There’s been a recent discussion on an internet forum about a rider who, while riding in a group ride, had to brake suddenly to avoid riders in front of him who were braking suddenly (for an unknown reason). The rider behind him didn’t respond fast enough and hit him from behind and fell. This rider who fell was upset at our hero who did not fall, stating that he had caused the crash and “What [was] he doing?” Our hero, somewhat new to cycling in groups, was feeling guilty, that perhaps he had done something to cause the crash.
The answer? No, our hero was not guilty of causing the crash. The idiot behind him was guilty of not paying attention to what was going on ahead.
Here’s the rule:
You are responsible for not hitting things (or people) in front of you. Always.
It doesn’t matter what they’re doing ahead of you. If they’re riding squirrely, it’s your responsibility to a) ride in front of them, or b) move away from them (left, right or back) so you have enough space to do something about them doing something stupid. Of course, in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any squirrely riders because everyone would be riding safely when in groups. (You did read how to ride in groups, didn’t you?)