Winchester CTC - GUIDANCE FOR RIDERS (Road Riding only)

Please read the 'Our Rides' section on the Winchester CTC website and try to attend rides appropriate to your abilities and aspirations. If that is not obvious from the ride descriptions, please contact us in advance if possible or tell us. Your constructive suggestions will help us meet the needs of as many cyclists as possible.

Road conduct

1. Ride safely and always follow the Highway Code. Please remember that when you are out on a club ride, you represent the club. Be courteous to all other road users, even if they aren't courteous to you. Ensure you have a roadworthy bike. Get it checked by a bike shop if necessary.

2. Cycling in a group is great fun but different from cycling on your own. Be aware of others in your group and don't be afraid to ask for assistance yourself. Group riding is about trust and responsibility. Each member should feel responsible for the whole group.

3. Follow the instructions of the group leader. They should make themselves known to you. However, in a large group this may not always be possible so make sure you are known to the leader, especially if you are new to the group. Most rides also have a backmarker to ensure the group stays together. Try not to overtake the leader but if you do, e.g. on a long uphill, stop at the top where safe, to regroup.

4. Do not ride more than two abreast except when overtaking. Overtake efficiently. If riding alone within a group, ride behind the inner rider of a pair. Do not make sudden swerves or pull back when getting out of the saddle. The inside rider should ride sensibly close to the kerb (as a general guide ½ to 1 metre) although this may not be possible if the road surface is poor. The outside rider should be about a handlebars width outside them. When riding the outside position of the leading pair, slow down and be particularly careful on the approach to blind corners; there may be a car approaching.

5. Change to single file riding when necessary (for example on narrow or busy roads) and when instructed to single up. Defer to the leader's judgement on this. However, do not single out where this may encourage unsafe overtaking by vehicles. When singling out, the inside rider of each pair should normally move forward, allowing the outside rider to slot in behind. Always ride on the correct side of the road. Always overtake on the right. Take care on lanes, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic.

6. In a large group and if there is traffic behind which is unable to overtake, be prepared to split into smaller groups of about 3 to 5 to help it pass. The gap between groups should be around 4 car lengths (20m). Where appropriate and courteous, pull in to let the car pass. If given, follow the leader's guidance on this.

7. Do not ride too closely to the rider in front; especially when riding two abreast; you or your partner may need to cut in suddenly. Do not overlap wheels with the rider in front. Avoid sudden changes in speed. On ascents, ride well to the left to allow faster climbers to pass on your right.

8. Always communicate your intentions. Look behind before starting or changing position. If you need to slow down or stop, shout "SLOWING" or "STOPPING". Stop close to the verge at a safe point.

9. Support other group members by making them aware of road hazards:

a) For dangerous road surfaces (potholes, gravel, wet leaves etc.), call out and point down with left or right hand.

b) For general hazards (e.g. walker, jogger, dog, parked car etc.) call "on the left" or "on the right" and slow the ride down as appropriate.

c) When approaching horses particular care is needed. Ensure both rider and horse are aware of your presence and pass slowly and carefully. The horse will often be aware of you before the rider. Use verbal messages and not your bell. The last person past the horse(s) should inform the horse rider(s).

d) If necessary, warning of approaching traffic should be given by shouting "car down" for oncoming vehicles. Similarly, the back marker (or last rider) and other riders towards the rear should give warning of traffic from behind by shouting "car up".

e) Pass messages up and down the group so that everyone follows suit.

Additional guidance on warning messages can be found on this website here

10. At junctions and major turnings, ensure that those behind you can see the route ahead. Check that the next rider in the group can see you and which way you are turning. If they can't, either wait at the junction or tell the leader. Don't block the sight of motorists already at the junction and waiting to pull out.

11. If you want to leave the group during the ride, tell the leader or backmarker so that you are not treated as a "missing person". Try to make sure the leader knows if someone leaves but has not told the leader.

12. You are encouraged to use lights where necessary but do not use flashing front or rear lights when riding in a group after dusk. The only exception is the back-marker, appointed by the leader of the ride, who may use a flashing rear light. Ensure that your light settings are set to a level that does not impair the vision of fellow riders. There are lights available that have lower settings for group riding.

13. Wear light or bright coloured clothing, with reflective strips, bands or belts at night or in particularly dull weather. Carry working front and rear lights when necessary. Consider duplicating your rear light and/or carry spare batteries. Without adequate lighting the leader may refuse to allow you to join or continue with the group.

14. On a typical club ride, we suggest you carry:

a. spare tube(s) and puncture repair kit, pump, tyre levers, multi-tool and any tool specifically needed to adjust your bike

b. drink, food (on longer rides) and money for emergencies and refreshment stops.

c. wet weather and/or warm clothing when necessary. Additional clothing may be needed when returning to Winchester in the evening.

15. Always make sure you have:

a. home address and telephone contact number for emergencies: co-locate with money,

b. if possible a mobile phone for emergency use. You may like to consider storing an I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) number; If you keep your phone locked, please keep emergency contact details as per point 15a,

c. advised the leader if you have any medical condition which may have an impact on your safety or the safety of the group.

Other Guidance

If you see yourself as a fast cyclist or are training for a speed event, we recommend the Guidance produced by the Winchester racing club VCV. See covers essential rules for group riding and the etiquette to be adopted by a fast moving peloton.