I went on a group ride on Sunday and it was my first chain ride, at least I think thats what it's called. Suffice to say that we were in a group moving together with the lead cyclist constantly changing. We were told at the beginning of the ride that if the lead riders of the group enter a junction with traffic lights green then the rest should follow even if the lights change to amber and red. It was also suggested that this practise is perfectly legal. I have strong doubts about the practise and legality.

 

I'd be interested to know what other newby group riders felt about this and any general comment justifying or decrying this type of ride.

 

Incidently there was a very near crash at one set of traffic lights when a rider at the front of the inside line braked suddenly when the lights changed and the following rider veered into the path of the outside line.

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... and that is exactly why a lot of people avoid 'MegaCrash' bunch rides. People's wheelsucker legs are faster than their brains/skill level. Yes I have been in large bunches at 70kmh, that's called racing, that is what I do....!

It's not even about stopping in 4 seconds, it's deciding and communicating what to do in 4 seconds.

There's also a big difference in attiudes of some bunches. A bunch that wants to stay together is more likely to have responsible people make the decision to stop, and stop a lot earlier with the aim to keep the bunch together. A bunch with a pile of individuals who 'just want to finish near the front of the fast 40s bunch and then tell everyone in Cibo' each want to get through the traffic light and stuff everyone behind them, if people behind get split off the back because of a traffic light then all the better, they 'win' and the people behind 'lose'.

The prime example of this is the Hell Ride in Melbourne. Many organised cycling clubs and sponsored teams there actually have issued a directive for their riders to avoid that ride at all costs. We haven't had to go that far, yet.
Following on from this thread, it has become pretty clear that we need to establish some guidelines or even rules for our organised rides, that must be adhered to if you want to take part in any of the AC or CVSA organised rides. This is becasue not only are we reprepsenting all cyclists when we hit the road, but if we are wearing any distinctive kit, then we are also representing that group.

A few of the team from CVSA have started working on some of these rules that will very shortly be circulated to all members for comment, and then joining in future CVSA rides will require members to follow the rules. In this way there can then be no misunderstandings or misinterpretations of information. Everyone will have had opportunity to make themselves familiar with the rules, and know what is expectyed of them when joining in on these rides.
What an excellent idea! I had a similar thought months ago about a "Cyclists Charter" that includes all those aspects of how to survive group rides that people could sign up to - eg. keeping wheels, positioning in the bunch, maintaining a steady pace, calling people through, pointing out holes, what to be thinking of when approaching lights, waving and saying hello to fellow cyclists - group norms that people can agree on.

It probably needs it's own thread?
can we include the hand signals for parked cars etc too???
Definitely! And no passing on the inside either!

I like the one re waving & saying hello, there have been numerous discussions on this, and why some cyclists choose not to. Certainly will ensure we have something in there about being polite & courteous to other cyclists, regardless of if they're on a uni, tri, mtb, landfill, roadie, chopper, cruiser, tall bike or any other form of cycle, they're all cyclists!

The guide is in progress, and as stated, will be circulated amongst members for comment soon!
This would be good Mark.

A bit like a wiki for cycling in Adelaide.
Attachments:
Yes, the root of the problem is that no-one in these groups will wait for anyone who stops for lights. I still don't think they could easily obey lights all the time, but at least there wouldn't be this major disincentive for doing so :-(
AFAIK they only stop for serious crashes, not that it ever happened when I was with them.
The group from here who I rode with two weeks ago to have a quick 'screw in the hills did pull over to wait for me when I stopped for the red, which was bloody decent of them!

Sometimes it can depend on the duration of the red light whether you pull over, or reduce to a simple light spin, and wait for the call of all on again before resuming paceline pace.
Generally my groups would sit up and roll gently, waiting for the "all on" call. The only time we'd pull over is at a corner that those left behind might miss.
I am a bit of a fence sitter on this issue, swaying towards the "NO! The pack should split and stop at the red!" side of the equation. I have a big problem with cyclists running red lights, as we should all be trying to set a good example on the road, and give ourselves a good name. I also fully agree that if you are going to ride in a bunch, you should have the necessary skills required to react quickly and safely to any dangerous situations, including red lights.
However, at the risk of playing devil's advocate, I have heard an argument from somebody similar to what has described by one or two people already.....a group should be considered as a large, slow vehicle, and it is perfectly legal to act in the same fashion. I was told to compare a bunch of cyclists to a semi-trailer. ie if an amber light pops up, yes, the rig itself will get though safely, and the trailers will never be considered to be "running a red light" 5 seconds later. Obviously, a bunch of cyclists IS able to break up when necessary, whereas a semi-trailer isn't.
It would be interesting to see what the law actually says on this. But I do believe that safety should ALWAYS come first.

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