Step 8 – Cycling Etiquette


There are very few if any written rules when it comes to recreational cycling and the ones that we do need to follow are the ones laid down by our local road authorities. In my Staying safe on the bike article I mentioned various laws that should be followed when cycling and how they might differ from region to region. Other than safety many of these laws could also give you an indication of what behavior is acceptable in your area or the area you are visiting. It is worthwhile finding out what these local laws have to say.

Be courteous, greeting another riders even if it is just a nod (if you are half way up a mountain pass you may lost the ability to talk along with various other bodily functions) will go a long way and who knows you might need a tube from a fellow cyclist one day.

There are cyclists who insist on riding way back in the group, these wheel suckers never take the front, particularly in windy conditions and tend not to make many friends. If your group is stronger than you are then go to the front for short spells, even if it is just for a few seconds and it will be appreciated. Don’t underestimate the strength that you will gain from sitting on the front into the wind, it really helps.Road Cyclists

The next point is a pet hate of mine, keep your empty gel sachets and wrappers in your back pocket there really is no need to discard these on the road. No-one likes a litter bug.

It may seem like a bad habit but there will come a time particularly if you start training hard that you will need to spit or clear your nose of mucus and naturally you probably (and hopefully) don’t want to spray these fluids over the rider behind you. Drop off the back or move to the side (please check that it is safe to do so) where you can spit or blow your nose away from the group.

Cyclists are nice people… well mostly! If you are riding along and come across a rider that is in distress or needs some mechanical help then stop and offer your assistance, most times the rider will let you know he is okay and has all the items he needs. I have however been stuck at the side of the road after multiple punctures and after several riders passed me without a glance I had accepted that it was going to be a long walk home. Luckily a good Samaritan stopped and offered a tube which saved the ride and a long walk.

As you become comfortable with a group that you ride with regularly you will learn the small nuances and habits that form within the group, embrace these and keep them going as it gives your group its own identity and unique stories to tell.

Enjoy the ride.

Step 7 - Nutrition and Hydration on the Bike
Step 9 – Start Racing

22 Responses to “Step 8 – Cycling Etiquette”

  1. wayland

    Nov 30. 2014

    These are super helpful, I rode with a small group over the weekend and saw a number of these gestures and didn’t know what they meant.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Hunter London

    Dec 28. 2014

    I have been a victim of a few lugies (snot balls), not pleasant at all. Seems some guys don’t care who they spit on.

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  3. Rodolfo

    Dec 30. 2014

    Simple rule for everyone to follow, just communicate! The more you are letting people know the better it is for everyone.

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  4. David

    Jan 22. 2015

    Seems like some don’t know how to ride bikes, I was please that the guy ahead of me was giving gestures but every time he did he almost fell off the bike.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lorilyn

    Jan 29. 2015

    Spitting is gross, I’m sure everyone around you will prefer it if you move away from your group to spit.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Honor C.

    Feb 09. 2015

    If you are riding in a group never overlap wheels (your front wheel overlaps the rear wheel of the rider in front of you) if the person ahead of you needs to avoid something in the road or swerve then wheels won’t collide and you will avoid a nasty fall.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Don K.

    Feb 16. 2015

    I had a bad experience with a rider that just turn around in front of me. That was my collar bone and front wheel broken. Always check what is coming up behind you.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Annetta W

    Feb 24. 2015

    Oooooh you got me on the littering, it is my pet hate too and I am quite verbal about it when I see it. It amazes me how people get offended when I do say something.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Steven

    Mar 04. 2015

    Don’t suck wheel for a whole ride, if you are going to latch onto another rider or group then do your turn on the front. Its just the right thing to do.

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  10. Peter

    Mar 05. 2015

    It does take some time to get confident riding in a group, if you are nervous then stick to one side or move close to the back until you are comfortable.

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  11. West

    Mar 17. 2015

    Definitely stop to help other cyclists, we all need a helping hand some time.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Alphonso

    Mar 27. 2015

    Thanks to the guys running the site, you are hitting the nail on the head with your articles and content. So often sites are aimed more at experienced riders than those entering the sport and are difficult to understand. Good Job!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Charles

    Apr 14. 2015

    I have learned with my group which is normally 20-30 riders strong that if you go near the front and get a puncture or drop a chain then put a hand up and loudly let others know you have a flat or dropped a chain, then move to the side when it’s safe.

    Reply to this comment
  14. eddi gaylor

    Apr 22. 2015

    Shave your legs, it’s a rule *winks* 😉

    Reply to this comment
  15. Barnie

    Apr 25. 2015

    My number one rule for cycling is, have fun and challenge yourself.

    Reply to this comment
  16. cirilo

    May 04. 2015

    Don’t keep your cycling buddies waiting, make sure you are on time for the group ride.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Gary B.

    Jun 29. 2015

    I’ve been reading all these tips and tricks and advice and for the newbies it might seem a bit overwhelming, don’t panic guys you won’t be expected to remember all this stuff on the first or even tenth ride, a lot of this will just become habit the more your ride.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Eddie W

    Jul 06. 2015

    Always bring some money for coffee afterwards, very important rule this one.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Donald

    Jul 14. 2015

    I know this is a small thing but it really gets my goat for some reason, when I pass or get passed I always greet and so often get totally ignored. Be polite and courteous.

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