The bunch is a living animal – moody and aggressive, sometimes intimidating, often nervous. Here are the essential do’s and don’ts for taming the beast.
DON’T Spend too much time looking at his/her back wheel.
DO Stay abreast of riders beside you, and make sure your wheels don’t overlap.
DON’T Speed up when you take your turn at the front – consistency is key. The two front riders determine the bunch pace and you don’t want to be responsible for splitting the group, so judge the speed (or check your computer when you’re in the middle) and do the same speed.
DO Act as the eyes when in front. Warn the rest of upcoming dangers and obstacles while at the front. The lead riders are responsible for the entire group. Point towards the obstacle while calling it out.
DON’T Change your line (i.e. that of the rider in front of you) when cornering; that way, you’ll avoid bumping into riders or pushing them out across the road, and upsetting the pace and flow of the bunch.
DO Ride ‘obvious’ – trust the riders around you, but (not unlike driving) make sure you ride so that they don’t make mistakes.
DON’T Look back at the bunch. Ever.