We know that what is below is basic, but we need to keep these things in mind. We are not looking for any of you to become the ride police, it is more to keep these things in mind for yourself and the friends you invite to our rides.
As new riders and not so careful regular riders ride with us, our biggest concern is that the rides will become unsafe. Moonlight Velo is not a beginner club. The only real requirement we have for new members/riders is to have enough experience so that the group as a whole feels safe riding. We want the club to grow and present members to invite friends to become new members, but please explain our expectations of riders and review our expectations. We Ride Safe. That is how we ride for a long time. To do this we want our group rides to follow these practices:
- Helmets are mandatory and please do not ride in the aerobar position with aerobars during our group rides. We want to be tri friendly, but riding in the aero position is unstable. We have enough close call as it is. Keep to your handlebars in a group .
- Point obstructions out in the road. Keep an eye out for the other riders
- As much as possible ride 2 X 2 and make sure our riders that stop for mechanical problems get help. WE LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND ON OUR RIDES.
Group Pointers -
- First rule: Be predictable. Close riding demands that everyone be on the same wavelength. NO QUICK CHANGES OF DIRECTION, KEEP TO YOUR LINE. We are on a ride not a race
- Riding a Straight Line. Keep your actual focus 20 or 30 feet in front of the bike. Remember, the bike will go where your eyes go
- Don’t accelerate when it’s your turn at the front. Note your mph and maintain the group’s speed when the lead rider pulls off. After your own bout against the wind, pull off to the side agreed upon and stay close to the others as you soft pedal and slide back to the rear of the paceline. It keeps everyone as far out of the traffic flow as possible, making paceline riding possible even on busier roads.
- Protect your front wheel. If your rear wheel is struck a fall is unlikely because it has nothing to do with steering the bike. However, if your front wheel is contacted it will often be twisted off line faster than you can react. You’ll almost certainly go down. Help prevent this by never overlapping someone’s rear wheel.
- Use the brakes sparingly. Jerky braking creates chain reaction problems for riders behind you. If you need to brake, feather the levers lightly instead of clutching at them.
- If a gap opens, don’t make things worse by accelerating too hard, overrunning the wheel in front, then grabbing the brakes. Instead, ease back up to the rider in front. If you don’t become proficient at following a wheel, you can waste more energy than you save by constant yo-yoing.
- Be Wary on Climbs. A major cause of group crashes is riders who stand abruptly. They slow for a second, causing the rider behind to hit their rear wheel and spill. To avoid this danger, let the gap open a bit on hills or ride a foot to either side.