Key to successful group rides is the ability to ride together as a group, often made more challenging with riders of mixed abilities and experience. It's what really distinguishes an experienced roadman from a novice cyclist or daily commuter and has a huge impact on the overall ride experience. Below is the succinct “Ride Etiquette” post from Pretorius Bikes which we also promote on our group rides.
Riding as a group is a vanishing art and while we want everyone to have fun, if everyone is to get the best out of the ride and stay safe there has to be good discipline – especially on the busier roads coming back into town. The main rule is to be considerate of everyone around you at all times, but please remember:
Our rides are not a race, please do not attack the group;
Keep a close two-by-two formation. Always ride close to the person next to you and keep your handlebars in line with theirs;
If there’s a gap, close it gradually. Do not accelerate fast and then brake;
Let the rider next to you know if you want to change position. Do not move up or down the pack without checking it’s safe to do so and do not ride three abreast any longer than is necessary;
Signal potholes and hazards with hand signals if you’re on the front. Only use hand signals when safe to do so. Please do not shout about every manhole cover;
Always stop at crossroads and traffic lights. The lead riders should not cross until it is safe for the entire group to cross.