Rode with a few new people yesterday for the first time. They were new to BBTC rides and new to riding with some of the people that were there. And I'm not sure they're going to be back. A couple of these guys were fast and pretty skilled and I really enjoyed riding with them, and look forward to doing it again, but it's most likely going to be on off-list rides. And it's a shame they likely won't do many more posted rides because the reasons for their (our) frustrations were completely avoidable.
Several times the four or five us got to talking yesterday about common courtesy during group rides. I think some people need a refresher.
1) If you get hung up on an obstacle or can't clear a section of trail, DO NOT slowly dismount and walk your way over it. DO get the hell out of the way so other riders can attempt it. As one rider said under his breath yesterday, "Just because you can't clear it doesn't mean the 6 guys behind you can't either!" Nobody remembers that you couldn't clear an obstacle, only that you wouldn't get the heck out of the way.
2) If you consistently hear someone right on your back wheel or routinely notice riders behind you stopping to allow a large gap develop between you and them, DO pull to the side and let them pass. DO NOT continue riding obliviously down the trail without concern for whose enjoyment you may be impacting. DEFINITELY DO NOT force multiple people to ride their brakes the entire way down the trail behind you and then try to tell them about how fast you are. As a different rider said yesterday, "I shouldn't have to ask to pass." I agree. Whenever I'm on a trail in front of someone, I always make a point to ask if they want to pass. Rode over 20 miles yesterday and didn't hear one particular rider ask that question once despite obvious frustration from numerous other riders.
3) DO realize that nobody thinks poorly about anyone who is in their rightful spot in the train, whether it be up front or at the back. Nobody minds the really fast guy/gal being up front on the flowy courses, nobody minds the big-bike folks with Spider-Man skills leading the charge on the stunt-trails, and nobody minds the slower rider being in the back. Do realize that nobody cares who the first one down the trail is. It's not a contest and nobody earns bragging rights. UNLESS you are not a fast rider and are, instead, making everybody's enjoyment suffer. Then people will talk.
4) DO call out the turns as you make them and stop to wait if the person behind you is far behind. Everyone seemed really good about this yesterday. Had over 16 people and nobody got lost or separated for more than a couple minutes.
5) DO have fun, smile, hoot, holler, and share tools and jokes while regrouping at intersections. DO use the frequent regroups as a chance to be social. DO use the time spent on the trail as a chance to actually, you know, ride your bike.