Etiquette and Tips

For those taking part in their first cycle race on the road or are new to group training there are a few points to be aware of, to prevent a crash and gain the confidence of others around you:

  • Be predictable with all actions. Maintain a steady straight line and avoid braking or changing direction suddenly, especially if contesting a sprint. Remember that there are riders following closely behind you. To slow down gradually move out into the wind and slot back into position into the bunch
  • Point and call out any road hazards ahead. These include potholes, drain grates, stray animals, car doors, parked cars, broken bottles etc
  • Pedal down hill while you are at the front of a bunch. Cyclists dislike having to ride constantly under brakes
  • Stay to the left when in front to allow room for others to pass safely on your right, particularly in traffic. Pass other riders on their right hand side whenever possible
  • Be smooth with turns at the front of a group. Avoid surges unless trying to break from the bunch. A group will travel faster when turns are completed smoothly
  • Don’t overlap wheels. A slight direction change or a gust of wind could cause a touch of wheels
  • Dont leave gaps when following wheels. Cyclists save about 30% of their energy at high speed by following a wheel. Whenever a gap is left riding is so much more difficult. Also, riders behind you will become annoyed and ride around you, especially if the bunch is working together to break away or catch a break away group
  • When climbing hills avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders lose their momentum when rising out of the seat on a hill which can cause sudden deceleration. This can catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from touching wheels
  • Don’t panic if contact is made with other riders. Try to stay relaxed in the upper body to absorb any bumps. Contact is part of cycle racing in close bunches and is quite safe provided riders do not panic, brake or change direction suddenly