ON THE ROAD

Thinking of trying a group ride with The Gregarios?


There’s no better source of motivation, knowledge and camaraderie than your fellow riders. The key element for us on a club ride is to have fun. If it’s your very first group ride - we’ve got you covered!  Here are a few simple suggestions, there’s no rocket science here - its all common sense. Although there’s a lot of points here they’re the sort of thing you’d do automatically, and you’re probably doing most of them already...

Check your bike and be prepared:

Make sure your bike is in good working order. You can often save yourself getting a puncture simply by picking any small bits of embedded stone out of your tyres the day before.
If you know your tyres and knackered then change them before they let you down. Always carry a pump, spare inner tube (or two in the winter), tyre levers, money for the cafe stop, a bottle (two in the Summer), and an energy bar just in case, and a mobile phone.


Don’t be late:
Our group rides meet at 9:15am most Sundays, and leave promptly at 9.30am. If you drive to the start, allow time for reassembling your bike, pumping up your tires, and donning your kit. It’s a good idea to arrive at least ten minutes early.

Be safe!

This is the most important element of our rides.


Two lines

Keep in two tidy lines. We change front positions regularly so everyone gets to ride on the front and share the pacemaking.


The safest way is to move one line up (outside line) and one line down (inside line). We change every few minutes. To keep it safe and predictable it’s best if riders only change lanes at the front and back of the group. If you’re in the outside lane keep close to the rider alongside and don’t stray into the middle of the road... it’s just not a good idea! Keeping a tight group or “gruppo compatto” not only looks good, it’s safer, and it saves you a big chunk of energy by merely riding in the slipstream. Resume your position if the group stops or comes to a junction or roundabout.


Don’t jump lanes just because you fancy another go on the front - that’s someone else’s turn that you’re trying to take, and they can have you for theft! * The exact offence is known as “theft of fish”... ie stealing their plaice!


Communicate potholes and hazards
Communication is the key to safe group rides. The front riders are expected to look well ahead and give a clear warning others about potholes and other hazards well before you pass the. Remain alert at all times to the warnings shouted and pointed out. Riders in the outside lane should be also be looking out for potholes in front of the inside rider - and be prepared to react if the inside rider needs to swing out to avoid a hole. Common sense really.


The front riders should plan a shallow line round the potholes, so that the riders behind can easily follow - zero points for flicking round them at the last minute.


All riders should be responsible to relay forward any warnings through the group rather than relying on any muffled shouts from the back or front


Ride Smart To Stay Safe
Group-ride dynamics are interesting and ever-changing.

In order to ride safely it’s important to ride smoothly and avoid hard braking as much as possible. Even light braking or swerving by someone in front can have a ripple effect and cause problems at the rear of the pack. You can avoid problems by practicing these simple rules which will soon become second nature to you:-

1. Stay alert at all times.
Keep “reading” the dynamics of the group.

2. Hold your line. This means swerving as little as possible.  Always ride in a straight line, and keep your pace as even as possible.


3. Don’t overlap wheels. Overlapping, is putting your front wheel next to someone’s rear wheel.  Try to always be behind the bike(s) in front unless you’re passing. If you’re behind and very slightly offset to left or right, then if the rider in front stops you will still have a safety margin and wont ride into them.

4. Relax! Your bike will be much more stable when you’re relaxed. Use a relaxed grip on the handlebars, keep your shoulders down (not up against your neck) and bring your elbows down and in so that they’re slightly bent. These steps will help you stay relaxed, which allows quicker reaction time and prevents tension in the neck and shoulders that can lead to fatigue and sloppy riding.


5. Focus ahead. Don’t make the common mistake of focusing on the back wheel in front of you. Look up towards the front of the group and beyond so you can see what’s going on at the head of the group. This is sometimes called a “soft focus” where you’re looking to the front of the group yet you will still automatically be aware of what’s happening directly in front of you. This prepares you for any sudden changes. Stay relaxed.


6. Be light on the brakes. If you must brake, do so lightly to take off a little speed. You can also slow down by sitting upright and or by moving out slightly to catch more wind in your chest.


7. Pedal smoothly and evenly. It will save you energy and make it easier for the riders behind you.


The three most important things to remember...

be predictable, be predictable, be predictable!

Join The Fun!
Group rides can be immensely rewarding. You get a great workout, cover more distance than you would alone and get to hang out with like minded friends.  In the Gregarios you can be sure of refreshment stops and conversation. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and join the gang! If you decide to try The Gregarios Superclub Ciclista, just phone or turn up at the start... we won’t

leave you standing on your own like a lemon.


All riders joining our group do so at their own risk

 

Contact: Danny  t: 07946 708221  e: info@gregarios.co.uk

Bettini

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Quick Tips


Club Kit:

Remember you’re advertising the club. Wear your club kit on all club rides, sportives, races, and other events....  after all you’ve joined The Blue Train!  Plus the other Blue Train riders will thank you for it.


Helmet:

Wear a helmet,... your head is soft, the road is hard.


Rabbie Burns quote:

“A club run is no a race, a sportive is no a race... only a race is a race”


Don’t Halfwheel:                "Half-wheeling" is one of the cardinal sins of group riding. It's when the offending rider on the front pushes ahead of their companion by just half a wheel.

Do your turn:

Riding on the front makes you a stronger better rider, do yourself a favour and don’t miss your turn.

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