Riding in groups is one of the best ways to improve your cycling and sharing the experience with others can also be one of the most rewarding types of riding. Group riding can bring certain hazards, yet by following a set of basic guidelines you can help ensure everyone remains safe out on the road.
For individual riders, it’s as simple as being prepared, aware and self-sufficient; collectively, it’s no more complicated than treating others as you would have them treat you.
There are minimum standards that must be met to participate safely in a group ride, such as maintaining your speed without sudden braking, and holding your line whilst taking a bottle. Designed to help everyone get the most from their ride, below are 9 rules to follow when riding with Rapha:
The wearing of helmets is mandatory on all Rapha rides.
RULES OF THE ROAD
Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road – and follow them.
Learn to wait for others after climbs, be light on the brakes, and take care of each other. If the main group splits, wait for those behind before continuing. Also wait for those who experience punctures and mechanicals.
Communicate with the group if you are experiencing any issues with your bike, the pace, or the terrain. Make sure you let someone know if you’re leaving the ride.
ROAD HAZARDS AND SIGNALLING
Make the group aware of upcoming traffic and road hazards, such as potholes and debris, by pointing them out. If it isn’t safe for you to take your hands off your handlebars, alert your fellow riders verbally. It is important to hold your line, making no sudden movements. Always check there’s room before moving out, and don’t forget to signal.
GROUP RIDES ARE NOT RACES
Group riding is about enjoying the road and the ride with your fellow cyclists. Do not surge or pass the lead rider at any time.
Under no circumstances should you cross wheels with the rider in front of you or, when doubling up on the road, the rider beside you. This is bad etiquette, very dangerous and can cause accidents. If you aren’t comfortable riding close to or behind someone else, get in touch with your ride leader who will advise you how to do so safely.
BIKE MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY
All riders are responsible for their own well-being, and should be prepared for situations such as adverse weather conditions, mechanical problems and flat tyres. We recommend taking a stowable jacket or gilet, and carrying inner tubes, a pump, tyre levers and a multi-tool. To guard against surprises on the road, ensure your bike is well-maintained and clean, and check brake pads and tyres for signs of wear.
You need to be self-sufficient for the entirety of the ride. Make sure you have enough food and water for the duration.