WHEELERS ETIQUETTE FOR CLUB RUNS
For the enjoyment and safety of all, Birdwell Wheelers Cycling
Club has a set of guidelines which all members and prospective members should
familiarize themselves with.
1) Obey the Highway Code
Stop at red lights and don’t ride on the pavements. Ignoring this
puts you and other road users and pedestrians at danger and also gives the club
and all its members a bad name.
Whenever riding in a group you should be riding 2 by 2, side by
side (with only a few centimetres between you, you should not be able to fit a
bus between you and rider beside you) and be perfectly handlebar to handlebar,
avoid half wheeling and keep the pace steady. Keep safe, no one wants to see
their club mate hurt by the side of the road.
3) It’s Not a Race
A group training ride is NOT a race. The objective is to work as a
group to keep the pace as advertised. Having an advertised and understood pace
will allow other riders to join in or not and they will know what to expect. Deviating
vastly from the projected speed will mean the ride is too fast or too slow for
the riders and this leads to discontent. If you are feeling strong do more
frequent or longer turns on the front. Don’t ‘Attack’ off the front or try to
show everyone how strong you are. That’s what races are for. There may be some
natural splitting of the group on longer hills and this is fine, regroup again
at the summit.
4) Peeling Off
When you’ve had enough at the front, agree with the rider beside
you it is time to peel off and gradually move to the outside as a pair, allow
the group to pull through and move to the back of the group. The pair second in
line then pulls through maintaining the same effort. On occasions the group
might be riding as a chain gang with the riders on the right moving marginally
faster than those on the left. When the front rider on the right is fully ahead
of the front rider on the left he pulls over to the left, slows marginally and
the rider behind him becomes the front rider on the right. The trick is to
maintain a steady pace and not to speed up when you get to the front. If you do
not want to ride at the front because you are tired then do not make your way
up the line. Stay at the back and allow those coming back from the front to slot
in ahead of you.
The aim is not to have any gaps in a group ride. If you have a gap
in front fill it by riding into the space in a controlled manner, remember
safety at all times, don’t sprint to fill the gaps and then slam on the brakes.
6) Obstacles and hand signals
When you see a hole in the road, try and signal this by hand and
give warning to your club mates. Try and avoid last minute weaving and
shouting. Safety and enjoyment for all are the objectives. Point out only those
obstacles that are likely to cause a problem, (deep potholes, glass, ice to
name a few), not every tiny pothole or road blemish.
7) Slowing and Adjusting Speed
This is probably the biggest crash causer on group rides. For some
reason, when someone slows down ahead of them, a lot of riders jump for their
brakes and yank the heck out of them, almost skidding and taking everyone down
with them. You should be riding ever so slightly to the side of the rider in
front of you; so when they slow down, you either stop pedalling and start to
slightly overlap your front wheel with their rear wheel, or you touch the
brakes gradually, once again using the ‘wheel overlap’ as a buffer zone so as
not to slow down too suddenly for the riders behind you.
8) Two become one
The Highway Code says two abreast where permissible, in heavy
traffic or on narrow lanes you or the lead rider may decide single file is
appropriate in the interests of safety. In these circumstances the rider on the
left should always go forward and the rider on the right be allowed to slot in
away from the danger. Three abreast is against the law and should be avoided at
9) Other road users
Be respectful and courteous to other road users, a raise of the
hand in thanks rather than abuse can make everyone feel better. Winding up
other road users puts yourself and your club mates at danger and also gives the
club a bad name.
Look after your club mates and fit full length mudguards,
preferably with a flap. Have lights on, even during daylight hours they can be
needed in winter. Always carry spare tubes and a pump (and know how to use
Wear your Birdwell Wheelers Cycling Club kit with pride, stay safe
on the roads and make sure others around you are safe too, look after yourself
and your club mates and most of all have fun.
This video illustrates some of the above demo