Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

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rusto
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Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 12:22 am

There was some justified grumbling tonight after the Wed night ride about certain things that occurred, with the most pointed comments made about being mindful of the safety and well-being of others on the ride. If the party involved wants to air the particulars of their complaint, I'll leave that up to them.

I have my own complaint about people not "singling up" while we were heading down S. Acton Road and later on Liberty Tree Road as the call of "car back" was made. As I ground my teeth, I thought: "If you get hit by car that's your problem, but you are helping to make yet another driver think that we don't belong out here."

Both my and the other individual's gripes could be categorized as "Come ON, guys!" type complaints. We should know better, but sometimes get so wrapped up in how fun/hard/exhilarating a ride is that we do things that have an impact on how the ride is experienced by others.

Granted, we are all grownups and are individually responsible for our conduct, but the purpose of group rides is to have an enjoyable experience TOGETHER and that's hard to do if one or more of us has a different understanding for how things are done. Most of the time, things go off without a hitch, with everyone seeming to know how things are playing out - but once in a while, there are problems when one or more people go off the script...

We can only keep things at a consistently good level by communicating with each other and knowing what the expectations are. And not sorting this stuff out might result in people deciding not to ride with us. I'd rather talk about it and get it right than not talk about it and hope things work on their own. If you have a complaint, speak up - be respectful and polite, but speak up.
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That all said, my real purpose in writing this long post is to to throw out the suggestion that we have a pinned topic at the top of the "road" section that lists group ride guidelines. I know this was chewed over a bit last year here in the forum, but that thread has long since been buried. Having a pinned topic at the top with a title like "Group Ride Guidelines" would keep them handy for reference. The guidelines topic should only be a one post thread, only showing the current guidelines - they could be amended and altered by consensus (hashed out in other threads) and a request to change them would be made to a forum admin. This arrangement has worked well for other forums I have participated in (some of which I also admin-ed).

Here's a proposed set of group ride guidelines to get the discussion going, I'm just flinging it out there so don't beat me up too badly if it is kind of a mess:
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MRC group rides are conducted in one of two modes, if it is not made clear in the posting for a particular ride which mode will be used, it should be agreed upon before the group starts the ride. The details of how the ride will be conducted should be conveyed again just prior to the start of the ride, especially to fill in non-members who may show up.

The two ride modes:

1) No drop - the lead cyclists will soft-pedal/stop at agreed intervals until everyone catches up. If someone WANTS to be dropped, they MUST let the last person ahead of them know they are dropping out or taking a different route. Otherwise, all cyclists must be accounted for at the re-group point. If it makes sense to break the group into two (or more) sub-groups, the suggestion can certainly be made at the re-group point. If you flat, have a mechanical or crash the expectation is that someone will help. (Would it be necessary to have one person designated/volunteered as "ride leader"?)

2) "Race"/Every-man-for-himself - Pretty much speaks for itself. You may/will be dropped. You should know the route and your way back to the start. You should have means to get help if needed. If you flat, you should be able to repair it on your own. If you have a mechanical or crash in the presence of your group, the expectation is that someone will help.

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Ride pace should be announced in forum and start of ride. Possible ways of conveying the pace could be "20 mph avg" or "hill intervals" or "tempo". It could be announced that two groups of differing paces might form depending on who shows up.
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General group ride etiquette/guidelines (most of this should be obvious, but needs to be spelled out nonetheless):

- single up when the call of "car back" is made, make room for other cyclists to join the right-side paceline
- point out road hazards
- communicate turns/slowing/stopping/tracks
- keep a 6" gap (is that about right?) from wheel in front of you
- don't half-wheel the bike in front of you
- don't slow down as you begin to climb out-of-saddle
- when taking the lead in the paceline, keep speed consistent with the ride rider who led before you - don't accelerate
[update 5/6/2010]:
- do not ride more than two abreast
- ride through bumps, not around - but call out "rough road" if it's going to be an extended stay in the bumps
- do not ride in the opposing lane of traffic
- no aero bar use during group rides, you may ride your bike that has them, just don't use them - this line is under discussion

Again, this is just a proposal - modify it at will, post up your own suggestions.
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Does anyone else think this would be a good idea? Is the preference to continue the largely ad-hoc way group rides happen now?

