Riding with your friends is a great way to enjoy cycling. You can challenge and inspire each other, get caught up on what's happening, plus get to know new people. That said, there are several keys to making group riding safe and efficient.
Ride no more than two abreast - if traffic and road conditions allow, riding side-by-side with a buddy is a great way to pass the miles. While riding two-up is allowed in most states, be sure to check local laws and use common sense.
Ride with a group mentality - Remember you are one part of a large body. Ride predictably and don't overreact. Look out for each other and be aware of what's happening - then be sure to let the other riders know about it.
Don't lead a group into dangerous situations - don't enter an intersection when the light has already turned yellow or jump across a stop sign if there isn't enough space between the cars for the entire group to cross safely.
Point out road hazards - broken glass, gravel and stones can be hard for others behind you in the group to see. Use hand signals to indicate turns and braking.
Avoid sudden movements - swerving and hard braking can cause crashes in the group Stay in control of your bike at all times. Keep your hands on the handlebars and near your brake levers. Avoid using aero (triathlon) handlebars on group rides, as it is harder to react quickly from that position.
Move to the right to let faster riders pass - You might hear the words 'on your left'. This is the universally accepted way of saying "Hey, I'm moving faster than you, so let me play through." It's just that "on your left" is easier to say when you're breathing hard.