Group Ride Ettiquette

by Trish Albert

If you are a beginner, please practice handling your bike before coming to a group training ride. It isn't safe for anyone if there are people that do not have basic bike handling skills riding in a large group. The Southern Bicycle League offers many 
wonderful beginner group rides to hone your pack skills. Remember to be prepared for the ride. Bring water, food, and a pump and spare tube(s). Riders don't mind helping one another, but it is always safest to come prepared. Don't 
forget your clothes. Local bike shops carry extensive lines of  clothing. Most riders don't "loan out" clothing. 

Group ride etiquette: 

1. Hold your line. Do not wander into someone else's "ride space." To quote the movie Dirty Dancing, "This is my dance space. This is your dance space. You don't come into mine, and I don't come into yours." Do not ride all over the 
road. If you are going to change position, look around before "darting" to your new position. Be predictable! Don't be a squirrel. 

2. Do NOT ride in your aerobars in a group. It is dangerous, and you could take out yourself and the rest of the group. You do not have as much control over your bike while in aerobars. If it is too much of a temptation, remove your 
aerobars for group rides. 

3. Do not yell rude words or make rude gestures towards cars. They are bigger than you. You will lose the fight. Be nice to fellow road users even if they aren't. 

4. When in a paceline, always pull off to the left. If you pull off to the right, you can hurt yourself by running into a curb, grass, gravel, and bus stop signs. 

5. Do not take both hands off of the bars when riding in the pack. Drift to the back to take your jacket off, eat, whatever. If you run over something and lose control of your bike, you will probably go down. 

6. Please point out pot holes and other road debris, but do NOT swerve around it. See #1-HOLD YOUR LINE. 

7. If you are stopping or slowing down, yell "stopping" or "slowing down," so that riders behind you can safely apply their brakes. 

8. Do not cross the yellow line. Cars are bigger than you, and you will get squashed. When you cross the yellow line, you cause the accident, not the car. There have been several people hit in Atlanta in the last year when they 
crossed that magic line. Don't chance it. We want to see everyone week after week! 

Some excellent links to group ride etiquette: Red Dirt Pedlars, Oklahoma Cyclists.