Group Cycling Safety: Tips for Riding in a Pack with Challenge Central
Group cycling can be an incredibly rewarding experience, offering participants the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, get some exercise, and build lasting friendships along the way. However, it's important to remember that cycling in a group also comes with its own unique set of challenges and safety concerns. At Challenge Central, we take the safety of our participants very seriously and strongly recommend that all cyclists practice cycling with others ahead of the challenge. In this blog post, we'll share some important tips and advice for staying safe and having fun during your group cycling events.
Here are a few points to help you prepare for an event:
Learn the hand signals
Before setting off on a challenge, our cycling leaders will brief the standard cycling arm signals to look out for. You can find them in advance on this website.
Communicate messages from the front
Our cycle leaders may shout messages to be passed on through the pack providing important information. It's important to listen and communicate these messages to others in the group.
Avoid making sudden movements such as weaving, grabbing your brakes (unless in an emergency) or overtaking on the left. If you need to change your position within the group, make others aware so they are expecting the change.
Stay relaxed, but keep an eye on what is happening in front and around you. If you are cycling in a built-up area, watch out for vehicles pulling out or opening doors!
Cycling six inches either side of the rear wheel in front will provide you with the same effect as drafting. You don't want to get caught up if the person in front suddenly brakes, so work together as a team and support each other.
Have your bike checked
We highly recommend getting your bike serviced ahead of any challenge event to eliminate potential bike problems during the challenge. Challenge Central provides an MOT service which must be booked in advance of the challenge.
Pay attention to instructions
Our cycling team has cycled the routes numerous times and therefore know all the sections in detail. They will pre-warn about difficult bends, junctions, tram lines (in Amsterdam!) and share how you will need to approach them. So, ensure you listen to everything they say.
There will always be different capabilities within a group, so if someone is wishing to pass, stay to the left to allow this to happen.
Headphones and phones
No headphones and phones should be used whilst cycling by our participants. You must remain alert and 100% focused throughout the ride.
Respect for residents and communities
When cycling through residential areas, we must keep the noise down and not litter or damage anything when passing.
All participants must wear a bike helmet that conforms to a recognised safety standard when undertaking a Challenge Central cycling event.
We suggest all participants should learn how to replace an inner tube and should carry spares, tyre levers, and a small pump with them always. Our cycling team will be able to help replace and the support vehicles do have track pumps if they are able to get close enough to the cyclists to speed up the repair. Bring plenty of spare inner tubes; it is best to have more than less! We do carry some spares on board which you can purchase from the support vehicle if you get through yours.
Group cycling can be a wonderful way to stay active, connect with others, and explore new places. However, it's important to remember that safety should always come first. By following these tips and practicing cycling with others before taking on a challenge, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy a safe and rewarding experience. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to our team. Happy cycling!