The chain gang meet every Saturday morning throughout the year at 09:30 for a fast paced group training ride about 40 miles. All members are welcome.
A chain gang is an efficient way to ride by sharing time at the front of the group. As its name suggests, it is a dynamic ‘chain’ of riders made up of a faster (left hand) line and a slower (right hand) line. As each rider moves up through to the front in the faster line, they spend a few minutes (time varies depending on effort) at the front before moving across to the “slower” (right hand) line and moving back down the group.
Since a chain gang is made up of a faster and a slower line, you will change speed as you move from one to the other – you slow down as you change lines at the front and speed up as you change at the back. With this in mind, some do’s and don’ts about riding in a chain gang:
- Do ease off at the front when you change from the faster to the slower line – take the pressure off the pedals slightly, but don’t brake.
- Do avoid leaving a gap as you move across – a gap forces the rider behind to accelerate to regain your wheel – not appreciated!
- Do let riders nearby know if you are unable to go through and intend to sit at the back of the group to recover.
- Do warn riders if you intend to rejoin the chain after sitting out.
- Do stay alert, not just for the usual safety reasons, but to ensure that gaps don’t occur.
- Don’t switch lines unnecessarily.
- Don’t speed up when you reach the front. No surging!
- Don’t ride erratically, keep it steady, remember the only time you should be accelerating is when you change lines at the back.
- Point out hazards on the road such as cars, pot-holes, road-kill, etc.
- If you are on the front, you should be pedalling, not freewheeling.
This structure of riding is practiced at Castle Combe in the summer months as part of structured training sessions.
Individuals take part in any group rides at their own risk. Chippenham & District Wheelers and its club members accept no responsibility for the safety of anyone participating in group rides, and no liability in the event of an accident.