Click on this link to view the Cycling Ireland guide to road cycling. The different sections, cover keeping your bicycle roadworthy, wearing proper equipment and cycling safely and considerately. It also includes guidance on cycling in groups, and suggested calls and hand-signals.
When riding either solo or in a group it is essential to respect certain rules, both for your safety and the safety of others – that includes all road users.
Some other unwritten rules for Group Cycling you need to make sure you are aware of:
- It is important to be on time for club spins, be there 10 minutes before start time.
- You are responsible for the safety of everyone around you as you are for your own well-being.
- Be aware that everything you do has a knock-on effect on everyone behind and beside you.
- Obey the rules of the road at all times – This includes NOT BREAKING RED LIGHTS and ensuring that the group is in the correct lane.
- Group rides in two abreast formation – we are entitled to ride two abreast. Never take up more of the road than is needed and never cross the middle lines.
- The frequency of groups rotation depends on the size of group, weather, pace etc. Group leader will often signal when to move up.
- When you come through for your turn do so smoothly and close to the rider you are taking over from. Rider on inside should ease the pace slightly to let other rider through.
- Don’t half-wheel – when you come to the front of the group, keep the pace consistent and match to your riding partner.
- Avoid freewheeling at the front, this causes riders behind to bunch up & clip wheels.
- Follow the wheels and don’t let gaps open when the formation is changing.
- If you are struggling to close a gap, wave the rider behind you through.
- Do your fair share of work at the front. If you are tiring, stay back rather than disrupt the rhythm of those who are working.
- Signal that you are last man in the group, or if you are sitting-on/missing a turn.
- When you hit a hill, maintain your effort level, not your speed.
- When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel to closely. Many riders lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle which causes sudden deceleration.
- For weaker riders on climbs, try to start near front and drop back through group.
- Take/replace a bottle without having to look down so you keep a straight line.
- Mistakes happen when cyclists are tired and under pressure. So if you’re getting tired then you are better sitting on the back of the group.
- When someone has a puncture, mechanical or falls back on a climb, continue on at the same effort and turn around when safe, picking up your colleagues and continue on your original route. Make everyone aware of this before heading out.
- Always carry the tubes, pumps, food and tools you need to look after yourself and your bike.
- Lights should be used day and night during the winter months for your safety
- Respect other cyclists by using at least a rear mudguard during winter training spins.
- If someone is repeatedly making mistakes, tell them discreetly towards the end of the ride. If it’s you being given constructive criticism then try to learn from it.
- Bringing a phone is always a good idea you never know when you might need it – however mobile phones should not be used whilst riding in the group.
- Stereo headphones should not be used on any group rides.
- Aero-bars should not be used on group spins, as they make it unsafe.
- Clean your bike – It prolongs drive-train wear and reduces the likelihood of mechanical problems.