So the Great Manchester Cycle is a week on Sunday. I am doing the 52miles, a meaty distance for me, but a stepping stone to full length sportives. Last year I did the 26m two lap event and started in the middle of a thousand riders really of mix abilities. I spend the first lap overtaking people starting in front of me and the second overtaking lapped riders. There was a lot of times I would approach on the right just for the rider to decide now was the time to drift across in front of me. I had to shout out odd things like 'curb' or 'keep left.' Well I didn't have a crash but I did get balked several time and have to apply the brakes, sapping my energy and increasing my time.
This year I hope there will be less problems on the longer event with more people going at a similar speed. If I can survive the sprint down to the Mancunian Way the road should open out and I can keep my own pace. I did the laps in 40min last year and if I can match (or improve) that over double distance I will be happy. Looking at last years results all bar half a dozen finished in 4 hours with 60min laps. My maths says I should not have to lap anyone until I've done 3 laps and they have done 2 (or am I missing something?) So now the Question: what is the best technique/etiquette to get past people efficiently without having to brake, slow, crash, shout, etc?
PS: bonus tip I hope you can reply; what is the best way of avoiding safety pin damage to lycra from race numbers?