Ride Etiquette

 

Cycle Supreme Cycling Club

For Road and Mountain Bikers

A British cycling affiliated club where cycling matters.

Cycling on the public roads has some inherent danger attached, but as a club we want to support and encourage people to ride safely and enjoyably, respecting their fellow riders and other road users.

By following a few basic RULES OF ETIQUETTE we can achieve this.

Please read these rules and if you are unsure of anything then please also your ride leader before the ride sets off.

(These rules are based on best practice issued to us by British Cycling and on the collective decades of cycling experience that the ride leaders have)

SAFETY is the single most important consideration for our club rides and we ask that you take this very seriously;

Do’s

  • It is essential that your bike is in a safe and roadworthy condition, with working brakes for example ( if you are unsure, cycle supreme will check it for you or post a query on the cycle supreme forum if you want to ask an open question)
  • We insist that all riders wear a British Standard cycling helmet for your own safety and also to set a good example to other cyclists
  • The appropriate lighting and high visibility clothing should be worn for the weather conditions and time of ride
  • In the event of any incident, please support the ride leader and offer any help you can, whether it be by making a phone call to seek help, warning other road users (often the most critical thing to do) or assisting with any injured riders if asked
  • Please follow the highway code at all times, including stopping at red lights and riding no more than two abreast
  • Communication is the key to a safe group ride. Roads are full of traffic, rocks, signs, pot holes, parked cars, animals, pedestrians, etc. and visibility is limited for cyclist within a pack. It is important to communicate to the riders in the group of potential hazards by shouting and pointing out hazards ( it is not imperative for every cyclist to give hand signals and if you are a beginner or unsteady then it is far safer for the group for you to keep both hands on the handle bars and shout out instead) Focus on fellow riders and beware of potholes in the road whilst holding you line

Don’ts

  • On the roads NEVER go two or more abreast, irrespective of how good the conversation is!
  • Do not overlap wheels or brake suddenly unless absolutely necessary (sudden braking causes most accidents)
  • Please do not wear ear phones whilst riding on a club ride. It is imperative that you concentrate on the pace of the group and are able to hear warnings and traffic. 
  • Getting a ringing mobile phone out and answering it whilst riding is dangerous for you and your fellow riders. Please refrain from answering a phone manually whilst at front or within a club group ride. This also goes for taking photos.
  • Do not drop litter whilst riding, this can distract other riders and can cause slip hazards for riders behind.

 We ask everyone, when riding on a CSCC ride to have RESPECT for their fellow riders and other road users;

  • Ride Co-ordinators (or more likely their sweepers) will help with mechanical issues, but we would ask all riders to be able to fix basic problems such as punctures. Always carry some spare inner tubes that are the correct size for your wheels, as the leaders are unlikely to have a full set of spares
  • Please show respect to ALL other road users including drivers, pedestrians, runners, dog-walkers and horse-riders. Where appropriate and safe to do so, allow drivers to get past you on narrow roads
  • Please get to the rides on time. We will have a short briefing before each ride and then look to get going
  • Put ALL litter in a pocket until you reach a litter bin. Throwing non biodegradable packaging into a hedgerow is dangerous to wildlife, sets bad examples to other road users and is ILLEGAL. This goes for discarded inner tubes, gels and bar wrappers.

 

FUN

 A cheery “hello” to a passing rider and groups helps spread the fun to everyone else.

 Being polite to ALL other road users helps the sports reputation, thanking drivers that give wide birth etc.

 Politeness cost nothing and if we give respect we are most likely to receive it.

And last but not least;

Let’s not forget that we do this because we love cycling, so lets do it with a smile on our faces.

GENERAL GROUP RIDING ETIQUETTE FOR BEGINNERS

Pick the right group

  • Club rides are broken into Saturday Intro’ Group, Saturday Group 1 (intermediate), Sunday Group 2, MTB Group. The website will give an indication of distance.
  • As a general rule it will be worth starting with a slower group than a faster one. But if you are not used to riding in a group you will be surprised how much benefit you get from it (approx 20%). By this I mean you will go 20% faster with the same effort.

