This guide is based on Cycling UK best practice and recommendations.
When riding as a club we each have responsibilities…..
- to act in a manner which is a credit to the club,
- to ourselves in terms of our own safety and well-being,
- to fellow riders by ensuring that our behaviour does not threaten the safety of others and promotes well-being and fellowship, and
- to follow the rules and advice in the Highway Code.
Be kind to yourself…..
1. Choose a ride that is appropriate for you, both in distance and speed. Remember that if you are a faster rider then you will have to slow down to the group speed.
2. Road safety – you, and only you, are responsible for your road safety. At road junctions make your own decisions; do not just follow the group.
3. Take care on lanes, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic. When riding the outside position of the leading pair, hold back on the approach to blind corners; there may be a vehicle approaching.
4. Take extra care when leaving the ride, as motorists may assume all riders will continue in the same direction.
5. Wear brightly coloured clothing; at night use reflective clothing.
6. Always carry bad weather clothing – even in summer – as rides continue whatever the weather, and use proper cycle bags to carry it.
7. Usually there are café stops on medium and long rides, but carry enough water and snacks to get you home in case they are closed.
8. A well-fitted and correctly-sized helmet is recommended as it can reduce head injuries.
9. Use front and rear lights in winter months and bad weather.
10. Carry a tool kit containing as a minimum: pump, at least 1 inner tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, Allen keys and/or multitool, and cable ties for temporary repairs.
11. Carry your membership card, mobile phone, ride route, and the leader’s mobile number.
12. Horses don’t like surprises! When passing horses from behind, slow down, verbally let the riders know that there are bikes behind them, wait for their indication that it is safe to overtake, and then do so leaving the maximum amount of space between you and the horses. Take care not to startle the horses. Approaching from the front, again wait for the riders to indicate that is safe to overtake, etc.
Be kind to your ride leader…..
13. The ride leader is the official representative of the club and their instructions should be followed. Assist the leader to make the ride enjoyable, safe, and easy to manage.
14. If the ride leader offers their mobile phone number, make a note of it. It will be useful if problems occur.
15. The ride leader will ask for a designated backmarker to help ensure that slower riders and riders with mechanicals, etc are not left behind. Consider volunteering.
16. The ride leader sets the ride speed, adjusting it to take account of rider capabilities.
17. Unless on a long hill, keep in sight of the ride leader. Don’t force the pace. If you do overtake the leader, wait to regroup at the summit or next road junction. At junctions, if there is no one close behind, stop and wait for the next rider. Let slower riders take a breath before restarting.
18. Never leave a ride without ensuring the ride leader knows your intention. Searching for lost riders takes time and energy, and you will be responsible for yourself.
19. If you are a new member of the group, riding a longer distance than usual, or have mechanical problems, please let other riders know as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are dropping behind the back of the group. The ride leader will try to assist you.
Be kind to other riders…..
20. Everyone should look out for and wait for the last rider. We don’t leave anybody behind.
21. If your ride leader doesn’t notice that the tail-ender is falling behind then you should inform him/her.
22. Always stop and assist any rider suffering from mechanical/physical problems.
23. Ride at a steady pace with no sudden changes of speed or direction without warning.
24. Look over your shoulder before starting or changing position.
25. Signals and shouts – if the leader or another rider makes a shout, immediately pass it back or forward through the group so everyone is aware.
26. “Car Back” means vehicle coming from behind, so move into single file if the space or vision is restricted. “Car Front” means a car approaching head on. “Glass”, “Pothole”, “Ice” or “Gravel” are obvious, but please point to the hazard as well as shout, and again most importantly pass it back through the group.
27. “Stopping” is the most frequent shout and the most important. To avoid bringing down other riders behind you, shout your warning before braking, and brake smoothly.
28. If riding two abreast and there’s a need to change to single file, the outer rider always slows and slots in behind. Following riders must leave space to allow this manoeuvre to take place at any time.
29. At obstacles, riders at the back of a large group will be affected by the ‘concertina effect’ which means they will have to slow a lot more than those in front to negotiate the obstacle. The riders at the front should slow to allow the group to re-form.
30. Mudguards – Wheel Easy strongly urges all members to use mudguards and consider fitting an additional mudflap during winter months and bad weather for the comfort of both other riders and yourselves. If you persist in riding without mudguards in bad weather, you may find others avoid riding near you.
Be kind to other road users…..
31. In busy areas, especially Harrogate/Knaresborough, and whenever it is difficult for vehicles to overtake a long line of cyclists, split into smaller groups of 4 or 5 riders, leaving a large gap (20 metres) between the groups for vehicles to slot into.
32. Change to single file riding on narrow and busy roads to facilitate car overtaking.
33. Be courteous to ALL other road users. The reputation of our club and cycling nationally is enhanced by considerate road use.
34. Ride no more than two abreast unless overtaking.
35. At a junction, do not block the sight of motorists waiting to pull out. Consider letting the motorist pull out before you. If you are waiting for others, try to regroup a safe distance away from the junction.
Most importantly…. enjoy your cycling!