Group Riding Responsibilities

Group Riding Responsibilities

The role of a Cranleigh Cycling Club (CCC) member or guest rider when riding in a CCC group is one that should be taken seriously. As a club, it is our belief that responsibilities do not rest with one individual but must be shared by the whole group.

Before the ride

  1. Each rider must wear a cycling helmet. No helmet means that you will not be able to ride in a CCC group on that occasion. The group must strictly enforce this policy.
  2. Arrive at the ride at least 10 minutes early, allowing time for introductions. You are reminded that a parent must accompany any rider aged 16 and under, at all times.
  3. A ride ‘Starter’ will identify any guests or newcomers to the club and make them feel welcome. They will assist in placing these newcomers with an appropriate ‘C’ group.
  4. Under the direction of the ‘Starter’ the groups will separate in such a way that it is obvious to everyone who they will be riding with and how many people are in the group.
  5. Each member of the group must display a current proof of membership to the rest of the group, otherwise regrettably; they will not be allowed to ride with the group. The group must strictly enforce this policy. However, see point 7, below.
  6. Guest riders must register their details with the club at least two days prior to attending a ride, by registering at Guests are allowed to ride a maximum of four times with the club, after which time they will be expected to join the club.
  7. If a member is not carrying their membership ID they may join a ride provided they share their emergency contact details with fellow riders. However, this practice is not to be encouraged.
  8. Members must offer guidance to guests and infrequent members on the C nature of the group. For example a guest who is just getting back into cycling would be better off starting with a C2 short ride rather than going into a C3/C4 medium ride.
  9. Each member of the group should be aware of the route they are riding and the nature of the ride that day. If they have a GPS device they should download the route; otherwise they should make a note of the route. It is not acceptable to just blindly follow the group – each rider must be an active participant in the ride. They must be responsible for their own actions and share a collective responsibility for the wellbeing and safety of the group. This includes helping to ensure that no rider gets dropped.
  10. Riders are encouraged to be aware of local weather conditions on the day or any specific hazards or traffic abnormalities (like road closures or local events e.g. the Goodwood Festival), as this may require route changes at the last minute.
  11. Briefly discuss the route as a group, explaining any hazards due to weather or road conditions, advise of any anticipated tea stops or where, in the case of ‘C3 – C5’ groups, the ride will slow/wait to regroup as a result of an anticipated split (e.g. a Newlands Corner hill climb and waiting in a safe place at the top).
  12. Whilst we make it clear that it is each individual’s responsibility to ensure the roadworthiness of their bikes, make a mental note to run your eye over the equipment of your fellow riders to check it is ‘safe’. This includes clothing and helmets, gloves etc, as any delay caused through equipment failure will impact on the enjoyment of the ride for the group. Look out for loose or flapping clothing that may catch in equipment. Look out for each other.
  13. Based on the ability of your group, run through and reinforce basic safe cycling guidelines (see separate document).
  14. Count the number of riders in your group. As a guideline no group should exceed 12 riders. If there are more than 12 riders then split the group.
  15. When guests or inexperienced members are riding in the group, we encourage the use of a ‘buddy system’, whereby a more experienced rider in the group pairs up with them. This is advantageous in that it: i) builds confidence; the less experienced rider can learn from their buddy and ii) if they do fall off the pace of the ride temporarily their ‘buddy’ will ensure that they are not left behind.
  16. While not a strict policy, CCC strongly encourages riders to carry a fully charged mobile phone. We also encourage riders to swap mobile phone numbers with fellow riders within your group.
  17. When leaving the start point of a ride, the highest C numbered group should leave first followed by the next highest and so on. This is to avoid leapfrogging at the start of the rides and the road congestion that this would cause. Do not feel under pressure to leave the start point until you are all ready; then leave as a group.

On the Ride

  1. Ensure that you ride at a pace, which is in the spirit of the ‘C’ character of the group. The club’s group rides are not races or competitive.
  2. Ensure that members ride safely, follow the Highway Code and exhibit good ride etiquette: try and stay compact as a riding group. Be prepared to advise and guide one another if this is not the case.
  3. Be courteous to other road users and under no circumstance become involved in arguments or altercations with motorists. The good reputation of CCC must be maintained. If an incident does arise, try to record the registration number(s) of the vehicle(s) involved.
  4. Remain attentive to ensure that everybody is accounted for and nobody has either shot off to the front or dropped off the back at any stage. If you are regularly shooting off the front or finding it hard to keep up then you should consider moving to a different ‘C’ group.
  5. If a person has dropped off the pace, the group must wait for them at the nearest, safest place to stop. This is especially important at junctions. If it is clear that a member is struggling to maintain the pace of the group, the group must slow down to keep them in the group. At the end of the ride, it may be necessary to discuss with that rider whether they should move to a slower group.
  6. Complete the ride as a group and advise of any further tea/coffee stops post- ride as this is always a good time to get to know members better and have some feedback on the ride or members’ aspirations.
  7. If a rider has to leave the ride due to time pressure or another commitment, then they must inform the rest of the group before leaving. If a rider has to leave the ride due to feeling unwell or being too tired to keep up, then they MUST be accompanied home by their buddy or a buddy must be assigned to ride home with them.
  8. In the event of an accident or medical emergency the Accident & Medical Emergency Guidelines should be followed (see below).

Post ride

  1. If anyone should become lost or have left the ride early they must be contacted at the end of the ride to ensure they arrived home safely. The group should delegate someone to carry this out. It must not be assumed they got back safely.
  2. If family/time commitments allow, make an effort to join your group for a ‘post-ride’ coffee to help develop the sense of community and club retention.
  3. If appropriate, advise any members if their ability is better suited to another ‘C’ group; either faster or slower.
  4. Use the time objectively: if you feel it appropriate, encourage, assist and advise each other based on what you have observed.
  5. Report objectively back to the committee, as this is one of the ways we will improve our club offer and ensure we are providing what our members are after.

Accident & Medical Emergency Guidelines

  1. Make sure the site of the accident or medical emergency is as safe as possible. If you can, as a group, get off the road.
  2. If it is not possible to get off the road or if the rider cannot be moved out of the road then post at least one person ‘upstream’ and at least one person‘downstream’ of the site, to warn motorists of an accident ahead.
  3. If you are in the road guiding traffic, ensure you remain alert and highly visible.
  4. Give clear and confident directions. Remain calm and do not engage in any arguments or altercations with motorists.
  5. If you are able to, ask slowing motorists if they have any first aid or medical training. Seek their help if their experience is needed.
  6. Assess the state of the rider who has had the accident or medical emergency. Get a trained first aider as soon as possible and call for an ambulance if required.
  7. Support the first aider or emergency services personnel as required. As a group remain calm, quiet and attentive.
  8. We recommend that the calling of emergency contacts is made under the direction of the emergency services. For example there is no point in phoning until you know which hospital the rider is being taken to. If the situation arises, the group should agree one person to make the call.
  9. Phoning an emergency contact can be very traumatic. Ensure the person making the call is calm and in possession of all the key facts. In most cases it would be preferable for the emergency services to make the call.
  10. Do not leave the scene of the accident or medical emergency until told to do so by the emergency services.
  11. Record and report any details of the incident to the emergency services, including where possible photos, circumstances and vehicle details.
  12. Co-ordinate the safe storage/return of any bikes or equipment belonging to those involved in the incident.
  13. Report the incident to a committee member as soon as possible.