At the beginning of a Gran Fondo, it is easy to become overly enthusiastic and sprint off with the front runners. Make sure that you start conservatively, and remember that it is not a sprint. It is important that you find a bunch that you feel comfortable and in control with. Here are some pointers on navigating the peloton respectfully
Ride closely to the riders in front of you, but don’t let your front wheel overlap the rear wheel in front of you. If the rider in front of you suddenly brakes, or moves from side to side, it is very likely that you will crash.
If you are leading a bunch make sure that you clearly let others know of any hazards coming up. Some hazards that should be pointed out are debris, potholes, cars on the course etc. Also make sure that any upcoming turns are communicated through the bunch.
If you need to move out of the pace line or bunch you should communicate clearly that you need to do so.
Riding in close proximity with other cyclists can seem scary, and it is common to tense up with nerves. Try to relax, and trust the riders around you. If you feel uncomfortable in a bunch, just drop off the back and stay safe.
When descending, try to brake early and evenly into corners, and avoid braking heavily through the apex. This will be more predictable for those around you, as well as safer for you. If you do need to slow yourself down midway through a corner, use both brakes evenly. Heavier breaking of your front or rear brake could result in your wheel skidding and washing out.