GLC: Riding on Paths

Group riding on paths can be tricky due to the diversity of other users. Fitness riders should normally use paths only for  warm-up or cool-down. Unless the path is deserted or nearly so, roadie speeds are not appropriate. Neither are ebike speeds. The group speed should be kept low — low enough to brake for a pedestrian without causing a problem in the group. Slower users have priority — first come, first served. 

Rides ahead can hide a bollard from riders behind. It’s essential to call out the hazard and make sure all riders echo the call. Hitting a bollard can result in serious injury.
  • Leave more space between bikes. Drafting is not a good idea as sudden braking is much more likely on a path. 
  • Beware of bollards and medians. Announce hazards to group members. Surface hazards are common on trails, especially after storms.
  • Announce the presence of the group to other users. It’s nice to let them know how many riders will be passing.
  • Ride single file on narrow or crowded paths. Unless the path is very wide,  single up and move over when passing slower users. Be mindful of others. No one likes to be brush-passed! You don’t like it when motorists do it; pedestrians don’t like it when bicyclists do it. 
  • If there is oncoming traffic as you approach a slower user on a narrow path, you must slow the group and wait until that traffic clears before passing. Just like you expect cars to do.
  • If all this seems like a tedious pain in the butt, ride on the road.