2. Road Conduct Guidelines When Cycling In Groups
You will find that cycling in a group is great fun but different from cycling on your own. To enjoy your ride in safety we would ask that you observe the following points when on a Stourbug ride:-
- Look over your shoulder before starting to move and when changing position on the road within the cycling group. Some members do have small handlebar mirrors but these are not a substitute for the shoulder check so make you intentions clear to those cycling around you.
- Change speed or positions carefully giving a clear indication regarding your intentions, such as, “Slowing”, “Stopping”, “On your right”, and if it is necessary to pass someone on the inside, “On your left”.
- Pass messages along the line of riders. Messages include warnings about “Car up”, “Car down”, “Slowing” and “Stopping” and many more below.
- Hazards that we encounter regularly include potholes so when cycling, warn those behind shouting “Pothole” and pointing to the where it is. If you are unable to point, shout “Pothole left” or “Pothole right”. This will warn those behind you, helping them to avoid it.
- When on a hybrid bike or road bike with narrower, minimal treaded tyres, wet leaves, drain covers, painted lines, gravel, mud and sand can all be slip hazards. Add to these some rain, and these all become more of a hazard. Try to avoid them but when forced to ride across them, do so in a straight line with the bike upright and warn the other members on your ride by shouting “Gravel” or “Drain cover” etc to help them in avoiding them.
- Never go through deep water or puddles. They can be hiding unseen potholes to unseat you from your bike. If you see water, warn others on the ride by shouting “Puddle”.
- Other warnings to alert members on your ride include, “Horses” and “Pedestrians” so it is essential to pass the messages along the line.
- Take care on narrow lanes especially when cycling two abreast. Look over hedges and listen for approaching vehicles.
- When riding in the outside position of the leading pair on narrow lanes, hold back on the approach to blind corners to ensure there are no cars approaching.
- Change to single file riding when the call, “Car up” or “Car down” is heard. Normally the inner rider moves forward and the outer rider drops in behind.
- If there are vehicles behind which are unable to overtake, split larger groups into two or more smaller groups of four or five riders.
- Do not stop at a road junction for a drink, chat, discussion or when waiting for members to rejoin the group. Move beyond the junction to a safe place before stopping, preferably off the road.
- Members who wish to leave the group before the official end of the ride must notify the ride leader to avoid being treated as a “missing person”.
- Never indicate to a motorist that it is safe to pass. If an accident results, you could be liable.
Stay Safe. Happy Cycling.