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What is proper etiquette for a group ride?

Group rides are often done in a double pace line. Riders organize themselves shoulder to shoulder with one other rider. The group extends behind the two individuals in the front who are “pulling.” Pulling refers to the fact that the two front riders are working harder than the rest of the group to block the wind. In fact, they are working up to 30% harder than the riders on their wheel. The rest of the group stays close to the wheel in front of them to maximize the draft effect. When the two lead riders are getting fatigued, or their pull is up, they peel away from each other and move to the outside of the pack. The pack then moves forward and the lead riders drift to the rear of the group. It is important to maintain an even speed when changing lead riders. The riders directly behind the pullers should resist the urge to accelerate through. Instead hold a steady speed and the lead riders will soft pedal, or lighten their effort to allow the group to move up and to position themselves at the back, for a short rest. Riders continue to circle through the pack enabling an even distribution of work, and a faster pace. If you find that you are unable to hold the wheel of the rider in front of you, it is important to let the riders behind you know that you are losing the group, so that you don’t take the rest of the group with you as you begin to gap. Move to the outside of the pack and allow the riders behind you to move forward. One other helpful tip is to watch the wheel two riders in front of you if you can. That way you are not reacting to the rider directly in front of you, but rather two ahead. This will prevent short and erratic accelerations, and decelerations, which often have a slinky effect (they are amplified) for the riders behind you. Instead, maintaining constant speed is optimal for a smooth and enjoyable group ride. And make sure to point out obstacles in the road to keep the riders behind you safe and happy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.