#bikeschool: Bike Friends

If you read my #bikeschool post from last week you’ll not be surprised to hear that I have not been anywhere near my bike this week and it’s already starting to send me a little bit crazy! I keep seeing guys and gals riding around on all sorts of bikes, not just carbon racers and I think to myself, “I want to be part of that”. I remember that feeling from some years ago when I got my first road bike and hopefully some of these tips will assist you getting out with the local chain gangs in the coming months if you have been holding off riding with others. If you are a regular group rider please do add your own tips and tricks at the bottom in the comments section.

Be not afraid

Firstly let me dispel the greatest of myths that riders who are stronger/more experienced than you will not want to ride with you because you are a ‘rookie’. This is just not true. Of course there are people who may act like this from time to time but that should be attributed to them being a human, rather than a cyclist! As long as you make intelligent and informed decisions you should have no issues with riding in a new group of people and I hope if you are just starting your cycling life or are concerned about riding in a group the following tips and tricks will help. These are not ‘rules’ as such, just helpful hints. There are the well-known Velominati: V Rules but not all of these are truly practical and should be taken in the manner that they were created!

  • Find the right ride – Depending on your area there will be a plethora of ways to find group rides of varying length and difficulty for you to join. If you’ve been out on your own you may have spotted a cafe or two or a bike shop that has groups of cyclists chilling out and enjoying a coffee. Actually talking to people (face to face not through Twitter or Facebook!) can give you some of the best answers as to where you should meet and when the rides go out. Local club websites almost always display when and where they ride out from and importantly will often say whether they are ‘no drop’ rides meaning they ride as slow as the slowest rider. These are great rides to start out on.

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