The Sunday Club Run is a core part of the Clubs activities. Riding in a group is an enjoyable and sociable experience providing a great days riding. But with it comes a responsibility, both to other riders in the group and other road users. Please read the following guide lines to help those riding keep safe.
Group Ride Protocol
The Club has always adopted a belt and braces safety approach to competitive cycling, and rightly so. We now have, on most Sundays, around twenty five riders spread over two or possibly three Groups.
It is essential that they also stay safe as we need to do better in this field.
Around half of all cycling fatalities occur on rural roads, with a large percentage at, or close to, a junction.
A 4×4 doing 50 M.P.H. in a narrow lane won’t take prisoners.
Our intention is not to spoil the fun or single out individuals but it is clear we could all benefit from a few basic guide lines.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding group riding, other than in the Highway Code. We have based the protocol on Cycling UK, British Cycling and a common sense approach.
The purpose of the following information is to increase awareness of the risks involved in group cycling.
The Club runs are the social hub of club cycling. They are life changing for some and give years of pleasure for many. Enjoy the experience, stay alert, and most of all stay safe.
The Club Run Is a Leisure or Social Ride.
- Not a race.
- Not for the purpose of training
- With three groups there should be a pace to satisfy all.
A Group Effort. The aim is for the group to arrive at its destination safely and together. This is only attainable if riders are committed to the group idea.
Pace should be relevant to the group composition on the day of the ride, in general at the pace of the slowest rider within that group.
Ride sensibly and stay alert, constantly aware of other road users.
A thoughtless action by an individual can result in weeks of pain and misery for others.
Ride Consistently and Predictably. Your movements will affect everyone in the group. Hold a straight line, don’t weave and always overtake on the right hand side of the group. Don’t grab your brakes and, if you stand out of the saddle, don’t let your back wheel drop back, maintain your speed.
Good Communication This is critical to the whole group safety. It is the responsibility of all in the group to identify hazards by calling or signaling by hand.
‘On the left’ or ‘On the right’ indicates an obstruction ahead and is accompanied by a hand signal behind the back showing the direction the group should move.
‘Below’ indicates that a potential hazard on the road surface is about to be avoided and is accompanied by pointing at the surface on the side that the problem will occur.
‘Car up’ / ‘Car down’ is called by riders to tell the group that a vehicle is to pass Up the group from the back, or Down the group from the front
‘Coming through’ indicates that a vehicle is about to pass.
‘Easy’ indicates that a rider is slowing down and riders should ease off, being prepared to stop.
‘Stopping’ indicates that a rider intends to stop, this should be gradual so as to take account of following riders.
‘Puncture’ or ‘Mechanical’ the same action as stopping.
‘Single out’ is an instruction to the group to ride in single file until it is safe to return to the normal pattern. Outside rider to filter in behind the rider they are riding next to.
‘Knock one off’ is a request for the group to reduce its speed, not a call to stop.
Bunching at Junctions obstructs the view of others. On hills it is accepted that the group will split, when breaking ranks be aware of cars and other riders coming up from behind, regroup at the top of the hill. Only stop where it is safe to do so. Do not become an obstruction to other road users.
The group should ride in pairs where road conditions allow. Overlapping front and rear wheels is a dangerous practice and not advisable. Ride in two parallel lines at a distance you are comfortable with a slight offset to avoid collision with the wheel in front. Do not directly follow a riders’ rear wheel.
Half wheeling occurs when a rider constantly tries to keep their wheel ahead of their riding partner. This practice is irritating and, whilst not seen as a danger, can more often than not turn a group ride into a chase. Maintain an even pace and keep handlebars level with the rider next to you.
Do not ride in the gutter If you are riding at the front, don’t sit in the gutter as riders behind will tend to ride in the gutter too, increasing the likelihood of hitting obstructions and picking up punctures.
Its good manners to inform the group if you intend turning back early, not stopping at the café or taking an alternative route home.
ENSURE YOU HAVE A PUMP, PUNCTURE OUTFIT, SPARE TUBES AND TOOLS
Ensure that all riders in your group have your contact number for use should they become detached from the group, become ill or have an incident not seen by the group.
Take a head count
Be aware of weaker riders who may not be able to keep up.
To navigate the route indicating change of direction calling ‘Going Left’, ‘Going Right’ and using the appropriate hand signal.
Do not leave anyone behind.
Try to control the pace.
Know the route.
Be aware of traffic and weather conditions, and adjust the ride accordingly.