Evidently, there is no small amount of confusion as to the purpose of several cyclists riding together in a group. Therefore, in an effort to assure everyone is on the same page, please accept the following as a quiet talk across the dinner table by the loving father who never told you, or perhaps consider it a nickles worth of free advice from the rich uncle that never gave you anything.
Remember, the first and foremost purpose or goal of a group ride is to find and implement as many ways to assure that as many riders as possible will not want to return for a second ride with the group of regulars. Now to ensure this goal it is important do several, if not all, of the following on each group ride:
Ten Rules When Riding In A Group
1. Go to the front and hammer until the weaker riders get dropped.
2. Assure Number 1 is implemented especially in a headwind and uphill sections.
3. If Numbers 1 and 2 don't work, then jump off the front and ride about 50 meters ahead of the group so the weaker riders have to pull themselves, therefore greatly diminishing their chances of staying with the group.
4. Do not wait at turns on the route for those who have been dropped. This will guarantee they get lost and not want to ride with the regulars again.
5. When asked by the ride leader to slow down and wait for dropped riders, speed up so that there is no chance of the weaker ones ever catching up.
6. If, by some miracle, the weaker riders ever do catch up to the group, run through yellow lights or even red ones assuring that anyone who may be following your wheel will be struck by the first vehicle through the intersection. (In extreme cases, even go left of the center line, against traffic, and/or in between vehicles. Surely this will stop that ornery neophyte from staying with the group.)
7. Always remember: this is a race, not a ride! (If only in your own mind.) And, therefore surely excuses any of the above seemingly bad behavior. It's not bad as long as you win! So, never, ever consider any other rider's welfare. To act like that is nothing more than a sign of your weakness.
8. Never go back and pull the dropped riders up to the group! This is tantamount to being a good friend and every true cyclist knows a good friend finishes last in this race. (ride)
9. Always remember there are other riders sweeping up the dropped riders. Never volunteer to do such a menial task. Do not let it enter your thinking that they may be hurting and need a stronger rider's draft to get home. Ha...don't they have any idea how hard it was dropping them!
10. It's a free country, so do as you like at the expense of as many riders as possible. Hey, isn't that what riding in a group is all about...ME?! And it is absolutely not true the old proverb:
Freedom is not the right to do what you want,
Rather, freedom is the power to do what you ought.
Oh, that's deep. Better ponder that one a while.
Well, I'm so glad we had this little talk, aren't you? I sure wouldn't want any misunderstandings on your next group ride. You may even want to print this up and hang it on your refrigerator so you can review it a few times each week. Better yet, have it laminated and mount it on your handlebars as a handy reference guide so you will know exactly what to do the next time out with a group. I guarantee if you follow these ten rules of riding in a group, then you will fulfill the purpose of group riding and be the most popular rider...ever!
See you out on the road,
Legal Disclaimer: Cycling is an inherently dangerous sport. The responsibility for each riders safety, fitness and the soundness of his or her bicycle lies solely with each rider. No effort has been made to insure the safety of the roads chosen by any member of the group, nor have the routes been screened for road or other hazards and may not be the safest route available. No effort has been made to ensure that riders in the group possess any degree of skill and/or judgment. By either continuing to read this blog or participating in a ride each rider agrees to waive and release any claims against fellow riders or the route organizers or the blog author on behalf of themselves and their heirs and assigns. This waiver and release of any claims includes claims based upon the negligence of said fellow riders, route organizers and blog author.
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