Group Riding

03 Mar 2016

Come to Cyclopark with Dorking Cycling Club, where you can learn practical group riding skills with our club coach and other club members, in a fun, safe and traffic free purpose built environment. These sessions are free to members of Dorking Cycling Club and all new members are encouraged to attend one of these sessions upon joining.

Groups should endeavour to ride two abreast where appropriate. This means side by side in a compact group and not with front wheel half way in front of the rider alongside. Changing to single file when requested by a member of the group when road conditions dictate or a hazard may be seen ahead or approaching from behind, e.g., motor vehicle. The road suddenly narrowing or moving onto a busy "A” classified road may also mean single file riding is appropriate and necessary. The club recommends that you read the Highway Code and refresh your memory on what is stated therein to enable you to enjoy safe cycling.

General Information
Those who are new to cycling may not be familiar with the following expressions that may be heard when riding in a club group. They are set out below in the sequence “statement” followed by “what this might mean”. All are a form of warning.

1.Car up / car back – vehicle is coming up behind you (your group) may be necessary to single up to allow it to pass.

2. Car down / car front – vehicle coming towards you; be aware.

3. Single up – move from abreast to single file. This may be used at any time when conditions demand.

4. Easy or slowing – slow down and do not continue at current velocity.

5. Inside – Look out, there is something to be avoided, maybe a parked car or obstruction, pothole, etc.

6. Outside – Look out something to be avoided.

7. Lights – Traffic lights ahead be prepared to stop.

8. Stop – come to a halt as quickly as possible without causing a collision.

9. Junction-prepare to stop.

10. Club group sizes are recommended not to exceed 8 riders, as this makes it easier to co-ordinate and makes for a compact group more easily passed by other road users and is less intimidating to horses, if encountered.

Group Etiquette

1.  When riding in a group it is normally expected that you do not ride up and pass the two riders at the head to show that you can go a little faster than them up a climb.
2.  Nor, when heading a group, increase the pace to such an extent that those behind are struggling to stay with the group.
3.  Having slowed or stopped at a junction the leading riders should ensure that those behind are with them before resuming the previous pace to avoid the group fracturing.
4.  No matter what you hear said when approaching a road junction or cross-road, remember, you are responsible for you own safety and it is imperative that you look in all directions before proceeding to cross or move out. Despite the fact it may have been clear for some of the group to move off by the time you reach the same point a vehicle may have come into view or a problem arisen.
5.  Always take great care and pay attention to the state of the road.
6.  Do not remove your hands from the handlebars to point out a road hazard if this increases the risk of you losing control of the handlebars.
7.  Sweeping your left arm behind your back indicates to those behind they need to move to the right.
8.  Sweeping your right arm behind your back indicates to those behind they need to move to the left.

Please always replicate these signals for the riders behind you. 

If you start to drop off the back of a group, shout out to make them aware so they can slow the ride down. Likewise, if you see anyone else struggling, let the ride co-ordinator and those around you know so the group can slow or stop to assess the situation. Even if the pace is ‘too slow’ for you, DO NOT zoom off in front or you may get lost and leave a group concerned for you. WAIT at the next junction for the rest of the group.

Group Riding Video from GCN

Advanced Group Riding Video from GCN

The above has been produced to be a helpful introduction to group cycling; however, it remains each individual’s responsibility to act safely, with due care and attention at all times.

Other Road Users - How to Overtake Cyclists

If you're a driver and come across a cyclist / group of cyclists, here is a useful video explaining how to overtake safely.


  1. Dorking Hardriders TT - Volunteering Thread - Sunday 11th March

    Sorry I won’t be able to help, hopefully busting a lung riding.

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