Cycling Etiquette

Riding with a group is not the same as riding solo. The following notes are to help all
members enjoy their rides in safety and to promote the image of responsible cycling.

Some Basics

  • Know and obey the Highway Code.
  • Ensure that your bike is roadworthy. Brakes ,tyres, lights. If in any doubt, get it checked
  • Fit mudguards in winter.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • A helmet is not mandatory but is highly recommended.
  • Always carry tools and equipment in case of punctures – even if you cannot do the job yourself.
  • Also carry water, money, mobile, identity and contact details.
  • Mobile numbers should be shared in case of loss of contact.

Dos and Don’ts

  • No member is dropped and left to ride home on their own. Everybody in the group has a responsibility for this.
  • Always keep a steady pace and a steady line. Follow closely behind the rider in front and cover your brakes at all times.
  • Do not brake or slow down suddenly – the rider behind will not have time to anticipate this.
  • Do not ride with tri bars – you can’t brake or steer so well.
  • Do not ride off the front or overtake the whole group to get to the front except in emergency and then checking traffic very carefully.
  • Do use hand signals. As well as the usual ones, a hand up is used to mean stopping and a left hand pointing behind the back means pulling out to avoid an obstacle. Pointing down at the road indicates a pothole or manhole cover.
  • If you are at the front or back, shout or signal any hazard such as potholes, horses or passing cars. Heed these messages and pass them on.
  • If you are at the back of the group and see that someone is being dropped, it is up to you to let those at the front know so that they can adjust the pace. If out of shouting distance you may ride with the slower rider until the leaders notice your absence, or you may ride ahead to tell them. In this case reassure the slow rider.
  • If you are being dropped or under pressure don’t be afraid to shout “Easy” or “ Slow down a bit”. It is your ride to enjoy and only a small change of pace can make a big difference. If by mistake, the group has pulled away, don’t turn for home because they will soon miss you and come looking for you.
  • Some riders may not know the route so regrouping at junctions is essential.
  • When approaching horses, the leader should let the group know and slow right down. Call to the horse riders until you know that they have heard you and give them time to turn their horse if they want to. A frightened horse can cause serious accidents.
  • Approaching roundabouts or junctions, the leader may shout “Clear” but at any major road it is best to shout “Stopping”.
  • At junctions, do not blindly follow the rider in front. Check for yourself but be aware of the rider behind you who needs to know your action.
  • Accidents happen when people are tired so let the group know if you are not feeling safe for any reason.
  • Always help faster traffic to pass when it is safe but do not do so when it isn’t safe like when approaching a bend. We are entitled to our place on the road and should not be casualties of bad overtaking Be confident.
  • When faced with careless driving by other road users, it is easy to respond in anger but it is much more use to be calm and maybe take a car number.
  • Remember, you are not alone.
  • In any accident in which a person or vehicle is injured and/or damaged the driver is obliged by law to provide identification, vehicle number and insurance details. Failure to stop at the scene of an accident is also an offence. Injuries or damage may not be apparent until later so it is important to get these details at the time as well as details from any witnesses.

Remember

  • Don’t leave anyone behind.
  • Keep a steady pace and line and always signal any changes.
  • Enjoy the ride