Group riding requires even more attention to predictability than riding alone. Other riders expect you to continue straight ahead at a constant speed unless you indicate differently.
Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with fellow cyclists and with traffic. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows: left arm straight out to signal a left turn; left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping; and for a right turn, put your right arm straight out or put your left arm out and up.
Warn cyclists behind you well in advance of changes in your direction or speed. To notify the group of a change in path, the lead rider should call out “left turn” or “right turn” in addition to giving a hand signal.
Change Positions Correctly
Generally, slower traffic stays right so you should pass others on their left. Say “on your left” to warn the cyclist ahead of you that you are passing. If you need to pass someone on the right, say “on your right” clearly since this is an unusual maneuver.
Most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead if other rides are in front of them, so it is important to announce holes, glass, sand, grates, and other hazards. Riders should indicate hazards by pointing down to the left or right, and by shouting “hole,” “bump,” etc. where required for safety.
Watch for Traffic Coming From the Rear
Because those in front cannot see traffic approaching from the rear, it is the responsibility of the riders in back to inform the others by saying “car back” when rounding curves, on narrow roads, or when riding double. It is also helpful to warn of traffic approaching from the front with “car up.”
Watch Out at Intersections
When approaching intersections that require vehicles to yield or stop, the lead rider will say “slowing” or “stopping” to alert those behind to the change in speed. When passing through an intersection, some cyclists say “clear” if there is no cross traffic. Note that each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the way is indeed clear.
Leave a Gap for Cars
When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you are impeding faster traffic, leave a gap for cars between every three or four bikes. That way a motorist can take advantage of shorter passing intervals and eventually move around the entire group.
Move Off the Road When You Stop
Whether you are stopping because of mechanical problems or to take a quick break, move well off the road so you don’t interfere with traffic. When you start up again, each cyclist should look for, and yield to, traffic.
Ride One or Two Across
Ride single file or two abreast as appropriate to the roadway and traffic conditions and where allowed by law. Even where riding double is legal, courtesy dictates that you single up when cars are trying to pass you.