Let's have a look at everything you need as a beginner for a fun, safe, and successful group bike ride. Before heading on your favorite group ride, make sure that you have the necessary safety gear so that you are visible, prepared and protected on your bicycle...
With group bike rides it's a good idea to arrive about 10-15 minutes early with your bicycle and talk to the ride leader, especially if you’re a beginner and it's your first time. Let them know that you're new, ask about group riding etiquette and which pack of riders to stick with based on your experience level. It's also a great idea to plan ahead for the weather so you know just what to expect. Here's a link with more info on weather prep. Happy riding!
Riding in a group can be a fun way to get your biking in, but there are certain "rules of the road" that all riders, beginner to advanced, should abide by in order to have a safe, enjoyable ride. It is a good idea to talk with someone at your local bike shop or a more experienced rider in the pack before you roll out on your bicycle, but you can start with three basics:
1. ALIGN YOURSELF: If you are biking behind someone pace yourself based on their speed and keep the front wheel of your bicycle directly in line with their back wheel with about 1-3 feet of space in between. If you are riding beside someone keep your handlebars directly in line with theirs so that you remain side-by-side with about 2-3 feet in between.
2. USE YOUR HANDS: Use the standard hand signals when biking to let the group know if you are turning, stopping or slowing down.
While riding your bicycle, If you see an obstacle in the road that could cause a problem like a pothole or broken glass, point down to the obstacle as you bike around it so that other riders behind you can do the same. This is an important rule to follow when biking regardless of being a beginner or advanced rider. Watch for these same signals from the riders in front of you so that you can respond safely. We know that road biking can be pretty intimidating. You can click here for some safety tips to make you feel confident and ready-to-go:.
3. STICK TOGETHER: If you find yourself drifting away from the pack, do your best to catch up and bridge the gap. If you are in a group that is breaking away or "dropping" slower riders "soft pedal," meaning that you slow your speed and intensity, until they are able to catch back up with you. If you need some on-the-go maintenance you can contact your local expert via you’re My City Bikes app, or check here for some maintenance info.
For more beginner tips on safe biking find your local My City Bikes app here. Questions or suggestions? Reach us here.