If you are going on a group ride find out whether the group has a "no passing" rule. Some groups (especially newbie rides) frown on passing. If you are in a group that does not allow passing adhere to that rule. If you want to be in front of a certain rider make sure you leave before him after the next stop. Newbie rides usually stop a lot.
We have all been in a situation where we wanted to pass a slower rider. No-one to blame for that. There are little things that could be done to ensure more safety on rides. Most group rides won't mind you passing if you are considerate (there's that key word again). If it's a big group find out how the group will be structured. Fast first? Slow first? If you choose to ride in the fast group make sure you can handle the pace.
When you pass common courtesy and safe riding principles applies to ensure safety of both you and the rider you are passing:
- The person riding in front has right of way, therefore pass only when he/she is aware that you want to pass. Never ride in a rider's blind spot, make sure you can see the rider's face in his mirror.
- KEEP LEFT... PASS RIGHT... (in countries where we ride on the left side of the road).
- Don't pass someone on a gravel road, all guns blazing. A rear tyre can send quite large rocks flying. Racing past and roosting is not on. Whether a fellow biker or a cage.
- Make sure the rider in front of you know of your intention and pass well right and then back left when safe to do so. Passing to close is dangerous and might frighten the rider being passed.
- Try not to go 100 km/h faster than the guy in front. 10-20km/h faster is OK.
- Never pass another bike or motor vehicle on his left hand side unless he indicates for you to do so.
- Don't pass other riders on the inside of turns - you never know if he/she is a newbie, nervous etc.
The odd overtake is acceptable but then you should go ahead and get out of the way. If you end up riding with the front pack make sure you stay there. Leave with the first guys after a break. Stopping for a break after you got in front, only to fall behind and pass everybody again 10 minutes later is extremely bad manners.