Cycling in a group is a highly sociable pastime, enabling people of all abilities to come together, and it doesn’t need to be competitive! This advice is intended to let riders know what is expected of them when riding with our club. The help and advice given is taken from both CTC resources and local (WWCC) guidelines. Please familiarise yourselves with its contents; it will help you and others around you get the most out of cycling.
New riders - are most welcome on any of our club rides. Here are some things you should be aware of:
New riders should check the WWCC website at www.wellesbourne-wheelers.org.uk to find the type of ride that is likely to suit their level of fitness and style of riding.
As a new rider you may go to the meet venue on the day, or you may seek advice on ride you intended to go on by sending an ENQUIRY from the website
Non-WWCC members will be asked to fill in a Membership Registration Form (including a third-party insurance declaration), and pay a nominal fee prior to commencing any WWCC rides. A copy can be obtained in advance of the ride in the Administration section of the website - or on the day of the ride from the Ride Leader
Riders under 18 are not permitted to ride with WWCC..
Before Setting Off - we all know preparation is important before setting out on a project or task. Cycling is no different. Here are some reminders and tips:
Wear suitable clothing for cycling, including an approved cycle-helmet*
Your bike should
• Be roadworthy
• Be fitted with mudguards, or you should ride at back of group in wet conditions
• Carry lights in winter months
You should carry
• Tools appropriate to your bike, including pump and tyre levers
• Emergency spares (including at least 2 inner tubes)
• Emergency details, in a form approved by the Club Secretary
You might want to take
• Drink and energy bars (and lunch where advised)
Check the WWCC website www.wellesbourne-wheelers.org.uk in the Ride Updates section of the Forum for any last minute changes to the planned ride - from 09.00 on the day of the ride. This is particularly important in poor weather conditions in case the planned ride is cancelled.
At the meet - meeting locations for all rides can be found on the club website.
Riders should aim to arrive 15 minutes before the departure time.
The Ride Leader shall make themselves known to the group. If the designated Leader is not at the meet, an alternative Ride Leader should be selected from the other riders present.
New riders will be introduced to others.
Sign the runs book when requested by the Leader.
On the road - We are all ambassadors for cycling and should always consider our behaviour towards other road users.
All riders must ride with their own safety and that of the group as their main consideration.
Participation is at own risk, but third party insurance cover is compulsory - provided by CTC Affiliate or Full membership - or other sources as approved by the Club Secretary.
Riding in a group- group riding is not difficult; in fact it can be a lot of fun. However, for the benefit of all we do recommend the following:
The instructions of the Leader shall be followed.
Pass on instructions from the Leader to other riders.
Do not overtake the Leader unless he/she agrees.
Do not overlap wheels with the rider(s) directly in front
Do not signal to drivers of vehicles waiting to overtake, except in exceptional circumstances.
Comply with the Highway Code including Paragraph 66 which states: you should never ride more than two abreast and should ride in single file on narrow and busy roads and when riding round bends.
When singling up from riding two abreast, the outside rider shall pull back behind the inside rider.
Support to other riders and the Leader - when cycling in a group some riders view may be obscured or they may not be aware of other road users. Therefore:
Where possible indicate to other riders any obstacle on the road e.g. pot holes, parked cars, pedestrians in road, glass or debris.
Warn others of cars held behind group, or about to pass.
Warn following riders that you are about to brake by calling ‘easy’.
Warn the Leader if the pace is too fast for anyone struggling.
If riding in the middle of the group, check at changes of direction that others are in sight and if not, wait until the last rider (the Backmarker) is in sight.
End of ride - seek advice of Leader if you are unsure of return route home. When you intend to break away from Group to go home directly, inform the Leader or Backmarker.
Let’s Go Cycling!
Some further notes on two abreast riding
Two abreast riding, when safe to do so, is advocated by almost all other cycle clubs in our area and we believe that the guidelines set out by fellow local club, Kenilworth Wheelers, most accurately reflect the safety considerations linked with this form of riding and we are publishing these here. (http://www.kenilworthwheelers.co.uk/guidelines/)
Ride safely when in a group!
