There is a lot of enjoyment to be had from cycling in a bunch – but to reap the full benefits and keep everyone happy you need to make sure you are aware of the etiquette and language of group riding.
Safety is the number one priority when riding solo or with a group. Behaving predictably is the best way to make this a reality. When other road users can anticipate your next move, you go a long way toward ensuring everyone’s safety.
Bunch riding has its own etiquette and language. To the uninitiated the latter may seem like random hand signals, frantic elbow waving and indecipherable grunts, but once mastered, it is your passport to acceptance in any group of riders the world over.
Once you know the rules, signals and terminology of group riding you can seamlessly blend into any pack, whether it’s a fast-rolling bunch in a sportive, on a local club run or even a collection of commuters you happen to pick up on the way home from work. Being aware of how to behave and communicate with riders around you will make the whole bunch experience safer, faster and more fun.
The problem with unwritten rules is that they can take years to learn – particularly if no one ever spells them out to you. While some are obvious and can be picked up easily, the subtlety of group ride etiquette can be confusing.
The Chain Gang Cycling Club is a friendly club willingly offering good coaching advice and welcomes all levels of cyclist from the competitive to the touring cyclists.