Safety Tip of the Week
At big rallies like the Oyster Run, you can find yourself part of a group of riders you don’t know. These are some tips that will help you ride safely and companionably.
- If possible, have a little meeting before you take off to go over the “rules of the group.” If you’re joining a group of riders who often ride together, ask what they usually do about corners, checking mirrors, waiting for stragglers, and so on.
- As you ride, check the rear view mirror to see that the folks who should be behind you are still there. Look for the following three or four riders. If they’re not in sight, stop as soon as it’s safe to do so. If they don’t catch up quickly, inform the rest of the group if you can, and ride back to check on them. On the other hand, if you’re part of the rear guard and you all decide to stop at a gas station (or whatever), send one rider on to let the rest of the group know what you’re doing and prevent lots of worry.
- Big groups can split into smaller groups of five or six in which the riders are fairly compatible as to speed, gawking, stopping for photos, and so on. The first and last rider in each small group should be experienced riding and know the route.
- You’ll find that you tend to ride closer to other riders when in a group. Don’t do it. Especially keep some distance from the lead rider, who may have to lead you into a sudden turn.
- Don’t try to ride at a speed that’s uncomfortable for you and don’t try to make up time on the straightaways. If someone has to brake for you or tailgates, let them pass.
- Remember to be courteous and obey the rules of the road, even if others don’t.