Club Rules And Etiquette

We updated the  Club Rules And Etiquette document in 2018, and had an etiquette evening to discuss it. This will be passed on to all new members on joining and available with the online membership form to download.  It is good to remind ourselves about the document on an occasional basis, especially at the start of the season.

It is attached below

TENBY ACES CLUB RIDES

The Aim

The aim of Tenby Aces is to cater for riders of all abilities; whether young or old, male or female.  Our one goal is that you enjoy your cycling. Tenby Aces Cycling Club wants riders to gain maximum enjoyment from their group rides whether highly energetic or social.

Club rides are for members to ride in a group and for several reasons; social, safety, sporting, fitness and of course if new to the area you won’t get lost.

By riding in a group you learn road skills and are able to chat to more experienced riders. Generally speaking it is the best place to learn about cycling.

Be Prepared

Wear plenty of warm clothes; you can always take layers off if too warm.  Carry the following with you:

  • A rain jacket
  • A pump
  • Essential tools
  • Spare tubes
  • Food
  • Plenty of drink

Also carry a mobile phone and worth having a little money for a tea stop or emergency supplies.

Keep your bike in good condition, and replace any worn out parts.  It is good practise to carry out a visual check of your bike before each ride – brakes, tyres, cables, general tightness of components. The group will help if something goes wrong but will not be best pleased if the problem was caused by poor maintenance.  Mudguards (winter riding) are preferable; they prevent you getting wet and dirty and also reduce the amount that you deposit on the rider behind.

Cycling helmets must be worn on Tenby Aces rides – they provide additional protection against head injuries.

As members of Tenby Aces Cycling Club you are ambassadors of the club every time you get on your bike. It is our reasonability to set a good example to other cyclists, particularly young riders, by always complying with the Highway Code. Do not jump red lights, even if clear, and do not use your mobile phone whilst cycling.

All riders take part in the group runs at their own risk. Those risks can never be totally eliminated but can be minimised by following the laws of the road and the rules and etiquette of the Club. Senior Club members will be happy to offer general guidance, they will politely point out any deviations to the rider (s) concerned and seek compliance.

Consider your own insurance needs. In particular it is highly recommended that you ensure that you have Third Party (Public Liability) insurance that covers you whilst cycling. The Club has such a policy to cover claims against the Club and it’s Officers but does not cover individual riders. You should consider joining either British Cycling of the Cycling Touring Club – membership includes both Third Party insurance and free legal assistance.

Group Rides

On Club rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March through September we use a sweeper system where 2 sweepers ride with a slower social group.  The sweepers will introduce themselves, announce the route, and send off first a faster group of riders, then a medium paced group before starting with the social group.   The briefing should cover the route, and note any particular hazards, dangerous corners, junctions and refer to road conditions as well.

Rides on Sunday will be ridden as a group, regrouping as required at intervals. There will often be a coffee stop on these longer rides.  A leader will announce the route before the ride.

Each group should stick together (see Club Run Etiquette) with a more experienced rider at the front and rear.  A decent gap should be allowed between groups to minimise the nuisance to other road users.

The benefits of riding in a group are more than just social; you will cover more ground with less effort in a group, saving around 20% of your energy when sitting in the bunch.  So stay close to the rider in front to maximise the slipstream and allow riders around you to also use it to best effect.

When you first ride in a group you may be slightly unsure as to what is going on, where you should be riding in the formation or who is in charge.  There are a few rules to riding in a group safely and effectively.  There is also some basic etiquette you need to know.

Club Run Etiquette

First and foremost – You must comply with the Highway Code at all Times – Do not jump red lights

  • Find out the route (See Facebook and listen to leader or sweepers description), understand the route, stick to the route.
  • Ride steadily; keep a steady line and constant speed while in a group. Any sudden change is magnified as it reaches riders at the back.
  • Ride two abreast where it is safe to do so but always be prepared to single out when necessary.Ride immediately behind the rider in front – do not overlap either forwards or sideways.  Never ride more than two abreast.  Remember that cars often get impatient with a long line of bikes – be prepared to break a line into two to give cars a place to return to the left if an oncoming car comes while they are overtaking.
  • Keep together – after any interruption in the ride such as road junctions, roundabouts, stopping for any reason, after a climb or descent, the lead riders should make sure that all riders are back in the group before moving off at normal pace. It is okay to keep moving; it is preferable to keep moving but slowly until everyone is back together.

