FRF group ride etiquette
We’re generally safe and responsible but here’s a few (well, 20) tips on etiquette and group riding to make us ever better. These are for our benefit as well as for other road users.
- Follow all important road rules at all times: we are road users and need to act responsibly.
- Avoid confrontations with other road users. A friendly wave is a good response in all cases.
- We ride either in a single paceline or two abreast (‘2 up’) when the road width allows.
- When riding in formation, fill in the spaces so the group is riding efficiently and looking correct.
- Avoid riding three abreast or drifting too far to the left out into the lane.
- If there’s a bike lane or dedicated shoulder, stay inside the markings.
- Warn other riders of vehicle traffic – “Car up”, “car back”, “car left” and “car right”.
- If someone calls “car back” it’s an advisory and doesn’t necessarily mean a single paceline is required.
- The rider at the back makes the call if a single paceline is necessary due to traffic behind, and the rider on the front does the same if upcoming road conditions require it.
- Let other riders know about obstacles or hazards – hand signals or calling out.
- Avoid ‘half wheeling’ (overlapping your front wheel with another rider’s rear wheel) at all times.
- Give everyone space on the descents, especially if it’s narrow and/or fast.
- On no drop rides, don’t surge off the front or attack the group; ride at a pace that keeps the group together.
- Don’t ride on the front all day; either keep the paceline rotating or, if it’s more informal, spend some time at the back of the group.
- If someone is struggling on the ride, drop back and give them your wheel; you can also call out and ask the rest of the group to ease up for a stretch.
- If the group breaks apart on other rides, wait for the rest of the group at any agreed regrouping points or logical places like the tops of climbs.
- When waiting and regrouping, move right off the road so as not to block the lane.
- Talk to others about what’s going on and what you’re doing.
- Keep the group safe by following the above guidelines.
- Remember to have fun..!
Single and double paceline rotation is shown below. In the double paceline, riders on the front drift back on either side, so it’s up to the lead riders to steer the group in the lane so that there’s space; it’s usually only the quiet and wide roads that we’ll be able to get this paceline really working.
This GCN video narrated by ex-pro and commentator Dan Lloyd has some good tips as well…
Here’s another one on sportive (fondo) riding with some more useful tips (although they’re on the other side of the road in the UK), especially about half wheeling…