Tips for riding in groups


Good cycling etiquette is always well appreciated especially within large groups of cyclists. Safe cyclists should always ride with the highest regard for other cyclists, road users and pedestrians.

Knowing the right calls to make, and how to approach certain situations can make all the difference to you, your fellow riders, other road users and pedestrians.

Here are some tips from the experts at Full Potential for riding in groups.

    • Ride consistently and predictably - Your movements will affect everyone in the group. Hold a straight line, don’t weave and always overtake around the right-hand side of the group.  Don’t grab your brakes so you brake sharply. If you want to take a break by standing up in the saddle keep the effort up and don’t let your bike drop back. At drinks / feed stations, slow down safely, respectfully and with due consideration to riders around you. Don’t veer sharply across the road either.
    • Don’t ride in the gutter - If you’re on the front of the group, don’t sit in the gutter. You’ll be increasing your and everyone else’s chances of hitting an obstruction. As long as the traffic conditions allow, ride 1 m out from the curb.
    • Don’t overlap wheels - In case the rider ahead of you needs to brake, don’t follow their rear wheel directly. Give them 6–12 inches space but don’t overlap their rear wheel. If they have to perform a sudden movement then you both of you could come crashing down if your wheels are overlapping.
    • Half wheeling - If road and traffic conditions allow you’ll often be able to ride two abreast. Maintain an even pace and stay level with the rider next to you. Upping the pace whenever a rider draws level to you is known as ‘half-wheeling’. Half wheeling is definitely frowned upon.
    • Wheel suck – Don’t stick in the group and avoid your turn at the front. Even if you just put in a short period on the front, it’ll be appreciated. However, even if you’re finding the pace easy, don’t get on the front and accelerate, try to maintain the pace of the group.
    • Be alert - Groups will often change, fragment and reform as a ride progresses, especially on undulating or hilly rides. Be alert to this happening. On the flat, the group may be large but on long climbs they’ll break up. Equally on descents, due to the increase in speed and need for a greater reaction time, groups will spread out too.
    • Don’t drift off into your own bubble - Stay relaxed but constantly look around and don’t mindlessly follow the wheels. Look past riders in front so you can plan ahead. Always look first and clearly let riders around you know before moving within a group.
    • Obey the rules of the road - most of your training and sportives that you enter will take place on roads that are open to traffic. Even when riding on closed roads, there’s no guarantee of your route being completely traffic free. Respect junctions, the high way code and road signs at all times. Always stay on the correct side of the road.