Maybe this could be combined in some way with the "regular ride compendium" that Taudep is currently putting together...
Last edited by rusto on Thu May 06, 2010 9:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rmazzola » Thu May 06, 2010 6:13 am

Hey Russ,

Good message to distribute to the rest of the club and your proposed formats seem to fit the most typical types of rides that we do.
I wasn't there so I don't know the particulars of what took place. However, it's a bit frustrating to think that we need to continually re-emphasize riding etiquette yet it's obviously necessary in order to conduct safe, group rides.

I personally won't ride with folks who, for some unknown reason, feel entitled to take up the middle of the road as a car approaches from behind. I'll slow down and let a gap open up because if they get hit, there's a good chance they'll take me down as well. Plus, it absolutely infuriates drivers. And, as someone who bike commutes into Boston on a weekly basis, I'm very much aware of the fact that we need to share the road with everyone.
It's even worse if you're wearing the team kit because then your advertising to the rest of the world that Minuteman Road Club riders are inconsiderate.

To your point Russ - every group ride should spell out the expectations before it starts - both in terms of the ride intensity/mode and the etiquette that is expected. My guess is that will alleviate 95% of the problems.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by taudep » Thu May 06, 2010 8:38 am

Hash out the guidelines here, then I'll make a new pinned summary thread.

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by swawersik » Thu May 06, 2010 8:58 am

Since I was at the front much of last night and was ignorant of any grumblings, it seems likely that I may have contributed to the problem. I'd be interested in hearing what the specific complaints were so that if that's true, next time I can make it better.

Stefan

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 9:12 am

swawersik wrote:Since I was at the front much of last night and was ignorant of any grumblings, it seems likely that I may have contributed to the problem. I'd be interested in hearing what the specific complaints were so that if that's true, next time I can make it better.

Stefan
I'll leave that to the aggrieved party, but will say someone did issue a mea culpa and promise to do better after the ride.

I will reiterate the call for frank, but polite and respectful discussion of issues like this. I know it's hard when you've invested time, sweat and effort in a ride and are disappointed when things don't turn out like you planned, just keep in mind we are all angling for the same goals: to be better, more fit, faster and friends.
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Specific etiquette question

Post by pace21 » Thu May 06, 2010 11:03 am

Here's one that I think is important, but I don't know the answer, so looking for some veteran input. When you're riding 2 abreast and someone calls out "car back", what should the chain of events be?

1) Rider closer to the gutter slows to let a gap open and the rider closer to yellow line accelerates into it.
2) Vice versa

And should it be different if it is one of the 2 abreast riders that makes the "car back" call? In other words, if you call out "car back", is the onus then on you to either accelerate or slow down?

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 12:41 pm

Good question, Chris. I think it will largely depend on where the outbound ride is in relation to the rest of the pack. If he's near the front or rear, it would be easy enough to speed up or slow down to get in line.

Your question is more about what to do if the outbound rider needs to merge mid-pack. Certainly no one in the paceline should brake abruptly, which would cause issues to the rear... but since the call of "car back" usually comes from the back, those riders should already be prepared to slow a bit to allow the outbound cyclist in.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by KevinW » Thu May 06, 2010 12:44 pm

Tues night WC has the biggest offenders. May be due to the race mentaility and size of the ride. Haven't done the ride in a while, but I have been caught 10 cars deep on Glen Road in South Natick when riders are 5 abreast and are ignoring the line of honking cars trying to pass. Fortunately I haven't noticed any MRC riders as offenders.

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by onegeardoug » Thu May 06, 2010 12:47 pm

How about adding "No aero bars on group rides" to the list. I believe that this is universally accepted cycling ettiquette, yet many in this club seem to be oblivious to it. I realize that we have a large Tri contingent, but there's no reason for showing up for a group ride on a time-trial bike. There's a reason that they are banned from mass start events.

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Re: Specific etiquette question

Post by tsavage » Thu May 06, 2010 1:07 pm

pace21 wrote:When you're riding 2 abreast and someone calls out "car back", what should the chain of events be?
I agree with Russ that 'it largely depends' however there are somethings that will mitigate the situation.
1. Don't be out on the center line by yourself.
2. If you are at the front and you hear 'car back', DON'T slow down. That compresses the line. Speed up and create gaps for people to fit into.
If I'm outside line, I tend to accelerate into gaps rather than slow as that loses momentum.

My peeve for the night was seeing people descending the hill into Harvard center at 35mph on the wrong side of the road on blind corners and hills.
If you want to get hit fine, I'll send a donation to your family. However, I don't feel like getting hit by your body as it comes flying back through the group.

We should NEVER need to be more than two abreast in a training ride. Ever. If you find you are in your own line, you're probably not where you should be.

