RAGBRAI XLV Countdown – July 23-29, 2017
Friends of RAGBRAI

Ride Right

RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #4: The RIGHT Riding



The most fun on RAGBRAI comes from the people.  You can ride across Iowa whenever you want, but only during one week, can you ride with 10,000 friends.  Keep in mind that 30% of the riders are new and have never ridden in a crowd this large before.  There are a few key tips to avoid crashes, like do the RIGHT riding.

When stopping along the RAGBRAI routes, let those behind know of your plans. Make sure no bicycles or motor vehicles are immediately behind you when you stop. Stop at the right edge of the roadway and immediately move to the shoulder. Stay clear of the roadway, and park completely off of the roadway to make repairs, rest, visit, etc. Stopping is especially dangerous at the crest of a hill or on a curve, so be careful.  With this many people, there is no room to bob and weave your way down the road. Keep in a straight line.  Be predictable to others riding nearby.  

Pacelines and drafting is very dangerous.  Drafting is riding close enough to another rider that you receive an advantage in efficiency from the turbulence of the front rider.  When you ride that close to another rider, you lose the ability to see road defects and other riders.  Worse, if you cross wheels, you will likely crash and so with others around you.  The RAGBRAI ambulance crew describes pacelines similar to handgrenades.  When one rider crashes, it causes injuries for multiple riders.  Likewise, drafting vehicles is also dangerous and will not be tolerated on RAGBRAI.

Ride to the right and leave room for others to pass on your left.  I know that everybody thinks they are in the fast lane, but you usually are not.  Ride towards the right side as soon as you can.  When turning, turn left from the center of the roadway.  This will prevent someone from trying to pass on your left as you are turning left.  This may require you to signal turning left several times.  If you are turning right, turn right from the right side of the roadway.  

Have fun and avoid crashes with the RIGHT Riding.  If you are not riding, get completely off from the roadway.  Avoid pacelines and drafting – it’s just too dangerous.  Left turns from center lines, right turns from right side.  Finally, keep to the right side of the road to help everybody out.  

If you are going to ride RAGBRAI safely, you are going to keep in mind the following safety tips:

1. The RIGHT stuff.
2. The RIGHT gear.
3. The RIGHT communications.
4. The RIGHT riding.
5. The legal RIGHT.
6. The RIGHT frame of mind.
7. The RIGHT abilities
8. The RIGHT attitude
9. The RIGHT attention.
10. The RIGHT condition

Mark Wyatt is the executive director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization for bicycling.  Mark is also a League Cycling Instructor (LCI), board member for the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking.  More information about the Iowa Bicycle Coalition can be found at www.iowabicyclecoalition.org.

 

23 Responses on “RIDE RIGHT Safety Tip #4: The RIGHT Riding

Profile photo of Scott

Scott

July 10, 2012 at 1:11 am

Pacelines can be dangerous or OK, it depending on the experience level. I ride pacelines with other experienced cyclist that I know. I understand the risks and I have a nice zipper scar on my shoulder where I have extra hardware.

I have ridden in a paceline @RAGBRAI when the roads are not crowded. One can judge the experience of a paceline by watching if the riders continuously spins or not.

Pacelines are a risk and I manage that risk by setting the conditions to join a paceline.

Wayne

February 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

This page should be mandatory reading for everyone one of the 10,000+ enthusiasts. Thanks.

Eric

April 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Come to NYC and train with me. After that you’ll be well versed in riding with crowds!!

Leave a Reply

Latest Blog Posts

  • Only 50 Days 'til the RAGBRAI Route Announcement Party!

    Join us as we reveal Iowa's biggest secret on January 21, 2017 at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.

  • Guess the Route Contest is Now Open for RAGBRAI XLV!

    Do you think you can pick the eight overnight towns for RAGBRAI XLV? Enter the contest and see how close you come.

  • Black Friday Sale!

    Click to find out our Black Friday coupon code for free shipping at www.RAGBRAI.com/shop

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    The RAGBRAI Crew is thankful for... you!

  • Great Holiday Deals at Primal Wear!

    Get phenomenal deals on cycling gear now through November 30 at primalwear.com!

  • 'Mr. Pork Chop' leaves behind meaty RAGBRAI legacy

    If there's any justice in this life or the next, Wednesday's lunch special in heaven was a thick, juicy slab of Iowa pork chop served on a paper towel.

  • We Will Miss You Mr. Pork Chop!

    RAGBRAI lost a true legend today with the passing of Mr. Pork Chop, Paul Bernhard. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bernard family.

  • 2017 Full Kit Now Available!

    RAGBRAI XLV jersey, shorts, and bibs now available with registration or on the RAGBRAI Web Store!

  • RAGBRAI XLV Registration Now Open!

    Registration for RAGBRAI XLV is up and running.  If you registered for the ride in 2016, use the same username and password to log in and register.  All of your ...

  • Veteran's Day

    On this Veteran’s Day, we honor all Americans who have served or made the ultimate sacrifice for our country including the service men and women of our RAGBRAI military teams. ...

Latest Videos

  • The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (edition 45) begins July 23 in ... well, we won't find that out until January, but the logo for the 2017 ride is here.

  • Take a look back on all the fun moments the Des Moines Register staff captured on video during RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Riders brave the swinging bridge in Columbus Junction.

  • Winds remain out of the northeast for Saturday and with partly sunny skies, highs will hold in the lower 80s. The weekend looks dry for the most part, perfect for those finishing up Ragbrai or maybe heading out to the Indianola Balloon Classic.

  • Omaha-based Team Pump's bus is one of the most colorful, and oldest, team buses currently operating in RAGBRAI.

  • Hal Colliver has been collecting signs since 1973. Its a hobby of his he loves to share with others who often stop by to look at his barn.

  • Teresa Condon and Tracy Henriksen have fun in their infant costumes.

  • Riders take over Wooden Wheel Vineyard

  • The complete century ride, including the Karras Loop, from Leon to Centerville on RAGBRAI 2016.

  • Lyle Dumont has built and rebuilt enough model trains and full size tractors to fill 30,000 square feet of space. Take a look around his collections

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2016 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy