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  1. #1
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    Group Riding Rules

    Can anyone offer some advice on group riding?

    I've recently started riding more with groups rather than solo. These groups have been riding together for a while. I'm a less experienced rider and don't want to break any unwritten rules of the peloton.

  2. #2
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    I don't think there are any real rules, but if you're a less experienced/slower rider, it would make sense to hang at the back of the group, that way you're not unintentionally holding anyone up.

  3. #3
    Nice day for a ride..... Moderator
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    Slower riders at the back, faster up front. Also make sure your bike is tuned and ready to go, no one likes to wait around in the parking lot / trailside while you adjust your brakes, etc. Other than that its all about having a good time. Its always good to mix it up with other riders.

  4. #4
    i also unicycle
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    if it's in the woods, it's definitely not a peloton(pure roadie thing that), but otherwise find your place in the line up(middle/back is a good place to start), ride hard, have fun.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
    bikes & beers (on my blog) http://idontrideenough.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Ride in the back if you have gas.

  6. #6
    Rod
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    It's simple, but there's a little more to it than just go out and ride. First of all show up prepared. You don't want to be changing a flat or tuning your bike when everyone else is ready to ride. Bring an extra tube, you or someone else may need it, air, and a chain tool. It's very important like the others have stated for you to find a comfortable spot and hang out there. Don't start leading the group until you've rode with them some to get the feel of it and more importantly to see if your body can take it. It's obvious, but some groups ride very fast and others don't want to lose anyone. If you want to pass announce to the person ahead of you which side you want to pass them on. For example, "On your left." Sometimes if I feel I'm holding someone up I'll ask them if they want to pass. Just use common sense, be polite, and have fun.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
    Mark
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    #1 rule IMHO: Don't block the trail if you stop.

    I ride SS with several groups and nothing is more annoying than finding a rider who has failed to make the climb blocking the good line!

    Some of the more experienced guys I've ridden with will actually be on their back, still clipped in but with the bike in the air above them so as to leave the trail clear...

    Kinda goes like this:

    them: "Ouch"
    me: "You ok?"
    them: "Yeah, I'll catch up."
    ===============

    Mark

  8. #8
    Alien Surf Team
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    Kick the other guy as you pass.

  9. #9
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoovermd
    #1 rule IMHO: Don't block the trail if you stop.

    I ride SS with several groups and nothing is more annoying than finding a rider who has failed to make the climb blocking the good line!

    Some of the more experienced guys I've ridden with will actually be on their back, still clipped in but with the bike in the air above them so as to leave the trail clear...

    Kinda goes like this:

    them: "Ouch"
    me: "You ok?"
    them: "Yeah, I'll catch up."
    This is very good advice. When I spin out or can't make it up a hill I drag my bike off to the side of the trail so the others can pass.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  10. #10
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    Treat other riders as you would want to be treated. If you follow that ideology, you should know the right thing to do.

  11. #11
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    Be friendly, find out if your group has a no-drop policy and a how to handle intersections policy. The ladies groups I ride with does both. We have a designatied sweeper to bring up the rear and whenever there's an intersection you wait for the person behind you to get here so they know where to turn.

    Make sure your bike is in good working order, and be prepared: water, food tubes etc.

  12. #12
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    Lots of good advice, with hoovermd's being pretty high on the list.

    One more - if you're in the lead, and are about to pass other bikers or hikers, it's good to shout out to your group a little warning on what to expect. It's a courtesy to your group (they can slow down a bit if hammering and not run into anyone), and a courtesy to the other biker(s) or hiker(s). It's also nice to let them know how many there are in your group, so they can know when they can resume their pace/hike.

  13. #13
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    Maybe I'm missing something here, but what is the point to having rules to a group ride?

    If you're not already friends and you don't know the people, why ride with them in the first place?

    Everyone I see on the trail anyway I end up passing anyway so I don't see the point of riding at anything other than your own pace...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but what is the point to having rules to a group ride?

    If you're not already friends and you don't know the people, why ride with them in the first place?

    Everyone I see on the trail anyway I end up passing anyway so I don't see the point of riding at anything other than your own pace...
    someone with your attitude probably shouldnt go on group rides (no offence)

    group rides are about meeting new people and riding new places and learning new skills
    theres nothing wrong with allways hammering and going as fast as you can , but some people like to see the sights or maybe following someone better to pick up trail skills or even stop and sesion a difficult area

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Maybe I'm missing something here, but what is the point to having rules to a group ride?

