Groups of friends, no matter how tight, often experience difficulties in getting along. Someone’s interests will start parting ways with the rest, and so many things that have brought them together will seem irrelevant. It is a lot easier to surround yourself with people if it’s just one and that one thing which encompasses you, and it can amount to something very meaningful. I’m taking about a themed club of activists, and that activity this time happens to be cycling. Just think about the fun you can have if you are spending your time actively, seeing places and challenging yourself together with others who love their bike as much as you do. Travelling with a big group, no matter the transportation, can be stressful and frustrating if you forget to take certain things into account. Take these aspects into consideration to make sure that your cycling trip, whatever the purpose, is successful.
This one cannot be stressed enough if we’re talking truly long-distance rides. The person who wants to go slower might find themselves pushing their physical limits too hard in order not to be holding the group back, and the over-achiever of the group will hope to go twice the pace, although it is no race. Point is, if you don’t even out the physical preparation and expectations of the group in advance, the ride might not be enjoyable for anyone involved. One way of going about this is placing the most experienced riders with the best shape in the very front. They will serve the function of “dragging” the rest of the group along, with the very last people in a group of 40 simply having to tag along.
If the trip you’re planning is once-in-a-lifetime in terms of the distance you’ll cover and the challenge it will present, consider dedicating it to some sort of cause. A group of 8, riding across some country to raise awareness of climate change will leave a bigger imprint in both your mind and the world as a whole. You might even raise some charity funds in the process if you do it right!
Depending on where and how you’ll be driving, things like bar-to-bar alignment matter a lot. The rule of thumb is to ride in pairs for the purpose of safety and efficiency, but you can always adjust that as you see fit. Don’t forget the no gaps rule! When you’re riding long distances, large groups can be difficult to manage, but they present advantages too, and this is certainly one of them. If you don’t have any major gaps in your formation, you’ll create a pocket where some riders will simply be tagged along, and you can rotate to that position for some rest now and then.
General rule – no sudden movements. That applies regardless of whether you’re in a group of four or in a group of 40, if you mismanage your bike, it can cause injury for someone else. Also, if you’re used to riding alone, you’re used to signaling at cars (or at least I hope you are). Signaling to your fellow riders is as important if you are to prevent accidents. Obstacles should be avoided at all cost! If it’s a group any larger than 15, it would be wise to have one person on a rotating basis that goes ahead and checks the road for major troubles.