A group ride is a great way to make biking a social activity. Whether it is with friends of strangers, this also helps in sharpening your knowledge and skills. If you are preparing for a race, this is a great way to make training fun and less exhausting. It can be intimidating at first, but if you know the rules and techniques, group rides are enjoyable.
To make the most of group bike rides, keep on reading and learn from some of the tips that we’ll be sharing!
1. Pick Your Ride Wisely
Whether you are taking your mountain bike, road bike, touring bike, or any other bike, one of the most important is to know the group and assess yourself. Be honest about your knowledge and skills. You cannot just join any group in their ride. These rides are often categorized based on the skills of the participants. For instance, if you are a beginner, do not join a group ride reserved for the pros.
2. Inspect Your Bike
Before starting with the ride, take the time to inspect your bike. From the bike wheels to the saddle, among other parts, take the time to thoroughly check your bike. This is an opportunity to identify any potential problem or hazard before hitting the road. It can be frustrating for you and the rest of the group if your bike breaks down in the middle of the ride. Pay attention to proper bike maintenance to make sure that your bike will be in peak condition.
3. Arrive on Time
To make a good first impression, make sure that you show up on time. Remember, you are riding as a group, so you have to think of other people not just yourself. Have the courtesy to arrive on time or earlier than the schedule.
4. Gear Up for Your Safety
Be responsible and show up fully equipped with the necessary safety gear. Protect yourself and do not be a burden to the rest of the group. In most rides, a mountain bike helmet is the most important safety gear that you need to have. It will also be good to wear knee pads and elbow pads.
5. Do Not Join Uninvited
If you are on the road by yourself and you suddenly see a group of riders, do not immediately assume that you can join them. Ask the other riders if you can join the group. Introduce yourself properly.
6. Share the Road
Even if you are riding as a group, this does not mean that you own the road. You have to be mindful not only of your fellow bikers but also of other people using the road, such as pedestrians and drivers. Especially if you are at the end of the group, you must warn others that a car is approaching so that the bikers in front will give way.
7. Ride a Consistent Pace
When you are riding as a group, it is often a leisurely casual stroll and not a race. Do not go faster than what is necessary. More importantly, pace your ride similar to the rest of the group. Avoid being a showoff by going fast and leaving everyone behind. Most of the time, it is all about keeping a steady tempo. Do not leave the group behind.
8. Mind the Traffic Rules
You should also take the time to know the important bicycle road rules, especially if you are in unfamiliar territory. Do not hesitate to ask your fellow riders if the rules are vague to you. If you are unsure, stay in the middle and follow what the leaders are doing to avoid breaking a rule that you may not be aware of.
9. Your Hands to Communicate
In preparation for a group ride, take the time to know the hand signals that you can use to communicate with other riders. Use your hand to signal a turn. Hand gestures can also be used to point a potential hazard and to signal a change in pace. Instead of shouting, use your hands to warn other riders of an obstacle since they might not hear you properly. If you have a bike bell, you can also use it to communicate instead of your hands, especially if you need to grab the attention of the rider in front.
10. Do Not Overlap Wheels
Overlapping or half-wheeling is one of the most common mistakes that new riders commit. This happens when you ride too close to the rider in front of you. If your wheels touch unexpectedly, a crash can happen. Know how to maintain a proper distance. Otherwise, you will be a hazard not only to the rider in front of you but to the rest of the group.
11. Learn How to Hold Your Line
Holding your line is one of the most important skills in group bike rides. This means that you need to ride a line parallel to the road. If you deviate from the line, you will leave the group unexpectedly and this is considered rude by other riders.
12. Be Mindful when Blowing Your Nose or Spitting
It may sound gross, but there are instances wherein you will need to blow your nose and spit when you are on the road. In most situations, you cannot afford to stop since you are catching up with the pace of the rest of the group. Slow down and wait until you are at the back of the group. When you are sure that you are the last one in the line, you can now blow your nose or spit.
13. Go Easy on the Brakes
When you are in group bike rides, go easy with braking. If you need to make minor speed adjustments, you need to learn how to do this using air resistance and not your brakes. Avoid suddenly hitting the brakes. This can come as a surprise to the person behind you. Worse, it can cause a crash, which will have a domino effect.
14. Extend a Helping Hand
If someone experiences a mechanical problem or is obviously in need of a hand, do not hesitate to extend help, even if this means that you will be also left behind. Pull off when you see that someone is having an issue. This is one of the easiest ways to make a friend in group bike rides while also building a positive reputation.
15. Be Predictable
Being predictable may be boring, but in a group ride, this is a must. Doing something unexpected can easily put other riders off and this can be a hazard to the rest of the group. If you need to change direction or do other things, it is best to inform others on what you intend to do to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Q: What is a group ride?
Q: How do I group ride on Zwift?
To group ride on Zwift, start by setting up your bike and the app. Once everything is ready, on the upper right corner of the screen, you will see a list of upcoming rides and races. Click ride and join. Make sure to read the requirements, such as the required rider ability before you join.
Q: What is a no-drop ride?
A no-drop ride is a common practice when riding in groups wherein no one gets left behind. Whether you are feeling tired because of the heat or you experience a mechanical problem, in a no-drop ride, the other members of the group will wait for you. They will adjust their pace so that you can keep up.
Q: What is a group of bicycle riders called?
A group of bicycle riders is called a peloton. This is derived from a French word that translates to a platoon in English.
Q: How do you ride a group?
To ride a group, start by finding a group suitable for your riding knowledge and skills. Introduce yourself and do not join uninvited. Inspect your bike before you go. Dress properly and have the proper safety gear. Know the hand signals and learn the traffic rules.
Q: How do you lead a group bike ride?
To lead a group bike ride, effectively communicate with the other members. Inform them about the route and the details of the ride, such as how long it will take. As the leader, get to know the other people who will be joining the ride. You should also motivate them when things get exhausting.
Globo Surf Overview
Group rides can be a privilege and a burden. It is fun and intimidating, especially if you are a first-timer. From checking your bike learning hand communication signals, take note of the things mentioned below for the best experience in group bike rides.