This is an open letter, meant for EVERYONE. This will outline behavior that should be practiced when riding in a new town, or in a new group.
When you move to a new town, you will need to search new groups, shops and places to ride. A seemingly small minority of cyclists actually know the proper way to act when going to a new place. When you move somewhere, and you've been riding for a long while, the lay of the land is pretty easy to see. For some, this is not the case and the following pointers may, or may not, help.
1) When you move somewhere and find a group to ride. Go to the ride. Show up early. Don't talk shit. Merely introduce yourself and BE QUIET. In every group, there is someone faster than you, period. It's a proven fact, much like gravity or Lance having one testicle. Don't tell the group you used to be a Cat2 back in the day or that you've ridden for X amount of years. If the group is at all fast, or includes racers, they can sniff out bullshit a mile away. The bullshit meter gets pegged when you look more like a veal calf than an ex-Cat2.
2)If you have a question, ask it politely and you're likely to get a polite, yet straight, answer. The group isn't there to hold your hand, but most will help you out.
3)Don't ride to the front of the group and think you are putting the hammer down. That will lead to a long ride, in a strange place...alone. Ride in the middle, or on the back. Most groups that have ridden together have done so for a long while. They don't need some guy they don't know screwing up the dynamic, or worse, taking them to the ground.
4)Don't say stupid shit. Don't tell whoever is listening that you need a new bike because your high dollar carbon frameset has Ultegra 10 speed on it and you think Dura-Ace is faster. Don't make claims about how you've raced, where you've raced or who you've raced for, or against. The cycling community is a small, insular, somewhat incestual one. Facts are easily checked.
5)Don't say that you worked hard to catch the group after they've slowed way down, or even stopped, to re-group. This is especially bad when you ride of the front after being shelled out the back. If necessary, re-visit rule 1.
6)If you are single, don't hit on all of the girls in the group. They are there to ride, not worry about the creepy new guy trying to separate them from their lycra. Odds are, they are either dating, if not married to, one of dudes on the ride. It's a good way to getting a summary beating.
7)Don't do a couple of rides with one group and talk shit about them to another group. In every town, no matter the size, people know each other and talk. This will only lead to much consternation and you'll likely be called on it...in front of everyone...but the group asshole...who can drop you at will...! If you get invited to ride with the fast group, don't talk shit about the ride itself. Don't say you don't do crits when that's the fast ride of the week. Come out, take your ass-beating and then decide.
8)Don't touch other people while on a ride. If you see a few folks reaching out to touch each other, they probably have been riding together for a long while. If you don't know me, don't touch me.
I'm sure of missed a few, but this list will insure that you have a smooth transition into your new habitat. Feel free to pass this list on...