In a series of three blogs, we look at what group riding is all about, the key to good group riding and give you our top tips.
Why Group Ride?
If you’ve been riding for a while and enjoying it, but felt as though there’s something missing. Or if you’ve been out on your bike and seen lots of groups riding together, looking like they’re having the best time. We’ll let you into a (not so) big secret – riding in a group is so much fun!
But there’s more! It’s not only fun, there are also massive benefits to you. Here are some of the key things you’ll enjoy if you group ride:
- You save energy when you ride in someone’s slipstream. Drafting can save you up to 30% energy.
- You share the workload between you, alternating the rider on the front regularly so you all get to recover in each other’s draft.
- You can maintain a higher average speed as a group than as an individual because you aren’t working the whole time. This means you can cover longer distances and/or ride at faster speeds with less effort.
- Riding in a group is so much more enjoyable for everyone. You can chat, meet new people, learn from each other and also time goes so much faster.
- There are lots of people to help should something go wrong. It’s all hands on deck if you have a puncture or mechanical, run out of food or drink, or heaven forbid there’s an accident.
It’s all about trust
We all know how it can feel when you ride on the wheel of someone you don’t know. It can take a little while to feel like you can trust that wheel and that they are safe. If you jump on the wheel of a random person (which by the way, is really bad etiquette in cycling!), or if you ride with a group of friends that don’t regularly ride in groups or cycling clubs, it’s very hard to know how safe it will be for you.
One big benefit to riding in a cycling club or group is that everyone knows and understands how to ride safely in a group together, as they will have been taught. If everyone in the group follows the same universal set of guidelines and principles it makes it safer for everyone to ride together. It’s also much easier and quicker to trust the wheel of the person in front as you know what they’re going to do (or not do) if something happens on the road.
You can only control what you’re doing, so if you ride smoothly and predictably, you’ll be the wheel everyone wants to follow, not the one they actively avoid. Of course you can’t control what others do, but you can trust you’re riding to the same group riding principles if you’re riding with a club.
Check out our other articles to find up to date information on riding in groups, along with the joy of it.