And for crying out loud, ride through the bumps. We really only need to point out the holes that will take your bars outta your hands. Get used to it, no one is going to point them out in a race.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 1:59 pm

KevinW wrote:Tues night WC has the biggest offenders. May be due to the race mentaility and size of the ride. Haven't done the ride in a while, but I have been caught 10 cars deep on Glen Road in South Natick when riders are 5 abreast and are ignoring the line of honking cars trying to pass. Fortunately I haven't noticed any MRC riders as offenders.
My worry (apart from the safety issue): OUR kit will be the one identified, remembered and reported. We don't need the hassle.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 2:00 pm

onegeardoug wrote:How about adding "No aero bars on group rides" to the list. I believe that this is universally accepted cycling ettiquette, yet many in this club seem to be oblivious to it. I realize that we have a large Tri contingent, but there's no reason for showing up for a group ride on a time-trial bike. There's a reason that they are banned from mass start events.
I'm not experienced enough to weigh in on the universality of this rule, but having seen wobbly aero operators in group rides would support it's implementation.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by Smudger » Thu May 06, 2010 2:21 pm

OK here I go.

Sorry Doug but I don't support the "No Aero Bar" recommendation. I fully appreciate the concerns but I think the club tries to be inclusive and there are a lot of riders out there that come from a multi-sport background that do not have a drop handle bike or have clip on tri bars if they do. As long as the rider stays off the tri-bars then I am OK with them riding in the group. They will soon appreciate the fun of riding in a group and buy a road bike anyway.

My peeve with our group riding is that we don't ride as a group. When we are riding 2 a breast "everyone" should buddy up and be 2 a breast. We tend to have 2 or 3 pairs at the front and a string of single file towards the back. This spreads us out along the road and causes driver frustration because of the length of the group they need to deal with. A tight compact group riding 2 a breast is nice and visible for a driver and relatively similar to the size of another car. As the car approaches from behind they need to slow down rather than just try to squeeze past cause we are 2 a breast. If the road is wide enough and clear from oncoming traffic they can easily overtake and pass. In my personal opinion a shout of "car back" should alert everyone riding in a group that a car is approaching but should not automatically send the group into single file if the road is wide enough and clear enough to let the car pass. If the road is not wide and/or clear the shout should be "single up" and the group should all immediately slot into single file with the inside rider pulling forward and the outside rider falling into the gap behind them. This should happen with military precision. showing the driver we are aware of their presence and allowing them to pass us safely. The group should then reform into 2 a breast pairs once the car or cars have passed. The more we do this the better we will get. This is the staple of club riding in the UK and I think sadly lacking from my experience here.

For the regular rides we should establish zones and intended riding styles for each along with re-grouping points. For example on the wed night loop I would suggest :

Warm Up: Stow Plaza, Red Acre Rd, South Acton Rd, 4 way junction : 2 a breast group riding
Warmer : 4 way junction to 111 : double paceline
Regroup at 111
Workout 1: Liberty Square : single paceline due to traffic
Rolling Regroup at bottom of Oak Hill
Workout 2: Oakhill: attacking group ride. Loose rotating paceline
Regroup at Pinnacle junction
Workout 3: Descent into Harvard and out past fruitlands: single and rotating paceline as much as possible. Attacks on the hills (No crossing the center line as Todd pointed out. Too dangerous)
Rolling Regroup at Fruitlands 110 junction
Workout 4: 110 to the top of West Bare : Rotating paceline as much as possible. Attacks on the hills
Regroup at junction at top of West Bare
Workout 5: West Bare to Harvard then descent to Taylor Rd and 4 way junction: attacks and rotating paceline as much as possible
Regroup at 4 way junction
Workout 6: South Acton Road : single paceline, attack, sprint
Warm down: Red Acre Rd to Stow Plaza: 2 a breast group riding

The overall context for this ride should be that you can get yourself home. If you are getting dropped and plan to cut short then you need to shout and let someone know.


All this said I am out for the wed night rides due to T-ball parental duties until June 30th :cry:

Hopefully you'll have it all worked out by then :lol:

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by onegeardoug » Thu May 06, 2010 2:38 pm

@Smudger: You mean there are actually serious cyclists that only have ONE bike? :o Come on. I don't think I believe that.

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 2:40 pm

Great contribution, John! I would comment that, while detailed, your treatment of how to handle one/two abreast riding leaves much to an individual's judgement (or lack thereof) which means others would have to speak up without hesitation if that person is in error.

