"If we demand the right to ride on the road, then we must be willing to ride responsibly, specially as a group. FOLLOW THE RULES"
1. GEAR UP - Check your bike and gear the day before the ride. It is rude to hold the group right before the start because you are unprepared. You will need: -Previously checked and tuned bike -Helmet -Sun glasses -Gloves -Proper cycling shoes -Proper food and hydration -Toolkit with: 1 properly sized inner tube, 2 CO2s and valve, tools to change a flat -Bring some money in case you need to stop to fuel up. -Bring a cell phone for emergencies -HR monitoring unit and/or cycling computer with chest strap. Great tool for identifying overtraining members and who's just plain lazy
2. DON'T BE LATE - Many riders have busy schedules and want to get as much riding in as they can and get back on time. So group rides typically start within minutes of the official starting time. If you’re late, you’ll miss the ride. Plus if you hold the group, you’ll make a bad first impression. Arrive at least ten to fifteen minutes before the start of the ride to gear up, reassemble your bike and pump up your tires.
3. TEAM CAPTAIN - Will remind everyone of:
-Rules to follow -Hand signals and other communication -Short briefing of route to follow, intended stops and speed targets. -Decide on single line or double line formation for route -Will name the start ORDER of riders within the formation -Identify beginners (trouble with water bottles, gearing, cleats, etc...) -Identify riders equipped with cycling computers able to read speed. -Identify improperly geared bikes for intended route and suggest techniques
4. THIS IS NOT A RACE -A group ride is NOT a race. You are not to "attack" off the front or try to show everyone how strong you are. That's what races are for. -If you're stronger you are obliged to be patient and ride within the intended average for that ride. Testosterone and ego is a volatile mix (even for you females) and it can get you dropped in a heartbeat. -If you're not a strong rider, we understand BUT don't be lazy. Cruising below 75% HRmax while back there is a quick way to lose other riders’ respect. Make it your goal to keep as near the front of the group as possible. You will feel much more motivated and the group will shield you from the wind meaning less effort for you. Also the leader will not have to worry about riders off the back.
-Our group rides are NOT RECREATIONAL. What we offer are instructional rides and drills, along with mechanics and technical workshops.
5. STAY IN FORMATION -Single line or double line -Stay in your predetermined spot. NO OVERTAKING -DON'T EVER OVERLAP WHEELS -Stay as close to the rider ahead as safe as you can (4' beginners) -Be in control. Don't sway (zigzag) around. You are the next rider's leader. You are responsible for the cyclist behind you, they are following YOUR wheel, they need to trust you. -On single lane roads, we always ride as far right close to the curb as safely as posible. The leader will pull the group farther from the curb to evade obstacles. If everyone in the group follows exactly the rider in front of him, nobody will be in danger of potholes and other road obstructions. -If you only see the obstacle at the last minute, ride through it! Better to get a flat than to take down the whole group.
6. KEEPING UP THE PACE -NO ABRUPT SPEED CHANGES. PERIOD -Ride steady. Steady doesn’t just mean speed. It means steady pressure on the pedals…uphill or downhill, headwind or tailwind. When you are following someone like this, life is good. -Average speed is AVERAGE. Downhill the group will speed up beyond the predetermined average and well as slow down when uphill. -If you loose efficiency your speed will drop or your heart rate will go up. Run a checklist: pedaling technique, posture, breathing, proper gearing and cadence, nutrition, and hydration.
7. BRAKING -This is probably the biggest crash causer on group rides. When someone slows down ahead of them, many riders panic and lock their brakes, almost skidding and taking everyone down with them. -Sudden braking will set off general alarms from everyone in the rear and make you very unpopular. -To slowdown either stop pedaling to coast or feather the brakes. NO HARD BRAKING -Don't slow down while hydrating eating, etc.
8. PEEL OFF -NO hard braking. If you need to peel off, pull OFF the formation to the left side (since we usually ride so close to the right curb). Be aware that everything you do has a knock-on effect on everyone behind and beside you. -Make sure you have a good reason to peel off the group.
9. SITUATION AWARENESS -Following your lead rider to an inch, mantaining your distance, and feathering your speed at all times. will keep you safe. But don't disconnect yourself. Be aware of your surrondings. -No ipods or music players -No bluetooth headset -No answering phone calls -No absent minded daydreaming -If riding double line, its ok to have a conversation, AS LONG AS YOU can still ride focused. -ZERO ALCOHOL
-Think! You are supposed to forsee what might happen a few seconds from now and quickly react to any changes. It's the nature of the sport. If you space out and end up crashing against the cyclist in front of you, its your fault.
10. SUPPORT VEHICLE (LA ESCOBA) -The support vehicle is mainly there to carry a first aid kit, extra tools, repair parts, and extra hydration and food. Also it should offer space for a few cyclists and their bikes in case of mechanical malfunction, or emergency. -The support vehicle is NOT supplied as an excuse for lazy riders to give up. -The group should slow down the pace once in a while to allow weaker riders to recover. -If you are feeling strong and someone else is suffering, give them a shove on the back to help them back onto a wheel. -No one should be left alone on a group ride. If we don't adhere to this rule, the "group" will get smaller each week until there's no group. -If you can't keep up the pace but insist on continuing, the team captain might ORDER YOU to hitch a ride on the support vehicle to recover. If so, do it.
11. WEATHER Heavy Rain -We don't cancel rides because of rain. We need to train and be ready for such occurrences anyway. The leader might slow down the speed and safely sway to evade water ponds, hidden pot holes, etc. Pay extra attention. Strong winds -The leader might slow down the speed and reorder the group formation to work the wind more effectively. -Be ready for wind gusts pushing you dangerously off the formation.
12. RELAX! -It will allow you to be smooth and responsive. It not only saves energy, but it makes bike handling much more effective. If you have tense arms and get bumped from the side, the shock will go directly to the front wheel and you will swerve, possibly lose control, and possibly cause a massive pile up. -If you are relaxed, it's much easier to absorb the bump without losing control. -Your body can concentrate all the energy into pedaling and breathing. -Follow the breathing techniques you have been taught. -Take it easy on stimulants (ie. caffeine)
13. EMERGENCIES -If you have a puncture, momentarily keep you speed, yell “puncture” to make sure those in front and behind know and pull OFF the road to the left side to replace the tube. The group will slow down to a stop and wait/assist you. -If there's an accident, the whole group will slow down to a stop to attend the emergency. The whole group stays together. -A list should be filled before hand with first contact name and numbers for each member. If you are unconscious on your way to the hospital we need to know who to call. Carry these: identification, insurance card and emergency contact name and phone number. A RoadID highly recommended.
Carta de Derechos del Ciclista 2011 Comision para la Seguridad en el Transito