    If you're not already friends and you don't know the people, why ride with them in the first place?

    Everyone I see on the trail anyway I end up passing anyway so I don't see the point of riding at anything other than your own pace...

    I think there are several advantages to a group ride but the biggest reason for me is that it's fun. Kinda like sex. Sex with a group can be a whole lot more exciting than doing it solo.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    someone with your attitude probably shouldnt go on group rides (no offence)
    That's not my attitude towards biking (i.e. "I see someone, I will make it a point to leave him coughing in my dust.") That's just what happens when I'm going my normal pace.

    Maybe I've only seen casual bikers. Maybe it's because I've put on 10lbs since starting biking 6 months ago and I have ripped legs. I have no clue. Like I said, I've never been on a group ride and none of my friends seem to want to get into biking as much as I have.

    For meeting new people, I guess group rides are a good idea. How do you guys find these group rides though?

  17. #17
    Nice day for a ride..... Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoovermd
    #1 rule IMHO: Don't block the trail if you stop.
    Hell yes, I hate it when people do that. This summer I came across a guy sitting in the middle of the trail with his bike fiddling with his blackberry or whatever it was.... what a jerk. Nothing annoys me more.

  18. #18
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    Pretty good info! One more important peice of advice. In our group it is the resposibiliity of the new guy to bring the beer! This is no joke!
    I you don't, don't expect to be called for the next ride!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    That's not my attitude towards biking (i.e. "I see someone, I will make it a point to leave him coughing in my dust.") That's just what happens when I'm going my normal pace.

    Maybe I've only seen casual bikers. Maybe it's because I've put on 10lbs since starting biking 6 months ago and I have ripped legs. I have no clue. Like I said, I've never been on a group ride and none of my friends seem to want to get into biking as much as I have.

    For meeting new people, I guess group rides are a good idea. How do you guys find these group rides though?
    in NE its NEMBA check around your area and see who does all the trail maintenance, they generally have an email list you can get on and members post rides when they are doing one. Its also a good way to find new trails

    PS dont be afraid to help out on a trail day

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    That's not my attitude towards biking (i.e. "I see someone, I will make it a point to leave him coughing in my dust.") That's just what happens when I'm going my normal pace.

    Maybe I've only seen casual bikers. Maybe it's because I've put on 10lbs since starting biking 6 months ago and I have ripped legs. I have no clue. Like I said, I've never been on a group ride and none of my friends seem to want to get into biking as much as I have.

    For meeting new people, I guess group rides are a good idea. How do you guys find these group rides though?
    I don't know you at all and I'm 100% sure that there are plenty of people who are way faster than you. Go to your local bike shop or club and go on some group rides. Eventually you will find the fast folks and they will blow you away.

  21. #21
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    Different groups ride for different reasons making for different rules. Recreational riders usually leave no one behind, while racers may require the last one off the mountain to buy lunch. Asking the people you are riding with just what they expect is most likely your best bet.

  22. #22
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    I was riding solo until I crashed real bad on a down hill. had to be medvaced to the er.
    I now ride with a CORBa group for my safety. I am riding slower and want people around in case of any emergencies. When I finish my healing process. I will probably move to an intermediat group.

    as far a fast riders. on my first return ride I had some hot shot, coming down the trail too impatient to wait for our group to pass on a single track. He almost took me out by dropping in in front of me am making me swerve off the trail into sand and rocks. This could have be very bad for me had I hit my head again. i thought I would be safe riding with a group but you never know.

    My group leader is some sort of official with CORBA who have ties with the state and federal parks. He said he could have ticketed the guy for speeding and reckless riding in the park. Wow, that was a surprize to hear that!

    Be safe out there!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    I don't know you at all and I'm 100% sure that there are plenty of people who are way faster than you. Go to your local bike shop or club and go on some group rides. Eventually you will find the fast folks and they will blow you away.
    Still looking for people to ride with. Hopefully I'll find people to show me new trails as well.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Still looking for people to ride with. Hopefully I'll find people to show me new trails as well.

    found this
    http://www.mambomaryland.com/contact.cfm

  25. #25
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    I agree, it's mostly common sense and consideration. Most grpup riders will share that commonality. On the trail- just remember to LEAVE NO TRACE(of your presence- ie; litter).
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc99
    Still looking for people to ride with. Hopefully I'll find people to show me new trails as well.
    Post in this thread: Patpsco Group Rides
    Looks like they do regular group rides and perhaps they can show you some new trails. Enjoy

