Riding in bunches can be complex. In this article, I’ve put together the top nine tips to help keep you safe.
- Keep up toward the front of the bunch. Most dangers are in the middle or to the rear of the bunch. To stay out of trouble always move towards the front when it’s safe to do so.
- Avoid crazy riders. These are the riders that hit the brakes hard when something happens, overlap wheels or don’t hold their line. If you encounter a rider like this, safely move around them so that they are behind you.
- Hold your line through corners. Riding through a corner, the bunch will take the natural line through the apex. Don’t be the rider trying to cut in on the inside to gain an advantage. It’s a very dangerous move as you’ll come out of the corner wider and cross over the bunch’s natural line, causing an accident.
- Avoid overlapping wheels. You only need the rider in front of you to move across, and they will take out your front wheel. You will almost never recover from this. For this reason, it’s always important to protect your front wheel at all times when riding in a bunch.
- Secure your items on your bike. It’s not uncommon for riders to lose saddle bags, pumps and drink bottles when travelling over rough roads. Makes sure that you have your items secured to your bike properly.
- If you do need to stop, indicate, look back and move off the road when it’s safe to do so. Make sure that you are well off the road when you stop. Many accidents happen when riders make sudden and unexpected moves and stop without taking other riders into consideration.
- Just because you are riding L’Étape Australia, please don’t ride as if you own the road. Even though the roads are fully closed, there may still be convoy vehicles on the course. Be respectable and courteous by conducting yourself appropriately and ride on the left hand side of the road as much as possible.
- Do the right thing and dispose of your gel and sports bar wrappers into the appropriate rubbish bins. Remember that you are riding through some of the most scenic areas in Australia, so help to keep them clean and tidy.
- Overtake only on the right. Just like cutting in under a bunch while going around a corner, overtaking another rider on the left is a dangerous move. When overtaking another rider check that there are no other riders coming up from behind you first. When it’s safe to do so, move out gracefully and smooth with no unexpected jumps from left to right, and indicate if you need to rejoin the the bunch.
David Heatley is the founder of Cycling-Inform and an international cycling coach that helps the busy cyclist quickly get awesome results with their cycling through a unique time saving cycle training system with coaching support. For more information please visit his website.