Rider Responsibilities - Please Read and Comment

I realize that I have asked you all in the profile questions if you have read the rider's notes, however, I thought it would be best for me to help clarify by defining the responsibilities of riders in a group.  Basically taking all the riders notes and applying it to Club Rides.  

I think this will really help our club be safe and ultimately result in the enjoyment for all riders. Let me know what you think.

Rider's Responsibilities - Group size 8-12 Riders - Safety, then Jokes.

All Riders:

- Be Predictable(no moving, swerving or braking outside of signaled actions and emergencies)

- Stay within the lane when doing paceline switch - Riders off the front stop pedaling and get to the back as soon as possible.

- Respect the yellow line - don't cross it ever.

- Stop in a straight line, with respect to others around you.  ie. stop behind the rider in front of you not beside them.

- Hold your line on a turn or corner - Look past the corner and you'll hold the line, if you look at the wheel or rider in front of you you will go wide.

- Communicate with your group if you are feeling taxed or tired or if the pace is too much for you to handle - we are not mind readers. 

- High level of communication really helps a group stay together and everyone's ride quality and experience is better - less stop and waiting and less feeling like you're holding people up.

Lead Riders: 

- Maintain pace depending on weakest riders in your group.

- Always be checking intersection for pending traffic, and pedestrians, etc. to ensure the group can pass through the intersection safely. This includes watching the countdowns if they exist and ensure that the entire group can safely enter and exit and intersection.

- Communicate with each other/fellow rider beside you to ensure that the path/course you take is free of debris, potholes etc. ie. Move out and move the group ahead of time so there is less need for pointing out potholes etc.

- Consistently check with riders in the group to make sure the pace is ok for the weakest riders in the group

- Also check to make sure the paceline is tight.

- This is a MUST: - Know the route and turns so you can ask for traffic checks from riders behind you prior to having to change lanes, make turns etc.

- When calling a stop or light, brake late as to eliminate accordion effect and also to leave more space for delayed reaction time in stopping for the rest of the group.

- Call the switch every 30-60 secs.and rotate the paceline b/c Holding at the front for too long allows riders behind to become inattentive.

Midpack Riders:

- Pay attention to lead riders and keep looking ahead so the reaction time to the calls are more responsive and less delayed for riders behind you.

- Call "car back" as the riders behind you do.  This is crucial as the lead riders cannot see that far back.

- DO NOT LEAVE a GAP.  Slow speeds its not an issue, but at faster speeds and in headwinds, it really affects the riders behind you if you leave a gap.  Draft effect diminishes significantly.  

- Make sure you can clip in fast, if not, you will be doing intervals all the way out of the city and ... leave gaps.  This will also cause riders behind you who may not be as strong to have to work even harder to catch up to the lead riders and their pace. *Note: if the lead riders are taking off too fast, please communicate that to them, so they take some time to get back to the cruising pace that is comfortable to the group as a whole.

- If you are a strong rider that cannot ride close to the rider in front of you, you have two options: 1. Switch positions or 2. Ride off the back.

Back of the Pack Riders:

- Consistent car and traffic checks - calling car back especially on quieter roads.  This is crucial, because on quieter roads our groups tend to get lazy and get loose and not hold a tight paceline.   Calling out "car back" keeps everyone in the group in check and tight to the right.

 - Know the route and turns so you can do traffic checks prior to having to change lanes, make turns etc.

- Keep an eye always ahead of the rider in front of you so your reaction time is significantly faster as you will have less to react to when you have already seen it.

- Make sure you can clip in fast, if not, you will be doing intervals all the way out of the city and ... leave gaps. 

Marshal Duties:

- Know and practice ALL OF THE ABOVE on a group ride including making the call on positioning stronger riders to rotate independent of the weaker riders.  This will eliminate weaker riders from getting taxed to the point where they can't recover.  

- Rotate the paceline regularly as to aid in identifying the right pace for the group(30-60 secs)  This will help maintain pace of lead riders so the weakest riders can stay in the group

- Consistently check gapping and insist on gap elimination.  Gaps are bad.

Let me know if I missed anything.

Cheers,

Dan.

Views: 838

Comment by Paul McKeever on May 14, 2014 at 6:28pm

Nice job, Dan - very comprehensive and terse breakdown! Hope these well-thought out, common sense approaches to safe and fun group rides become second-nature for all of us.

Comment by Paul van Dongen on May 14, 2014 at 6:49pm

Thanks Daniel. Needed saying.

Comment by David Raponi-Monk on May 15, 2014 at 11:38am

Thanks Dan for spelling this out and for the reminders. Could I add that if you are a lead rider when starting from a stoplight remember to ramp up the speed slowly to prevent the accordion affect on the riders behind you. 

Comment by Jon Spira on May 15, 2014 at 3:32pm

All very important points, and behaviours we all should turn into habits.  Predictability and ongoing clear communication are always the keys to a great ride.

Comment by Tim White on May 15, 2014 at 4:49pm

All great points. Thanks for reiterating all of this Dan, because I forget sometimes, especially early season. Coming back out of a lane change on Tuesday, I nearly swerved right into Paul McKeever because I forgot to come back in gradually...thanks Paul for not tearing my head off for that one.

Albert I was in that line you were leading, and I understand why you reacted as you did.

The chatter arose from people not knowing the call as we approached the intersection. I don't remember if you signaled to roll through it, but maybe it's a good idea to do it more than once with a large group like that. In the mid pack I always want to know waaaay in advance if we're rolling the light - or not.

Comment by Peter Davison on May 15, 2014 at 9:42pm

Is there a rule of thumb for making the call on whether or not to roll through a light?  I too was on the ride that day and it seemed to me that one guy on the front called out to roll through the light and the other beside him called out to stop.  We were coming up on a count down timer light with a few seconds left on it.  If I was riding by myself I probably would have stopped.    But that didn't seem to be the consensus of the group that day.

Comment by Paul McKeever on May 16, 2014 at 7:02am

No problem, Tim - thanks for including that here. I was able to recover my line relatively safely so there was no need to make a big deal. :) In this case, we were merging back into the lane and there was a sunken sewer grate that I didn't want my pace line to have to navigate on an angle. Thus, it often becomes the responsibility of the front riders of a double pace line to be aware of both their own and their colleagues line on the road so that when avoiding obstructions, we flow smoothly in the appropriate directions. For instance, it is often the case that the curb-side pace line needs to come out towards the middle of the lane. Stating this explicitly to your fellow lead rider will allow them to guide their pace line further to the left to accommodate. This is often something that has to be done mid conversation, so it's important to be brave enough to interrupt and say "Hey, we've gotten move out from the curb a little bit".

Comment by Mike on May 16, 2014 at 10:30am

Good note. 

Comment by Neil Rodgers on May 16, 2014 at 10:35am

Keeping it safe...keeping it fun.  Thanks for the reminder DY.

Comment by Marco Martinez on May 18, 2014 at 11:42am

What I like about the group rides is that they're safe and enjoyable and predictable.

Thanks Dan for the reminder.

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