While riding in a group, especially at a fast speed, keep your head up and look beyond that rider in front of you. Remember drivers ed, and how they taught you to scan ahead and get the whole picture? The same holds true with us, in that looking ahead to see what's going on 4-5 riders ahead will give you more reaction time in case there is a crash. It will also be helpful in telling you when the speed will increase, or decrease, or if there is something in the road that doesn't get pointed out for some reason.
Either the wind can be your friend or foe. Even the Pro's can misjudge the effects it can have in a race from time to time. The name of the game is conserving energy. That's what I do on the Wed. night Penn Cycle rides which usually average 22-23 mph. Knowing which direction it is from, and getting into position especially prior to taking turns that can quickly change a tailwind into a severe crosswind is paramount to surviving til the end. On our rides that's why you might here me say ride further to the right or left in order to benefit everyone in back of the lead rider. Keep this tip on your mind all the time and you to will be a better more accomplished rider because of it.
All group rides experience new riders that show up and ride like they have something to prove as far as their speed and aggressive riding. As recently as last Wed. on the fast Penn Cycle ride, this happened and PO'd a few people. Even Paul Inkala's ride is a group ride in which he tries his hardest to make it enjoyable for everyone including group up spots on the route and stopping for flats. So here's a helpful tip that will keep you out of hot water when riding other group rides. Leave your Superman Cape behind and check your ego. There is an old school saying that goes like this: Do As They Do, Not As You Do!
To avoid any confusion when experiencing a flat tire, try and remember to raise your hand and come to a coasting stop. This can eliminate a possible crash by letting everyone around you know what's happening in a group setting. In the Pro peleton a right hand means a rear flat, and a left means a front tire. But for us any hand will work.