Todd (taudep): take note of his excellent description of the Wed ride.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by Smudger » Thu May 06, 2010 3:04 pm

rusto wrote:Great contribution, John! I would comment that, while detailed, your treatment of how to handle one/two abreast riding leaves much to an individual's judgement (or lack thereof) which means others would have to speak up without hesitation if that person is in error.
Russ, I absolutely agree and had actually planned to include in my response. The way you get good at this is with a lot of "communicating" (in Scotland this means shouting and swearing with the occasional slap about the head) until it becomes 2nd nature for all. The more you practice and ride like this the better you get. You'd be surprised how quickly it comes together if everyone tries it. If I was able to make the wedneday nights I'd be happy to captain and sit at the back to keep everyone in line. This is something you may want to think about i.e. have a captain for the ride. If everyone knows someone is responsible for keeping people riding in the right format/position they will understand what he's doing when he starts shouting at them. He's educating them not just being a a$$hole

Doug, OK compromise. No tri bars if you own another bike and absolutely no riding on the bars in a group

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by taudep » Thu May 06, 2010 4:30 pm

This is why I mountain bike. No need to worry about cars on singletrack.

I'm nominating Russ (since he did such a good job starting this thread), to write the new one. I'll be able to prune and make sticky and clean it up.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by ahamilton » Thu May 06, 2010 5:03 pm

Good discussion. And I will confess to having initiated the course deviation that caused a nasty automobile/bike conflict during the ride, and had it happened to someone less skilled, may have led to a more serious consequence. No excuses - I was just was not as smart/attentive as I should have been, which resulted in the last rider in the group getting "dropped" because of the aforementioned automobile. That was bad, but what was worse was that no one in our group knew what had happened until many miles and many minutes later when the regrouping was completed.

I want to summarize for the purpose of education. As we approached the downhill section that crosses 495 and Rt. 2 I remembered that several hundred feet of the road at the bottom had been chewed up as part of the repaving of the road. I had ridden up it 3 days before and it was not pleasant. I knew of a detour that would avoid it and only add about a mile to the loop. So I went to the front and explained the reason for the upcoming right turn off the normal course. I knew we had a left turn to make at an intersection a mile or two down the road, so I thought I should stay near the front to make sure the turn was not missed. Mistake #1 was not thinking about the back end of the group as we got to the corner. What I should have done was make sure that the whole group got around the corner, not just the people I saw around me towards the front of the group. I ASSumed (note capitalization) the whole group made the corner. Mistake #2 was not drifting all the way to the back after we were on the new road to make sure we had all 12 riders. And when we got to the end of that road, where it joined back onto the normal route, I again failed to do a count (mistake #3), despite having been the instigator of the head count as we rolled out at the start. I am normally pretty aware of what's going on at the back end of our Wed. night rides, but last night I blew it. Mea culpa.

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by tsavage » Thu May 06, 2010 6:24 pm

A tight compact group riding 2 a breast is nice and visible for a driver and relatively similar to the size of another car. As the car approaches from behind they need to slow down rather than just try to squeeze past cause we are 2 a breast. If the road is wide enough and clear from oncoming traffic they can easily overtake and pass. In my personal opinion a shout of "car back" should alert everyone riding in a group that a car is approaching but should not automatically send the group into single file if the road is wide enough and clear enough to let the car pass.
John, while I agree in spirit, because I agree this is how it should work, I feel I must strongly disagree with the above. Drivers will not accept double file under any circumstances and it is up to the cyclsts to be single file. While the law may be ambiguous or even allow for double, it doesn't fly on the roads around here and we should at least show intention to "automatically send the group into single file" whenever a car is overtaking.
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by Smudger » Thu May 06, 2010 6:41 pm

tsavage wrote: John, while I agree in spirit, because I agree this is how it should work, I feel I must strongly disagree with the above. Drivers will not accept double file under any circumstances and it is up to the cyclsts to be single file. While the law may be ambiguous or even allow for double, it doesn't fly on the roads around here and we should at least show intention to "automatically send the group into single file" whenever a car is overtaking.
I understand. Given the narrowness of the roads we ride and the size of the trucks everyone drives it may be default that we end up singling up every time a car approaches but the shout should be "single up" as it clearly tells everyone what they need to do. I do still feel it is safer, sociable and more fun to ride as a club 2 a breast if we can drill ourselves to quickly slip in and out of single file when needed.

