Racing Etiquette

These skills are applicable during races and during training rides:

  • Be predictable with all your actions.
  • Maintain a steady straight line and avoid braking or changing direction suddenly, especially if contesting a sprint. Remember that there are riders following you closely from behind.
  • Point out and call out any road hazards ahead. These include broken glass, potholes, drain grates, stray animals, opening car doors, sticks or stones, parked cars, etc.
  • Do not overlap wheels. A slight direction change, or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels and fall.
  • Take turns on the front of the bunch. If everyone does their share of the work, it gives everyone a fair chance. If you are unable to do turns due to fitness or injury don’t contest the sprint.
  • Be smooth with your turns at the front of the group. Avoid surges unless trying to break from the bunch. A group will travel quicker when turns are completed smoothly.
  • Avoid leaving gaps when following wheels. Cyclists save about 30% of their energy at high speed by following a wheel. Each time you leave a gap you are forcing yourself to ride alone to bridge it.
  • Also, riders behind you will become annoyed and ride around you, especially if the bunch is working together to break away or catch a break in a race.
  • When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.
  • If you need to get out of the saddle during a sharp rise, be sure to change into a higher gear to maintain the same speed and avoid the “dropkick” so you do not collide with riders behind you.

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