Riders guide

This guide has been written to help keep you and your fellow cyclists riding efficiently and safely and to help minimise potential inconvenience to other road users. It includes tips and advice on equipment, clothing, nutrition and behaviour whilst riding in a group. This list is not comprehensive whilst using the advice below please also use your common sense and the highway code.
1. Equipment

  • Ensure your bike is in good working order before each ride
  • A road bike is recommended over other types of bike (e.g. mountain bike)
  • On each ride bring a spare tube, tyre levers, pump, puncture repair kit and basic tools
  • Appropriate clothing; dress for the conditions so bring wind / water proof clothing
  • Bring appropriate food (energy bars, bananas etc) and drink (energy drink and water) for the ride, especially if the ride is longer and no cafe stop is planned. Use the ride calendar to check club run distances.

2. Riding Etiquette

  • Ride no more than two-abreast and stay in neat lines, this will help the aerodynamic efficiency of the group. Change to single file as necessary to help cars overtake.
  • The speed of the front pair of the group is determined by the slower rider. Faster riders should avoid ‘half wheeling’ the slower rider.
  • The close proximity of other riders in the group makes sudden change on speed or direction undesirable. Do not make any sudden movements when riding in a group.
  • When changing position in the group, do so relatively slowly. If overtaking, do this at about 1/2 to 1 mph faster than the other riders; this allows them to take your wheel and benefit from the aerodynamic drag that you produce.
  • When pulling off the front of the group ensure the road is wide enough to allow the whole group through.
  • Do not ride with your front wheel overlapping the rear of the person in front. If the person in-front makes a sudden move, your front wheel could be knocked from under you.
  • Avoid overtaking and riding ahead of the group unless you are willing to take responsibility for your own navigation. The clubrun leader is not obliged to chase after people who miss a turning in this way.
  • Riders will climb hills at different speeds. Faster riders must wait for the group to reform at the top of a climb.
  • If there are more than twelve people in a group, or there is an obvious disparity in the abilities or fitness, consider splitting the ride into two (or more) groups).
  • Start rides at a sedate pace to enable the whole group to get organised and allow gaps to be closed up.

3. Communication

  • If you have a puncture (or mechanical problem) shout PUNCTURE and slowly pull over to the roadside
  • If you see another rider that is having problems (mechanical or other) alert others in the group to this and ask the group to slow down
  • Common calls:
    • ‘Single out’ – move from riding two abreast to single file usually to let a large vehicle or queue of traffic past when appropriate
    • ‘Car back’ – Car from behind the group is overtaking in the direction of travel
    • ‘Car front’ – Car in front of the group is overtaking in the opposite direction

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