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Bunch Etiquette

This article deals with etiquette while riding with a bunch of cyclists. Adherence to these helps to ensure the safety of each rider.There are many unwritten rules, techniques and traditions associated with cycling in a group. The bunch has language and signals that help to ensure the safety of the riders. A knowledge of the above will act as a passport to acceptance in any bunch.

New riders will learn the methods of safe bunch riding by listening to more experienced cyclists and by watching what happens during the group spin. The necessary skills will be acquired through many kilometres of riding through in the bunch.

The following tips should help you while you are gaining experience.

SITTING ON A WHEEL is where one gets the most protection from the wind. Do not allow a gap to open between you and the rider in front.

NO SCRUBBING as you become stronger you will be expected to ride through and do your turn at the front. Sitting on at the back and cruising will gain no respect from your fellow riders.

SHOUTS/SIGNALS riders at the front should shout back information to the bunch regarding obstacles and dangers. These include potholes, dangerous surfaces, tight bends, animals, pedestrians and on coming traffic. Riders at the back should shout a warning on traffic approaching from the rear.
'Car up' means car approaching rear of group and 'car down' means car travelling towards you.

Brakes should be used sparingly. Both brakes should be pulled but not slammed on. Try to avoid obstacles whilst still moving. Shout a warning.
Riders behind cannot see what you see and jamming on your brakes is a sure way to cause a collision.

  • You are responsible for the safety of everyone in the group and not just your own. Be aware that your actions effect the riders around you.
  • No showboating - when you come through for your turn at the front maintain a consistent speed. When you pull over, keep close to the rider you are replacing.
    On a hill keep your effort, rather than speed, consistent.
    Match your pace to the rider alongside you and do not stick your wheel 20 cm ahead. You are a Wheeler, not a half wheeler.
  • Always ride through and help with the pacemaking. It is an offence to save yourself on a club spin. If you cannot participate, go to the back and do not interrupt the line of riders.
  • Gaps should never be allowed to open as this upsets the rhythm of the group. If a gap opens between you and the rider in front and you are struggling to close it, wave on the rider behind.
  • Do not ride extra hard when you feel good. You are part of a group and must maintain the general pace. Give others a helping push when they are struggling and accept one graciously if offered. We all have bad days!
  • If you are tired or unable to ride relatively comfortably on the front, go to the back.
    Over extending yourself can lead to being dropped and the bunch having to wait and look after you. Some bunches could even abandon you but DWCC will always get you home.
    *(This may not apply to the race training group)*
  • Bring drinks, bars and E5 bonk money. This will buy some food & drink in case of emergency.
    Make sure to carry 2 spare tubes and a pump.
  • Be courteous to each other and everyone else with whom you share the road.
  • Accept constructive criticism and learn from it. If you feel the need to advise somebody on their shortcomings, do so discreetly.

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