GUIDE TO SAFE CYCLING
By entering the event each rider confirms that he or she has personal event insurance and has read and will comply with these rules and guidelines.
1. Event Rules
- The wearing of helmets (confirming to CE Standards EN1078) is mandatory for all riders. No helmet, no ride.
- Each rider must register at his or her home club before departing, and be signed in at each club enroute.
- Riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult during the event.
- Each group of riders will receive a safety briefing before being set off at the start.
2. Road Safety
During the ride there are no closed roads, therefore you must ride safely at all times and be aware of other road users. Below are some tips for staying safe on the road:
- Obey the Highway Code at all times.
- Stop at all junctions.
- Never ride more than two abreast.
- Ride single file on single track roads.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the rider in front.
- Do not use headphones whilst cycling.
- When turning off the main road, check the road behind you and signal your intentions clearly.
- Ride in small groups.
- Although food and water will be available at each club, riders should start out with sufficient water, gels and food to get them to their first stop.
- Take responsibility for yourself at all times and particularly when crossing junctions.
3. Riding in a Group
Riding in a group is efficient, energy-saving and fast. Riding close behind another bike will allow you to ‘draft’ (sit in the slipstream of the rider ahead) which reduces your wind resistance, thereby saving you lots of energy and effort. Take it in turns with other riders to sit at the front of the group to help each other.
There is a technique to this so it is definitely worth getting it right. The key rules are:
- Follow a straight course – sudden changes in direction cause crashes and make for a nervous peloton.
- Signal any potential hazards or obstructions to the group behind (see below for more details)
- Look ahead of you regularly when riding in a group, not just at the wheel in front – this gives you time to react to things and anticipate.
- Don’t brake suddenly – this avoids the “concertina effect”. Also, the less you brake, the less you have to accelerate. This maximises energy conservation.
- Don’t overlap wheels with the riders in front – leave about 1 to ½ metre gap between you and the rider in front. If you do overlap, wheels can touch and if this happens it is very hard to stay upright.
- Most importantly, look out for other riders around you and they should look out for you. Ride smoothly and stay relaxed.
4. Staying Safe
When riding in a group, those at the front take a degree of responsibility to be the eyes and the ears of the rest of the group. There are a few phrases and hand signals which are all you need to let people know what’s going on.
5. Calling Out
Use the following basic call outs/signals to communicate when riding in a group:
- “Car back” There is a vehicle behind, let it pass.
- “Car up” Vehicle up ahead, let it pass.
- “Single Out” The group needs to go from two lines into one.
- “Easy” When called from the front it signals that you need to start slowing down, e.g. because of traffic lights or a junction.
- “Directions” Not every change in direction obviously, but when turning on to another road call ‘right’ or ‘left.’
- “Holes” Used to point out potholes, drains or any other hole in the road.
6. Bike Maintenance
Keeping your bike clean and in good working order is essential to help to prevent mechanical difficulties, accidents, and hopefully will stop you being stranded in the middle of nowhere during a training ride!
- Tyres must be in good condition and inflated correctly. To learn how to change a punctured inner tube refer to Youtube.com/watch?v=8TmlwewekVQ
- Brake blocks should be equally spaced over the wheel and not worn down. If in doubt change them before the event.
- Brake and gear cables should be free from rust and not frayed.
- Seat and headset clamps should be tightened to avoid movement.
- Wheels should be securely fastened to the bike frame with no movement.
- The drive chain should be in good condition and not worn.
If in doubt, have your bike fully serviced at a bike shop before the event. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that your bike is in good working order.
In the event of a serious injury requiring immediate medical treatment please call the ambulance service.
In the event of a less major injury, bike breakdown, or other problem, please call the number on your rider contact card of the club representative nearest your location who will arrange a pickup of bike and rider.