If you are new to cycling or new to group riding, learn to practice proper cycling etiquette to ensure a safe and fun ride.
Step 1: Be prepared Be prepared. Know how to fix a flat, and keep a spare tube, a patch kit, tire levers, and a pump in your flat-fix bag. This way, you won't have to hold up the group should you need to perform a quick repair.
Step 2: Fill out emergency information Fill out the sign-in sheet when you get to the ride with your name and emergency phone number. Should an accident occur on the ride, others will quickly be able to call your contact.
Step 3: Ride at your level If you're a fast rider, don't ride with more moderately paced groups, because you're likely to quicken the pace of the group. As a corollary, if you're a slow rider, ride alone or with other slower riders so you don't make the group wait for you.
Step 4: Obey the rules of the road Obey the rules of the road. Bicycles are considered motor vehicles. Remember the motto, "same roads, same rules, same rights." Always ride with traffic, use hand signals, and make left-hand turns from the left lane -- even on multi-lane roads.
Step 5: Stay in control Maintain control of your bike at all times. To be respectful and courteous, don't ride "no handed" and don't use your aerobars if you're riding with a group.
TIP: Don't hop over objects in the road, which can cause you to lose control.
Step 6: Consider the rest of the group Keep the best interest of the group in mind. Make it understood by the entire group if an intersection isn't safe to cross. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure everyone else is, too.
Step 7: Always ride on the right Ride as far right as you can. If you're a slow rider, stay to the right so others can pass you. And always pass on the left if you're riding faster than someone else, but never cross the yellow line into oncoming traffic lanes.
TIP: Riding too far left, out in the lane, forces faster riders to get even farther into the lane in order to pass you.
Step 8: Communicate Exercise good communication on group rides. If you see an obstacle in the road, call it out to let everyone know. If a rider isn't in the front, they can't see everything in the lane, such as a parked car. Riders rely on the courtesy of others in the group to stay safe. Now get out and ride!
FACT: The 2010 Tour de France covered a total distance of just over 2,263 miles