One of my favorite bike blogs is ECOVELO. If you haven’t checked it out you need to but although I am trying not rehash something that has already been covered and the fact that my blog is so small and if your reading it you probably already know what ecovelo is, but this article on riding together is something valuable for everyone. Even the other day I was riding to the store with my neighbor/ cousin and even though it was around 9pm and traffic was low for the three blocks we had to travel to the Valero on Westover Hills Blvd. I still found that neither of us was adhering to some of these rules and it is significant if there is traffic, especially at dusk or nighttime when you want to be extra careful. So, the following was ripped off of ECO VELO if your too lazy to click the link below:
Someone needs to lead and someone needs to follow – It’s usually best if a ride leader is determined before departure to reduce the likelihood of confusion or conflict on the road. Typically the more experienced rider leads.
The slower person determines the pace – The slower person should always determine the ride pace, even if they’re in the following position. It’s the leader’s responsibility to be sure they don’t drop the follower or inadvertently push the pace beyond the comfort level of the slower rider.
The slower person should be on an equal or faster bicycle – If at all possible, the slower rider should be on the faster bike to reduce the speed differential between the two riders. It’s common to see the less-experienced, less-fit rider on the heavier, slower bike, which only undermines the pacing rule above.
The less experienced rider sets the comfort level of the route (traffic levels, infrastructure, distance) – It’s up to the less-experienced rider to determine what type of roads they’re willing to traverse. The leader should never pressure the less-experienced rider into situations in which they’re uncomfortable.
The leader always defers to the less experienced rider unless it’s a safety issue – A less-experienced rider may not understand what they’re getting into and find themselves feeling overwhelmed once they’re on the road. It’s imperative that the leader defers to the follower and respects their need to turn back, take an alternate route, or whatever is necessary to reduce their unease.
Develop a consistent method of communicating (hand signals, voice, visual) – It’s important to learn each other’s signals and cues. Agree upon a set of simple hand signals to indicate upcoming turns, slowing, debris in road, car-behind, etc.
A sure way to put a quick end to a riding relationship is to simply head out the door without a clear understanding of each other’s expectations. Acknowledging each other’s expectations and agreeing upon a plan for the ride, while always putting the other rider’s needs above your own, is the most effective way to ensure a healthy, long-term riding relationship.
True in Life too!