Cycling: Safe Group Riding
Group riding is one of the most enjoyable aspects of cycling. It requires special skills, care and caution. The respect we earn from others depends on our actions as responsible cyclists.
Safety is the club’s Top Priority
No matter which ride you’re on, safety is more important than anything else. Please don’t endanger yourself or others by committing unsafe acts. All participants in ATAC rides and events must understand that the ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the individuals. It is expected that our members have a healthcare insurance and we recommended to have liability insurance as well.
Pick the Right Group Ride
Since the purpose of the various group rides is different, finding out the group’s pace, distance, and goals will help you join a ride that’s right for you. The ride details can be found on Meetup. If you are still not sure what type of group ride you are getting yourself into, just ask the Ride Leader.
Communication is KEY to safe group riding.. Below are our standard calls.
“Pole” and point to the pole
“Car Right” or “Car Door” and point
“Hole” (hole in the road and point at it)
“Left” and use hand as well
“Right” and use hand as well
Finally a few simple steps for safe group riding:
Bring adequate food, clothing and water (particularly in colder months)
Regardless of level, groups should stop for mechanical problems and only drop a rider if satisfied the problem is ride ending and they have a means to get safely home
If you want to leave the ride, tell the leader
Ride to your ability and expect to leave the ride if you are significantly off pace
Don’t overlap wheels. A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels and fall
Listen to and adhere to the directions of the Ride Leaders
Be predictable in all your actions
Ride mostly two-up and stay tight and to the right. However, single out if unnecessarily obstructing traffic
Stay alert at all times
Always ride smoothly
Don’t brake hard unless absolutely necessary
Remove aero-bars for all group rides
Look out for each other’s well-being
Be Prepared: Always bring a tube, CO2 cartridge or a pump, and the tools to change a flat. It also a good idea to bring your bank card and transit card in the event that you cannot proceed further on the bike
Bring a cell phone
Bring along identification and emergency information
Off pace / getting dropped – Sometimes it’s just not your day and the group may need to press on without you. It’s not personal but can be frustrating for members who invest several hours to complete a ride at the advertised level only to have the intensity of it scaled back and the duration of the ride increased. We are a supportive and social club first and foremost so we tend not to be ruthless about dropping riders, typically this will only happen if a ride is significantly off the pace and is able to find their own way home. It’s just part of cycling and getting stronger on the bike, next time you may be able to keep up without issue! Please always let the ride leader know if you intend to leave the ride.
Enjoy your ride!