Bicycling does not have to be a solo sport. A ride can be a social event, too. However, group rides can get tricky and even dangerous if even one person fails to follow safety rules and etiquette.
Bicycling magazine provides these tips for riding bicycles safely in a group.
Before setting out, everyone should be on the same page regarding the following:
- Potential hazards and their locations
- Road conditions and traffic
- The amount of time the ride will likely take
The group may have to separate or spread out in some places, so everyone should know where these are as well as the locations for re-grouping.
Keep up the pace
Group rides are not races or occasions to show off abilities, and it is discourteous and potentially dangerous to rush ahead or lag behind. Everyone should understand how to navigate their way home if they are unable to keep up with the group.
Follow traffic and safety rules
Bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules that vehicles do. In addition to signaling turns, cyclists should signal their intentions and point out obstacles to each other to prevent collisions or crashes. Each rider should give a little space and avoid crowding, riding no more than two abreast.
It may be tempting to turn and comment on something to the rider beside or behind, but that can quickly turn into a collision. Wearing earbuds or a headset is also a bad idea that could keep them from hearing communication about the ride or hazards nearby. Distractions can be as dangerous on a bicycle as they are in a car.
While no one should be looking at cellphones on the ride, cyclists should have them to call for a lift if someone cannot make it to the end or to call for help in an emergency.