For those who are new to group rides I’d like to share some tips I have learned over the years. Usually they were delivered in anger, lecturing dad voice or mid-race rider arguments… there are probably 100’s of tips but here are a few that hit home with me.
Don’t Be A Wildcard
Hold your line. What does that mean simply put? Be predictable, if you are going to move, look around first, do you have room to make said move?
Use hand signals. Alert others around you what is ahead, what you are doing, where you are going. Learn to point if you’re looking to exit a tight group position.
Don’t overlap wheels. Allow space and be focused as you get more comfortable and confident in groups. You are benefiting from the draft in front of you, so you need to make sure the person in front has some room to move and freedom to do so. Then in return they will provide you cover from the wind and hopefully call out and point to road hazards and features ahead as the lead rider.
You thirsty bruh? Not sure when it’s safe to drink? Nervous? You see the person in front of you drinking, boom, that’s when you drink. As you get more comfortable in a group this is a non-issue, but can definately be nerve racking at first. Also when you are last in the pack is a good time to eat and drink but make sure you don’t get dropped when you aren’t focusing just on holding the wheel in front of you. As all these items practice and time in the saddle makes perfect… or at least good enough. (Thanks Chris “the storm” Curran for the submission.)
What else did I miss… chime in and I’ll add to the list!