Club rides are not intended to be competitive. They are rides organised in groups according to anticipated average speeds. The intention is that all riders will work together to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable ride at an acceptable pace.
If any rider falls behind it is expected that the group will either stop and let them catch up and recover (typically at the top of longer hills) or slow down until they can regain the ride pace.
Riders who are in faster groups and find the pace difficult are encouraged to fall back and join a slower group behind where they can ride more comfortably. Any rider wishing to fall back is encouraged to do so early in the ride. The more leisurely groups often cut out certain sections of the route, usually towards the end of a ride, to enable not to go over a two hour ride.
Riding safely in groups requires that all participants follow the club etiquette and communicate clearly.
Riders should familiarise themselves with the standard hand signals and react to and use them as appropriate.
Riders should always communicate any intended change of direction such as an approaching turning.
If you need to stop, call out “Stopping” or “Slowing” and/or use the backward facing open hand gesture to indicate slowing so the riders behind do not crash into you.
It is essential that obstacles and potholes are pointed out and communicated down the line. The front riders should point out appropriate hazards, such as holes, parked cars, joggers, horses, gravel, etc.
Riders should normally cycle two abreast with handlebars aligned. This makes it easy to communicate and to “single out” when required.
Maintain a steady pace avoiding drifting backwards and forwards in relation to the rider in front.
Ride close to the rider in front of you, ideally less than 1 metre. This gives you a “draft” from them, making it easier for you and keeps the pack tight so motorists can overtake more easily.
Be willing to take your turn on the front if lead riders indicate they wish to fall pack in the pack.
The ideal method for lead riders to fall back is for them to agree the outside rider will pull in front of the inside rider to allow riders from behind to come forward and take up the lead positions.
Do not “half-wheel” (overlap wheels) with the rider in front. This risks collision if the rider in front pulls over and hits your wheel.
Slow down for horses and give them plenty of room. If approaching from behind call out in good time to warn them. It is safer for them and us.
We often ride on roads that are narrow requiring us to “single out” to allow cars to pass or to avoid collision with oncoming vehicles. The riders at the back of the group are responsible for warning of cars overtaking from behind by calling “Car Back”. Conversely, those at the front are responsible for warning of cars approaching from the front by calling “Car Front”.
To “single out” – usually the rider on the left moves forward and the rider on the right drops in behind. When pulling in, a rider must look to check there is room to do so safely and should signal his intention to do so. The rider behind should help by calling out that it is clear to pull in.
After overtaking a rider do not pull in before you have looked to see it is safe to do so and have indicated your intention to pull in.
Do not overtake on the left without warning the rider first by calling, “On your left”
If you have a puncture or suffer another mechanical failure, call out accordingly, the group should wait and assist.
At filters, junctions and roundabouts give clear warnings of other traffic, so the group can stop or proceed as appropriate. Such calls are “Clear”, “Clear left/right”, “Car left/right” etc. as appropriate.
Everyone climbs hills at different rates, please wait and regroup at the top so no one is dropped.
When coming out of the saddle on climbs or elsewhere ensure that you maintain the same speed by rising on the top of a downward pedal motion and exerting pressure.
Riders are encouraged to wear club kit.
Please be courteous to other road users and acknowledge any considerate behaviour from others.