Lost art of the group ride | Bike Law Blog

Every so often, I’ll ride a recreational group ride. I love the comraderie of cyclists, the talk, the last minute pumps of air, the clicking in, and the easy drifting out as a peloton. “I miss riding in a group,” I’ll think to myself.

The magic ends by mile 10. The group will surge, gap, and separate, only to regroup at every stop sign. I’ll hear fifteen repeated screams of “HOLE!” for every minor road imperfection. And then no mention of the actual hole. Some guy in front will set a PR for his 30 second pull. Wheels overlap, brakes are tapped, and some guy in the back will go across the yellow line and speed past the peloton for no apparent reason. A breakaway?!

I curse under my breath, remembering why I always ride with only a few friends. Doesn’t anyone else realize how dangerous this ride is? How bad it is for our reputation on the road? There are clear rules of ride etiquette, safety, and common sense. Does anyone here know the rules? Who is in charge?

Worth a read.

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5 Comments

  1. Totally true James. If you don’t get outside your comfort bubble, you won’t get better. That’s what racing and race training are for.

  2. Not condoning erratic or unsafe riding obviously but encouraging the idea that every ride can be different and exciting and challenging.

  3. Here’s a section of another article that expresses some of the reasons that others find that sometimes the magic starts at the end of mile 10!
    “You don’t start riding to accept limitations, you start, by and large, to be free. To escape. To just ride, and ride fast. Improving is not always about a steady progression, in anything in this world. Every once in a while, among the grind and the slow push, you need to get turned inside out, strung out, dropped from a great height and just plain old battered.
    You need, from time to time, to glimpse the other side of the wall. To hang in there with someone who is on another level for as long as you can and to go home with a footprint on your backside – but one well earned.”

  4. I don’t remember the last time I went out on a nice weekend group ride strictly for the love of biking. Ok, I do but it was a long while ago before I started training..sigh

  5. Great read.
    Even when writing about fine points of US law, his stories are always a good read. His passion for our global sport really shines in this article.
    This article applies to roadies everywhere, but it would be great to have a Southern Ontario lawyer who knows cycling-related law, loves the sport and tells a great story. Might even be good for his/her practice.
    Anybody?

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