Something to watch: How to communicate with signals in a bunch

With the Velothon just weeks away and sportive season in full swing, many of us will find ourselves on the start line for a first taste of riding in a large group.

With hundreds of riders all huddled together trying to get out of Cardiff, communicating with other riders is crucial. With many of our roads riddled with potholes & debris, riders will need to avoid hazards at short notice. If you are at the front of a bunch you have the advantage of seeing what is up ahead, but the rider behind can only really see your back wheel.

Your starting group will inevitably break into smaller groups of evenly matched riders, but there are benefits to riding close to others, not least that it can save you a lot of energy by riding in someone else’s slipstream.

However, there are ways of signalling your intentions or any hazards that have been identified. The video above should give you a good grounding in group-riding etiquette, so please take a look –your fellow riders will appreciate it.

On the subject of the Velothon, the Tumble may well be your first taste of a category 2 climb. It isn’t avoidable this year and it is a long, steep climb that many will end up walking for at least some of it. If you don’t think you are going to make it all the way up & you feel like getting off and walking, please try to get over to the side of the road before you have to stop (preferably without cutting other people up!). It’ll hopefully save you being rear-ended by someone coming up behind!

Hopefully, you will have read our climbing tips and will make it all the way up in one go. Get some food down you before the climb starts & settle into your own rhythm, ignoring everyone else. Relax and focus on the road just ahead of you –don’t be tempted to stare up the road & see how much longer it goes on for!

Gavin

Bike commuter, randonneur and cat wrangler

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