5 Jul 2016
CLUB RIDE ETIQUETTE: TOP 10 DO’S AND DON’TS
There are so many advantages to riding with a club – support, advice, safety, comradeship… cake… But the way clubs work is that even though we all have a shared interest, they’re only as good as the behaviors of their members. Even if it’s not a formal club, the same sort of things can upset or endanger any riding group. Certain things come up time and again as big annoyances, so check our Top 10 do’s and don’ts and don’t be that rider!
1. Take your turn at the front
It’s probably the biggest no-no – not doing your part. Sitting in the pack getting a free ride is going to annoy those around you. And then coming to the front and beating others with your fresher legs because you’ve done it is not going to impress either… they’re not your lead-out train. Let your wheels be a reminder that what goes around, comes around.
2. Don’t play leapfrog
Don’t make a pass if you can’t make it stick. If you can only just get by, then have to slow to recover, you’ll just be forcing the other riders to repass. Riders who can’t accept they’re slower get annoying quickly.
3. Don’t sit on strangers’ wheels
It’s the perfect crime! You tag on and benefit from another’s effort, and it’ll never come back on you… or so you might think. Avoid riders thinking bad things about you by asking if it’s OK first – or by stepping up to take a turn and asking to collaborate.
4. Stay smooth
Don’t swerve about for every tiny ripple in the road; avoid overlapping wheels and stick to the ride plan – if you keep sprinting or attacking on the climbs when what everyone else thinks is a recovery ride, you’ll spoil it. Plus the smoother and more predictable you are, the less chance you’ll cause a crash.
5. Don’t litter
It’s obvious, but sadly, needs repeating. Take your wrappers, gel sachets, trashed tubes, C02 canisters and other detritus with you. This is true for every ride, but if you’re in club colors anyone’s behavior will reflect on the whole group.
A clean, well maintained bike – running good quality components – is less likely to break down – or irritate your riding mates with annoying squeaks and rattles
6. Maintain your bike
Squealing, clacking and rubbing can get seriously annoying over a few hours, while stops for avoidable mechanical issues test the patience (and body temperature) of even the most generous ride-mates. Keep your bike clean, lubricated and well-adjusted – and dodge the unsympathetic reaction if anything does go wrong. Chain maintenance is one of our favorites! Knowing some basics such as roadside puncture repair, wheel truing and chain fixes will help.