May 2008 Safety Thoughts 

Spacing, Spacing, Spacing!

by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer

 

As we begin the riding season one thing that strikes me as an area we can work toward an immediate improvement in our group riding techniques that will improve the safety of our group rides is to concentrate on our spacing.

Stagger formation is the primary formation we use for our group rides. It's also the formation that requires two separate spacing times for each rider. We need to work toward maintaining one second offset & two second following spacing times when riding in stagger formation.

Leave a TWO SECOND space between you and the bike directly in front of you (same side of the lane). This means watching when the bike in front passes a fixed object and then counting "one thousand one, one thousand two" before you reach the same fixed object.

Leave a ONE SECOND space between you and the bike offset in front of you (opposite side of the lane). This means watching when the offset bike in front of you passes a fixed object and then counting "one thousand one" before you reach the same fixed object.

Remember, the distance of this spacing is dynamic and changes proportional to the speed the group is traveling at. You need to continually adjust this distance as the group's speed changes.

TIP: Check your spacing often & make small adjustments (use very small speed changes when making these adjustments), then less speed variation develops within the group and less "rubber-banding" will occur.

Ride Safe