When joining our Club Rides please use common sense and obey the rules of the road. You are responsible for your own safety – our navigators are not responsible for you.
Please read our guide on etiquette to make the rides enjoyable and safe for everyone!
Emergency contact information
You currently need to book onto group rides via Nifty Entires. As part of this you are asked to confirm you do not currently have symptoms of Covid-19. On the day of your ride you need to sign onto the ride via the virtual sign on sheet, this again checks that you do not have any Covid-19 Symptoms. It also asks for yours and your emergency contact information and underlying medical concerns that may be needed in the unlikely event of an emergency. If you have difficulty with the sheet let the navigator know and they can help you out. Everyone on your ride has access to this sheet so anyone can take responsibility in an emergency. On the safe completion of all the rides this information is deleted.
Additionally please consider wearing an emergency contact bracelet which can be bought from the club kit shop OR – put your emergency contact information in your saddle bag.
Rules of the road
- Traffic lights – Red, amber and red/amber all mean stop
- Stop signs at junctions – Don’t have a quick glance then sprint across, this endangers riders and drivers and the chances are the rest of the group will have to stop and you will only end up waiting for them.
Group structure and size
- No more than two abreast and single file on busy on narrow roads
- Usually ride in pairs in line with the pair in front but single out when necessary
- Leave one metre gap in the pair and at least 2 metre between the rider in front and rider behind (leave space for an invisible bike)
- When catching up slower riders in other groups stay 20 metres behind unless you can pass them swiftly. If passed by other riders, rapidly fall back to 20 metres behind
- To maintain safety please do not spread across the road as this can cause issues for both cyclists and motorists trying to overtake
- The maximum group size is 6
- This video by GCN is a very Helpful reminder of how to ride safely in a group and share turns in the front safely.
Communicating during the ride
Good communication throughout the group is essential, learn the shouts and use them loud and clear and pass them on through the group:-
- “Car back” car approaching from the rear, “car front” car approaching from the front. These are warnings not instructions to single out.
- “Car on the left” obstacle on the left e.g. parked car, pedestrian, overtaking another cyclist who is outside of the group etc. (call accompanied by placing the left arm behind the back pointing away from the obstacle)
- “Hole” warning of a hole in the road, the call is accompanied by pointing to the obstacle, this shout can be adjusted to suit other obstacles such as branches, horse droppings, bricks
- “Easy” slow down and pay attention, this could be for a hazard, the group breaking up etc., the call is accompanied by a hand movement, arm outstretched, palm down – moving your hand up and down.
- “Stopping” which is self-explanatory – provide plenty of notice to avoid sudden braking and bunching up. Use the same hand signal as slow down.
- Changing direction let other riders know verbally and with hand signal. Individual riders should signal as well, in particular if the group splits up.
- “Clear”- When turning at a T junction, ’clear’ is an indication that the road is completely clear in both directions, BUT PLEASE CHECK yourself – it is every rider’s responsibility to ensure the road is clear for them. Remember your actions or the lack of them have an effect on your fellow cyclists: Cycling is NOT a dangerous sport but it can be dangerous if you do not behave appropriately – especially when riding in groups.
Being aware of the road
Do not rely solely on the previous communications as you are responsible for your own safety-
- Concentrate just the same as you should when driving a car and anticipate!
- Be aware of road conditions such as gravel and pot holes (we know they are hazardous!!)
- The Navigators will attempt to adjust riding to suit the group – please do your bit by staying with the group – do not cycle too slowly or fast for your group – you may wish to try another group if the pace is not right for you
- On blind bends and crests of hills, keep single file where possible, traffic may be oncoming.
Particular care must be taken at road junctions:-
- Use common sense, stop signs should be obeyed.
- Groups should remain orderly and avoid bunching at the mouth of the junction.
- For riders who have negotiated the junction, ideally check whether others have had to wait. Please then ride at a speed where they can re-join as soon as possible.
Members should have a clear and well understood method of singling out:-
- Riders on the inside should slightly adjust their pace to create gaps to allow riders on the outside to slip into the line. When it is safe to do so call “clear” so that the rider on the outside knows it is clear to pull in front of you. The group leader should call, “single out” to start the move. Once it’s safe the group leader can call “double up“.
Going to the front
In a group of similar ability riders, it seems only fair that all members of the group should take a turn at the front, particularly when the group is riding into a strong wind etc. However, in groups with less able riders, or riders experiencing problems, it is totally acceptable for them to opt out of a turn on the front and for stronger riders to work for the good of the group on the front.
It is recommended that riders use the following procedure to change over at the front:-
- Clearly tell the group that there is to be a change at the front.
- The rider on the outside at the front accelerates and moves over in front of the nearside rider. The nearside rider calls “clear” when it’s safe for the outside rider to move in
- The outside riders then move up one and the last rider on the inside will move to the outside to reform into pairs. The last rider moving from the inside lets the new inside back marker know that they are now the last rider.
Pay attention on hills, when climbing:-
- Avoid bunching and riding more than 2 abreast
- When standing on the pedals maintain an even pace by pushing harder on the initial stroke (slowing has the perceived effect of moving backwards into the rider behind and can cause collisions)
- Be aware that others may not be too skilled at the above and leave space where possible.
- The right line obviously helps when descending but not at the expense of safety, the wrong side of the road on blind bends is unacceptable.
- It’s not a road race on closed roads, please use common sense and be aware of the road surfaces and oncoming traffic.