Group Riding Clinics

Ottawa Bicycle Club members without experience riding in an organized pack  are expected to attend a group riding clinic before participating in club road rides. The clinics are led by experienced instructors who teach participants group riding techniques that help build confidence in riding with a group and in traffic.  


Learn to ride in groups with the Ottawa Bicycle Club

What happens at a group riding clinic?  

The sessions, which last about 2.5 hours and take place entirely outdoors, generally unfold as follows:  

  • “Ground school”: Learn and discuss the basics of pack riding, including terminology, group manoeuvres, safety, hand and voice signals, rotations, group dynamics, bicycle care and maintenance, etc. 

  • Off-bike simulation: Rehearse pack riding techniques on foot. 

  • On-road practice: Saddle up and apply your new group riding skills on the quiet roads of the Experimental Farm. 

  • Tour: Take a 15-km group ride on city streets under the guidance of the instructors. Refreshment stop included. 

Topics covered include: 

  • Pack riding principles, terminology, etiquette  

  • Communications: hand and voice signals, shoulder checking 

  • Single Paceline Riding + rotations 

  • Double Paceline Riding + rotations 

  • Groups riding in traffic: intersections, left turns, etc. 

  • Dealing with issues, traffic and safety concerns 

Is there more information? 

  • Clinic dates: Clinics will be announced in a club announcement post. You can also check the OBC Calendar for specific clinic dates. 

  • Location: We usually hold the clinics in front of the Museum at the Experimental Farm on the NCC Driveway, 200 metres west of the Prince of Wales Drive traffic circle. (But the location will be provided in the calendar entry for the specific session) 

  • Contact the Education Director for more information 

How do I prepare for a clinic? 

  • Be an OBC member. The fastest and easiest way is to complete your application on-line . For insurance reasons, non-members cannot take part in an OBC group riding clinic. 

  • Take the Basic Riding Skills Clinic. Especially if you are a new rider, the Basic Riding Skills Clinic covers a wealth of information and skills that are precursors to group paceline riding. 

  • Sign Up.  Please preregister for the group riding clinic. Registration instructions will be in the OBC Calendar entry for the clinic, and in the announcement advertising specific clinics. 

  • Bring your bicycle and make sure it is in good shape - brakes and shifters working, tires inflated, spare tube or patch kit available, water bottle topped up, kickstand removed. 

  • Dress for the season. It can be chilly in the first few weeks of the clinic schedule, so be sure to dress appropriately. 

  • Read the OBC’s Ride Guidelines document to come informed and prepared.