If riders are a long way behind, having been delayed at a junction or traffic lights, then stopping is an option to consider.

When the route involves negotiating roundabouts, road junctions, etc. then waiting at a corner may be necessary to ensure all riders follow the correct route.

  • If gaps appear in the group, warn the riders in front and request them to ease down. Avoid letting large gaps open.
  • Front riders are the eyes of the group and should warn of hazards ahead, change of speed, change of direction and approaching vehicles (see Warning Calls) – warnings should be both verbal and by pointing and try to give them in plenty of time.
  • Treat members of the group and other road users with courtesy. Acknowledge with a wave courteous behaviour by other road users.
  • Do not react to bad driving incidents with gestures or provoke retaliation. Remember a road rage motorist has a one tonne weapon!
  • Do not ‘wave through’ a following vehicle that is waiting to overtake – let the driver make this decision. This will avoid the risk of being held responsible if the overtaking results in any form of accident.
  • Ride with the group that best suits your ability. It is usually better to start slow and build up.
  • It is important that no-one be left alone at the back or even be dropped. The lead riders may send everyone ahead whilst they assist the rider at the back and regroup at a pre-arranged destination.
  • If you find yourself having an ‘off day’ (we all have them) make sure to let the group know if you are intending to sit up and wait for another group.
  • If for some reason you do find yourself on your own then please stick to the route – you’ll find the group waiting for you somewhere safe down the road.

Additional Safety – Visibility

Our roads are increasingly busy and we believe that improving your own visibility is an important part of staying safe on the road.  Two ways we can do this are:

  • Wear clothing that has good visibility – in the summer where the light is generally good, and the weather warmer we typically wear our club kit which is light coloured and visible.  In the winter it is often darker with poor light conditions, and so it is important to wear clothing or items of clothing that have visible parts or components – such as reflective strips, high visibility jackets, or gloves or boots or a combination.
  •  Use high intensity lights – both front and rear and have them in flashing mode. The front one makes you much more visible to cars that might pull out in front of you, the purpose of the rear light is obvious.   Modern high intensity LED lights are rechargeable, and last 3-4 hours, so will be sufficient for most club rides.  They have reduced both in price and in performance in recent years.
  • Consider buying an ID wrist band – containing your name, DOB, and emergency contact and any important medical information. This could save precious time in the event of you having an accident.

We want all our members to benefit from being part of this Cycling Club.  The above guidelines are there to help and enhance the enjoyment for all.

 Remember  –   No-one should get left behind!

Warning Calls when Riding in a Group

These calls and signals are universal to all experienced cyclists – please use them at the appropriate times: –

“Car Up”                                            There is a vehicle coming up behind the group.

“Car Down” or “Car Ahead”              There is a vehicle approaching towards the front of the group.

“Single Out”                                        A call from riders at the back of the group when a vehicle is unable to pass the 2 abreast column safely.

“Clear” and “Car” on                          This call lets following riders know at junctions, when the

the “Left/Right”                                  group is joining or crossing another road.

“Pothole”                                            Any pothole that can cause a rider to fall. If possible indicate where it is so that following riders can steer away from it and not into it.  Do this by either pointing or adding to the call “on the left (or right)”.

“On the Left/Right”                            A general warning of some kind of hazard – usually parked cars or pedestrians.  For hazards on the left an alternative warning is to put your left hand bend your back, pointing to the right, away from the hazard.  Give way to pedestrians – they can feel intimidated by cyclists just as we sometimes feel intimidated by motorists.

“Stopping” “Slowing” “Easy”            Right hand moving in an up and down action.  If you brake without letting those behind you know your intention they can easily run into you.

“Puncture”                                          Let the others know and they will wait while you repair it.

“Horse(s)”                                          The group is about to pass horses and special care is needed.  Pass as widely as possible, make sure that both the horse and rider are aware of your presence and if you are approaching from behind – call out.  Keep pedalling slowly as you pass to keep noise from your freewheel and gears to a minimum.  Pay attention to any request by the horse rider – they know the temperament of the horse and its likely reaction to a group of brightly clad cyclists.

Finally– Let others know if you are unable to keep up, have a problem or have decided to leave the group.  Always pass the instructions along, if a rider cannot keep up the leader needs to know.