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  1. #1
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    Solo Rider Encounters Group

    So, I usually ride solo and on one of my rides, just doing my own thing. A group of about 30 riders passes me (which is fine, I've been passed before). However, the problem I have is that as the riders passed me one by one, they started getting closer and closer to me. I was already all the way to the right that I feel comfortable with (left of sewer grates, gravel, etc.).

    I felt that if I even twitched from my line that I would hit someone. Is this normal? They were riding pretty close, so the riders behind probably didn't see me. So isn't that really dangerous?

    Haha, maybe we should have an etiquette subforum to standardize this conduct a bit.

  2. #2
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    Re: Solo Rider Encounters Group

    Grouos I ride with usually give solo riders or other small groups plenty of room. We do not know your style or ability. That said I have been in some rides where people get way too close with no heads up. Not a good feeling.

  3. #3
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    I’ve noticed the same. I would have thought that they should know not to pass too closely to me – hi-viz jerseys, trunk bag on the rack with a couple of blinkies, and the mirror on brake lever - screaming FRED! Rarely does anyone announce that they are passing. Without the mirror I wouldn’t know they are coming up on me.

    Seems like the guys with aero bars are the worst offenders.

  4. #4
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    The only thing worse than a moron on a bicycle, is a group of morons on bicycles.
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  5. #5
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    Most groups I've ridden with will call out "Rider up!" and give the "move left" hand signal - like you'd do if you were approaching debris, parked car, etc. The result is that rider has plenty of room. But, just like packs of roadies will pass a line of cars at a red light, blow a stop sign, etc., what is acknowledged as right... is often left at home when the group mind think takes over.

  6. #6
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    well I'm sure they all gave 3 feet of space. right?
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  7. #7
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    Windmill your arms and swing wildly like you're an orangutan stretching. If you catch one in the puss with your hand maybe they'll figure it out right? It's generally the overtaking rider's job to overtake, not the overtakee's job to get out of their way.

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  8. #8
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    Some groups believe they own the road (even over automobiles)and take great pleasure in intimidating lone riders, who they feel are inferior and not worthy of sharing the same strech of pavement.

    Consider it a classic example of the mob menatlity.

  9. #9
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    They should give you plenty of room. However, if the guys in the back were not alerted to you being a solo rider, they may have just thought you had taken a pull at the front and were now drifting back. In that case they would not give you as much room. Additionally, it sounds like you are afraid of riding close to others (usually ride solo, got nervous when people started riding close to you), so what you thought was too close (and it was for you) may have been just fine for others.
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  10. #10
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    Its one thing for a vehicle to pass too close, but another cyclist passing too close wouldn't bother me as much. I ride group and solo. When I am in a group, I might be really pushing it to keep up. I have a hard time talking or even calling out when panting. Always had this problem, so I can't do much talking while riding, or rather its uncomfortable at moderate paces. So, there might be others, who just have difficulty calling out, or new and do not know where to find the rule book on etiquette on how to pass other cyclists.
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  11. #11
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    Your best bet is to not let them push you to the side, hold your line if they get to close push back. They will back off.

  12. #12
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    Reminds me of Froome giving one of the side runners the arm. I bet he enjoyed it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Some groups believe they own the road (even over automobiles)and take great pleasure in intimidating lone riders, who they feel are inferior and not worthy of sharing the same strech of pavement.

    Consider it a classic example of the mob menatlity.
    Seems unlikely that the group, all at once, can process the fact that the solo rider is in fact an inferior rider; not worthy; and everyone at the same time has a desire to intimidate the guy. If you are joking I will find you:-)

    Seriously though, I do many different group rides and never have I encountered this. Most of the time the group goes way too far out in traffic to avoid startling the solo guy, but the tail end of the group does seem to get closer. I think it's just a cumulative affect of riders not paying attention and the line drifts to the right at the wrong time...Nothing malicious or anything. Just week end warriors on bikes really.

  14. #14
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    I think it's just a cumulative affect of riders not paying attention and the line drifts to the right at the wrong time...Nothing malicious or anything. Just week end warriors on bikes really.
    I tend to agree. If it was a group of experienced riders, they were probably riding at very close quarters for some time before they met up with you and just weren't thinking about not everyone out there being comfortable with elbow-brushing pacelining.

    For what it's worth: you can safely push someone away from you if you gently push at their shoulder (never, ever their arm!). Practice this with a friend. It's a good skill to have, like when you're headed straight for a huge pothole with a rider next to you and need just a bit of going-around room.

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