Track 1.4: Group Ride
Once everyone has done their first laps, assemble them for a group ride. Work up to this slowly by first lining up two groups of 4 people on the apron, ½ lap apart. Line them up so that the faster, more confident riders are in front.
Before the riders are sent off, say a few words. Riders are to maintain a 3-5 bike length separation. If they come up behind someone who is going too slow, they are to slow down themselves and come off the track (don’t worry about where you do so, just do it). Once distance has been re-established, they can shoulder check for other riders coming up from behind and get back on the track when it is safe to do so. When the time comes to come off, riders will exit the track in groups of 3 or 4 from the back to the front. Other riders should maintain their speed and keep doing laps until they are in a left over group. As before, exiting occurs by slowing on the finishing straight, dropping to the coté through turns 1-2, and coming off on the black line. Stress again that while this is the ideal, it is not something that absolutely has to be done. If you are going too fast, stay on the track for a while longer. If you are going too slow, get off sooner. Those exiting the track should signal (left arm down) and shout “off” before slowing to exit.
Riders are to go off by riding around on the apron for at least one lap at a low speed, to ensure everyone in the group is started and lined up behind them. Once that has happened the lead rider in each group shouts “on” and goes up on the track, picking up speed as they do so. Riders should get on at the start of one of the straightaways and pick up their speed smartly.
As riders go around the track, check that they have their hands on the drops and their chins up. Their arms should be relaxed. Get them to loosen their grip on the bars and wiggle their fingers as they pass by you. Let them put in a good number of laps to get comfortable. If one group catches up to the other, don’t worry. After about 5 minutes, have the lead 4 riders ride up to the red line and give the trailing 4 a countdown from 2 laps to get off. Once they are off, get the remaining riders off. Then get the next groups up on the track.
After a rest, get the whole group up on the track for a ride, starting in two groups ½ lap apart on the apron, as before.
If there is time, as a final exercise, have riders go up on the track one after another by riding around the infield and getting up on the track on the back straight when there is a gap in traffic.
Explain that from now on, riders are to get on and off the track only in the back straight and should aim to be up on the black by the start of turn 3.
This concludes the course. Congratulate everyone on a job well done. Complete and distribute their passports and their information packages and invite them back to the track. Be sure to explain the introductory membership and let them know the times for our recreational sessions. Tell them that at this point they can go to any rec. session, but are not allowed to ride above the red line or overtake other riders before they have been to skills and drills and/or track 2.
Note: Riders may ask to be allowed to go up to do a few fast laps or a few laps on the yellow before leaving. This seldom has good results. Tell them we have to give them some reason to keep coming back and wish them a good day.