Know Your Skill Level
Read the group ride descriptions and choose the group that fits your skill, experience, and pace. You will enjoy the experience most when riding with people at your same level.
Follow the Rules of the Road (and the bike path) - Respect Goes Both Ways
Ride single file, use hand signals, stop at stop signs when cars are present, notify riders behind you if it is clear or not when crossing a road, and don’t speed on bike paths through congested parks where children are playing. Safety is important, and showing respect helps prevent drivers and pedestrians from getting upset with cyclists.
“Passing on The Left”
When you come up behind someone you need to pass, don’t wait until the last second and startle them. Give warning (especially on a bike path when walkers and children need to move to the side). State in a loud voice “passing on the left”. (Be polite, say thank you when a walker moves to the side for you to pass.)
Leading the Group
Several groups take turns “pulling” the pack so the leader doesn’t burn out. After taking your turn leading the group, rotate to the back. Signal, and make sure the rider behind you knows you intend to “peel off” and go to the back. Check briefly that there isn't someone overlapping your back wheel, then move to the outside and let the next person to come through to the front.
Too Tired to Lead or Don’t Ever Want to Lead?
When the rider ahead of you peels off, and you find yourself at the front of the pack, but you don’t feel up to leading - don’t panic. Simply lead the group for at least one minute, then signal and peel off and go to the back of the group. If you don't feel comfortable taking a time in the front, stay at the back of the line and let the riders coming back from the front of the group slide into the spot in front of you. As the lead rider comes back, let them know they can go in front of you.
There should be no gaps in the line of a group ride. To help the group draft and share the energy, fill gaps gradually in a controlled manner. There is no need to sprint into the space and then slam on the brakes.
Obstacles and Hand Signals
Obstacles should be warned of by a simple hand signal. When you see an obstacle in the road ahead of you, put your hand down and give a signal that lets the riders behind you know the direction of the obstacle. Traditionally a quick wave of the hand will suffice. If you see an obstacle at the last minute, ride through it! Better to get a flat than to take down the whole group.
OOPS - I Dropped Something
If you are the cause of the obstacle, don’t panic and slam on your brakes. Take your time. Calmly signal that you are slowing down so you can stop or turn. DO NOT stop immediately and block the road for the riders behind you. What ever you dropped isn’t worth an accident.
Don’t Cross The Tire of The Rider In front of You
When ever possible, do not over-lap the tire of the rider in front of you. Stay in-line behind the rider you are following to prevent accidents. HOWEVER, it may be necessary when slowing and adjusting speed. [Frequently, when a lead person slows down, riders that follow will jump for their brakes, almost skidding and taking everyone down with them.] Ride behind and ever-so-slightly to the side of the rider in front of you. When the group slows down you should either stop pedaling and start to slightly overlap your front wheel with their rear wheel, or touch the brakes gradually and use the "wheel overlap" as a buffer zone to avoid stopping too suddenly for the riders behind you.
When It’s Dark - Be Seen
If you ride your bike when it is dark, wear reflective clothing and a light on your bike. It’s that simple.
***Make it a GREAT ride***