Group Cycling

Mandatory :

Cycles must be legal and roadworthy.
If the bicycle does not appear to be roadworthy, the leader may refuse to allow you to join the group.


As a minimum, you should consider carrying:
- spare tube(s) and puncture repair kit, pump, tyre levers.
- some drink, food and money for emergencies.
- when necessary, wet weather wear and warm clothing.
- address and telephone contact number.
Preferably, use proper bike bags to carry the above.

Mobile phone owners - please carry it for emergency use.
Carry working front and rear lights when necessary.
Wear light or bright coloured clothing, with reflective clothing or belts at night.

In line with official Cycling UK policy, cycle helmets are optional on all of our events.
More information about the pros/cons of helmet use can be found here.

Members should be courteous to all other road users.

Know your Highway Code.

Look over your shoulder before starting or changing position.

Take care on lanes, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic.

If you need to stop for any reason, shout "STOPPING" before you slow down.

Stop close to the verge.

Never ride more than two abreast.
Keep your distance from the cyclist in front, especially when riding two abreast, as you or your partner may need to cut in suddenly.
When riding the outside position of the leading pair, hold back on the approach to blind corners as there may be a car approaching.
If riding alone within a group, ride behind the inner rider of the pair immediately in front of you.
Consider changing to single file riding when the call "nose" or "tail" is heard - normally the inside rider of each pair moves forward, allowing the outside rider to slot in behind.

Pass any calls of "nose" or "tail" up/down the line to keep all riders informed of potential dangers.

Ride in single file on busy roads and under circumstances where it would otherwise be dangerous for vehicles to pass (defer to the leader’s judgement).

If there is traffic behind, which is unable to overtake, split into smaller groups of about five to six to help it pass.

Do not overtake the leader (an exception is long uphills - at the top, stop where safe, to regroup).
Descending or climbing hills often leads to the need to pass another rider.
Be sure they know you are passing so that they do not move out to pass someone in front of them.
A useful phrase is 'Coming through' and this can be further refined by adding 'Coming through on the outside/inside'

Pass any of the leader’s messages down the line so that everyone follows suit.

After junctions, each rider should check that there is still another rider following and if not, either wait at the junction or, notify the leader.
At a junction, do not block the sight of motorists already waiting to pull out.

Members wishing to leave the group should notify the leader (to avoid their being treated as "missing persons").

Leaders and back markers must be current, paid-up members of Cycling UK.
This gives essential insurance cover.

The leader must carry a run sign-on sheet and have it completed by all participants of a run for insurance cover purposes.

It is recommended (not mandatory) that the leader should carry a first-aid kit, and the following are also suggested:
- puncture repair outfit.
- coins and card for telephone, or mobile phone if available.
- chain rivet extractor, spoke key, Allen keys, small adjustable spanner, screwdrivers (or appropriate multi-tool).

On the day, appoint a back marker (must be a Cycling UK member), supply the back marker with the route (preferably as some form of a map) and details of any coffee, lunch and tea stops.

Before the start, describe the ride in brief detail and introduce yourself and the back marker to riders and especially to newcomers.

Before the ride, where possible, choose routes which avoid roundabouts and main roads.
To avoid unnecessary stops, ensure that you are familiar with the route.
Identify points of interest (and coffee stops and toilets) and allow time for riders to appreciate them.
Check that the chosen refreshment stops are open, can accommodate the likely numbers and that food will be available.
Offer to advise on numbers eating if, for example, more than 10.

Try to ascertain the group-cycling experience of newcomers, tactfully check their cycle for safety and introduce them to a few members who can "help" them on the ride.

Ensure that riders and/or bikes do not cause obstruction at the meeting point.

Always choose a safe place to stop as a group.
Where possible, avoid road junctions, bends and other physical road hazards.

Warn riders before stopping, and keep the carriageway clear.
Similarly, in the event of punctures, breakdown etc., clear the carriageway if possible or instruct the group to continue to a safe waiting place.
Assess the problem and decide whether to hold up the ride or leave the "victim" with helpers and details of the route to the next stop(s).

If unsure of the route, stop well before junctions to consult any maps.

Check for presence of back marker at junctions.

If necessary, wait for slower riders BEYOND the junction.

If necessary, warning of approaching hazards should be given by shouting "nose" (e.g. for on-coming vehicles, walkers, joggers, parked car, animals, etc.)
Similarly, the back marker (or last rider) should give warning of hazards approaching from behind by shouting "tail".

For dangerous road surfaces (pot-holes, gravel, wet leaves, glass on road, etc.), call as appropriate and point down with left or right hand.

When traffic is held up behind, give positive instruction to open gaps in the ride (at least 20 metres between groups of about six riders) to help traffic to pass with safety.

Give positive instruction to ride in single file when road and/or traffic conditions dictate.

Directional hand signals must be given to the group (and other road users) in good time.
(Verbal direction should be given to a rider abreast.)

On observing a road junction warning sign, assess the junction (type, traffic, visibility into junction) and ease the speed of the ride as appropriate.
Give the group loud verbal warning of approach to a major road, dual carriageway, mini-roundabout, ford etc.
On approach, try to establish eye contact with driver(s) waiting at, or approaching a junction from a minor road on your left, to encourage them to give way.
When the route deviates from "ahead" at a junction, instruct a rider to wait for any slower riders. This keeps the group moving.

On observing horses, warn group and slow the ride down.
When closer, warn the horse rider verbally (horse accustomed to voice) of the group’s presence.
Obey any advice given by the horse rider.

If the ride has spread out too much due to the pace, slow the ride down.

Always lead from the front!

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