Rides

The rides are organized alphabetically by city; choose your region to access the ride's page.

Ride At You Own Risk; remember, safety comes first. We will not be held accountable for any accidents or injures that may occur during any of these rides.

Group Ride

Club rides should be enjoyable and safe for all participants. Each of us should be role models for other roadway users. Groups cyclists are typically the most visible members of the cycling community—we can be billboards for exemplary behavior, or we can reinforce the stereotypes that cyclists are scofflaws. The impressions our actions leave on the motorists we encounter has a tremendous effect on cycling advocacy. Cyclists, and groups of cyclists, who run stop signs and red lights in view of motorists perform a disservice to every one of us.

There are several places in Florida where the behavior of some groups has tarnished the image of cycling to the point where local ordinances have been considered which would limit our right to the road.

When possible, alert other riders of potentially dangerous conditions (e.g., dogs, potholes, approaching cars, etc.). If there is a significant obstacle (like a branch or hole that could cause a crash), it is not enough to simply call it. The lead rider should move the group well away from the hazard.

Riders should signal stops and turns, either verbally or by hand. Hand signals should be used to signal a rider’s (or the group’s) movements to motorists.

Never say “Clear” to other riders approaching an intersection. Each rider must make his or her own decision and learn not to be dependent on the judgment of others, as it may be faulty or conditions may suddenly change.

Use discretion in calling "car back." We know there will be cars back there. Reserve the call for when there is some significance or the group needs to actually do something about it (ie: the lead rider is planning to come off the pull, someone is hanging outside the pace line, or a motorist is attempting to pass unsafely). In a narrow lane, do not move to the edge of the road when a car approaches behind. Hold your line, they can pass when the oncoming lane is clear.

Sooner or later you’ll find yourself in a big group amid some riders with sketchy skills. It pays to learn how to survive (and also make yourself welcome) in a crowd.

  • Look for Risky Riders. These are the unsteady people who wobble, appear nervous, have a tense grip on the handlebar, and frequently grab the brakes. Avoid them! Move up to keep them behind you, or slide to the other side of the road.

  • Stay at the Front. This is easy to say but hard to do in some groups. At the front you have more control over your destiny because most crashes occur in the rear two-thirds of the bunch. It may take a bit more work to reach the front and stay there, but it’s worth the effort.

  • Watch the Wind. Wind direction determines on which side the greatest draft is found. If the wind is from the right side of the road, smart riders move to the left of the wheel in front of them for greater protection. If you’re doing this, beware of overlapping wheels with inexperienced riders. They may swerve and take out your front wheel.

  • Be Wary on Climbs. A major cause of group crashes is riders who stand abruptly. They slow for a second, causing the rider behind to hit their rear wheel and spill. To avoid this danger, let the gap open a bit on hills or ride a foot to either side. To avoid being the one who causes such a crash, pull your bike forward as you leave the saddle. Don’t lunge and make a hard pedal stroke. Keep your speed steady. When sitting again, push the bike forward a bit.

Riding relaxed is the key to absorbing contact without swerving. Have slightly bent elbows, a firm-not-tight grip on the bar, and loose arm and shoulder muscles. If you’re relaxed, your body can absorb the shock before it gets to the handlebar.

Pace Line

Riding in a pace lines is only for the experienced, but can be easy to learn. When riding in a pace line, adhere to the following rules:

  • Avoid overlapping your front wheel with the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. Any sudden direction or speed change may result in the wheels touching AND YOU WILL GO DOWN.

  • Be alert! No matter how good a group is, there will be surprises.
  • Avoid using your brakes to slow yourself in a pace line; especially if you are near the front. Control your speed by “soft-pedaling.” Less experienced riders can initially keep to the rear of the line to give themselves time to observe the process. When they join the regular pace line flow they should keep about a half bike length between their front wheels and the riders ahead and decrease the distance as experience and confidence increase.
  • The lead rider takes a short turn in the front moves to the left side (after checking behind) and drifts back to the back of the pack. New riders may be intimidated about maintaining the pace at the front; they should be expected to take a shorter pull and drop back as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Do not ride in aero bars while closely following other riders.

 

Parts of this article are the courtesy of RoadBikeRider and written by his co-founder Fred Matheny