  27. #27
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    no-drop policy ...
    designatied sweeper ...
    whenever there's an intersection you wait for the person behind you to get here so they know where to turn....
    be prepared...
    There's some designated newbie/recovery rides in my area and the advice there seems to be that the weakest rider goes right behind the leader. That way the leader knows all the time how the weakest link in the chain is doing. Also, the weakest one is not subjected to the "accordioning" of the group, which can be pretty severe if it is a big group.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    There's some designated newbie/recovery rides in my area and the advice there seems to be that the weakest rider goes right behind the leader. That way the leader knows all the time how the weakest link in the chain is doing. Also, the weakest one is not subjected to the "accordioning" of the group, which can be pretty severe if it is a big group.
    I dont know about that, Ive been on group rides where the slower riders are up front and its very frustrating, I prefer having a designated tail gunner to make sure any stragglers dont get left behind. You can also trade off that position

  29. #29
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    Never do anything to impress other members of the group. Never encourage others to do whatever they are afraid of doing. Peer pressure may cost dearly, particularly to the riders who are new to the group and are trying to catch up with stronger members or to show off.

  30. #30
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    group rides where the slower riders are up front and its very frustrating,
    I suppose it suits rides that are supposed to be easy (pace and skill): for newbies and those who are trying to recover from the last few hard rides.

    Goes without saying that a newbie ride, with any significant numbers, must have someone looking after the tail end too.

  31. #31
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    riding groups

    I ride with a group of people who have joined a web site called meet up .com
    go to meetup.com and do a search for mountain biking in your area.
    expand your search area until you find a group or start a new group.
    Also check your LBS they have group rides.

    there are many group rides in my area (Philly) I ride w/ a mixed group.
    I am a beginner in my group and the general rule is no one gets left behind.
    the faster riders are in front and slower in the rear there is also a experienced rider that knows the trail at the tail end in case w/ get separated.

    have fun and get out and ride.

  32. #32
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    I lead a begginers ride this week end. I am recovering from injuries/concussion. The leaders were no shows, probably from misscommunication and chance of rain. The riders had taken a basic mt. bike course the week before, so I merely had reminded them of the technigues that they learned the week before. I moved the weakest rider to the lead when we hit the single track and just urged her to keep pedaling whenever she got tentative. We completed the single track at a brisk pace, probably due to her devloping confidence and my urging. if there had been more riders I probably would have place the slowest toward the front of me and had another stronger rider ride sweep.

    I may take one more beginner ride next month depending on how my head feels.

    Any beginners in the L.A area wanting to go on a beginners ride please contact me.

  33. #33
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    Great advice so far. My top few:
    1. Pay attention to the ride description, and don't show up for rides beyond your ability.
    2. Let faster riders lead. I'm happy to wait at the intersections, but don't make me stop at obstacles I otherwise might have cleared.
    3. For the most part, common courtesy will suffice. Watch and learn the courteous ways of the more experienced riders.
    4. Be prepared and on time.
    5. If you have trouble keeping up, work on improving your skills and fitness so you can keep up better on future rides.
    6. Learn basic bike maintenance, and practice it at home.
    7. Don't alter the trail. It's better to learn to ride obstacles than to remove them.

  34. #34
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    Its also good to not ride glued to the guys back tire in front of you. Leave a bit of space so you can see your line.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13
    Its also good to not ride glued to the guys back tire in front of you. Leave a bit of space so you can see your line.
    This is a good point. Give some distance. It can help avoid a pile up. If the guy in front of you wrecks you have some time to slow down or stop. Also if the guy in front of you dabs on a climb the extra space will give him some time to clear out of your way or get going again so you have a clear chance at cleaning the climb. Lastly, following close on technical downhills puts extra un-needed pressure on the guy in front. A lot of clearing technical DH is mental and that pressure can screw with peoples confidence. So relax and give the guy in front some space or if your really feeling it, ask to pass.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    Ride in the back if you have gas.
    Don't ride somebody's wheel if they have gas.
    i ride bikes

  37. #37
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    alll good info

    i carry a couple of two way radios incase the our small goupe gets seperated and/or someone takes a fall and is injured.
    got em for 15 bucks at target. well worth the price when your on the trails, where cell phones dont really work to well.

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