How to plan a group ride with friends

Bikes and friends go together like peanut butter and jelly. As you’ll probably remember from summer days as a kid, there’s nothing quite like that feeling of propelling yourself around on two wheels with a few of your best pals in tow. Break away from your usual hangout spots; explore new parts of town, and get a workout in while you’re at it. If you’re thinking of planning a group ride, these simple tips will help you make the most of it.

Create a theme

Murals. Bookstores. Oddball roadside attractions. Breweries. Antiques. International cuisine. Consider theming your tour to introduce your friends to new things in different parts of town, and tailor it to their interests.

Plot your route

The idea of a group ride is to explore together, but if you have a speed demon or slow rider in your midst, creating pace harmony can take some getting used to. Plot your route in advance and share it with everyone so they have a rough idea of where you’ll be leading them. MapMyRide has over 70 million pre-planned routes, or you can create you own.

Plan around food

If you’re biking around, you’re going to get hungry. Avoid debates about location choice by pre-planning where you’ll stop for snacks, food and drinks. Riding Coast bikes? You can choose breaks based on bars and restaurants near bike share stations. Simply lock your bikes to the hub and pick new ones up when you’re ready to roll again.

Use sidewalks

In Florida, a bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle, but riding on sidewalks in both Tampa and St. Pete is permissible. If members of your group aren’t comfortable with biking on the road, plan your route to include sidewalks or trails. Pedestrians always have right of way and you should give an audible signal – a ring of that cheerful bicycle bell – before passing.

Safety first

A quick bike safety recap before you set off doesn’t hurt, especially if you’re riding on the road. Check out Tampa and St. Pete’s bicycle laws before refreshing your group on the etiquette of stopping for stop signs, obeying traffic signals and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, and yielding the right-of-way.

Be prepared

Riding your own bikes? Be a superhero and carry spare tubes, a patch kit and a bicycle pump to quickly fix any mishaps. Using Coast bikes? We take care of all maintenance, so all you have to do is ride.

We love to see your adventures on the road. Tag us @CoastBikes on Twitter and Instagram with #CoastTampa or #CoastStPete.