We all ride in groups here and there or at least one other bike every now and again. I recently was riding with friends when I noticed something that I had seen many times before but never thought to write about, well now here I go….
When riding in a group, whether one bike or seven, there always a lead bike. The one that lets others know when to change lanes and the rest of the riders wag the tail. If you don’t know what that means, ask someone because you know. You do it, you just didn’t know there was a name for it. I want to talk about of when you do it. Hehe
To make a short story long, when I ride or even drive for that matter I always look around. I try to never change lanes without turning my head or inspecting my mirrors very well, with the exception of needing to change lanes in a split second. When I was riding recently with others and I was in the lead position, I signaled to change lanes to the right. Not expecting it to be a “right now” lane change as I had time to look in my mirrors to see if the coast was clear. The rider to my right however when seeing my signal go on immediately changed lanes right in front of a car that was in the other lane. The car reacted fast though and everything was fine.
Years ago I was riding in a group of about 9 or 10 riders riding about 65 mph. The rider in lead put on his blinker to get in the left lane as our turn was coming up. I, at the time was the last bike on the right which meant the last rider on the left needed to get in the left lane as to make room for the group of bikes in front of us. Again as soon as the lead put the blinker on the last left bike immediately pulled into the left lane…right in front of a car trying to pass our group. That car slammed on its brakes, screeched tires and swerved, barely missing the bike. My heart skipped a beat. The idea was wonderful but the safety was not.
Please, please, please pay attention when changing lanes. LOOK in your mirrors, TURN your head, unless of course you have no choice. Give yourself an extra glance to make sure you aren’t pulling in front of a vehicle that is much bigger than your own, because not only are you putting yourself in danger, you are putting the other bikes in jeopardy too.
Have fun, ride safe
Freelance Photography & Writer