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The benefits of cycling in a group

The benefits of cycling in a group

Why joining a cycling club could be one of the best decisions you ever make

Cycling can be an incredibly sociable sport, and I would highly recommend that all new riders join a local cycling club to experience the joy of group riding.

One key advantage of riding with a cycling club is that you will be able to ride further and faster, as it is possible to share the effort. In turn, this will have a hugely beneficial impact on your overall fitness and is a great way for beginners to improve their ability quickly.

Ideally, everyone in the cycling club group should spend a short time at the front, then move towards the back to rest before coming back towards the front again. An easy way to implement this type of system is to adopt a two wide formation with one person leading the way. Once the individual at the front has had enough, all they need to do is indicate for the cyclist on their outside to take up the mantle, and so the cycle continues.

If you're keen to experience the benefits of group riding, bear the following in mind…

 Be aware of others around you  
If you go out cycling with people from your cycling club as a large group, you may well find yourself with five or six other riders around you at any one time. As such, it is extremely important that you don't make any sudden movements or brake too swiftly. Actions like these can easily result in crashes and injuries, both to you and those behind you. On busy roads and at high speeds in particular, maintaining a keen awareness of those around you is absolutely crucial.

Even small things such as turning your head to talk to a fellow rider can have disastrous consequences, as this may well cause you to swerve or fail to spot a potential hazard (such as someone braking ahead of you).

 Ditch your mp3 player No mp3 players - The benefits of cycling in a group - SportActive
Whilst listening to music whilst cycling may well be enjoyable, it can also be extremely dangerous. By listening to music as you cycle, you are blocking out your ability to hear what is going on around you on the road. Though you will still be able to hear car horns, you may well miss someone else in the group giving instructions or fail to notice that your bike is making worrying sounds.

 What if someone suffers a puncture?  
In the event that someone in the group suffers a puncture, at least one person should look to stay with them whilst they fix the problem. Meanwhile, if it's a dry day, the others should continue cycling until they come to a point where they can make a safe turn and come back again.

Once again, however, it is important to stress that sharp braking should be avoided at all costs.

 

by Martin Birney 10.11.2013

 

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