Bunch Riding Etiquette
There are certain rules of etiquette you need to follow in these bunches:
- Ride in pairs following directly behind the wheel/rider in front.
- Stay with the rider you are paired with, converse as you feel comfortable.
- Stay behind the wheel in front as close as you feel comfortable, usually around 40-50 cm. Follow it until the rider in front peels off after doing his turn in the wind.
- Try to do a turn in the wind consistent with the previous riders in speed and length, priority is given to speed over length.
- Try to ride with your front wheel level with the rider you are paired with at the front. This will make it even for all riders following and means that you are not half wheeling.
- When you are on the front, pedal on the down hills. Avoid the temptation to be lazy and coast down hill. If you don’t the riders following will be under brakes and this can be dangerous.
- Point out obstacles that are coming up in front of you, like parked cars and holes in the road. When you are on the front you have the best visibility and it is the responsibility of riders on the front to point these out.
- If you have had enough and wish to retire from the front indicate to the rider you are paired with that you are finished at the front.
- When you are finished on the front, move to the side you are closest to and drift to the rear of the bunch in a timely fashion and move back into a position after the last rider.
- Finally, remember that if you are uncomfortable riding within the bunch it is a good idea to stay on the back until you are ready to get amongst it. Fellow cyclists will appreciate the fact you are learning and will generally prefer that you stay on the back until you feel comfortable enough to ride in the bunch.Bunch riding can be an intimidating affair. Experience is going to be the best way to develop your confidence and allow you to fully enjoy the experience. Don’t be put off by some of the egos in the bunch, remember that everybody started where you are and learnt through mistakes.
Remember that bunch riding is worth the effort to learn and after time will become a part of your cycling that you will enjoy and look forward to.