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View Poll Results: Do you ride in groups?
Always 1 2.17%
Most often 10 21.74%
Never 35 76.09%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-30-05, 05:55 PM   #1
msheron
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Ride -n- Groups

I have read so much about cyclist being hit by cars or ran off the road by them. I ride with groups most often due to safety in numbers and most likely being seen. Provided all wear bright clothing and taillights as well as LED headlights. I guess those who have been clipped or hit as it sounds are most often alone. I know it is not always possible to ride with friends but given the chance, it's better than losing your life!
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Old 12-30-05, 05:57 PM   #2
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How about a few other choices...

such as "sometimes" or "on occasion" or "rarely."
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Old 12-30-05, 05:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
How about a few other choices...

such as "sometimes" or "on occasion" or "rarely."
I second this. Once in a while or sometimes would get my vote.
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Old 12-30-05, 06:00 PM   #4
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Hell, no. I've been on a group ride where one of the front guys went down and we all piled on top of him. I rode over his face and sent him to the hospital. F- that. For me, cycling is a pure individual activity. I don't even like it when some roadie takes my wheel as I'm climbing a mountain.
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Old 12-31-05, 07:21 PM   #5
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Cars have crossed the centerline and taken out whole groups of cyclists, so there's no immunity. I have ridden in many groups because it's fun.

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Old 12-31-05, 08:08 PM   #6
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I consider groups much more dangerous.

You easily can become a part of the "herd" mentality. From what I have seen, groups are the worst violators when it comes to busting red lights and stop signs, and making continuous left turns in a never-ending line even after the light turns red.


Quote:
I guess those who have been clipped or hit as it sounds are most often alone.
Where did you get that information? Source, please.

A lady was killed on a group ride here because those closely behind her couldn't stop after she went down.

And my vote is "rarely."
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Old 01-01-06, 07:22 AM   #7
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Not a quote.............did you see quotation marks around it? Of all the hits and clips I have seen here posted hardly no one has ever mentioned from the ones I read what their riding partners did or if they were injured as well. I hate to bring in deductive logic as well, but if you read the sentence again Dnvr you will see I said, and now I quote "I guess those who have been clipped or hit as it sounds are most often alone." Another key word from that sentence is "As it sounds". Not a study from some journal of cycling, just a logical, maybe wrong conclusion, but as I read what I understand to be true. Okay, off the soap box as to explaining sentence meaning and structure of my writing.
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Old 01-01-06, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msheron
Not a quote.............did you see quotation marks around it? Of all the hits and clips I have seen here posted hardly no one has ever mentioned from the ones I read what their riding partners did or if they were injured as well. I hate to bring in deductive logic as well, but if you read the sentence again Dnvr you will see I said, and now I quote "I guess those who have been clipped or hit as it sounds are most often alone." Another key word from that sentence is "As it sounds". Not a study from some journal of cycling, just a logical, maybe wrong conclusion, but as I read what I understand to be true. Okay, off the soap box as to explaining sentence meaning and structure of my writing.
Hey, I didn't say it was a "quote." Did I write that? I don't think so.

I just wanted to know where you got the info. Your reply indicates it is from personal experience and observation and reading. OK - that is fine and is all I wanted to know.

No soapbox required.

Have a great day.
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Old 01-01-06, 07:58 AM   #9
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I've never talked to motorists who have a problem with a single cyclist. I've talked to PLENTY who get bugged when there is a group. Heck, I sometimes get a bit nervous behind them; with one rider, I can pretty quickly gauge how he's riding. I find groups very unpredictable.
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Old 01-01-06, 02:42 PM   #10
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Dnvr-
Did not mean to sound so harsh, was not intended to be that kind of reply. I have just never heard anyone say as to other riders with them during their mishaps. I usually ride in groups of 3 to 5 but never very large groups. I tend to think unless it is a closed course it would be more dangerous to ride in such large groups. I however do think riding by yourself a little risky, and yes I do it at time, due to fact if you run off the road either by a vehicle or accidently and get hurt who goes for help. Maybe I should back up here a minute, I live in western NC in the mountains and some roads we ride there are, well, lets say cliffs you go over potentially and if seriously hurt, who would assit you. There have been times here when even single car accidents they don't find you for days even when they know your missing. Thats my point. Stay safe and ride hard!
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Old 01-01-06, 07:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
How about a few other choices...

such as "sometimes" or "on occasion" or "rarely."
"Rarely" indeed applies to me.
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Old 01-01-06, 08:30 PM   #12
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Very rarely, just because I'm slower than most avid male cyclists and a little faster than most women. Also, I don't know many people that ride regularly
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Old 01-01-06, 08:48 PM   #13
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I think most cyclists who are hit are hit while riding alone because most cyclists do ride alone. It's like the statistic that most car collisions happen near your home. Well of course, that's where most trips start or end. In the 10,000 or so miles that I've ridden since early 2003, I've been a part of a large group for 150 miles of them. Because of the risk of hitting another cyclist and causing a large pile up, I believe that I am safer alone where I am only concerned with the traffic around me. I'm not concerned about minor changes in someone else's speed or if they are going to stop for the yellow light or not. I also have a much better view of the road ahead of and behind me. My vote is rarely.
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Old 01-01-06, 09:18 PM   #14
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My vote is rarely as well. I enjoy riding at my own pace. If I feel like I'm up for it, I'll push myself. If I feel lazy, I'll just coast. I don't want to worry about others, and I don't want anyone else to worry about me.
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Old 01-02-06, 12:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac
I don't even like it when some roadie takes my wheel as I'm climbing a mountain.
Then just drop 'em. Make 'em suffer.
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Old 01-02-06, 01:09 PM   #16
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Rarely.

