Club runs are an ideal way of meeting fellow riders and club members in a more social atmosphere. However, they are NOT races and all members are expected to treat them appropriately.
It is essential that everyone follow a set of rules. Everyone on the ride must be responsible for their own safety, and by their behaviour, ensure the safety of other Club members and road users. Always remember that not everyone in the group may be as confident or have the bike handling skills that you have.
A typical club run may consist of 3 to 4 hours of riding and be anywhere between 30 to 60+ miles in length, depending on the ride attended. The latest club run information can be found on the Club website home page. If you are not used to riding in a group please speak to the person leading the club run that day. It soon becomes second nature by following these common-sense guidelines.
We usually ride in pairs, two abreast. This makes it easy to “single out” when required. Do not ride more than two abreast and be alert to road conditions that might require “singling out”
Ride close to the rider in front of you, less than 1 metre. This gives you a slight “draft” from them, making it easier for you and also causing less of an obstruction to other road users. If you are not comfortable riding close to other riders, seek out a more experienced club member and ask for some tips from them. We will be happy to help.
Maintain a steady, confident line and do not “half-wheel” (overlap wheels) with the rider in front.
As your view of the road ahead will be limited, it is essential that obstacles
and potholes are pointed out and communicated down the line. The front riders will point out, indicate and shout appropriate hazards, such as holes, parked cars, joggers, horses, sharp bends, gravel, etc. 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.
- For potholes, make a clear pointing gesture at the position of the pothole, continue pointing until you have passed it.
- Parked cars, joggers – the signal is a hand behind your back pointing towards the centre of the road (ride leader will demonstrate)
- Approaching horses from behind – call clearly but not panicked“Cyclists coming!”
- Sand/ Gravel on the road – call “Gravel!”
- Do not point out hazards to the detriment of your bike control e.g. steep downhills – you are more of a hazard if you crash onto the road in front of the group!
- To “single out” – usually the rider on the left moves forward and the rider on the right drops in behind.
- When a car is approaching from behind, the call is “Car up!”
- When a car is approaching from the front, the call is “Car down!”
- When a car is passing the group, having waited, call “Coming through!”
- If you need to stop, call out “stopping” or “slowing” so the riders behind do not crash into you.
- If you puncture or suffer another mechanical failure call out accordingly, the group will wait and assist.
- At junctions and roundabouts give clear warnings and indications of other traffic, so the group can move smoothly. Such calls are “Clear”, “Clear left/right”, “Car left/right” etc. as appropriate.
- Do not overtake on the left without warning the rider first. “On your left”.
- If the group size is over 10 (post-Covid), split into two groups, trying to maintain a gap of 150 metres, allowing other road users the chance to pass.
- Everyone climbs hills at different rates, please wait and regroup at the top so no one is dropped.
- If you, or someone else, are being left behind, it is your responsibility to call to the rider in front “easy up”. This must be communicated through the group to the leader.
- Do not react to bad driving incidents with gestures or provoke retaliation.
Finally, the Club recommends that anyone who rides on public roads has appropriate third party cycle insurance cover e.g. as provided by BritishCycling or Cycling UK full or affiliate member. Club insurance does not cover you as an individual.