Group Ride Etiquette

Do not speed up when it is your turn to pull  Maintain the speed the group was going and let the lead rider fall back.  This causes surges in the group and screws over the person who just took a pull for you.  If you are feeling strong take a longer pull not a faster one.  There is also no shame in taking a short pull if you cannot maintain the speed for long.

Accelerate slightly before pulling off Do not slow immediately when your pull is done, the person behind you will have to slow as well.  This is especially important if there is any crosswinds and we are splayed out.

Hold your line.  Look up ahead not directly at the wheel in front of you.  Pick a cadence that you can keep smooth.  No one cares if you are in your big or little ring on the way out, pick an appropriate gear, not one that looks cool.

On a hill maintain your effort not the speed  Not everyone can accelerate up the small inclines around here and feel fine.  We do not need to be dropping people on the way out less than 15 miles into the ride.

Ride bar to bar Half-wheeling the person next to you is a dick move. Take pride in maintaining very little space between you and your partner, not riding faster than them.  Ideally there should be no more than a foot between you and the rider next to you, less if you are comfortable.  Riding too far apart from your partner minimizes the benefit of the draft for the people behind you.

Control your speed  Braking should be avoided within the group, if you need to slow slightly, soft pedal or sit up slightly to catch more wind. Coasting should also be avoided, again soft pedal.

Don’t sprint out of corners or stop signs If you are on the front, slowly accelerate back up to the pace it was before the stop or turn.

Pass on information  If someone calls out a turn, car, or obstacle pass it on.  Just because you heard someone yell it, does not mean the person ahead or behind you did.  In fact, yelling should be avoided, if the yell cannot be understood further up the group, it just puts everyone on edge.

Stand up smoothly and do not throw your bike back. Standing to climb or stretch if fine as long as you are aware of where your bike goes when you do so.  When you stand, you bike will shoot backwards into the rider behind you if you do not compensate for standing.

When you’re pulling, you and the person next to you need to be in agreement about when to pull off. This is so that you can both pull off at the same time and there’s no question about whether or not the folks behind you should move up and take their pull. The best way to get yelled at on a group ride (aside from half wheeling and surging) is to confuse everyone behind you about your intentions of moving to the back of the paceline. 

All of these things combined will help to make the ride out smooth, enjoyable, and *safe* for everyone.  If you want to strut your stuff, do it after the turn around.  On the way out focus on being smooth and controlled.  We should look like we know what we are doing.  Pride
yourselves in maintaining a smooth, Pro looking pace line on the way out.