Follow the highway code and be courteous
- Ride in pairs. Never ride more than two abreast. Single out on narrow lanes, busy roads or when holding up following traffic.
- Ride on the left hand side of the road. When riding in pairs the riders on the right must avoid drifting towards the centre of the road.
- Respect traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, don’t ride on pavements unless they are cycle paths.
- Slow down and pass horses with care. Warn the horse rider when approaching from behind and pass slow and wide, in single file if necessary.
- Be courteous and don’t shout abuse or make offensive gestures to other road users. You are representing Kenilworth Wheelers and poor behaviour damages the club’s reputation.
- It is recommended that the maximum group size is 16 riders. If there are more people than that, the group should split.
Ride as a member of a group not as an individual!
- Look where you are going, be aware of the other riders around you and think about how your actions might affect them.
- Ride in a smooth and predictable manner and avoid making sudden movements like braking or swerving suddenly.
- Ride close to the rider in front of you, but only as close as you are comfortable with. Leave a larger gap in wet or windy weather conditions or if you are less experienced.
- Do not ride with your front wheel overlapping the rear wheel of the rider in front. It is dangerous.
- Ride in line with the pair of riders in front of you. Avoid riding outside the line of the group.
- And, no “half-wheeling”! When on the front, do not edge ahead of the rider next to you. Be aware of the speed they are riding and adjust your speed accordingly.
- Equally, within the group, each pair of riders should ride ‘shoulder to shoulder’. Do not edge ahead or fall back from the rider next to you.
- When singling out, each rider in the outside line should drop in behind the rider on their left.
- When pulling out from a junction or turning into a road, be aware of the riders behind you: slow down a little so that they can catch up.
Be careful at road junctions
- Stop at junctions. Don’t jump across when vehicles are approaching as other riders may follow you.
- When pulling up at a junction, stay in two lines: do not scatter across the road. Don’t pass or crowd around vehicles at the junction.
- Riders on the front should warn of traffic to the right or left and call out when it is clear to cross.
Don’t ride dangerously – all three of the following have caused accidents!
- Saturday and Sunday club runs are not a race and should not be treated as such. Sprinting for village/road signs is inherently more dangerous than steady riding and must only be done with a great deal of care and consideration for the safety of your club mates and other road users.
- Do not ride ‘hands off’ in the group. Similarly, don’t take off or put on a rain jacket when in the group. Both are very dangerous. If you need to do either, ask the group to stop where it is safe to do so, or move to the back of the group.
- Do carry a phone for emergency use, but do not make or answer calls when riding in a group. Do not stop suddenly if it rings.
Take turns on the front
All riders in the group should take turns on the front. Don’t hog the front. But equally, don’t avoid it! Change over at the front roughly every 5 to 10 minutes so that everyone gets a turn. It is recommended that the following procedure be used to change at the front:
- The rider on the outside at the front pulls forward and over in front of the rider on his left.
- Then, the outside line of riders moves forward two positions.
- And the last rider on the inside line moves over to the rear of the outside line.
- And, when you do get to the front, maintain a steady pace for the group. Don’t speed up to show everyone how strong you are, as you will break up the group!
Make sure there is a leader of the group
On a group ride, it’s important that someone knows where the ride is going! So make sure one person in the group is nominated as the leader for the ride. The leader should give clear directions ahead of turns. If the leader happens to be near the back of the group, then make sure that any ride directions are passed forward through the group to the front, so that everyone knows where to turn.
And finally, talk to each other!
Riders on the front should shout and point out hazards such as potholes, debris, parked cars etc. Warnings should be passed back through the group so that all riders are aware of the danger. Please don’t ignore shouts made by other riders. Listen to calls that are made and react accordingly
An incident and near miss whilst on a ride in February 2018 has resulted in Wellesbourne Wheelers adding an additional safety recommendation:
When riding two abreast, riders should not mix different types of handlebars.
The reason for this is that there is a danger of potential entanglement of handlebars occurring when riders using straight bars ride next to riders using drops in side by side formation.
* the club operates a mandatory cycle helmet rule - No helmet = No ride