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Ride Ettiquette

Club Rides

There are many benefits to riding in a group. It is safer, sociable and more energy efficient. By riding in a club, you will benefit from riding with more experienced cyclists and learn about the local area. However there is a fairly simple set of rules to which all riders need to adhere. These rules are accepted as good practice and will make the experience for all riders and other road users safer and more enjoyable.

Our rides are there to provide an enjoyable, safe but fitness-focused cycle ride. Before joining one of our rides, pop into the shop or give us a call for an informal chat about your cycling ability. This will enable us to advise you on whether the club ride is for you and ensures that you have an enjoyable and achievable first ride. We operate a 'no-drop' policy, so someone will always be cycling with you, or we'll wait at the top of a hill for you.

 

Common Instructions

 

Verbal Warnings

  • Car behind/in front!

  • Move out! (to avoid parked cars, horses, runners, slower cyclists, pot holes)

  • Single out!

  • Stopping!

  • Look up! (a warning to all riders to pay attention to a particular hazard)

  • Easy! or Steady! (for some reason the group should slow off)

  • It is much appreciated by other road users (horse riders etc) if you can call a warning of the group's approach.

Hand Signals

  • Pointing to potholes and other road hazards 

  • Hand in the air - group come to a stop

  • Wafting hand to the right (move out to avoid stationary or slower road user)

  • The front riders and a significant number of the group should make directional hand signals to let other road users know when the group is turning

Respect

We ask everyone, when riding with us to have respect for their fellow riders and other road-users:

Please follow the highway-code at all times, including stopping at red lights and riding no more than two-abreast. Please respect ALL other road users including drivers, pedestrians, runners, dog-walkers and horse-riders. Where appropriate and safe to do so, allow drivers to get past you on narrow roads.

Once you’ve joined a ride, please stay in the group. If you’re having one of those days when you’re struggling to keep up, let the ride leader know. If you see someone struggling, drop back and see if you can help. If you’re on the front, hold a pace at which the group can stay together.

Shouts

Warnings you're likely to hear when riding with OSSVCC include:

Car Back: there's a car approaching from the rear of the group ride

Car Up: there's a car approaching from the front of the group ride (Some other clubs use this call to alert the group to a car approaching from the rear, but we don't!)

Car right or left: car is approaching on the left of right of the group ride

Out: the group needs to move out to avoid an obstacle

Gravel or Hole: there is a hazard in the road

Walker/runner up: there's a pedestrian on the road ahead

Bike up: there is a slower cyclist ahead that we are likely to overtake; or one approaching us in the opposite direction

Clear: this is called at a junction when there is nothing coming and you know you can pedal through. If, however, it is unsafe to proceed into the junction, then announce the danger (e.g. "Car Right") or the action ("Stopping") loudly and as soon as possible.

Slowing: potential hazard ahead, control speed (but don’t brake sharply to a standstill)

Stopping: we are going to have to stop – there is a hazard we can’t ride round Line-out or single-file: asking that we move (whilst still keeping same speed) to single-file to for example let a vehicle past.

All of this may sound complicated at first but you will soon get into it. It actually gives a whole new dimension to cycling as it makes it a team event –

you have to communicate, support and trust each other, and everyone's safety is in each other's hands. But you will find it one of the most enjoyable

elements to riding in a club. If in doubt, ask a fellow rider.

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