Most of my friends hardly ever ride. The only regular groups here are for roadies. When I get a road bike, I have a feeling my answer will change to "sometimes," then, after I've learned a bunch, back to "rarely."

As for the safety issue, I always "feel" safer when I'm riding with a friend or a small group, but I'm not sure if there are any available facts.
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Old 01-02-06, 02:37 PM   #17
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Riding in a group indicates riding as a mostly recreational pastime. I ride for transportation most of the time, and therefore usually ride alone.
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Old 01-02-06, 04:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Riding in a group indicates riding as a mostly recreational pastime. I ride for transportation most of the time, and therefore usually ride alone.
Ditto. I have never really had the desire to ride with a group. I'm just going to work, TYVM.
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Old 01-02-06, 04:33 PM   #19
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Nothin' wrong with recreational riding.

If by group you mean in a tight pack, such as a peleton or pace line, then I'd say "occassionally".
If by group you mean several people who start together and are following the same route, then my answer is "often". I usually like to do group rides at my own pace, hooking up with other riders for a while, or going along solo, depending on how I feel.

Generally agree with you (op) on groups being a bit safer. I like to go on club rides on unfamilliar roads, often way out in the country. I like to have other riders out there, following the same route, knowing that I'm out there too, looking out for each other. More than once I've had a breakdown and someone from the group has stopped to help, but usually I'm the one who stops.

I'm also perfectly happy riding solo if a group ride doesn't fit my schedule, or isn't going where I feel like I want to go.

Last edited by cc_rider; 01-02-06 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-02-06, 07:19 PM   #20
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For me, it depends on the size of the group as to whether I'm comfortable with the group ride dynamic. If it's only 3-5 people, that's fine. Any more than that, and I'm not so happy.

As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, there's a groupthink mentality that takes over regarding traffic lights, stop signs, etc. (at least for me -- I find I'm more likely to break those laws when I'm in the midst of a group that may not come to a full stop behind me). I also (from my own motoring and cycling experience) feel larger groups engender worse reactions from drivers. It's a lot more difficult to safely pass a group of 10-15 cyclists than it is to pass one or two. Doesn't mean the group of cyclists is doing anything wrong, and likely it's not, but it's tough enough out there without taking the chance of ticking off the wrong redneck/soccer mom/insert-your-locale's-most-prominent-driving-hazard on the road.

Of course, the other reason I prefer riding solo or with just one or two others is because I'm so much slower than most of my cycling friends. I don't like the feeling (perhaps unwarranted -- they never complain) that I'm holding other riders back. I prefer to ride at my own pace.

mike
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Old 01-03-06, 02:15 AM   #21
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I occasionally ride in groups but to be honest rarely feel safer because of it. I guess that this is because I go out on social rides and being one of the regulars I tend to do a stint a backmarker. Often this leads to acting as a rolling road block to help less experienced riders. Not that this is a problem, the danger doesn't make me feel uncomfortable.

I guess when you're not holding the back then it feels a bit safer because by the time a cvar gets to you, they know there are a bunch of bikes on the road.

I've certainly never felt this fear of hitting the person in front, but I don't do any of this pro-style pack riding and don't do any drafting in tight urban areas.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:53 AM   #22
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I have lost two friends during 2005. One was a female on a weekly club ride in the Ann Arbor area. She was the last rider in a group of 2 other females. She was hit by a driver who crossed lanes while looking for his sunglasses. In another incident, my bike mechanic, the bike store manager and another bike mechanic were enroute from Plymouth to Ann Arbor and were broadsided from a car running a stop sign unto a 45 mph road with a wide shoulder. The first cyclist was killed, the second had to have surgery on his wrist and the third cyclist was able to avoid the accident. I rarely cycle now, down from 4,000 to 9,000 miles per year. My daughter, a non-cyclist is puzzled as to why I am upset. Her commet is if you are on the road, whether a car or a bike, you will get in an accident. I think everyone I know has been in a car accident. The only difference is that on a bike, it is more often fatal. Sorry for the rant, but I have ridden on many organized rides, commuted to work and ride group and solo rides all the time, there is no safe way to cycle. The more miles you put in, the greater the chance a driver who is not paying attention or is drunk, will hit you.

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Old 01-03-06, 09:12 AM   #23
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I've never ridden in a group in my life, though i've had my wheel sucked a few times.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outashape
Sorry for the rant, but I have ridden on many organized rides, commuted to work and ride group and solo rides all the time, there is no safe way to cycle. The more miles you put in, the greater the chance a driver who is not paying attention or is drunk, will hit you.
I'm very sorry for your losses and agree that cycling can be dangerous, but by your logic you shouldn't travel in a car any more either as people are killed left and right traveling by that means.
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Old 01-03-06, 10:45 AM   #25
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Not to downplay the seriousness of real fears, but life is 100% fatal -- no one gets out alive.

Seriously, outashape, I'm sorry that you were personally affected so terribly. I know that when you're touched personally by horrors such as these, it's almost impossible to believe in the heart that such events are rare. But they are rare. Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, but I believe there are something like 400 cycling fatalities each year in the US? Not that 400 lives lost isn't an awful thing, but in comparison to the 40,000 who die in their cars....

Maybe you're right: maybe there is no such thing as truly safe cycling. Certainly some ways are safer than others, and just as certainly some events will always be beyond our control. I will keep doing the things I love, as safely as possible, and advocate to make them safer. Otherwise, I don't think I could call it "living"; it would just be passing time until dying.
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