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Code of conduct - Club Riding

Author: Gary Burley
Version: June 2013

This code is no more than a formalisation of the basic principles of decency, road safety and common sense that the club expects from all its members and covers how its members should act when riding on any club ride. The club also expects its members to respect all aspects of the code affecting other road users when riding solo, in or out, of club colours.

When riding as a club we have obligations:

  • to the club; to behave in a manner that represents it in a good light;
  • to ourselves; in terms of our own safety and well-being;
  • and more importantly; to our fellow club members; by assuring that our behaviour does not threaten the safety of others, promotes well-being and fellowship.

Responsibilities to the Club For your safety and the safety of others the club expects all riders on club rides to adhere with the rules of the road. Continual disregard for the rules set out in the Highway Code and behaviour that endangers you or others may lead to disciplinary action by the committee and, in extreme cases, expulsion from the club.

Club rides are not races and members are expected to treat them appropriately.

Responsibility to yourself


To ensure that the maximum benefit and enjoyment is gained by all and mechanical problems are minimised, the club requests that all riders keep their bikes in reasonable repair and roadworthiness.
We also advise that a minimal tool kit is carried, with adequate tools to fix common mechanical problems.
You should not rely on other members to have tools and spares for your usage.

The carrying of a basic set of spare parts, most importantly at least one replacement inner tube is also recommended by the club.

Minimum recommendation:


  • A pump or way of inflating tyres;
  • At least one replacement inner tube (please ensure the valve length is compatible with the wheels you are riding);
  • A puncture kit can also be advantageous;
  • Minimum two tyre levers, ideally three;
  • Allen keys or multi-tool, as appropriate to your bike;
  • A spare foldable tyre is optional;
  • and Cable ties are optional but are very handy for temporary repairs

The Club recommends the carrying of a working front and rear light; rear LED lights are suitable type

Clothing


Club runs continue in most forms of weather therefore dress appropriately. It is also advisable to carry a waterproof jacket on all but the best of days. If you are in doubt about suitable clothing or equipment, club officials and fellow members will be happy to advise you.
Remember: Dress for the weather conditions! It is always better to wear too many layers than not enough; you can always remove a layer during the ride.

The Andover Wheelers strongly recommend the wearing of a correctly fitting approved Cycle Helmet.



General


Some of our club runs include a café stop. Therefore, it is advisable to bring some money. However, you are advised to always carry enough water and food with you to last the complete ride; varying the amounts to take into consideration the distance / duration of the planned ride, the terrain and most importantly the weather conditions.

If you are a new member of the group, not confident of finishing the ride or suffering from mechanical problems please let the other riders know as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are dropping off the back of the group. The ride leader and the group will do all they can to assist you; however, they can only do so if they are aware of your problem. It is your responsibility to make them aware. All cyclists suffer from these problems occasionally and the group will always be supportive.


Responsibility to the Group


Equipment:


Tribars


The use of all forms of clip-on bars or tribars is strictly banned from all group club rides. Whilst the club accepts they may be permanently attached to your bike they must not be used during any club rides, as your braking response is reduced and they can cause instability; all of which may be dangerous whilst riding in a group.

Mudguards


Mudguards do more than keep you dry! They stop spray from the wheels of your bike affecting other riders, please respect your fellow club members. The Club recommends that between the winter months of October to March, and in inclement weather conditions, please try to use a bike fitted with mudguards. However; this requirement is at the discretion of the ride leader and will not necessarily be enforced; however, it will be welcomed by the rest of the group!


Ride Discipline


The following points regarding ride discipline are actively promoted and expected by the Club:
  • Riders should ride no more than two abreast unless overtaking;
  • Riders should endeavour to ride smoothly and not break without warning if it can be avoided;
  • Your actions may have an impact on the riders behind you and the club promotes safe cycling;
  • Shout warnings and signal other riders if there is a danger in the road;
  • When riding as a group you should always allow for riders behind you;
  • Groups should allow appropriate gaps in traffic, slowing to allow enough time for the entire group to negotiate obstacles;
  • Should the group be split riders should slow down or find a safe place to stop to reform prior to continuing with the ride;
  • The group has an obligation always to stop and assist any of its riders suffering from mechanical or physical problems;
  • The group should always wait for the last rider, unless the rider has requested to be left, or an agreement made (with the consent of all on the ride and the ride leader that this will not happen);
  • and Please ensure that you notify the other riders in the group should you intend to split from the group, preferably the ride leader.

