Group ride etiquette

Or put it another way: value your safety over their convenience 100% of the time.

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  1. Never advocated hugging the gutter.
  2. Riding two across, while in theory has a potential to be “safer” - but most motorists don’t understand this, and it’s not always allowed based on local laws. In my experience this just makes for an increase in hostility towards the riders from the motorists.
  3. This conversation makes me realize there are no good solutions to large group rides and why I mainly ride trails, very quiet roads and gravel.

Cheers.

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Thats why I love gravel, almost no cars.

I use to live in the city center and would spend 45min getting out of the city to do intervals. Cars were always a problem. I moved out to the country. I wave at cars and they wave back. 4 hour ride might have 30 people pass me, and cycling is so much more relaxing then it was in the city. When I go ride gravel, I barely even see cars, more likely to get hit by deer then a car.

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Rotating pace line (pic on the right) or “chain gang” is a blast and the main reason I do fast group rides.

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Agree 100%. Giving up space to cars only feels safer. You’re then encouraging and enabling them to close pass. If a driver is going to plow into you from behind, it’ll happen whether you’re in one line or two.

My descending confidence is almost nil after a crash last year, and I slow down completely if there’s a corner and a downhill.

I try to stick at the back in group rides so that I don’t annoy the others when descending. I’m also a decent rider and take turns to do my bit for the group. Unfort that means I find myself at/or close to the front when there’s a descent.

Though I’m still working on the descending/cornering, I’m concerned that being at the front could impact the riders behind me. Should I just ride at my own pace? Or filter towards the back as soon as I see a downhill?

Make your way to the back before the start of the downhill and surround yourself with plenty of space. By doing that you’re giving yourself and others plenty of room and not putting anyone in danger and ride at a pace you feel comfortable with.
It might be worth making other riders in your group aware of your concerns so there’s no surprises when you hit a downhill, perhaps mention this at the beginning of the ride…obviously that’s easier to do in small groups compared to big ones.

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