Safe Group Bike Riding - The Domino Effect

Like most things in life there are always positives and negatives to group bike riding. The best part about group bike riding is making new friends, networking, seeing awesome new places, trying out new coffee shops, restaurants and pubs and learning new riding skills. However, group riding, in certain circumstances, could be more dangerous than riding on your own. It is not wrong to ride in a group but be aware of the dangers thereof.  The bigger the group the more you need to concentrate. However, group riding need not be a negative experience if, like all bike riding, you follow the rules:

  • The ride leader is always in control of the group
  • Always follow the instructions of the ride leader.
  • At the pre ride brief, the ride leader will tell you that “you are responsible for the rider behind you.”
  • Should you not see the rider behind you, stop and wait.
  • If you want to turn off, stop and wait for the thumps up sign from the next rider before you take off.

If the rules aren’t adhered to, it results in a domino effect which starts with the disaster trap: The person that loses the rider behind him. This sets in motion, a series of events that topples the safety dominos.

When the first safety domino falls, the rest will follow:

  • The 1st domino that falls: The ride leader loses control over a section of his group.
  • 2nd domino: The “lost” rider, who is already under stress, tries to play catch up and rides out of his safety zone. This leads to lowered blood glucose levels and loss of concentration.
  • 3rd domino: This process repeats itself- The riders following may all be affected in the same way.
  • 4th domino: Disaster is likely to strike.

Catching up:

  • When the lost group eventually catches up, the leading group is well rested and rehydrated and wants to continue their journey.
  • Now the lost group is in even bigger trouble, tired, stressed and dehydrated. Don’t follow before you feel ready.

Side stepping the disaster trap:

  • Ride your own ride, don’t be sucked into this race.
  • If you feel tired or were caught by the disaster trap, stop, rehydrate and wait for the sweeper and let him advise new strategy.
  • You don’t have to prove anything.
  • Have Fun! 

This blog was brought to you by Supa Quick Parow - Tyre Fitment Centre - Promoting Road Safety.