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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by michaelcole » Thu May 06, 2010 6:43 pm

Not that I expect to be the final word but I'd like to summarize. These responses are based on my 31 years experience as a road rider. (But, I've only been doing organized group rides for 24 of those years.)

The two main issues are:
1) riding in an appropriate, safe and considerate formation
2) prevention of, awareness of and response to riders being dropped

My address to issue number 1:
Riders should never be across the yellow line. If there's no line, imagine where it WOULD be and obey the yellow line rule.

Riders should be directly behind (not 10" off to one side and trying to peek around for a better view) and keeping a constant gap to the rider in front. Don't let the gap widen and then surge to close. This breaks up the formation and requires effort.

If everyone is keeping to the right and riding single file, there is absolutely no need to shout out that there is a car back. Traffic is common enough on most of our routes that there is nearly always a car (or cars) back. That's why we ride single file and keep right. If we are already doing the right thing, then nothing more can be done and any announcements about traffic to the rear are without purpose. The shouting just causes newbies to look over their shoulders and drift about.

If road conditions allow for riding 2-up, you still need to obey the above guidelines for following and keeping right. The one extra obligation is that all outside riders need to be prepared to single up when conditions change.
Todd has already answered Chris' question but I'll add that if the formation is as tight as it should be, the outside line should accelerate and come forward as one to fill in the front of the inside line. The leader of the inside line can take it down just a little to speed up the process but don't drop back towards the waiting cars.

A double rotating paceline should only be used on clear roads with good sightlines. Detailed instructions on functioning within a rotating paceline can be covered elsewhere.

Worth repeating: Follow and trust that the guy in front of you is going to take the best possible line that requires no sudden lateral movements. You might get run through some bumps but learn to deal with it.

When the group gets splintered after a hard effort and then comes back together in recovery there is a tendency to ride slowly in a loose formation. This is only OK when the road is wide, there are clear sightlines, there is NO traffic and things get reorganized in a minute or two.

My address to issue number 2:
You prevent riders from being dropped by clearly communicating the pace of the ride beforehand. If the ride has an expected pace and there is to be no waiting for dropped riders, that's perfectly fine, but this must be stated beforehand. (This decision can be changed mid-ride to bring a group or groups back together.) Participants on these rides must be prepared to get themselves home in the event of a mechanical or physiological failure. Riders need to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not they should be there. I won't bring people to a ride if I know they can't keep up and if I bring someone who does get dropped, it's my responsibility to get them home safely.
That being said, sometimes several riders are slowing things down. If a ride needs to split into two groups to accommodate slower riders, so be it.

If the ride is going to regroup or wait for stragglers then this should be announced beforehand and this decision can NOT be changed once the ride begins. The method/locations of regrouping should be communicated.

If the ride is anything but "every man for himself", then riders should be aware of how many are in the group and how many are behind them at any given time. When taking turns, riders near the back of the group have a responsibility to see that any riders behind them have made the turn. This is especially true when the route is new, spontaneous or unfamiliar to any participants in the ride. If a rider at the back gets dropped or has a mechanical, the group should quickly be aware that someone may need help.
The worst case scenario here is that a rider on the back gets hit by a car and is left for dead because no one knows he's missing.
I've been on both ends of this scenario. I once stopped to wait for someone who never showed and had to retrace the route and then join a search with the state police because the rider had crashed himself unconscious and then ridden away lost, delirious and seriously injured. We ended the search after several hours because the hospital he was brought to when he was "found" reported it to the police. The report was relayed to the police who were with us and we identified him by physical description.

Last night I was on the other end of things. The ride was diverted off of the usual route and on this detour I dropped to the back on the extra climb. On the descent I sat up a little to take a drink and let a gap open up. When the group took a left turn, an SUV watched them go by and then immediately pulled out, right in front of me. I was able to avoid being hit but I was forced to skid off the pavement and went down on some grass. When I got back on the road the group was gone. No one noticed that I hadn't made the turn. I could have been dropped on the hill and ridden right by the turn because I didn't know the route of the detour that we were on. Lost is bad but not too bad. Worse, I could have had a mechanical and had to walk back to Stow. But what nearly transpired is the nightmare that our families worry about and probably don't speak of. I could have been unable to avoid the car that wasn't looking. I could have been hit and seriously injured while my "team mates" just rode away.

