From many group rides over the years, there are a number of things that make simply getting started a bit of a challenge. It’s amazing how many people are perfectly happy to keep a dozen people waiting, all kitted out in the heat (or the wet – equally unpleasant) while they get their act together. Please don’t be the Lazy Larry who gets people grumpy right off the bat.
Here are Twelve Tips to make your group ride start off on the right foot.
- KSU = Kick Stands Up. This means the time we actually roll out of the car park. It is NOT the time that you roll into the meeting point.
- Check that you know the exact location to meet. “The Shell gas station in Cochrane” is not good enough – there are two.
- Allow time for prep. There are several things to sort out. We recommend arriving at least 20 mins before KSU. There are lots of things to check before you roll out.
- Is your bike fuelled up? Make that part of your prep.
- Are you fuelled up? Low blood sugar can make your first hour miserable.
- Did you pee? Often forgotten amongst all the other things to sort out.
- Are your tire pressures correct? If riding with a full load, this may be one of the few times that you will use max pressure. Check the tire sidewall if in doubt.
- Do you have loose straps or did any of your load shift? Tie them down now.
- Do you need to pair your comm set with the group? This does not take long but on some units, all have to be done together. Allow time for this.
- Do you have water to drink somewhere handy? Not all stops will be at gas stations.
- Riding order and groups: sort this out now, now when rolling out. Some people may want to ride close together; some won’t care, but not helpful to leave this to the last second. If your group is bigger than 8, break into sub-groups.
- Establish the route and the next stopping place, in case you get separated.
This all sounds terribly pedantic but paying attention to these small points will get your group ride going much more smoothly. This is overkill if there are just 3 of you going for a quick jaunt. But the bigger the group and the longer the ride, the more this matters