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3 ways to look behind you while riding in a pack

Taking a peek back is an important skill in groups

Bicycle rider in front of his friends Photo by: Getty Images

If you’re in a race or group ride, a crucial skill is to be able to look behind you without veering to the side. Many times when you ride, you may notice your bike will drift to whatever side from where you’re taking a glimpse. But there are ways to execute the move safely so you don’t cause problems in the group. This is an important skill to learn as it allows you to see if there’s been a split in a race or if there are any riders that may be dropped in the group that you should wait for.

1. Use another rider

If you’re comfortable, you can put your hand on a rider beside you before you look behind. By doing this, you’ll anchor yourself in the pack, and your bike won’t veer to the left. You may want to communicate what you’re doing to the other rider so they know what you’re doing.

Shot of a group of cyclists riding toward the camera while out in the country side

2. Use your thigh

You can also place your hand on your upper leg of the side you’re looking behind to keep your bike straight. By doing that, you will make sure you don’t steer in the opposite direction. Practice this on your own a few times before trying it in a group.

3. Drop the other side

You can also do a similar variation by standing and dropping the opposite side of your body.
This will ensure your center of gravity stays the same, and you continue to ride in a straight line.

Again, you want to try this on your own before attempting it in a group. Find a road that is not busy and try both methods 2 and 3, but pay attention to where your wheel tracks. You can use the painted shoulder to gauge if you’ve moved. And when you do look back, make it quick. You should try and return to looking ahead as fast as possible.

Finally, pay attention to your surroundings before you look behind. Scan ahead, making sure there are no potholes or obstacles up the road.