As we grow as a group the range of riders and ride experience becomes more diverse. So lets have a little refresh (or learning session) on group riding. The do's, the don'ts, and the tips.
What is a staggered formation and why do we ride like this in a group?
Just like the picture below shows, staggered riding is where the lead bike is in the right third of the lane, while the next rider stays at least one second behind in the left third of the lane; the rest of the group follows the same pattern.
We ride like this as it helps keep the group together. Try not to ride on the tail of the person directly in front of you, leave a bit of space in case the rider to the side of you needs to move in.
Staggered formation is perfect for straight roads and gentle curves, but when it comes to cornering, ride your own ride, positioning yourself on the safest part of the road. The staggered formation allows you to move through the corners and ride on the safest part of the road for you.
While riding in staggered formation do not pass on the left of other riders. If you need to pass another rider, do so on the right.
When passing other motorists, do so in a single line. Pass only when it is safe to do so and when you have completed passing make sure there is space for the riders behind you to pull back in.
And, whatever else you do, don't overtake the the lead rider!
Ride your own ride
Ride to your own skill and comfort. If you are feeling uncomfortable with the pace of other riders around you, pull over to the left and allow them to pass you.
Riding in a group is different to riding alone. You need to be aware of the riders around you at all times. With so many riding levels, courtesy goes a long way.
Problems and concerns on the road
We want to ride together for the enjoyment of riding. If you do have a major concern from a ride, please come and see the Road Coordinator or one of the road captains on the day. Don't let it stew and ruin your next ride.
But wait, there's more...
What would you add to this list? For those that have had a few years experience on the road, what tips would you give new riders who are starting out riding in a group?