Group Dynamics — Bike Magazine Australia

 Be honest, how well do you really know the subtleties of pack-riding etiquette?
To find out, take this quiz.

By Jennifer Sherry

1. It’s your turn to do a spell at the at the front of the group. You gracefully slide up into position, then …
A Accelerate to drag the line with you.
B Maintain the average pace of the group.
C Adjust your speed to accommodate all levels of effort within the pack.

2. Mid-pack riders are not expected to point out hazards or announce traffic.    
True Only the lead and rear-most riders can see what’s going on from ahead and behind. 
False It is every rider’s responsibility to relay messages through the pack from front to back or vice versa.

3. If you don’t feel up to taking a pull …
Ride near the back. You’ll do the pack a favour by conserving energy.
Suck it up. You made a commitment to the group and it’s your turn to pull.
Do your best to stay as close as possible to the lead rider.

4. When rising from the saddle on a climb …
Do it quickly while pedalling harder to keep the pace.
Decelerate to give yourself room, then put all your power into the pedals.
Shift up a gear first, to adjust for the slower cadence, then pedal smoothly.

5. It is common courtesy for the group to accommodate every rider who shows up.
True Everyone is there with the same goal – to enjoy a nice day on two wheels. All skill levels should be tolerated.
False The group has a set pace and it’s up to you to ask questions to determine if it’s the right fit for you.

6. You’re coming up on a fly-infested lump of roadkill. You should …
Point to the deceased or call out its presence, then shift your line in advance.
Swoop around it as you get close.
C Do nothing. Interrupting the flow of the ride is a no-no.

7. At an intersection, it is not the lead rider’s sole responsibility to get the group through safely.
True Though everyone is riding as one group, each individual must look out for his or her own safety.
False Whoever is at the front of the pack at the time calls the shots for everyone else.

8. Your eyes should always be focused …
A On the rider directly in front of you.
Around or beyond the riders ahead of you.
C On the ground, where potholes, glass, gravel and other debris lurks.

9. If a few riders fall off the back or get held up at a red light, the lead pack should …
A Pull over and wait for them to catch up.
Keep the pace; everyone knows the route.
Soft-pedal until they rejoin the group.

10. In a paceline, your front wheel starts to overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you. You …
Call out “Wheel overlap!” to give the rider fair warning.
Speed up until half of your front wheel overlaps his or her rear wheel.
C Drift back into position; the rider ahead of you should maintain his or her line and cadence.
D Self-administer an uppercut for half-wheeling and humbly excuse yourself to the back of the pack.

1. B; 2. False; 3. A; 4. C; 5. False; 6. A; 7. True; 8. B; 9. C; 10. C