Text Box: Just as it says in the vehicular code, the person who runs into the back of another vehicle is at fault.  Until you accept this responsibility you will be putting your safety in the hands of the riders in front of you, most of whom you don’t know and may have never ridden with before.
Look over the shoulder of the rider in front, not at their rear wheel.  You should always be looking 3 or more riders in front of you so that you can see sudden speed changes occur prior to them affecting the rider in front of you.  If you just stare at the rear wheel and the rider in front must stop very suddenly to avoid a dog or crash, all you will see is that wheel coming back into your front wheel with very bad consequences.  If you learn to look over the riders shoulder, you will see the danger happening 3 or more bikes up the road and often be able to either stop or take avoiding action.
Never ride up beside someone without warning them; say “On Your Left” or a touch on their back.  Accelerating up and down the sides of a pace line is a sure recipe for and accident.
Never overlap your front wheel.
Do ride slightly to one side of the rider in front, the side that will be safest to escape onto if the pace line suddenly slows.
Always look forward, if you’re talking with someone don’t turn and look at them.  All of your focus needs to be on the road and riders in front of you, for your own safety as well as that of the other riders.
If you want to enjoy the sights don’t ride in a group.  It is the downside of group riding that your focus should be on the riders and road ahead of you and not the scenery.  If you want to enjoy the sights, slow down and ride with at most a few friends, definitely not in a pace line.
Never ride more than 2 abreast, and in most case you should be riding single file.
Focus on making all your moves smooth, gradual and predictable.  Moves to the side, accelerations, slowing even stopping.  Never move sideways and brake suddenly, it is called a hook and will take out even the most experienced pro.
Talk to people about your intentions, state clearly: “Slowing, right turn, standing, rider right, on your left, etc.”
Just as in a car we expect people to pass on our left.  If you are passing people on their right, they are not expecting anyone on that side.  Don’t be surprised if they move into your path.  Pass on the left and call out, “ON YOUR LEFT”
This is a club ride, not a race.  If you are at your limit drop out of the group and wait for a group at a more comfortable pace.  Mistakes are most often made when riding at or above your physical abilities and when in-attentive.
This is a club ride, not a race.  If you are a stronger rider use your strength to help the group not to attack them.  If you want to attack and practice race tactics please ride with one of the racer rides in the area, such as Echelon in Santa Barbara or Gold Coast in Ventura.
Always assess the rider’s styles and abilities around you.  You are riding with people of varying levels of experience.  Give less experienced people more room.  If someone weaves and surges a lot either find a different place in the line to ride or give them the extra room their riding behavior requires.
If you are riding on the left of someone and talking to them be aware that you have them trapped with no safe route of escape if the pace line stops quickly.
Lastly if you are riding into a crash, don’t target fixate on the crash, look immediately for the escape route, but if none are available accept it, don’t panic, keep thinking, slow a much as possible prior to impact and then pick the softest spot where you can crash.  I.e., control the crash, better to lay the bike down yourself and slide into someone on the ground than to hit them while upright and cartwheel over the top.  If someone crashes me I always try and land on top of them.  So don’t crash me.

Phone: 805-302-3343

Email: grchester@TrainDontSuffer.com

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