Riding in a group on paths & roads: 5 “Must Dos”
The Gear Up Girl SA Ride is about giving women from all kinds of cycling backgrounds the opportunity for a great day out on the bike. The ride is a group ride situation as the various ride groups set off at the same time. Here are some top tips from cycle coach Margaret Boylan.
With lots of diversity amongst our Gear Up Girl SA riders it will be important that we have a shared understanding of the etiquette & “rules” about group riding. That will make everyone’s ride safer and more enjoyable.
While there are lots of things to be aware of and do of course as road & bike path users here are my top 5 must-dos.
1. Being predictable in all your actions as you ride by:
- Obeying the road rules when on the road will make your actions predictable – A bicycle is a vehicle and hence has the same rights and responsibilities on the road as a car or motorbike. Bike SA have a great article on cycling in traffic. For a quick refresh of the law, I recommend you read this article.
- Maintaining a steady & straight line as you ride.
2. Communicating with other road or path users, both vehicles and pedestrians by:
- Making eye contact with other road users to be sure they’ve seen you.
- Using your voice within the cycling group (loud use of the word “slowing” or “stopping” as required)
- Signalling with your hands to stop or turn.
3. Staying to the left when in front to allow room for others to pass safely on your right, particularly in traffic but also on bike paths.
4. Passing other riders on their right hand side. As you pass them on their right side – let them know you are doing that by calling out to them.
- If you have to pass a rider on their left side for some good reason it is important to call out that you are “passing on the left’.
5. Pointing out and calling out any road hazards – these include pot-holes, drain grates, stray animals, walkers and joggers, opening car doors and parked cars.
If you don’t get a chance to ride in groups much right now it’s a great idea to practice your bike handling skills ahead of your Gear Up Girl SA – for example you could practice your signalling to make sure you are able to ride one-handed as you signal to turn or stop.
Margaret was drawn to cycling at a later stage in life, switching from horse riding to cycling in 2005. She is now a Cycling Coach and Personal Trainer & has set up First Principles Fitness and Coaching. You can join Margaret for Gear Up Girl SA on Sunday 20 November.