Ride next to the side of the road
Sometimes, the road is just too narrow for your group. Those who can ride right next to the side of the road have an advantage. If you happen to ride at the rear end of an echelon, you have an advantage if you’re right on the edge of the road, as you can still draft a bit. If you were to ride straight behind the rider in front of you, you’d be riding fully exposed to the wind.
Sometimes you’re forced to ride into the shoulder, for instance due to a sudden gust of wind. It is helpful if you are able to remain calm and steer out of the shoulder.
What you don’t practice you will not learn. Learn to ride close to or even in the shoulder. Especially if you’re alone you can practice riding on the shoulder without endangering anyone. If you practice it a couple of times, it wouldn’t scare you anymore if you were forced off the road accidentally.
When you do practice, do make sure that the shoulder is solid. Loose soil kills your speed in an instance, and chances are you’d be sent flying over the handle bars. Do consider the shoulder’s condition when you decide to ride on the edge of the road.