Bicycling Etiquette

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I worked for about an hour this AM and called off sick.  I feel terrible!


Not terrible enough to skip lunch though, of course. 🙂


I had 1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper soup, a whole wheat English muffin with melted cheese, and broc.  It was a nice lunch for a lady with a sick tummy.


The English muffins taste so good when dipped in the soup!


Plus, grapes for "dessert."


A Pick Me Up!


To make myself feel a little better, I decided to go ahead and register for the Metric Century (60 miles) ride that I’ve been training for!

I am excited for this race because it’s going to be a huge physical challenge AND my dad and I are going to ride it together.   YAY for Father-Daughter bonding.


The furthest I’ve biked is 36 miles, but I’m hoping to get in a 40-miler on Sunday with Kelly, Meghann’s sister.  The race is in two weeks!  I’m excited and nervous.  🙂


So, I think Metric Century isn’t a race the way I think of races.  For a former runner, a "race" involves timing, race numbers, and trying to beat other people.  From what I’ve gathered, an event like this is more of a "fun ride" or a "club ride" and it’s not suppose to be uber-competitive (although, of course, everyone is timing themselves).  The biking version of a runner’s race is apparently a "time trial."


Are there any cyclists out there who can enlighten me on "non-race" bicycling etiquette? 


I already know I’m not suppose to ride on my aerobars when I’m in a group! (Not stable enough for safety)


Big no-no!



  • Anonymous May 29, 2009, 9:32 am

    Good for you for entering the race!!! What are aerobars, and why are you not supposed to use them in a group?

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 29, 2009, 9:39 am

    Glad you decided to enter the race. I have no tips because I can’t even ride a bike LOL

  • Stacey May 29, 2009, 9:45 am

    My boyfriend has a time trial next week!

    As far as ettiquete (sp?) he says that whomever is in front of you is pulling you when you are in a group ride, and it is nice to get in front of them after a while to give them a break. Jason just bought aerobars last week and he’s so excited!

    Oh and not sure about the girls, but the guys tend to blow their snot, ew!, and spit on the side of the road and he says try to make sure that noone is behind you! Lol, I am sure you won’t be doing that though, haha.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 29, 2009, 9:47 am

    Anon – Thanks 🙂 Aerobars are the arm pads you see in between the two pink handle bars on my bike. you can rest your forearms on them (much more comfortable) however you don’t get as much support and arent stabilize, so its bad etiquette to ride on aerobars in a group. in case you falllll!

  • redheadedjournal May 29, 2009, 9:56 am

    Sounds like a challenging and fun race!

  • FoodsThatFit May 29, 2009, 9:59 am

    You are going to have so much fun in your bike race. Make sure to get in a pack and do some drafting. It will save you TONS of energy!

  • Keegan May 29, 2009, 10:05 am

    Definitely agree, drafting will be major energy-saving. If you are going to pass someone, make sure to let them know what side you’re coming up on. No one’s a big fan of surprises! And, as always, have a blast!

  • K from ksgoodeats May 29, 2009, 10:06 am

    Hope you have a blast in your race!! You’ll be great!

  • spicygranola May 29, 2009, 10:09 am

    Thanks for posting the bicycling etiquette question. I want to know about that too!

  • healthy ashley May 29, 2009, 10:11 am

    Okay, Stacey’s comment about the snot scares me! Cycling etiquette makes me nervous!

    Feel better!

  • haya May 29, 2009, 10:20 am

    time trials are only one kind of cycling race comparable to our running races. there are also competitive mountain bike races and road races where you ride in packs (pelotons) and take turns drafting/leading (like certain legs of the tour de france). time trials are a bit different because you don’t draft and are kind of on your own.

    serious road races can be pretty scary (and super competitive), so most of those big races they do for various charities are more like “fun rides” than races. i’m sure you’ll have a super time.

  • Lacie & Derek May 29, 2009, 10:36 am

    Aerobars are a no-no because you are not stable but you also cannot brake and when you are in a group you need to keep your fingers on or very close to the brake levers in order to be able to quickly grab them for various reasons. Other rules of etiquette are to never cross wheels (have the front of your front wheel in front of the back of the the person’s back wheel that you are following), point or call out everything (major pot holes, stopping, car coming from behind, etc), make sure to pull out of a tight group when you are getting a drink or eating because you tend to wander, take your turn pulling (front of the group which takes the most wind drag and is tiring), and come prepared for anything and everything (clothes for weather, tube for flats, and tools to repair…it is also good to know how to do minor mechanical work but other people in the group generally help out).

  • Matt May 29, 2009, 10:36 am

    I hope you feel better!

    Congrats on the race! No advice from me as I know nothing at all about biking.

  • Carolina John May 29, 2009, 10:46 am

    you should eventually fall into a group that keeps a comfortable pace for you. they aren’t competitive speeds, but riding at least 2 abreast in a group lets you draft from the people in front of you. and then you can take your turn at the front of the group and let others draft on you.

    bike people (at least around here) are amazingly nice! so don’t be afraid to talk to the other riders and make some new friends. everyone has more fun that way. i’m debating on signing up for a bike ride july 18th now.

    and there are bunches of bike races. Time trials are individual rides where everyone is timed for a specific distance. Crits are where everyone rides for a specific amount of time, and the winner is whoever rides the farthest. there are also road races where there is a main pack, a leader pack, and they ride in stages. biking is awesome! there’s always something you haven’t tried. cyclocross…. mountain biking…. track bikes….

  • Anne May 29, 2009, 10:50 am

    Congrats on signing up for the race! How cool that you’re going to ride with your dad 😀 I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun!

