... Offer a Pre-Whine1 of 10
Announcing an ailment at the start of the ride is nothing but annoying. Everybody knows that if you were really sick, tired, hungover, or sore, you'd probably be home and not riding your bike. So skip it, and focus on how you're going to enjoy the ride instead.
... Be Oblivious to the Route2 of 10
You should have at least a rough understanding of where you're going; how long the ride should take; where you'll be stopping (if you're stopping); and whether riders are regrouping at corners or intersections for a no-drop ride, or if it's every man for him- or herself with bailout points along the way. This is especially true on long, multi-hour rides: It's your responsibility to know, and the group leader's responsibility to share. "Bad communication is the worst thing," Korenblat says. "Everyone should have at least a general understanding of the plan."
... Go Without Food3 of 10
No matter how long the ride is or where the planned stops are, don't let yourself get to the point of bonking. If you feel hungry or generally depleted, speak up and then stop to eat something, regardless of where the planned rest stop is.
... Drink Lots of Water4 of 10
Staying hydrated is important, but that doesn't mean you should go overboard. Just like you wouldn't gorge yourself on six donuts before hopping in the saddle, don't chug down a liter of water either. It's better to consistently drink a normal amount leading up to the ride rather than trying to fit all your hydration in a short time before.
... Go Without Tools5 of 10
Group rides aren't guided tour—it's unfair to expect the ride leader to fix everyone's bike ills. Bring, and know how to use, a mini tool, patch kit, spare tube, and pump or CO2 cartridge.
... Forget to Air Up Your Tires6 of 10
Don't set yourself up for a hard time before you even get on the road. Make sure your bike moves as smoothly as it can by pumping your tires to their ideal psi the night before your ride. Don't know how much air should go in? Check the sidewall of your tire. The psi range that your tire can handle should be listed. If you don't see the number, generally, road tires should be between 80 and 130psi while mountain bike tires should typically be between 30 and 50psi.
... Skimp on Basic Bike Maintenance7 of 10
Make sure you bike is ready to go the night before your group ride. Clean and lube your chain, check your tires for wear such as worn out treads and make sure your spare tube and patch kit are good to go in case you need to use them.
... Decide You're Going to Get Dropped Before You Even Start8 of 10
Why set yourself up for failure before you even get started? If you think you'll get dropped, you almost certainly will. Instead, take a positive outlook on the ride and see how it turns out.
... Not Go9 of 10
If you get invited on a group ride, go. "Unfortunately a lot of people will focus on, 'What will people think of me if I'm last or if I'm slow,'" Korenblat says. "But here's the thing: They're hardly ever thinking about you. And so what if they have to wait for you? Someone had to wait for them once, too. And hanging out is part of riding. If you don't like the ride, don't go the second time. But the first time? Go for it!"