Please take time to read the following before riding with the Wheelers
The club code of conduct for all riders Our Saturday, Monday and Wednesday club runs are the mainstay of club activity throughout the whole year. They are designed to be sociable and enjoyable, whilst also providing an opportunity to develop fitness, skill and stamina on the bike.
However, everyone on a club run needs to take responsibility for the safety of others as well as for themselves. In order to ensure our runs remain safe as well as good fun, we ask all our members to follow some basic rules and standards of cycling etiquette.
Below are some basic rules common to cyclists across the country. We have set them out as “Does and Don’ts” as well listing the main calls and signals to use when riding on a club run.
Please apply these rules when you are on the club runs and, where others don’t, politely inform them of the proper cycling etiquette we expect to see.
1. Follow the Highway Code at all times (it applies to all road-users) as well as the instructions of the ride leader, who is responsible for navigating and deciding when to single out, etc.
2. Ensure your bike is properly prepared for each ride, ie brakes are fully operational, tyres are pumped to recommended pressures, chain is oiled, etc. In winter months, this also means fitting more robust/heavier tyres to guard against punctures and full length mudguards to ensure the comfort of others, so we can continue to ride as a group.
3. Dress in appropriate clothing for the weather and bring everything you might need – ie tyre levers, spare tube, pump, multi-tool, waterproof jacket, food, drink, money (café stops are the best bit!)
4. Cycle a maximum of two abreast in two close parallel lines where appropriate, focus on keeping it neat and tidy. There should be approx. half a metre between your front wheel and the back wheel of the rider in front; and also between your shoulders and the rider beside you.
5. Be prepared on small or busy roads to ride in single file. This will be signalled by the ride leader when it is necessary.
6. Ride directly behind the wheel in front – if you cycle in the middle of the two wheels in front of you, you WILL push the cyclist on your outside into the path of passing vehicles.
7. Brake as gently and smoothly as you safely can when riding in a pack and cover your brakes at all times.
8. Talk and communicate – ie point out with hand signals or calls hazards in the road (potholes, manhole covers, etc), and let lead riders know if a rider is getting dropped or traffic is building up behind. See below for a list of standard calls and signals to use.
9. If you are in the front, remember that people are following your calls. If you make a decision to pull out on a roundabout or junction, you need to call “Clear” or “Wait” to warn the pack of hazards.
10. If you are feeling tired, let people know. Accidents happen when people are tired and lose concentration. Everyone gets tired, let the ride leader know so they check the pace down and tuck you in the pack to carry you home.
11. Remain courteous to other road users, avoid entering into arguments with drivers and using foul language (even if the driver deserves it) as it rarely helps improve a situation.
12. Finally, do become a member of Rotherham Wheelers Cycling Club! Anyone is welcome to join our club runs to try them out. However, we ask anyone who has ridden more than three club runs with us to become members and wear the club kit. We are the one of the oldest clubs in Yorkshire, and becoming a member means that you can keep up to date with club news, buy our rather attractive club kit and find out about new events and races, etc.
DON’T: 1. Ride more than two abreast at any time, unless dropping back after taking a turn at the front.
2. Overlap wheels, or nudge in between the wheels of the riders in front. You will come off if they move off their line.
3. Use tri / aero bars as these are not safe in a group situation.
4. Make any sudden movements or changes in direction when in the pack. You are responsible for the cyclist behind you; they are following YOUR wheel they need to trust you.
5. Ride off the front or race. This is a club run, not a race. We provide runs of various paces and distances, if the one you are on feels too easy then join another next week.
6. Stop pedalling if you are in the front, even on down-hills. The cyclists behind you will read this as you slowing and could be forced to brake and bunch up.
7. “Zone out” on the wheel in front. Keep aware of everything that is going on around you, look ahead and that way you can avoid most hazards.
8. Pull out at junctions without looking, having heard the “Clear” call from a fellow cyclist. Check whether there is a vehicle coming yourself.
9. Beckon through cars from behind the group. If accidents occur, this may result in ‘blaming’ of the cyclist, and lead to accusations the rider put the car driver at risk/rider negligence etc.
CALLS AND SIGNALS:
1. “Take a Mile off” / “Take a Notch off” / “Mile off” – referring to someone having been dropped from the group and the immediate need to slow the pace out of courtesy to bring them back.
2. “Inside” or “Out” or “Out a Bit” (often accompanied by left arm behind back) – meaning the group has to avoid parked cars or a hazard by riding wider into the road
3. “Middle” (often accompanied by pointing) – alerting to pot holes, speed humps or general hazards where the 2 lines of riders would widen to avoid
4. “All on” or “Back Together” – referring to the group has now reformed as one, and the pace can now return to ‘standard’ or a suitable pace (sometimes lower than standard if later in the ride )
5. “Keep Tight” or “Single Out” – indicating that the road is possibly not conducive to riding 2 abreast, of the two lines should become closer to each other
6. “Steady” (often accompanied by raising right arm up and down) – meaning that the group should temporarily slow it’s pace , sometimes to allow lights to change, or cars to turn into a junction
7. Shout of “Car Up” – where a car is coming up the group from the rear 8. Shout of “Car Down” – where a car is coming down the group from the front
9. “Car Down” should only be shouted after elongated periods of time, where the group has held up traffic – also “Keep Tight” where the road has appropriate width; and ultimately “Single File” where the road does not (ie a country lane, high hedge rows etc).
Note: A call should not be made, simply as a car is there. This has the potential of being every two minutes on a typical ride (ie we ride on the road), and the important calls may get ignored.
AND FINALLY … Please take this information on board and keep our club members safe. Rotherham Wheelers recommends that anyone who rides on public roads has appropriate insurance as provided through British Cycling or CTC membership (ask a club member for advice if needed).