Cycling rules and bunch riding tips
We want to keep everyone safe at the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. For that reason it’s important you’re used to cycling in groups. If everyone plays by the cycling rules and sticks to the event etiquette we’ll all have a great day.
- AT THE START: Seed yourself on the start line based on your current ability. You are risking injury to yourself and others if you confuse ambition with ability and ride in a pack too quick for you.
- HELMETS: Helmets must be worn at all times and fastened securely while cycling.
- OVERLAPPING: Don’t overlap wheels. Stay behind the rider in front of you or move up beside them.
- STAY ON THE LEFT: Do not cross the centre line. Always stay left of the centre line.
- KEEP YOUR LINE: Maintain a straight line. Practise taking the water bottle out of its cage and food out of your back pockets before the event. During bunch riding wobbling is dodgy. Minimise looking behind you – often it causes you to veer from a straight line.
- ANTICIPATE: Sudden movements create problems for riders around you. Keep an eye on developments ahead of you. Don’t always look down at the rider in front of you, but use their back as your target while regularly glancing 3 to 5 riders ahead, and also up the road to see problems before they occur.
- RELAX: Keep your upper body relaxed and loose. Any bumps on the road will be absorbed. Hitting a pothole with rigid arms, could cause an accident.
- CLIMBING: When moving from a seated position to a standing position, put extra pressure on the pedals so that you bike doesn’t ‘stall’.
- SIGNAL HAZARDS: If you see a hazard which would affect the line or momentum of the bunch it is your responsibility to signal to following riders, with subsequent riders continuing the signal further down the group.
- PASSING: Pass on the right, not the left.
- INDICATE YOUR INTENTIONS: This lets riders around you know what you are doing.
- SPEAK UP: If you are passing a rider in front of you, say loudly “ON YOUR RIGHT”. If you are being passed you must keep your line.
- DO NOT USE AEROBARS: Aerobars do not belong in bunch rides. They are dangerous and do not allow the rider to easily access their brakes.
- LONG DOWN HILLS (Waihi Hill especially): Don’t stay on your brakes. It’s safest to ‘feather brake’ which means tapping the brakes and applying intermittent pressure. This is wise in wet weather too. If you need to slow for a corner, do the braking BEFORE the corner and release the brakes as you turn. Touching your brakes in a turn will make your bike go straight.
- HIGH SPEED BRAKING: Use the back brake more than the front (about 60 to 40%). Slide your weight back on the seat. Avoid locking up the wheels.
- EASY ON THE BRAKES: Don’t jam your brakes on suddenly – stay alert for hazards ahead and brake with control.
- STOPPING: If you have to stop, clearly signal your intention and get clearly off the road (always on the left).
- CLOTHING: Wear high visibility or brightly coloured clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. Invest in appropriate clothing. A warm and comfortable rider is a safer rider.
- ROAD RULES: Always obey the road rules of New Zealand, including the Give Way and Stop Signs on course.
- OFFICIAL EVENT STAFF: Always pay attention to and act upon instructions given by course marshals, traffic management professionals and police.
If you are planning to complete the Solo in less than 5.5 hours, it is likely that you will spend some time riding in bunches. For helpful hints about bunch riding during the event, we strongly recommend that you download our Bunch Riding Advice.