Riding in a Pack, Part 4, 20 Random Thoughts on Group Rides
Here are a bunch of random points that may or may not have found a place neatly in the previous series, but they are grating on me, so I am going to let them all out in one shot!
Group rides are a great way to make friends and influence people. (That sounds familiar....?) Be nice and appreciate the group leader.
Take it easy on the brakes. Modulate your speed by altering your pedaling first and foremost.
Learn how to do basic repairs, like change your own flats, use a mini pump or C02, and such. People are helpful, but you should not have to always be dependent on others.
Have your own spare tubes and patches. No one wants to be your supplier.
Make sure your bike is in basic good repair. Oil your chain, and make sure your tires are in good condition.
Don't be the guy who constantly flats on every group ride. (See #5)
Learn how to hold your line, especially when signalling.
Do not half wheel (overlap wheels with) the guy in front of you. Stay behind and give him or her room.
Don't be the guy that bunny-hops potholes and leaves everyone behind to ride right into them.
Never wear earbuds on a group ride. Save those for the trainer.
Show up at the agreed upon time.
Establish a distance or duration for the ride and stick to it. No one wants to go out and get stuck on a ride that goes way beyond their expectations for time.
People want to be there, so treat all group members with respect and honor their unique abilities and fitness.
Be clear on the speed you plan on maintaining. Don't join a group that you know is too fast for you.
Don't constantly be in over your head and ruin it for everyone else (see #14). Find the right group, don't make the group have to change for you.
If someone is clearly in the wrong group, don't be a jerk, Try to protect them as long as you can, and if they simply cannot hang, try to find a good solution.
Do not leave anyone behind. Ever. Even if they say it's okay, make sure they really mean it.
Bring your own water and nutrition.
Dress for the duration of the ride. Bring arm and leg warmers for later if you will need them. You can always take them off.
Show up! If we agree to ride early, get out of bed and don't be a stiff.
BONUS: Making a date to ride helps motivate you!