Riding with other cyclists can be a great tool for motivation. It can make a ride go by much faster and be all around more enjoyable. However, if you’ve never been on a group bicycle ride before or are new to cycling in general, it can be intimidating to join a group. Here’s some advice on finding a group and what to generally expect on a group ride, to ease any apprehensions.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Group Bicycle Rides
- Choose wisely – How much you get out of a group ride largely depends on how well the group’s ability aligns with your own. You want to join a bike group that is in the “Goldilocks zone” in terms of skill level. Not too challenging, but challenging enough to keep you engaged. Likewise, you’ll want to find a group with a format that matches your interests and goals. Do you want a group that is like a race and encourages competition or one that is more relaxed?
- Speak with a regular – When you join a group, the last thing you want to do is make a bad first impression. A good way to avoid making a mistake is to find a veteran rider in the group and ask him or her what you should expect out on the road.
- Stay near the back – If it’s your first time going out on a group ride, it’s a good idea to stick to the back of the pack. For one, this will help you to save energy by shielding you from much of the wind. Additionally, it will allow you to get a feel for the group ride setting without worrying about keeping the pace or what’s going on behind you. Just follow the cyclist in front of you.
No matter how new you are to cycling, there’s no reason you can’t become a part of a bicycle group. In fact, if you’re new to road cycling, group riding is a great place to start. It allows you to learn by observation from more experienced riders while not having to worry so much about navigating traffic.
Frederick M. Dudek is a cycling enthusiast and a San Diego personal injury attorney dedicated to bicycle safety and helping the victims of bicycle accidents.