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The “Q” Files pt.001: The Long Lost Art of Group Ride Etiquette

July 29, 2015

Working for Cycliq, we get to see how passionate people are about bikes! We also know that the social aspect of cycling these days is ever increasing and therefore more and more people engage in weekly training or social group rides. This being said, we often see the “fall” out for lack of a better term as a direct result from a serious lack of etiquette within the bunch on a global scale.
Listed below are a few key pointers all newbies to group riding should familiarise themselves with before tackling the streets, often quite literally, with their buddies or training partners.

Know your limits

One of the biggest mistakes riders make is over estimating their own capabilities. If you struggle to ride at 30KMPH (19MPH) for 60 minutes then tackling the “fast” group ride of you local club that recommend an average speed of 36-40KMPH (22-25MPH) for the 60KM (37 Miles) loop is a big no no! Not only will you be left behind, but you pose a serious risk to those around you as you struggle with all your might to hang on to last wheel.  Start slow and progress your way through the ranks.

Be predictable and communicate your intentions

Unlike a schoolboy trying to pick up a date for his high school prom, communication and predictability are as important as dropping tyre pressure in wet conditions. Group riding requires an even greater attention to predictability than riding alone. Other riders expect you to ride straight, at a constant speed, unless you indicate differently. This brings me to the communication component. Much like Nike, “Just do it”…..riders should always point out dangers, obstructions and any hazards that could pose risk to a rider/s of the group. Failing to do so may result in a very unpopular rider within the group.

Cyclist causes accident from Cycliq on Vimeo.


“The Breakaway” aka the group Voigt

A group ride put simply is exactly that, a group ride. Stay in the group and do your best to keep the group together. If you are finding the ride too easy, there are several things a rider can do.  Firstly, find a harder bunch to ride with or secondly, sit on the front of you current ride for longer intervals making it harder for yourself, not for others. Riding off the front not only shows a lack of respect to the group you are with, it disrupts the rhythm of those behind. So remember, if you are back at the coffee shop before the rest of the gang –you’re doing it wrong!

Better never than late

If the ride is listed as a 6:30am start, it is best to arrive @6:25am not 6:31am. The following tips can help the slowest starters fly in the desired pack rather than spend the next few hours listening to your own thoughts… Have everything ready the night before, keep your essentials near the door and be sure to overestimate the time it’ll take to arrive at the meet point.  Remember, arriving late to that next group ride is like telling the other participants your time is more valuable then theirs.

Make it your own

Whether it’s to have fun or to build form, there is a group ride for each and every cyclist out there! I was lucky enough to take the first Fly12 prototype out for a spin on a recent group ride in Perth, Western Australia. Be safe and enjoy the ride.


FLY12 – Group Ride from Cycliq on Vimeo.


Thanks for reading.