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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..a group should be considered as a large, slow vehicle, and it is perfectly legal to act in the same fashion.

I would like to see some legal proof of this. It's a nice idea but I can't see a bunch of tailgating cars being regarded as a single vehicle. If you can't stop in time to avoid running the red without risk of a rear end collision then I think you are moving too fast and/or the vehicle behind you is too close.

Michael
Think about how much you'd bitch about a bunch of modified cars doing it on a cruise so that they dont get broken up.....
I like the idea of formulating rules and signals. Even a small group ride, of 2 to 5 people, could use the same signals for slowing, glass on road, etc.

When I did water skiing, there were recognised hand signals between the skiers and the observer, who relayed to the skipper. Voices did not carry over the engine noise. Similarly signals between diving buddies, as well as divers and the boat skipper. Waving a spear gun in the air was "pick us up" which could also equate to "shark!" When I spent a few days twitching (bird watching) with a new friend during holidays, rather than disturbing birds by speaking, he used hand signals which were readily understood.
If there's just one rider behind you, even a stranger, you should use whatever signals might help them, even if you didn't ask for their company. But don't sit on strangers' wheels unless you have a chat and they say it's ok, because they didn't ask for the responsibility of looking out for you.
Sometimes I am followed by a cyclist on my way home. Different cyclists each time. Makes sense cos a driver may notice two cyclists but not see one.
Rather than on suburban roads, a good place for pace line training to go would be Victoria Park (perhaps not in March however). Take some chalk, and mark 'hazards' e.g. glass, bump, parked car etc to practise signals. As for lights, guidelines could include that the leader/s approaching a set of lights have the responsibility to make a judgement on whether the bunch will clear the intersection without running a red - or causing a problem for a car going the opposite way turning right. If the lights have been green for a while, slow the pace to allow control.

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