Ride Leaders


Ride leaders will endeavour to ensure that the guidelines laid out in this “Code of Conduct” are adhered to and that the ride is conducted in a safe and well-organised fashion. However, it remains the responsibility of all riders to assist the leader in this duty.

On a ride, the leader is the official representative of the club and their instructions should be adhered to.

This code is set out to ensure all members of the club can gain maximum enjoyment and benefit from club rides and to promote ride safety.

Distances, speeds and destinations of rides are communicated on the club website and other social media sites.


GUIDELINES FOR RIDERS


You will find that cycling in a group is great fun but significantly different from cycling on your own. To enjoy your ride safely we would ask that you observe the following points:

  • Road conduct Know your Highway Code;
  • Look over your shoulder before starting or changing position;
  • If you need to stop for any reason, shout "STOPPING" before you slow down and stop as close as possible to the verge;
  • 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 judgment);
  • Never ride more than two abreast;
  • if riding alone within a group ride behind the inner rider of a pair;
  • Keep your distance from the cyclist in front, especially when riding two abreast;
  • you or your partner may need to cut in suddenly;
  • Take care on country lanes, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic.
  • When riding the outside position of the leading pair, hold back on the approach to blind corners; there may be a vehicle approaching;
  • Pass 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, try not to block the sight of motorists already waiting to pull out;
  • Members wishing to split from the group should notify the leader;
  • and It is recommended that ride members not familiar with the ride are have access to a navigation device e.g. Garmin, Smart Phone, map etc.

GUIDELINES FOR RIDE LEADERS


Ride Leaders must be current, paid-up members of the Andover Wheelers.

The Club’s reputation depends to a large extent on its friendly, capable and competent ride leaders.

Before the ride:

  • where possible, choose routes which avoid large 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;
  • and Where possible, check that the chosen refreshment stops are open and can accommodate the likely numbers. If part of an all-day group ride, inform the numbers eating and aim to arrive for lunch as soon as possible after mid-day, and agree a leaving time.

On the day:

  • If possible, appoint a “back marker”, ideally an Andover Wheeler member who is familiar with the route;
  • Inform the group of the intended route and this can generally be done beforehand using a generic on-line ride mapping website and details of any coffee, lunch and tea stops.
  • If the group has a lot of riders, it may be advisable to split into two groups; either by intended distance (Long & Short Route) or expected average speed (Fast & Slower Group). Try to appoint a leader and “back marker” for each group.

Before the start, describe the ride in brief detail and introduce yourself and the back marker to riders and especially to newcomers. Try to ascertain the group-cycling experience of newcomers, tactfully check their bike for roadworthiness and introduce them to a few members who can "advise" them on the ride.

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



SAFETY AND COURTESY IN GROUP RIDING


  • Those at the front shall give warning of any dangerous road surface before they have got to it by calling out the nature of the danger e.g. hole, drain, gravel etc. and where safe to do so, pointing it out.
  • Those following should pass the warning down the line;
  • Warning should be given for other dangers, such as parked cars or other obstructions / hazards, with the call of ‘On the left’ or ‘On the right’ as appropriate and where safe to do so by positioning your hand & arm behind your back indicating the direction of the obstruction / hazard;
  • Warning to be given from the front of slowing and especially of stopping. It is expected that this call will be “passed down the line”;
  • When road conditions demand riders to be in single file; as is demanded by the Highway Code, riders should “single out” in an orderly manner by creating space and adjusting speed; Warn of ‘oncoming’ vehicles by calling out of ‘car down’;
  • Warn of an ‘overtaking’ vehicle by using the call ‘car up’;
  • and Never suddenly slow down or brake when riding in a group.

We are not advocating ‘regimented’ style regulations, as we should all enjoy our cycling all the time; however, the requirements outlined are simple guidelines that have been used by club cyclists for many, many years.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope to see you soon on one of our club rides!

Insurance

Andover Wheelers recommend that all members of the Club and guest riders are adequately insured prior to the attending of an organised Club ride.

British Cycling and CTC offer tailored packages. The Club recommends that you join BC/CTC, so you can enjoy the third party / public liability insurance provision.

Disclaimer


Our Club rides are open to members and the public Andover Wheelers does NOT assume any liability for participation. In no event, shall Andover Wheelers or its committee members accept any liability for any injury, loss, or damage incurred by use of, or reliance, on information within this Code of Conduct.

A copy of the Andover Wheelers' "Code of Conduct" can be downloaded here.