Group Riding Guide

Riding in a group will reduce the required effort by up to 30%. With all riders taking turns on the front, the group will go significantly faster and so to get to the coffee stop more quickly!



Pay attention to what is happening around (and especially ahead) of you, and listen to signals and commands from other members of the group. You should be able to anticipate what is going to happen and not have to react to it when it does. And remember to watch the person in front of you and not your bike computer! Bicycles do not have brake lights and you will learn significantly more from watching a rider’s body language than from watching their spinning rear tyre.


When cycling in a group there is no such thing as a pleasant surprise.

  • Hold the formation: When safe to do so ride two abreast as a group as recommended by British Cycling and the Highway Code.  Fill gaps in the formation as required.  Ride in single file when instructed by the Ride Leader or as required by road conditions. Rotate riders in the formation so you aren't riding with the same person all the time.  The ride formation is a group dynamic and should be decided and followed as a group.
  • Hold your line: Do not suddenly veer left or right.
  • Hold your position: Keep in line with the rider next to you and in front of you. Don’t allow your front wheel to overlap with the back wheel of the rider in front - if they have to swerve, then you are likely to crash. Don't keep your front wheel ahead of the rider next to you either - it encourages the rider to speed up continuously
  • Hold the pace: At the front of a group, try to keep a steady pace. Accelerating at the beginning, or decelerating at the end of your turn at the front (or “pull”) both serve to ruin group dynamics. Be aware of the rider behind.
  • Stay smooth: Pedal smoothly and evenly and don’t surge. When possible, soft pedal rather than freewheeling unless braking. Remember, smooth is fast. On a downhill, riders at the front should continue pedalling so those behind don’t need to brake. On corners and junctions get back upto speed slowly so everyone stays together.
  • Don’t grab your brakes: Slow down slowly so the rider behind doesn't collide with you.
  • Don’t throw your wheel: Take care when you get out of the saddle as your bike will move backwards and affect those behind you. To avoid this move your body forward and keep pressure on the downstroke to keep your bike moving forward.
  • Don’t overcompensate: If a rider ahead makes an unexpected movement, such as moving sideways or braking, many riders instinctively repeat the original movement “with interest”, by moving or braking in a more pronounced manner. If the original, and possibly small, action is transmitted and magnified down the group in this way the result can often be dramatic by the time it reaches the back of the group.


This is key to safe group riding. Use the club hand and verbal signals to communicate hazards such as potholes, cars, etc. If you hear or see such a signal being given, repeat it, to pass the information to those riders behind or ahead of you (as the case may be). Where possible use both hand and verbal signals.

Collective responsibility:

In addition to being responsible for your own safety, you are also responsible for safety and wellbeing of the other members of the group. You may be aware of things before the ride leader, for example if a member of the group is falling behind. Act accordingly and let everyone know. All rides are no-drop by default. If you see someone who is going too fast or struggling to keep up; speak up so the group stays together.

Constructive feedback:

Be prepared to give club members constructive feedback when they don’t follow the guidance in this note, and be ready to receive it when you don’t. We need to do these things well. And we will only do that if we all focus on it.