First Things First! Before setting off on your bike always check your brakes, gears, spokes, tyres etc. Always carry a spare inner tube, tyre leavers & a pump. And make sure you know how to change your inner tube should you puncture. Carry a mobile phone!!
Riding in a group...
Do not cycle more than two a breast and try and keep as close to the edge of the road as safety permits.
Try to hold a steady line. Do not make any sudden moves, unless forced to. You should always be aware of what is ahead, potholes parked cars, walkers etc., start making your move with time to spare. Always shout back and let everyone know! Let people know when a car is coming. ‘car up’ (behind you) or ‘car down’ (coming towards you)
The closer you can get behind the cyclist in front the more shelter you will get the more energy you will save, when you are ‘holding a wheel’, always keep your front wheel slightly to the right of theirs then if they do flick you have somewhere to go, and always have hands, preferably, on your brakes but certainly within a finger’s movement from them.
If you need to slow down, ease back gradually. Do not stop pedaling and sit up and never hit the brakes. When cornering the idea is to spread your weight evenly across the bike – push your bum back in the saddle and your hands forwards into the bends of your bars and relax. Where possible keep pedaling, the momentum helps your balance. If you cannot keep pedaling point your knee into the corner and keep your outside leg straight. Try not to brake whilst cornering brake before you hit the bend.
Get comfortable with having a drink. Taking a bottle from a cage is a very common cause of accidents.
The ‘chain gang’...
There will be 2 lines 1 moving towards the front the other dropping back rotating everyone to the front for a few seconds. The idea is to keep moving smoothly at a good speed. When you move to the front and it is time to pullover do not sprint past and open gaps causing people to chase. Move past steadily and move over smoothly allowing the rider behind you to do the same and the pace should accelerate gradually. Once it is too fast for you to continue rotating sit just off the back without disrupting the chain.