Top Tips

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1. Ride Not Race.
Please be respectful of other road users as Club Rides aren't races. Join one of our organised events to race safely. When you join a Club Ride, choose a ride type that is at a speed compatible with your riding style... and that you can sustain for the entire route.

2. Helmets
Helmets are required on all ICC rides. Please make sure yours is in good condition. If you have had a fall or it has been somehow hit or damaged, replace it immediately.

3. Hand Position
When riding in a group place your hands on the hoods with your first/index finger resting on the brake. Always be ready to brake.

4. Two Abreast
Never ride more than two abreast for safety and to stay within the law.

5. Keep Pace
Choose a group relevant to your ability. Ride leaders or other riders will request calls to "Mile-off" if a group member is struggling. If you are a better-than-average climber or stronger, you will have to compensate even more on any upward rises. On longer climbs or descents it may be that it is best to go at your own speed with a regroup at the top/bottom.

Look around you, see what’s happening in the group, it is always best to go a bit too slower than a bit too fast. Especially think about the half-wheeling point below when you are riding in a group. Stay calm and focus.

"Mile-on" or "Mile-off" are accepted calls which basically mean to increase or decrease your speed (mile-per-hour-on, or mile-per-hour-off).

6. Pushing-on (on the front) when on flat areas and slight descents
If you are on a slight descent don't free-wheel keep your legs turning just enough to let riders behind safely freewheel without needing to brake.

7. Eagle-eyed when at the front / looking round corners
At the front you are the eyes and ears of the group so stay eagle-eyed for dangers and be ready to call out. Communication and concentration is 100% essential.

If you are the rider on the left and the road is bending right you can see further than the rider on the right and vice-versa. Don’t turn your head to talk to your fellow lead rider a temporary look sideways may mean you miss something ahead.

When the time comes to change front riders, it is best (when the road is wide, quiet and observation is good) for the front right-hand rider to move in front of the front-left rider, and then call the group past while the two ex-leaders drop their speed and drift to the back of the group.

8. Regrouping after slight inclines / passing cars
Often splits in the group appear when the group has had to line out to get a car passed, or on a steeper rise where it is difficult to keep everyone together. In these cases be aware and steady it up for a while to let everyone to get back on. Once the group is all back together then the person on the back needs to shout "All ON", and the message passed up to the front and then the pace can be slowly increased back to the required pace.

9. Calling out ALL hazards (and pass back through the group)
This should be well known and understood. "CALL OUT ALL OBSTACLES AND DANGERS!" and make sure riders behind you hear and pass back the message. Shouts of "gravel", "holes", "rabbits"(!) etc. are the sort of things to call out, and pointing out the dangers is also helpful.

Call out whether the hazard is Left (to the left of the group), Middle (to the middle of the group, particularly, if people are riding "two abreast," or Right (if the hazard is to the right of the group).

10. Junctions
If you are the first to a junction, it is important to shout to the others in the group if it "clear" i.e. there is NO traffic coming from the left or right or both so the others in the group will know it is safe to turn left or right or to proceed through the junction (as appropriate).

11. Getting cars past the group / calling through
This is slightly more tricky and perhaps even contentious. Normally, it is best for the group to line-out, single-file for cars to pass. But often this is not necessary and can even more problematic, especially in larger (longer) groups. A vehicle then has to travel much further in the "danger zone" passing the longer line of cyclists. So stay tight in pairs for as long as possible but recognise that there might be times when you need to line-out. So it is often better, if the group is riding tight (see point 12), for a car to quickly overtake when we are still two abreast.

12. Half-wheeling
This occurs when the front wheel (or part of the front wheel) of the rider who is second or third, etc. in the group rides with this front wheel to the left or right (overlapping) of the rear wheel of the bike in front, (rather then behind it).This should NOT be done and is dangerous for both riders. If you are second or third in the group, etc, the closest your front wheel should be to the rear wheel of the rider in front of you is a distance that will enable you to stop safely (without coming into contact the rider in front) in an emergency. If you choose to "draft" behind a rider in front of you, you do so at your own risk.

13. Mudguards when wet
When it is wet it is a common courtesy of any group riding, and in line with the respect aspect of our club rides, that you will have at least a rear mudguard on your bike.

14. Keeping it tight and enjoy
Like Point 10 this is about your bike position relevant to your fellow club member. You need to be tight in line with then, close enough to put your arm round him/her, should you wish. If you feel the bikes coming together (generally not a good idea) then lean your shoulders into your partners to avoid bike coming into contact. Protecting your "personal space" is not allowed on a group ride. Don’t forget we are a single entity when on the road together. Happy and safe riding.

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