These are general guidelines for Century Rides [both 100 kms or miles] gathered from our accumulated CBTC experiences. These recommendations are in addition to the basic tips found on the CBTC website.
- If a lot of riders start off together, be especially alert and careful for novice riders. Be courteous and attentive to your surroundings, use your mirror. A slow, safe start is the objective.
- Another objective of CBTC Century rides is to ride as a touring team [not racing team] so that everyone riding toward a common distance reaches that distance generally together. This should go with an understanding and responsibility of the rider to train for and select an appropriate distance for their capability so that the group pace can be maintained with nominal variation.
- Regarding group pace, CBTC Century Milers typically try to achieve between 16 to 17+ mph while the Century Metrics may try to achieve between 14 to 16 mph. This is an average speed which includes slow up-hills/head-winds and faster down-hills and tail-winds. Our common goal is to pace ourselves with the group in mind, not just on our own capability.
- There may be natural preferred speeds for cycling up-hills and down-hills; however the team should wait and regroup at safe, convenient places on hill-tops, free spaces, or rest-stops.
- Regarding our pace line, we should take short turns at the front of one mile intervals. If you feel strong and want to push your self, take another mile but keep it at a pace that the group can manage. If you don’t feel that you can manage a mile later in the ride, that’s OK, just do what you are comfortable with even if that is a very short distance.
- Regarding safety, we should point out hazards, slowing/stopping intentions, and obey traffic laws as if we were driving a vehicle. It is important that the leading rider make safe decisions at intersections to allow safe passage of all group riders. We do not have any special privileges because we are cyclists, so we should not pass cars on the right when they are stopped at a traffic light.
- Behaving like a vehicle also means base-line riding with the traffic in the right third of your lane, not on the edge or shoulder where other dangers lurk. The most experienced riders report that cyclists are safer when they are taking enough of the lane to make passing motorists slow down and get out of your lane to pass. If you don’t occupy enough of your lane, passing motorists will think it is their lane and crowd you as they pass, possibly not even slowing. It is also easier and safer for the pace line to follow you when you are away from the edge.
- On roads with even minor traffic, the pace line should maintain a single file. The pace line leader should always visually check for back and on coming traffic before pulling out and rotating back.
- Last but not least, enjoy the ride and the scenery, take photos to share, get to know your riding buddies better, and have fun! We are really kids at heart, just older and wiser!
Photos from CBTC members taken during the 2014 Savannah Century