While club rides are meant to be fun, they also need to be safe. We also have some simple rules which help us all enjoy our rides and be part of this club.
- Always follow the Highway Code – the rules, regulations and laws of the road apply.
- Ride with respect and courtesy for other road users.
- You’re responsible for your own safety, and for the safety of others, so make sure your bike is road-worthy and you’re confident riding on the open roads.
- Our ride leaders choose the route and keep people together. They are not responsible for your safety, you are. Other club members may ask you to adjust your speed, road position or style. Please respect them and listen to what they say – they’re only looking out for the group.
- All riders must wear a helmet and have good lights front and rear for evening rides.
- No headphones.
- Say hello. We’re a friendly bunch.
- Let your ride leader know who you are. Please listen to them, they will explain how the ride works and where it’s going.
- Make sure you’ve filled in our form when you sign up so we have all your relevant health and safety information, contact details and cycling targets.
- Take out third party cycling insurance. You need this to join our club and ride with us.
Representing our club
- Remember, when you’re riding with us or at other organised events, you are the face of the club. This is especially true when you’re wearing club clothing. The impression of the club by the wider community is really important to us. Please act responsibly and be considerate to other road users and pedestrians.
- We love members to wear the club kit. It adds a small contribution to our funds and promotes the club, but feel free to come and ride wearing other suitable clothing. Our kit is pro-team quality and can be ordered on our website. We place three orders a year with our manufacturer.
Riding in a group
- It’s not a race, the club rides are social. There will always be a few hills (up and down!) where you can let off steam. We wait for people who’ve dropped from the back. If you go off the front we’ll assume you’ve gone off on your own and it’s your job to come back and find us.
Group riding etiquette
- When we ride as a group we look good! Aim to ride close to the rider in front (you’ll save a lot of energy doing this). Ride in pairs when it’s safe, but never more than two abreast. Single-out if the ride leader calls for it or the road does not suit riding in pairs. Don’t surge ahead suddenly and be careful when braking as riders behind can easily crash into you.
- Ride a predictable line: A really simple rule, but if you don’t ride a predictable line then the rider behind is likely to crash into you.
- Ride together and wait: When the group gets broken up, slow down a little to allow others to catch up and proceed as a group. The aim is to keep the group together throughout the whole ride. When it’s safe, re-group at the top of hills (and if necessary at the bottom). The ride leaders should make sure all riders are back in the group before resuming at a normal pace. It’s OK to keep moving but slowly until everyone is back together.
- Stop in a safe place: If you’re in a large group it’s important not to wait on dangerous sections of road longer than necessary as you’ll get in the way of other traffic. Find a suitable place to wait at the side of the road while others catch up. Never stop immediately around a bend or junction as cars won’t know you’re there and it can be very dangerous.
- Signals and warnings: You’ll soon learn ride signals, but if you’re not sure just ask. Front riders should warn of hazards ahead and let the rest of the group know verbally and/or with hand signals. Rear riders should inform of hazards approaching from behind and ensure no one is falling off the back. If they are, let the riders in front know. The group should slow so people can catch up.
Here are a few simple signals you’ll experience on a Penge CC ride.
- When riding two abreast and you need to single out, the outside rider should move behind the inside rider. Talk to each other while you do it so everyone is clear.
- Point and call out holes or objects on the road. Basically, if you have to go around anything tell the rider behind so they can avoid the obstacle.
- “Car down/car front” – means a car is approaching the ride ahead. “Car up/car back “means a car is coming up behind the ride.
- Right hand or left hand pointing straight out means a rider is turning. Not to be confused with…
- …A left hand behind the back pointing to the right, or a ‘wafting’ motion. This means a rider is pulling out around an obstacle or parked car.
- If you have a puncture or mechanical, please shout to alert other riders. Everyone is expected to stop. We don’t leave anyone behind.
Ready to ride
- Make sure you start the ride with spares such as an inner tube and a tyre lever.
- Make sure your bike is roadworthy.
- Mudguards are a good idea if it’s wet so you don’t soak the rider behind you.
- Carry a mobile phone and make sure you swap numbers with ride leaders and other riders before we leave.
- Bring snacks, drinks and a cash/bank card with you.
- Wear suitable clothing for the weather – it’ll make the ride much more enjoyable.
- We’re a volunteer-run group and anything you can add will make us even better. Become a ride leader, help with a club role, become a Go-Ride coach or just come along to the pub meetings – it all helps.
The legal bit – waiver & release of liability
- Cycling is an adventure sport with inherent risks. I confirm that I have no medical condition which could restrict me from taking part in club rides. I agree to indemnify Penge Cycle Club, its Ride leaders, other club officials and any other persons connected with the event from any liability whatsoever resulting in personal injury (fatal or otherwise) loss, damage or expense caused.
- I agree that I participate in rides entirely at my own risk. I confirm that I will always wear a helmet on rides, that my bike is in good working order and that I shall take reasonable precautions as to ensure my own safety and the safety of all other participants.
Please note, headphones and aerobars are not suitable for group riding.