Most of the things you need to know to have fun, get stronger, and be safe at TNR.
This is a general outline of what are really pretty basic group etiquette tips for any ride, but since we’re all so fast, fit, and handsome at rides like TNR, it’s even more important that we heed these rules of the road to stay safe.
Some of the basics that we’ll skim are the obvious ones. Signal at all turns, indicate stopping or slowing, obey stop signs, and don’t cross the yellow line. Another big one is to avoid overlapping wheels. Keep your front wheel behind the rear wheel of the rider ahead of you so that if they have to take evasive action, they don’t take you out, along with thirty of your closest friends behind you. Oh, and don’t cross the yellow.
Did you read that? Don’t cross the yellow line. Not ever. Not once. Not to pass. Not to get passed. Not to cut a turn. Not to move up to talk to someone. Never.
Nope, STILL don’t cross the yellow line.
With the basics out of the way, there are some TNR-specific rules that are in place for a number of reasons, and we’ll get into them.
- TNR Leaves at 6. When? 6. If you leave at 6:01, you’ll be one minute behind. And that’s cool, it’s neutral all the way to Bluff Road, so you’ll probably catch up.
- Stay two abreast until Bluff Road. Especially on Center Road, riding two abreast is the best way to stay safe. Communicate road hazards, cars, and turns so that everyone is aware of things like potholes or dead skunks.
- Get In, or Get Out. When the group does a double-pace line, either pull through or stay out. The best way to get out of the rotation is to tell the rider ahead and behind you that you’re skipping out, and moving back and leaving a gap ahead of you. Stay behind the ‘dropping’ line, so there isn’t confusion as to whether or not you’re about to hop back in. It is totally okay to sit in at TNR, just communicate and be safe.
- But don’t be that guy. It’s poor form to sit in all ride, only to suddenly have a burst of energy over the tops of climbs or at the sprints. If you do have enough to sprint, you have enough to work. Consider leading out sprints or climbs if you start to feel good before a sprint point or climb.
- Neutral Points. There are just a few points were we ride neutral. After the lighthouse sprint, it’s neutral until we get past the guardrail on the right-hand side. This allows those who led out the sprint or were dropped a chance to get back into the ride. If you let those guys pull you, you owe it to them to let them back in the ride. We also ride neutral from the bottom of Wilson Road to the left turn onto East Shore. We cross as one group; everyone makes it or no one goes. The race is to the top of Wilson, and we regroup in the neighborhood. Do not ‘attack’ on Center Road and turn left; you’re putting everyone at risk and certainly not being very sporting.
- The Town Line Sprint. The road is very rough and there’s always a lot of traffic. Even if it looks clear, there are four roads or driveways in the final kilometer. Keep your head up and eyes open. Again, DON’T cross the yellow line; if you have to, you already effed up. Positioning is a part of this sport, and TNR is the perfect place to work on it. If you can’t get by, you already lost.
- Don’t Cross the Yellow Line.
Interested in a second group? Show up. Keep showing up. The best way to get a second or ‘B’ group to happen is to make it happen; call the ball, call your friends, and take the reins. If you’re looking for an easier ride, consider posting and offering to ‘lead’ the second group.
TNR can be fast and tough, but it can also be safe. Communicate, be predictable, and don’t be afraid to ask questions from those around you. The more we all know, the safer we all are.
We’re kicking things off on May 10.