the same time. Vehicles are required to pass you with at least three feet of clearance. It is also acceptable to ride two abreast, but only if it does not impede traffic.

Some motorists get frustrated for no reason other than that maybe they are jealous of your awesome bike. Please bring any dangerous or threatening motorist behavior to the attention of one of your ride leaders to handle.

Stop Lights

We are required to stop at all red stop lights. Sometimes this causes our groups to split unexpectedly. Depending on the area and other factors, the lead group should slow down or stop to allow the split to catch up.

Flats

If someone has a flat, it's up to the ride leaders to decide to have everyone wait while we help change it, or to have to group continue on at a DRASTICALLY reduced pace until the person and ride leader can get back on. The slow group will ALWAYS stop if there is a flat.

IMPORTANT: Please bring a spare tube and a pump/CO2 along the ride with you. Ride leaders may or may not have a spare tube for you if you flat, and they can't be expected to donate their own equipment if you flat. PLEASE come prepared!