Always obey the Highway Code
YOU are representing your Club so best behaviour.
Riding Etiquette and Advice
This advice has been written to help keep you and your fellow cyclists riding safely and efficiently and to help minimise inconvenience to other road users. It is based on Sid Valley Cycling Club’s guide. In the main the advice refers to club runs, but is useful for all rides. It is not comprehensive, so please also use your common sense and comply with the Highway Code.
SVCC is an inclusive club that encourages new and less experienced cyclists. The group will try to help you if you have a problem, wait for you if you have a puncture or mechanical issue or are a little behind on the Devon hills! However the aim of club cycling is to ride at an even pace with rides largely non-stop, unless a visit to a cafe is planned.
Our rides are advertised by their intended average speed and these speeds will usually be attained, so you should choose rides according to your ability to maintain that pace.
For all riders
- Make sure your bike is in good and safe working order before each ride
- On each ride take at least: water, some food, a puncture repair kit, pump, spare tube, basic tools and some money for a cafe stop, if planned.
- In wet weather we ask you to use mudguards, it is courteous to riders behind you, and in really wet conditions prevent spray from obscuring others visibility.
- Punctures can often be prevented by using tyres suitable for wet and winter conditions, and by checking them for flints and tears after every ride.
- We strongly recommend wearing a helmet.
- Keep left! when riding two abreast keep to the left hand side of the road so that motorists can overtake easily DO NOT drift right.
- The close proximity of other riders in the group makes sudden change in speed or direction undesirable or dangerous. Please do not make any sudden movements when riding in a group. Try to think about where other riders might be and how your actions may affect them.
- Riding style. Try not to let large gaps open up between you and the rider in front – you lose the benefit of aerodynamic drafting and it strings the group out over a longer distance making the group less safe as motorists try to pass.
- Riding style. Experienced riders sometimes ride very close together; don’t panic!
- Riding in big groups. It is encouraged to split the group up into smaller groups of a max four riders per group, and maintaining a gap to the leading group of at least a large (arctic) lorry length, this is for your protection and overtaking traffic can continue without taking risks trying to pass.
- Good manners. When changing position in the group, do so relatively slowly. Particularly if overtaking, do this at up to 1mph faster than the other riders; this allows them to take your wheel and benefit from the aerodynamic drag that you produce. Then and only then slowly increase your speed to that required.
- Wheel positioning. Do not ride with your front wheel overlapping the rear of the other person in front. If the person in front makes a suddon move, your front wheel could be knocked from under you and you will crash, probably along with those behind you!
- Hazards. Point out or call out any road hazards in plenty of time so that your signals can be passed on down the line.
- Shout and signal if you intend to stop. If you have a puncture (or mechanical problem)
- If you see another rider that is having problems, alert others in the group to this.
- Ride two abreast in groups
- Ride single file on narrow country lanes or busy roads
- Indicate hazards to riders and other road users
- Slow down nearing and passing horses. Make yourself know by shouting out “coming through” if you have a flashing front light turn it off, you can spook the horse!
- Always obey the highway code, you are representing your club so best behaviour please!
- Never ride on the left of a large vehicle (undertake)
- Ride with lights all year round “be seen and be safe”
- Remember never get into an argument with a motorist, even if they try to ram you off the road (exaggeration) just ride away, be safe be responsible.
And finally…. if you want to leave the ride en route or plan only to ride part of it, please let the other riders know.