Whether you're an experienced pro, a dedicated hobby-rider or just a beginner to cycling, we all want our rides to be safe. Safer cycling will always come down to attitude and conduct of the riders. New for 2017 is that we will have Safty Riders in the groups. Their main tasks are to assist riders with problems, make sure and enforce signs and communication within the groups and to point out dangerous behavior when seeing so. However, since safe cycling starts with your own behavior, here is some useful information when riding in a group:
-Riding in groups is as much about communication as it is about technique. You will be one of thousands of riders of varying ability and fitness. As you move through the event, find your rhythm and keep to a pace you find comfortable and sustainable. You may need to “surf” between groups to reach this level. Once you have found such a group, remember that by riding on the wheel of the cyclist in front you are saving around 20% effort. However by doing so the risk of crashing is considerably higher, so follow theseseven tips to riding safely in a group.
1. Look ahead. Not at the back wheel of the cyclist in front of you, but over their shoulder at the road ahead. This will give you time to react to any situation that arises.
2.Try to ride smoothly. Erratic manoeuvres and sudden reactions will cause problems for your adopted team mates. Try to anticipate braking so that this can be done in a controlled manner.
3.Listen to calls. Try to learn the main terms and react to what others around you are calling. Repeat that call down the line to make sure others behind you have heard it.
4.Look, look again… then move. Before making any lateral move, you should look over your shoulder to ensure that no-one is overlapping or overtaking. Don’t forget to look over your opposite shoulder before retaking your position in the peloton.
5.Take your turn. You won’t be thanked for latching onto a group and not making the effort to do some of the leg work. Do some simple maths; if you are in a group of 5 you should be spending a fifth of your time at the front doing the hard graft.
6.Let riders who you feel are taking uneccessary risks know. They might not be aware of their behavior. This is especially worth noting to other riders in our non-competition start groups (fast groups, motion, girls group).
7.Back off if you don't feel safe. You don't have to ride in a group where you don't feel comfortable or safe. There are probably other groups behind where you will feel more comfortable.