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Riding in a group is challenging simply because you’re in a group. Be sure to stay in your own lane and keep a safe distance from riders ahead of and behind you. Signal your moves well ahead of time. If you’re riding with a club, it probably has a set of signals—learn them. If not, agree on signals, route, stops and so on before you set out.
The group leader and the last rider should be experienced in riding with groups and, ideally, should be very familiar with the route. That familiarity allows the leader to signal turns and stops well ahead of time so everyone can slow down gradually. The last rider, or sweep, is responsible for helping riders who run into problems. That rider should have a cell phone to use to call for help if need be.
Before the season starts is the best time to set up signals and decide who will ride lead and who will ride sweep. It’s also a good time to discuss the “rules of the road” your group would like to use. For example, will you wait til the end of the ride to enjoy alcoholic beverages?
We’ll have more about riding safely in groups as summer nears.
Stay safe out there!