Group Riding Tips

Courtesy of Velo Club Monterey

Pre-ride Checklist

What to bring:


  • Helmet

  • Water – 1 water bottle is good, 2 are better

  • Food – take food if you will ride more than 2 hours.

  • Pump – a frame pump or Co2 securely attached to your bike, or carried in a pack.

  • Spare Tubes – 1 is good, 2 are better.

  • Tire Levers – take at least 2.

  • Patch Kit – you may need more than those 2 spare tubes.

  • Money – to buy your friends coffee.

Tips on Group Riding


  1. Do NOT overlap wheels with the rider in front of you. This is the #1 cause of crashes. If you do overlap the wheel in front of you, don’t blame the person in front of you when you crash.

  2. Be punctual and be ready to ride when the group pushes off.

  3. When you’re second in line to take a pull, look down at your speed and MAINTAIN that speed when the person in front pulls off.  DO NOT blast away like a rocket when you get to the front. Keep the same speed and/or increase your speed slowly if that is your goal.

  4. When in front, point out objects as far ahead as possible and move your train over slowly.  Imagine that you’re a semi and not only do you have to worry about your cab hitting the hole, but also the rear of your rig.  Give the train behind you enough time to move over seamlessly. Always be vocal about big hazards, pointing does not always help.

  5. Stay on the correct side of the yellow line especially around blind corners.  We don’t carry dead people home.

  6. When taking a pull and coming up to an intersection with a red light, indicate your intention TO STOP  far enough in advance so that your train can also slow down. The best way to indicate is to shout out “SLOWING” or “STOPPING”.

  7. When climbing a hill, yell “STANDING” a few seconds before standing up.  This lets anyone behind you know that there will be a slight decrease in your speed as you stand.

  8. When last in the train, yell “car back” if there is a car coming up from behind.

  9. If you get a flat in the middle of a pack, call out “Flat”, raise your hand, if it is safe to do so, so others can spot you and not run over you.

  10. Always assume that there is a rider behind you, and on your left, and on your right, until you can prove otherwise.

  11. NEVER wear headphones on a group ride.

  12. NEVER ride arrow-bars on a group ride.

  13. Know the route if you are going to ride ahead or at the front of the group. Making turns not on designated route can be unsafe.

  14. Have fun and encourage new riders.