Cycling Etiquette 101
Just A Reminder
This is not a ride for untrained riders and we expect all riders to demonstrate good cycling etiquette and obey the laws. There are some LEFT turns on the course across vehicular traffic. Use pedestrian crosswalks if necessary. These points will help you avoid falls and gain the confidence of others around you.
No helmet = NO RIDE
A bike bell and gloves are also a good idea. At all times keep to the right and obey all traffic rules.
Be Predictable With Your Actions
Maintain a steady straight line and avoid braking or changing direction suddenly. Remember that there are riders following you closely from behind. To slow down, gradually apply your brakes and say “slowing.” Follow in a single file line. If you want to pass, pass on the left of the rider you are passing, just like when driving a car. Same road, same rules.
Point or Call Out Any Road Hazards
These include potholes, drain grates, stray animals, opening car doors, sticks or stones, parked cars, etc. There are also hand signals for this.
- left arm straight out to signal a left turn
- right arm straight out for a right turn
- palm or fist behind your lower back to signal slowing or stopping
- shake hand side to side in the direction of sand, glass or any other road hazard
Do Not Overlap Wheels
A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels with another cyclist and fall. Advanced riders pedal down hill when at the front of the bunch. Experienced cyclists dislike having to ride under brakes (the riders following the leader benefit from her draft, thereby having to pedal less and brake more).
Stay to the Right When in Front
to allow room for others to pass safely on your left, particularly in traffic. Pass other riders on the left hand side whenever possible.Be smooth with your turns at the front of the group. Avoid surges unless trying to break from the bunch. A group will travel quicker when turns are completed smoothly.
Avoid Leaving Gaps When Crossing Streets
When your cycling group is stopped together at a light or stop sign, wait until it is proper to cross, then do so as a group. Straggling across streets with cars creates an undue hazard, and frustrates drivers too.
When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely
Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.
Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider
Try to stay relaxed in your upper body to absorb any bumps. This is a part of cycle racing in close bunches and is quite safe provided riders do not panic, brake or change direction. Real cycling is a contact sport! There are a lot more minor points that could be mentioned here as becoming a proficient bunch rider takes time and experience to achieve. The most important point however is to be aware of others around you and respect other riders, your actions will have a direct response on theirs.