Law of the Land
Bicycle traffic laws are almost the same as those for motor vehicles. All state laws either define bicycles as vehicles or give cyclists the rights and responsibilities of vehicle operators. Unfortunately, police do not enforce these laws, probably on the principle that only the cyclist is likely to be injured.
Lets be Safe
Each rider is responsible for their own safety. Know the rules of the road. Know your own limits. Communicate with each other. Doing these things ensures the safety for all riders in the group as well as yourself.
Riding at dusk or dawn - have reflective clothing, have lights, and wear light colored clothing. Handlebar mirrors are great for seeing traffic behind you. Gloves are good for giving you a solid grip on your handlebars when your hands are sweaty or greasy. Always, Always, Always wear your helmet. Bring water for hydration. Bring a spare and CO2 or a pump to fix a flat. Don't rely on your fellow bikers to provide you equipment and tools that you - yourself should have.
General Instructions for Riding Safely
RIDE ON THE RIGHT - stay on the right side of the lane
OBEY ALL TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES - lights, stop signs, markings
TALK TO YOUR FELLOW CYCLISTS TO LET THEM KNOW - "Stopping", "Car Back", "On Your Left" ,"Clear"
USE HAND SIGNALS
NEVER WEAR HEADPHONES
RIDE SINGLE FILE, PASS ONLY ON THE LEFT
WEAR YOUR HELMET PROPERLY
RIDE PREDICTABLY & BE VISIBLE
WATCH OUT FOR POT HOLES, DEBRIS, ETC & ALERT CYCLISTS OF HAZARDS
AVOID & IGNORE ROAD RAGE SITUATIONS
General Instructions for Paceline Riding
By Fred Matheny for www.RoadBikeRider.com
Solo rides are a great part of the cycling experience. Nothing beats cruising along and looking at the scenery, or attacking a climb at your own pace and intensity. But riding with a small group can be even more fun. You cover ground faster, meet people, and experience the thrill of shared effort. Paceline riding isn’t difficult to learn. Here are the basic skills:
Riding a Straight Line
Start by learning to ride like you’re on a rail. Practice by holding your line during solo rides. Put your wheel on the road’s white edge line and keep it there. Relax your upper body, keep a light grip on the handlebar, and fix your peripheral vision on the line. Keep your actual focus 20 or 30 feet in front of the bike. Remember, the bike will go where your eyes go.
Following a Wheel
Drafting another rider saves you at least 15 percent in energy output. It’s foolish to be bucking the wind all the time when you’re with other riders. Share the work by drafting them and letting them draft you.
Position your front wheel 1 to 3 feet behind the rear wheel you’re following. The closer the better, in terms of the draft, but closer also requires a lot more attention. When necessary, turn the cranks without putting pressure on the pedals (“soft pedal”) to maintain correct spacing.
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.
Look past the rider directly in front. Don’t stare down at his rear wheel or you won’t see things that may cause him to brake or swerve.
First rule: Be predictable. Close riding demands that everyone be on the same wavelength. There must be a basic understanding of what is and is not expected behavior in a given circumstance. Experience helps.
Don’t accelerate when it’s your turn at the front. Note your cyclecomputer’s 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. This enhances the drafting effect for the whole group. It also keeps everyone as far out of the traffic flow as possible, making paceline riding possible even on busier roads.
As you come abreast of the last rider in the line, pick up speed and then slide over behind his wheel as he comes past. When done correctly you won’t need an energy-wasting acceleration in order to latch back on. Once in the caboose position you can take a drink or stand to stretch without disrupting the paceline’s smoothness.
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.
Excellent for when you are riding alone, aerobars should not be used when riding in a pace line for a couple reasons. First, you have less control over your bicycle and that places the riders behind you in jeopardy. Even if you allow extra space in front, you cannot control the space behind. Second, in a pace line each rider is counting on the draft from the person in front, and if you drop into your aerobars you have lessened your effort while increasing the required effort of the rider following you.
Routinely Survey the Paceline - Near and Far
Keep an eye on what is happening up at the front of the paceline as well as the rider in front of you. You'll less likely be caught off guard in changes in speed of the rider directly in front of you if you see what is going on up ahead. Use your visual and audio cues with the rider directly in front of you to determine their riding state (i.e. braking, free wheeling, and higher or lower cadences).
If you're holding a conversation in a paceline, then you are probably not paying attention to what's going on during the ride in front of you and you are now an endangerment to yourself and all the riders behind you. Don't rely soley on the riders ahead of you to tell you where there is a hole, an obstacle, glass, bump, or roadkill.
No-one wants to be involved in an accident, but never-the-less they do happen. In the case where you are unable to communicate due to an accident have your emergency contact information available on yourself. A good item to have is a road-id bracelet. This contains your name and three contact names and is readily visible to your support team.