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Preventing Bicycle Accidents in Portland on Group Rides

Portland offers plenty of group bicycle riding opportunities. Whether you are considering joining in on a weekly meet-up or attending one of the city’s major bicycling events, it is important to be aware of proper etiquette. Actions you take as part of a group could increase the risk of bicycle accidents, resulting in potentially serious personal injuries for you and others involved. 

Five Tips to Reduce the Risk of Bicycle Accidents

Bike Portland maintains a calendar of events for cyclists in our area. Even during the cold weather months, there are a number of group rides going on each week. As temperatures climb, city-wide events provide opportunities for fun and meeting others who share your passion.  

Before attending these events, brush up on proper etiquette and group riding safety tips. Active recommends the following: 

  1. Remember that a group ride is not a race. The point of a group ride is to enjoy cycling together. It is not a race to see who finishes first. If you are feeling competitive or want to show off how strong your skills are compared to others, signing up for a bike race is a better option.  
  2. Ride handlebar to handlebar with others. In a group ride, bicyclists should work together like a well-oiled machine. This generally involves riding with another cyclist side by side, keeping pace with your handlebars aligned. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly at more informal group riding events. Even at these, keep up with the group and avoid erratic movements or taking up too much space. 
  3. Use caution peeling off. If you started off near the front of the pack but feel the need to fall back a bit, keep in mind how your movements are likely to impact others. Suddenly stopping or swerving around could push others onto the street, increasing bike accident risks. Instead, slowly move to the outer edges of the group, being mindful of those around you. This way, other bikers can go straight through the middle while you adjust your position and pace. 
  4. Keep the pace. Make every effort to keep pace with other members of the group. Even if you do not mind being left completely behind, you could be impacting others following you. Letting major gaps form is not a good idea either, particularly along busy city streets. It makes you vulnerable and creates confusion at crosswalks and intersections, both for you and others on the road. 
  5. Warn others of the obstacles you encounter. If you are near the front of the group and encounter any type of obstacles, such as major potholes or gravel, warn those behind you. While you should be familiar with bike hand signals in Oregon, even a quick wave will suffice. 

When Accidents Happen, Our Portland Bicycle Accident Attorneys Are Here To Help

At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help bicyclists get the compensation they need to recover when bike accidents do happen. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online to request a consultation today. 


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.