Basic Cycling Etiquette
Enjoyment and safety are the key considerations in cycling. Behaving predictably is the best way to make this a reality.
When other road users can anticipate your next move, you go a long way toward ensuring everyone’s safety.
Cyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists and do not have the right to dash across junctions, jump red lights or behave in a reckless manner. Such behaviour only gets cyclists a bad name.
Give consideration to other road users particularly pedestrians, horses and other animals.
Acknowledge motorists or other road users who give you right of way or other consideration.
Give clear and precise hand signals.
Slow down and be prepared to stop at roundabouts
Report incidents involving motorists to the local police
Do not use foul language in a built up area.
Do not throw litter from your pockets. Respect the environment.
Do not be guilty of Indecent Conduct along the road side or public place.
Do not make rude gestures to drivers or lose your temper when cut up by other road users. This not only gives cyclists a bad name but can put you at risk from road rage. When you are out on your bike you represent not only your own club but all cyclists
Club runs on the Road
Do not cycle more than two a breast and try and keep as close to the edge of the road as safety permits.
Try to hold a steady line. Do not make any sudden moves, unless forced to.
You should always be aware of what is ahead, potholes parked cars, walkers etc., start making your move with time to spare. Always shout back and let everyone know!
Let people know when a car is coming or there are hazards ahead. These safety calls include ‘car up’ ‘car down’ ‘right; ‘left’ as well as hand signals. Make sure that those at the back get the message as their vision is obstructed by riders in front. Let the call go down the line.
The closer you can get behind the cyclist in front the more shelter you will get the more energy you will save, up to 30%! When you are tucked in behind someone, ‘holding a wheel’, always keep your front wheel slightly to the right or left of theirs then if they do flick you have somewhere to go, sit to the left and you are in the hedge, at best!
When holding a wheel always have hands, preferably, on your brakes but certainly within a finger’s movement from them.
If you need to slow down, ease back gradually. Do not stop pedalling and sit up and never hit the brakes.
Cornering tightly not only saves you time but could save your life! When cornering the idea is to spread your weight evenly across the bike – push your backside back in the saddle and your hands forwards into the bends of your bars and relax. Where possible keep pedalling, the momentum helps your balance. If you cannot keep pedalling point your knee into the corner and keep your outside leg straight. Try not to brake whilst cornering brake before you hit the bend.
On a club run you may start working together as a group to increase your speed, ‘chain gang’ style. There will be 2 lines 1 moving towards the front the other dropping back rotating everyone to the front for a few minutes. The idea is to keep moving smoothly at a good speed. When you move to the front and it is time to pullover do not sprint past and open gaps causing people to chase. Move past steadily and move over smoothly allowing the rider behind you to do the same and the pace should accelerate gradually. Once it is too fast for you to continue rotating sit just off the back without disrupting the chain.(See Echelon Notes below)
Do not “half-wheel” your partner when leading – it is considered bad manners. Half wheeling is when the person next to you rides with their front wheel slightly in front of yours and the speed gradually increases as you try to level up. Ride beside the person next to you, not in front of them.
Pedal rather than push, All great cyclists are great ‘pedalers’. It used to be said that 95 rpm, revolutions per minute, was the optimum pedal ratio. Lance Armstrong, winner of the Tour de France averaged 105 during the Tour and regularly ‘spins’ at 115. For those of you who do not have an rpm facility on your computer, just stay on the small chain ring whilst training only going up if you need to in order to maintain speed.
Do choose the right gear, change quickly and smoothly – one gear at a time. Normally you will use moderate gears in the small chainring on club runs.
Most rides involve the rotation of riders by a simple chain gang movement. This generally means the person leading on the outside right moves forward to inside left and the person behind them becomes the new leader on the right side. If you’re not sure how this works then take note and watch the people in front of you. Always retire to the back of the bunch. Everyone can have a turn on the front even if only for a short time. Always change when it is safe, particularly when riding two abreast. Safe spots may need to be found so to avoid getting motorists upset.