    I hope you feel better soon 🙁

  • seesaraheat May 29, 2009, 10:51 am

    Good for you! Hope you can get some rest and feel better soon. That’s awesome about the bike “race” I know you will do well. Have a good weekend 🙂

  • Kelly May 29, 2009, 10:54 am

    I LOVE those plates! Where did you get them??

  • Runeatrepeat May 29, 2009, 11:04 am

    Good luck on the race! I’m excited to read along with your training 🙂

    Don’t be so hard on yourself about the running…You have won a 5K that is amazing!!!!

  • jesslikesithot May 29, 2009, 11:20 am

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling sick Caitlin! It’s all mental, it’s all mental….tell yourself that you’re healthy and NOT getting sick, and hopefully by tonight/tomorrow morning you’ll be feeling all better!

    That english muffin and tomato soup lunch DOES look extremely comforting and delicious though! 🙂

  • Bre May 29, 2009, 11:22 am

    So, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and it has really inspired me to try new foods. I even had tofu for lunch today!
    I know this isn’t related to this post, haha, but I just had a couple questions and I was looking for advice.
    First, I tend to do great with eating throughout the day. I eat healthy foods and snacks, however, come nighttime, its like some crazy snack monster takes over, and I have a hard time stopping eating snacks! Even when i try to portion control! Any advice?
    Also, I recently lost 22 pounds, and I’m try to maintain that now, and I KNOW exercise is essential and I do exercise, but do you have any tips for making it more enjoyable/motivation to start a workout?

  • Peanuts & Crackerjacks May 29, 2009, 11:24 am

    Congrats on signing up for the race!! Sounds awesome!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 29, 2009, 11:28 am

    bre – congrats on your weight loss!

    i think nighttime snacking is just a habit to break like any other. basically you just need to say no and mean it. lol it’s that simple! there’s no magical trick to make you stop snacking, you just have to STOP SNACKING. i find its helpful it i wait a few minutes when the “urge” strikes because the desire to mindlessly eats usually passes. in the downtime, i try to occupy my mind with something else, like sit ups, walking the dogs, brushing my teeth (that always helps), etc. also, i do NOT keep snack-trigger foods (like chips or cookies) in the house, which helps. i dont really feel the urge to binge on tofu. LOL.

    about exercise, just find something YOU like to do. it helps if you can do something with a friend or a class at a gym because then you have someone to talk to! also, dont compare yourself to others – some people like to/have the time to work out everyday. but maybe three days a week is what works for you. also, just commit to something small (like 20 minutes/ three times a week) and then slowly increase your duration/frequency over time. you’re more likely to stick with small changes.

  • MaryBe May 29, 2009, 11:38 am

    Your bike is ugly. I hate it

    Thanks for explaining the aerobars, and congrats on registering!
    Hope you feel better

  • Ida May 29, 2009, 11:40 am

    The rides I’ve done have all been super relaxed. people get off their bikes at the SAG stops to refuel and rest for a few min. People tend to get so spread out over the course that you can end up riding alone for most of the time. At least you have your dad for company! Just let people know when your passing and call out ‘car back’ if you hear/see one that others ahead of you might not.

  • Katie May 29, 2009, 11:50 am

    When I did my triathlon, there was a strict no drafting policy. This may be different, but make sure you check the official rules! Have fun! I love bike riding! I want to do a longer bike race sometime soon!

  • Jess May 29, 2009, 11:58 am

    That lunch was totally up my alley. Hope some rest and more yummy food gets you back on your bike.
    Can’t wait to hear more about your new “racing” adventures!

  • Niki May 29, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Awesome for signing up for the race!!

  • Lindsey May 29, 2009, 12:57 pm

    I’m sorry you’re not feeling well… I tried your “Perfect Baked Tofu” for lunch today and I loved it! I featured it on my website today and linked back to you. Just an fyi. 🙂

  • Lindsey May 29, 2009, 12:58 pm

    My website is if you’re interested. 🙂

  • Julie May 29, 2009, 1:04 pm

    yay for signing up for the race! That’s awesome that your dad is going to be with you!

  • chandra May 29, 2009, 1:23 pm

    You make me jealous that I can’t ride a bike! 🙁 I really need a friend here to teach me ASAP!

  • emily May 29, 2009, 1:23 pm

    That’s fun that you signed up for your first bike race – way to keep positive! I know how you feel about your knees though – I have bad joints (and this year, a bunion!!) so even though I LOVE to run I rarely get to. I know I’ll never do a race, but I have fun living vicariously through other bloggers!

  • Oh She Glows May 29, 2009, 2:43 pm

    You are awesome girlie. I know you are going to kick ass!!! I just wonder what challenge you will be up for next! In my opinion this is much more exciting than seeing you run race after race after race (not that there is anything wrong with that AT ALL obviously- we all know what works for us best!) but I just love the variety! Do you ever see yourself doing swimming hard core?

  • peacelovepb May 29, 2009, 3:17 pm

    mmm warm melted cheese always makes me feel better 🙂

    hope your cold clears up!

  • Julia (Jogging My Memory) May 29, 2009, 4:15 pm

    That’s great that you signed up for the race! I’m sure you’ll be great!
    Aren’t bike rides with Dad’s the best? I did a 25.5 miler today with my Dad!
    I hope you feel better and are able to get that long ride in with Kelly this weekend!

  • Island Girl Eats May 29, 2009, 4:22 pm

    Good luck with the race. That sounds like a lot of fun. I know what you are going through with your knees. I don’t think that mine are as bad though. The 30 day shred has killed mine! I have to keep taking breaks from it. At first I thought that it was running, now I know that it is Jillian!!!

  • Bre May 29, 2009, 6:10 pm

    thanks for the advice caitlin!!

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