* Thanks to the Ottawa Bicycle Club for allowing us to use content from their website!
A “group” is several cyclists who wish to travel at about the same speed. BCC Rides are typically grouped into Beginner, Easy Roller, Touring, Classic and Sportif groups. If a group is large, it will be divided into smaller packs of 6 to 12 riders.
The tour leader organizes the tour and plans the route, making announcements and giving directions at the start of the tour. If a group consists of a single pack of riders, then the tour leader also acts as pack leader. If the group consists of multiple packs, then the tour leader leads one of the packs and assigns leader(s) to the other pack(s) and provides them with directions or cue sheets.
The pack leader is responsible for knowing the route, monitoring and enforcing group speed (see Section B.11), and ensuring that each rider follows BCC touring rules and group riding techniques. The pack leader calls changes in formation from double to single file and vice-versa. Each pack leader must know how many riders are in the pack to ensure that no one goes missing.
These are the two riders in front. They are responsible for calling out turns and stops, and warning of bad road conditions. The inside rider (closest to the curb or shoulder), is responsible for maintaining the speed within the pack. The outside rider is responsible for signalling oncoming traffic, and decides when the pack is to rotate.
The riders behind the leaders and ahead of the rear riders are pack riders. Each is responsible for passing information from the lead riders to the riders behind.
The tail rider is the last rider on the outside. Like all other pack positions, this is a rotating position. Whoever is in the tail rider position is responsible for signalling vehicles approaching from the rear and for initiating left turns and lane changes after confirming that it is safe to do so (for more detail on left turns, see Section B.7). The tail rider also ensures that nobody is left behind: if riders are at risk of being dropped, the tail rider passes this information to the pack leader so that the speed can be adjusted.
Rotation is the process of changing the lead riders so that all riders share the work -- it’s about 30% harder "pulling" in front than drafting behind another rider. Riders change positions in the pack so that each rider takes only a short turn at the front, followed by a longer opportunity to draft behind other riders. (See Section B.4 for more details.)
If the group size is too large for safety on the intended route (a size of up to12 is reasonable) the group shall be split into packs of no more than 12 riders. The tour leader will designate experienced riders as leader for the extra pack(s). If the packs formed from a group will be riding at different speeds, the fastest packs shall start first. The distance between any two packs should be at least 200 metres to allow other vehicles to pass safely in two manoeuvres.