Group Riding Tips from Spectrum Cycles, Part II – Standing Surge

Standing surge … can be quite dangerous, especially in larger groups. Few inexperienced riders are aware of standing surge. It occurs any time someone stands up unless they are aware of it and correct for it. As a rider stands up to climb, accelerate or just to stretch their legs, their bike will actually move back relative to their body mass. In a tight pack, this results in the rider’s bike suddenly moving back towards the rider behind them by 6 to 12 inches. The taller the rider, the larger the surge. The most dangerous and likely time for this to happen is at the beginning of a short, steep kicker. Not only is the front rider throwing his bike back into the rider behind, but the rider behind is most likely running up on the front rider because of the start of the hill. Wheels overlap and move laterally with the climbing motion and the recipe for a crash seems to come out of nowhere. When you think of it, it is quite predictable but most riders aren’t aware of what happened even after they get back up, put their chain back on and dig the gravel out of their elbow. All riders are responsible for these accidents. The front rider should have increased pedal pressure as he began to stand up, thus preventing his bike from moving back and the rear rider should have been looking for the standing surge and reduced pace on the hill as they guy in front of him stood up. HEADS UP, Y’ALL!

Reprinted by Permission of Spectrum Cycles

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