The following points will help you when riding in a group and understand the cycling etiquette. The most important factor to successful group riding is communication.
COVID – Riders should not ride if they have any signs or symptoms of Covid. It is advised to carry a face mask you can put on in the event of an accident if someone needs to administer first aid to you. All riders must be aware of and adhere to latest guidelines.
Be aware - Stay relaxed in the group but constantly look around and don’t mindlessly follow the wheels. Look past the riders in front to get a ‘heads up’ of the road ahead. Always look first and let the riders around you know before moving within the group.
Ride consistently and predictably - Your movements will affect everyone in the group. Hold a straight line, don’t weave and always overtake around the right-hand side of the group. Braking hard is likely to cause someone to go in the back of you, so only do this if you need to. Gentle braking is much safer in a group.
Don’t overlap wheels - In case the rider ahead needs to brake, don’t follow their rear wheel directly. It’s perfectly acceptable and you’ll get the same drafting benefit from riding six inches either side of it. However, it’s essential that you don’t overlap their rear wheel as any sudden movements by them will be likely to bring both of you down.
Wheel suck - Don’t always sit amongst the wheels and shirk your stint on the front. Even if you just put in a few turns of the pedals it’ll be appreciated. However, even if you’re finding the pace easy, don’t get on the front and accelerate, try to maintain the pace of the group.
Don’t ride in the gutter - If you’re on the front of the group, don’t sit in the gutter as you’ll be forcing everyone else to follow you increasing the likelihood of hitting obstructions such as drain covers and of picking up punctures. Where possible, ride 1m out from the curb.
Expect the ground to change - Groups will change, fragment and reform as the ride progresses. Expect a more compact group on the flat sections which will spread out on longer climbs. Similarly, on descents, riders will tend to string out to give more time to react at higher speeds.