Cycling Etiquette

While we will probably only be cycling in a tight pack for very short parts of the actual ride in March (but definitely at the beginning and end of the 4 days), we will almost certainly be sticking together on the training rides because we want to get to know each other and also not get lost! Therefore there are a few fundamental things you need to know about riding in a group, especially if you are at the front:

1). Hazards - clearly announce and/or signal hazards to the group. There are a few simple but key words and hand signals you need to know - we'll practice these during every ride.

2). Do not overlap wheels! - fairly obvious but the last thing we want is a crash, so if you make sure if you are riding behind another ride, stay off to one side 10cm or more, not directly behind their wheel. If they have to stop suddenly, things could get ugly!

3). Smooth and steady - when you are at the front do not make erratic movements, and keep your speed steady.

4). Leading and following - when you are leading the pack and are ready to move aside and let another rider (or pair of riders) lead, do not stop pedalling but smoothly move to one side and signal for the rider(s) behind you to take over. Drop back and take up position at the rear of the pack.

The big advantage of riding in a pack is the benefit of reduced wind resistance, especially on the flat. BUT, do not rely on the benefits of pack riding to ignore your own personal fitness training!! We will take turns in leading so on the longer rides you can expect to be at the front several times. Having said that, if we have a large number of riders, we may end up in smaller sub-packs to ensure safety.

Ride preparation:

It cannot be stressed enough that this is a ride for which every rider must prepare and train. Not only do the training rides build up the fitness levels required for such an event, but experience has shown that spending hours in the saddle gets the part of the body most intimately acquainted with the saddle into riding condition. It is much better to get saddle sore early in the training routine than four hours into day one!

Participating in the training rides also allows for all team members to get to know each other and really enjoy the social aspect of this event.

Equipment & Equipment Failure:

Each rider must have their own bike to ride. It must be of sufficient quality to stand up to 24 hours of riding on sealed but potholed roads and must have good brakes (for the big downhills!). It is essential that riders carry water with them during the day so at least 2 water bottles and/or back-pack hydration systems are recommended. Padded cycle shorts are also essential pieces of equipment (for obvious reasons!).

It is each rider's responsibility to bring spare bike parts (also spare body parts if you have them!) for anticipated breakages, which would generally only be spokes and tubes. On training rides you MUST have the following with you:

  1. Bike (!)
  2. Helmet (no helmet, no ride - simple as that)
  3. Spare tube, tyre lever, and pump (you need to be self sufficient)
  4. Lights (if we are starting early).

 

See you out on the road!!

 

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