Tips and Etiquette

Other Safety Tips and Ride Etiquette

  • Don’t swerve wildly to avoid a road hazard.  Signal the hazard and then make a slight movement to the side or “bunny hop” it.
  • When surrounded by other riders, it is safer to ride over small hazards (manhole covers and shallow potholes) than trying to avoid them.
  • Don’t slow abruptly when riding tightly bunched. If you can’t tighten your shoe, grab a drink, adjust your kit or eat without slowing down, then signal and pull to the side of the paceline (or take care of your business at the next stop).
  • Maintain the established speed when it is your turn to pull at the front.  Don’t increase the pace.
  • When riding in a paceline fix your eyes at least two riders ahead.  This allows you time to react to small changes in speed or direction.
  • If you get “gassed” during an acceleration or sprint, slowly pull to the right as soon as possible.  Don’t stay in the middle of the road.
  • Make sure that you have a sizable gap on the rider behind you when you jump out of the saddle.  You will slowdown momentarily as you rise out of your seat.  Make a conscious effort to continue pedaling as you get out of the saddle to avoid “throwing” your bike backwards into the following riders.
  • Shifting to the small chain ring on a steep climb is the #1 reason riders drop their chain.  Anticipate grade changes and shift to the small chain ring before it goes vertical.
  • Hold your line while rounding a turn with a group. Your fastest line may cause you to cutoff another rider.
  • Don’t respond aggressively to irate or dangerous motorists.  How you respond after an incident will greatly affect law enforcement’s response.
  • Most motorists and pedestrians are very polite and will go out of their way to accommodate a group of cyclists.  Please encourage this behavior by acknowledging their generosity.
  • It is your responsibility to be prepared.  Wear the right clothing for the conditions; bring enough food and drink to stay nourished; carry a spare tube and bike tool; know the designated pace and distance for the day’s ride.
  • Don’t ride at your limit for the entire ride.  Your judgment and coordination will be impaired.
  • If you are unable to take a pull, stay at the back of the pack and let the rider(s) pulling off the front slide in ahead of you.
  • When riding two abreast with an odd number of riders, the “extra” rider should ride in the last row.
  • Don’t listen to an IPod, MP3 player, etc., when riding.
  • Inexperienced riders may not know proper riding etiquette or the safety rules.  It’s acceptable to politely explain them during or after the ride.