Cycling in a group is different. There are more people, more interactions, more space taken up, and more ways for things to go wrong. The relationships between cyclists and car owners is a strained one so there is no need for any more opportunities to create further bad car-cyclist public relations.
Around the Bend
One of the pleasures of the quiet country roads is being able to spread out and take more of the road so you and a fellow cyclist can have a chat. However, always remember that cars can’t see around bends and drivers aren’t expecting to see a group of cyclists to be spread out all across the road.
It is important to let motorists to pass once it is safe to do so. Always try to think of things from a driver’s perspective. How would you feel about being stuck behind 20 cyclists for miles on end, and when you do see a good spot, the cyclists are too busy having a chat to make space for the vehicle to pass.
Try not to frighten pedestrians. Cyclists should be especially careful on shared paths and old railway lines. The health and safety of both the public and the cyclist is paramount and is something that should never be overlooked.
Please wear a helmet. While it isn’t law in Ireland (yet) to wear a helmet whilst cycling, why take a chance? A high-vis vest is also a good idea even when cycling during daylight hours. It makes it easier for road users to spot cyclists.
Make sure your bike is in tip top shape. Brakes, lights and tyres should all be fully functional with no damage. Remember to check with your local bike shop if you aren’t sure about something to do with the maintenance of your bike. Also, always bring spare tubes and a compatible pump to suit your bike. It is always better to have equipment and not need it than need it and not have it.
While hopefully you’ll never need it, it is always smart to carry a list of emergency contact details. Again, it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Not a Race
Always remember that you’re not in the Tour de France. There is no need to rush or swerve around corners as if you’re vying to win a race. All it takes is a sudden and unexpected stop or wobble and you could topple yourself or the person behind you if not prepared.
If interested in further reading about cycling safety then the Bikemunk.com Guide to Cycling Safety is definitely worth checking out.