We have great pride in calling ourselves a social riding club but, group riding can not feel so social sometimes depending on the number of riders on the day! It’s easy to get strung out and create gaps in a pack of riders if you’re not looking over your shoulder every now and then, and vice versa filling the gaps in front of you to drag the riders behind you is just as important so here are a few things to remember when on club rides:
If you’re at the front take a quick glance behind you every now and then to make sure you’re not dropping anyone, if there is a big gap forming behind you then ease up a little, obviously be sensible about this as hitting inclines and hills are naturally going to string out a group, the same is true when crossing/pulling away from junctions, just be aware that there has been a gap forming and to regroup after a junction, near the top of a hill or over the brow of the incline you’ve just accelerated up.
If you see a gap forming in front of you shout “fill the gap” to the riders behind you. Some riders will just sit behind your wheel unaware that the group are getting strung out, let them know so they can fill the gaps and help to keep the group together.
If you’re filling a gap remember that you’re trying to bring the group back together so don’t go mad and race off too quickly, if the riders behind you are struggling to keep up then it’s your responsibility to shout “ease up” to the riders in front of you, you only need to do this if the gaps aren’t getting filled behind. Again be sensible about this as inclines and hills are going to string out a group so just be aware of what is going on behind you and regroup as and when.