Co-ordinators and “sweepers”

  • Each CSCC ride will have a co-ordinators and a “sweeper”
  • The co-ordinators will not necessarily have to ride at the front, but will be familiar with the route and have some cycling experience. Please respect the co-ordinators decision, if for example they decide to shorten a route due to weather/light/safety concerns
  • The “sweeper” will ride at the back of the group and make sure riders do not become detached from the main group

Ride efficiently

  • Ride two abreast when ever it is safe to do so, this way the group is a compact unit which can ride efficiently but easily move into single file when needed to (for example to get past an oncoming car when the road is narrow)
  • On the roads NEVER ride three abreast, irrespective of how good the conversation is!
  • Communication is the key to a safe and efficient group ride. Roads are full of traffic, rocks, potholes, parked cars, runners and solo riders etc. and visibility is limited for the cyclist in a pack. It is important to communicate throughout the group pointing out potential hazards by shouting and pointing.

Warnings

  • Shouts you’re likely to hear include:
    • CAR UP/BACK” there’s a car approaching from the rear of the group
    • CAR DOWN” there’s a car approaching from the front of the group
    • “CAR RIGHT/ LEFT” car is approaching from right or left
    • “ROCK/GRAVEL/MUD/HOLE” there is a hazard in the road
    • “WALKER/RUNNER” there’s a pedestrian on the road ahead
    • “BIKER” there is a slower cyclist ahead that we are likely to be overtaking
    • “CLEAR” perhaps at a junction this is called when there is nothing coming and you know you can pedal through
    • “SLOW/EASE UP” potential hazard ahead, control speed (but do not brake sharply to a standstill)
    • “STOP” we are going to have to stop/ there is a hazard we can’t ride round
    • “SINGLE FILE” asking that we move (whilst still keeping the same speed) to single file to for example let a vehicle pass
  • Hand signals:
    • The thing you are most likely to see is where riders point down in the direction of an oncoming rock/hole/mud/Gravel
    • If the rider on the left points to their left, it means there is something to their left that they might have to ride slightly to the right of to pass and if you are behind them then you will have to take the same line if you also want to avoid it!
    • Similarly the rider on the right might indicate a similar obstacle to their right
    • You will also see a ride pointing or waving behind their lower backs. If they are pointing right (the most common) then it indicates that the whole group will have to move to the right to overtake a large obstacle such as a parked car

It is not imperative that all cyclist in the group point out the same hazards or signals, as long as a few are then this normally sufficient (the leading two always should). If you are a beginner or a little unsteady then it is far safer for the group to keep both hands on the handle bars than it is to point things out.

The purpose of these signals is that the riders can continue to ride at a steady pace and can ride round the smaller obstacles without constantly having to brake (sudden braking causes most accidents)

 Looking back and holding your line

  • If you are pulling out into the line of traffic or in the path of another rider it is important you make sure it is clear, on the other hand until you are experienced with your bike and can hold your line, it is better to not look behind you if not necessary
  • Looking behind can cause you to put uneven weight on your handlebars and make you wobble or worst run into another rider
  • To hold your line you need to stay alert at all times, keeping at the same pace as the group as close to the rider in front without clipping wheels. To avoid clipping wheels you must be careful to not overlap wheels with the rider  in front

Inexperienced riders who panic can touch a wheel and crash or cause a crash. You can avoid problems by practicing these simple rules;

  1. Ride smooth
  2. Don’t over react
  3. Avoid hard braking
  4. Be alert at all times
  5. Hold your line
  6. Don’t overlap wheels

All this may sound complicated at first but you will soon get into it. It actually gives a whole new dimension to cycling as it makes it a team event.

You have to communicate, support and trust each other.

 Everyone’s safety is in each other’s hands but you will find this is the most enjoyable element to riding in a group.

To sum it up be alert, relax and enjoy your riding experience as part of

Cycle Supreme Cycling Club 

A british Cycling affiliated club

A british Cycling affiliated club