Club Riding Etiquette

 

Rules and Etiquette for Riding in Groups :

 

Towy Riders Cycle Club wants riders to gain maximum enjoyment from their group rides whether highly energetic or social. All riders do so at their own risk, but experience shows that adherence to these rules and etiquette will create the safest possible environment in which we can all enjoy our cycling. The rules and advice incorporate long-standing practices and will be familiar to all experienced riders. Whilst they have been drawn up to help members who have never ridden in a group, we would like everyone to make a point of reading and following them. We have taken the opportunity to include items of general advice that may help new or relatively inexperienced cyclists.

 

Safety and Risk Management :

 

All riders take part in the group runs at their own risk. Those risks can never be totally eliminated but can be minimised by following this guide in the spirit as well as the letter. Senior club members will be happy to offer general advice and to help clarify the content of this guide. They will politely point out any deviations to the rider(s) concerned and seek compliance. If they believe that a rider’s conduct is putting others at risk they have the authority to exclude the rider from the group run and will subsequently report the circumstances to the club committee who may wish to take further action. Consider your own insurance needs. In particular ensure that you have Third Party (Public Liability) insurance that covers you whilst cycling. Although this is not a legal requirement, the current “sue everyone for everything” attitude makes insurance essential. The Club has such a policy to cover claims against the Club and its officers but it does not cover individual riders. You should seriously consider joining British Cycling - membership includes both Third Party insurance and free legal assistance should you need to claim against someone else.

 

Your bike should be in a fit and proper road worthy condition and the club requires that you wear a cycle helmet for your own safety, suitable clothing for various conditions and lighting if required.

 

Rules and Etiquette

 

  • Always observe the Highway Code.

  • When youth riders are present, SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT. Careful consideration of the following is a must before agreeing a route:

    • Roads, suitable minor roads, no busy fast roads. Never use or cross any busy large roundabouts that serve major thoroughfares or main dual carriageways. (There are always alternatives, if not, choose a different route)

    • Routes, distance, group speed and gradient of hills.

  • Each group will have a nominated ‘leader’. The leader will decide the type of ride the group will take. (social/training/chaingang/hilly etc) based on other riders within their group.

  • The leader of the group will not be overtaken until he/she has allowed others to take the lead.

  • Do not overtake the rider/riders at the head of the group. If you have to, then do not push your way back into your original position but rejoin at the back of the group as soon as possible.

  • If the ride becomes “split” due to changing traffic lights, then the lead group should slow down or stop to allow the tail group to rejoin.

  • Riders at the head of the group should point out, and / or verbally warn following riders of the hazard (pot holes, parked cars etc).

  • An experienced nominated rider should stay at the back of the group to ensure no one gets dropped on climbs, descents and at junctions.

  • Rides will stop for anyone who punctures/has a mechanical problem. Riders should stop and wait off the road to avoid creating a traffic hazard.

  • The ride should be conducted in “two abreast” fashion, except where it is considered to be hazardous when, cyclists will form a single file formation until the hazardous section of road has been passed.

  • Avoid responding to bad behaviour or abuse from motorists; be courteous wherever possible and do not damage the club’s good reputation.

  • Do not "wave through" a following vehicle that is waiting to overtake - let the driver make this decision. This will avoid the risk of being held responsible if the overtaking results in any form of accident.

  • Tri bars / aero bars should not be used during any group ride.

  • All riders should bring with them:

    • Suitable lighting for the darker training/club nights

    • Pump, 2 or more spare inner tubes, tyre leavers.

    • Cash, mobile phone

    • Drink and food (always bring more than you anticipate using)

    • Appropriate clothing

  • Mudguards would be a benefit for yourself and others within the group during the winter season.

Finally - Let others know if you are unable to keep up, have a problem or have decided to leave the group. Always pass the instructions along; if a rider cannot keep up, the leader needs to know.

 

Warning Calls When Riding in a Group :

These calls and signals are universal to all experienced cyclists - please use them at the appropriate times

• “Car back/down” There is a vehicle coming up behind the group

 

• “Car up” There is a vehicle approaching towards the front of the group

 

• “Single out” A call from riders at the back of the group when a vehicle is unable to pass the 2 abreast column safely. This call must be relayed forward by everyone to ensure that the move to single file is executed quickly and safely. The standard procedure is for the outside rider to drop back behind the inside rider. The call “single out” alerts everyone to the need to slow up and create spaces in the inside file.

 

• “Clear” and “Car” on Left/Right” This call, let’s following riders know at junctions, when the group is joining or crossing another road, whether or not the road is still clear. If the group cannot stay together the first ones across ride slowly until the others catch up.

 

 

• “Pothole” any pothole that could cause a rider to fall. If possible indicate where it is so that following riders can steer away from it and not into it. Do this by either pointing or adding to the call “on the left (or right).”

 

• “On the Left/Right” A general warning of some kind of hazard - usually parked cars or pedestrians. For hazards on the left, an alternative warning is to put your left hand behind your back, pointing to the right, away from the hazard. Give way to pedestrians - they can feel intimidated by cyclists just as we sometimes feel intimidated by motorists.

 

• “Stopping” “Slowing” “Easy” “Right Hand moving in an up and down action”. If you brake without letting those behind know your intention they can easily run into you

 

• “Puncture” Let the others know and they will wait while you repair it. (You will probably be given help).

 

Ride Etiquette on the Track :

  • Please ensure that your bike is well serviced and in good working condition before attending a track ride session.

  • Always wear an approved helmet and gloves.

  • Enter the track when a responsible person has given permission – always check for yourself that it’s safe.

  • Listen to the coach or person in charge of the session.

  • Listen to the responsible riders who are in the group – these have been chosen by the club to help you and make things as safe as possible.

  • Do not use inappropriate language at any time.

  • Always take care not to put at risk any other rider or person standing on or near the track.

  • Riders should attend the session most suited for their needs – they must not speed a session up that is not intended for them. Riders will be informed if they should ride below or above the blue line.