A group of cyclist is formed of two or more riders. When riding in a group there are some important principles that every rider should firmly stick to. The aim is to have a safe ride, make the group more compact and maximize the effectively of the mutual effort.
When you ride in a group the main principle is to save maximum energy in the wind shield that is formed by the rider or riders in front of you and take turns. This enables the riders to ride long distances and significantly increase the average speed.
The line principle is applied when the group is formed by a small number or riders. The higher the speed of the rider in the lead is, the more energy the other riders riding behind save. When the group is perfectly synchronized the speed is higher and more constant. The main key for a constant ride is taking regular turns. The riders that are tired or not so physically strong spend short or no time in the leas and save energy in the windshield. This technique allows riders of different fitness level to keep up with each other during one ride.
The recommended distance between the individual riders is about a half a meter, which still gives the following rider enough time to react if there is a sudden change of speed or direction. The riders must never brake suddenly when they ride a group as there is a risk of getting hit by the one riding behind. If something unexpected comes in our way we should just ride to the side.
The leading rider keeps an aerodynamic position, holding the bars at the drops and pedals constantly. Riders should take turns only when the situation on the road is clear and safe.
When the group is larger, the riders can ride next to each other in pairs. This formation gives the riders an opportunity to socialize during some long rides. The most important thing is to keep the same pace when riding in the lead so other riders are able to form two regular lines. When the leading riders want to take turns they ride to the side and form a gate, through which the following lines of riders fluently follow until the two riders on the side join them at the back.
When there is a strong headwind we need to reduce the time we spend in the lead and try to make the most out of hiding in the wind shield. We should ride at a lower gear, which helps us to keep pedalling at higher cadence.
The greatest enemy of all cyclist is a crosswind. When we ride in a group, we are able to eliminate the influence of the wind significantly. When there is a crosswind the riders form domino shape. If the crosswind comes from the left side the leading rider rides close to the centre line of the road and other riders hide in a line across the road.
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