Riding in Groups
- Students demonstrates the ability to ride next to another cyclist.
- Student demonstrates ability to communicate within a group while riding in a safe and respectful manner.
This lesson teaches students to ride in close proximity to each other by riding a challenge course in pairs, side-by-side (or 2x2, peanut butter and jelly). Students will learn to ride at the same pace as their partner by communicating and being aware if their surroundings.
Students are to use pedaling, coasting and feathering the brakes to control speed.
NOTE: This is NOT a race. The goal is to stay directly next to their partner.
Have students think about a school of fish or a formation of birds. Have they noticed how they move together as one group?
As cyclists, we are allowed to ride "2 wide" on roads. We do this to be more visible to drivers and other road users and to stay close enough to be able to communicate with each other. Every rider must be paying attention to their own riding and to the cyclist around them to avoid collisions.
Think of our group as one big 40 wheeled vehicle!
- Set up simple oval course using diagram on next page.
Pairs Riding Drill
- Have students line up next to each other in pairs, in Power Start position.
- At volunteer's direction, both students begin the course staying side by side as closely as they can without colliding.
- After multiple laps around a short course, move to a longer walking track (if available) and continue drill.
- These new skills may be put to use on a short group ride on neighborhood streets with one volunteer positioned at the very front of the group on the left line of riders, another volunteer near the middle of the group also on the left line of riders and a volunteer at the end of the group, either by themselves or on the left line of riders.
Tip: On a group ride, leaders should be very careful not to accelerate from a stop too quickly as this will spread out the group.
Volunteer Connector Summary
Team Builder — Have students volunteer to give kudos to their riding partner.
Why do we ride side-by-side instead of single file?
- Easier to see
- Easier to communicate
- We are allowed to use the road just like other vehicles
Ask if they enjoyed riding as a group and where they would like to ride their bikes to with the club?