Group Riding

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If you are new to cycling, especially cycling with a group, here are some rules to remember (copied from League of American Bicyclists).

  1. Be predictable
    • In a group, your actions affect those around you, not just yourself.
    • Riders expect you to continue straight and at a constant speed.
    • Signal your intention to turn or slow down before you do so.
  2. Use signals
    • Use hand signals to indicate turns and point out hazards to others.
    • Left or right arm straight out to indicate left or right turn.
    • Left arm out and down with palm to the rear to indicate stopping.
  3. Give warnings
    • Ride leaders should call out right turns, left turns and stops in addition to signaling.
    • Announce turns before the intersections to give riders a chance to position themselves.
    • Try to avoid sudden stops or turns except for emergencies.
  4. Change positions correctly
    • Slower moving traffic stays to the right; faster traffic to the left.
    • Pass slower moving vehicles on the left; announce your intention to do so.
    • Announce passes on the right clearly as this is not a usual maneuver.
  5. Announce hazards
    • Most cyclists do not have a full view of the road while riding in a group.
    • Announce potholes and other hazards so others can avoid them.
    • Call out the hazard and point down to it, either left or right.
  6. Watch for traffic from the rear
    • The last rider should frequently check for overtaking cars.
    • Announce “car back” clearly and loudly.
    • It is also helpful to announce “car up” on narrow roads or when riding two abreast.
  7. Watch out at intersections
    • Leader should announce slowing or stopping at intersections if necessary.
    • Cyclists should not follow others through intersections without scanning.
    • Each cyclist is responsible for checking cross traffic; if you must stop, signal.
  8. Leave room for cars
    • On narrow road or during climbs, leave space between every three or four riders.
    • Motorists will utilize the shorter passing intervals to pass the group.
    • Good relations with motorists is the responsibility of every cyclist.
  9. Stop off road
    • When stopping for mechanicals or regrouping, always move clear off the road.
    • Only if conditions permit should you move back onto the road as a group.
    • Always yield to traffic in the roadway.
  10. Ride single file
    • It is illegal in some areas to ride more than two abreast.
    • Ride single file between intersections; double up when the group stops.
    • When taking the lane, double up and take the whole lane.