If this had been the Tuesday night WC's I would have no issue at all. I would chastise myself for allowing the gap to open in the first place and curse my bad luck and the bad driver for the incident. I would then thank god that I was given good reflexes and proceed to start chasing. End of story. But this was a group ride where we supposedly wait for dropped riders. We were on a detour that was unfamiliar to many riders. And mostly, I was on a ride with team mates who I have made a habit of watching out for. I have made a habit of looking back at every turn to be sure that everyone is ok. I have regularly gone back to pull riders back or just ride in with them when they are dropped. I'm not saying that any of these riders owe a quid pro quo, I'm saying that on this type of ride everyone deserves that courtesy. I will add there are many other riders who make a habit of this as well. Todd and Alan have each dragged my out of shape behind back to the group on many occasions. But the responsibility is on the whole group. The people at the back need to keep an eye out and communicate. The stronger riders can go back and do the rescue pulls if necessary but it can be really dangerous out there and no one should be allowed to fall back out of sight for too long. (Unless the ride has been declared a free for all at the beginning.)

Bruce
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by Bruce » Thu May 06, 2010 9:08 pm

Wow, was all that going on last night? I thought it was a great ride. I remember thinking it was pretty safe as Wed Stow rides go, but then I had done Tues Worlds the night before!

Bottom line -- we should communicate more, not just on the forum, but before and during the rides as well. That even goes for riders getting dropped -- let someone know! Don't suffer in silence:)

It seems like doubling up should be okay if the group is going along steadily enough and the group is tight enough. I remember doing the Hagen rides -- 3 to 4 hours handlebar to handlebar. But those rides had regular experienced riders and a strong "captain"; if one or two new people came they would quickly get the drill....or be told in no uncertain terms to ride at the back ...or have someone grab your jersey or bump you.

I know a bunch of us are headed to Wompy next week....so I look forward to working on it in a couple weeks......

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irusk
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by irusk » Thu May 06, 2010 9:48 pm

Good healthy discussion here. A few comments of my own. First off, Mike, sorry to hear about your near miss. Glad you're ok.

1.) A recent issue of Bicylcing outlined state bike laws. Mass is a state that allows 2-up riding only when not impeding traffic. That means we MUST single up when a car is approaching unless there's a bike lane (and the inside rider is in it) or there's a passing lane.

2.) I could be wrong, but I thought the single-up rule was that the inside rider pulls ahead and outside rider slots in behind. Bruce put up a great post on this a while back. Maybe it's time to put that back up for people to refresh.

3.) Doug, luv ya man, but this is the second time I've heard you try to impose the "no tri-bikes welcome on a group ride" rule. Sorry, but that's NOT a universal rule of the road. Staying off the aero bars in a group ride IS proper protocol, for sure, but if someone stays on the bullhorns or drops, you've got no reason to complain. You haven't seen me on it often, but I'll be on my P3 most group rides this summer b/c the position is one that you must train in to be able to race well in a triathlon. I ride a straighter line on that bike as many of the "roadies" on drop bar bikes in this club, so nobody has any business telling me I must ride solo because of the bike I choose to roll out on. In this club we've often had some good-natured trash-talk between the roadies and triathletes (often institagted by the switch hitters), but never to my knowledge any true conflict or elitism. Let's keep it that way.

my 2 pence.
"There is no charge for awesomeness" - Po

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rusto
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 9:51 pm

lludwig wrote:Rules and etiquette would be nice. And accomodating the less than 25mph crowd would be wonderful so I don't have to get testosterone injections. - Lisa
I know it's hard finding people who ride at your pace and who's training schedule is in sync with yours. Sometimes the lure of joining in group ride despite the possible hardship is irresistible.

If a ride is announced as a 25mph pace (I've never actually seen this here), I would look for another ride or announce my own. If a ride is announced as 20-22 mph, that's at the upper end of what I can do, so I would also want to know in advance if it's no-drop or not. If it's not a no-drop ride, I should be prepared to be dropped: it's just as unreasonable to ask faster cyclists to wait up for me in an announced, fast-paced, ride as it would be for me to join a ride when I know I can't keep up.

What accommodations would you want in a regroup-style ride where no one gets dropped?
- Russ, MRC webmaster

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rusto
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Re: Can we pin some guidelines for group rides?

Post by rusto » Thu May 06, 2010 9:57 pm

Here's the MA law about bicycling and the part relevant to our discussion (emphasis mine):
Bicyclists riding together shall not ride more than 2 abreast but, on a roadway with more than 1 lane in the direction of travel, bicyclists shall ride within a single lane. Nothing in this clause shall relieve a bicyclist of the duty to facilitate overtaking
- Russ, MRC webmaster

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