Ride Safety

Ride Safety

The guidelines below should be read and followed by all riders who join - or intend to join - rides with Redhill Cycling Club. For the Club's full risk assessment document, please see the link at the foot of this page.

ALL RIDERS SHOULD CARRY AN 'ICE' CARD IN THEIR JERSEY AT ALL TIMES. This should contain emergency contact details of family or relatives who other riders can contact in case of an emergency. 

BEFORE RIDING

  1. If you are a roadie, please read our Group Riding page.
  2. YOU are responsible for riding sensibly and cautiously within the etiquette of riding trails/off-road and the rules of The Highway Code when on-road to protect yourself and those around you including other riders, pedestrians and other road users.
  3. If you have ANY doubts about your fitness or health, don’t ride until you have seen your doctor for the appropriate checks and been cleared as fit. If you feel unwell on a ride, let people around you know immediately and stop.
  4. Do not join a ride outside your comfort zone to 'see if you can do it' unless you are absolutely confident in your fitness and ability to cycle home once half way out.
  5. Check your bike and brakes regularly. Put problems right BEFORE you start. Learn how to repair a puncture and always carry appropriate tools: a pump, tyre levers, 2 x spare inner tubes plus other essentials such as lights and a mobile phone (NEVER to be used on-the-move). If riding with the club you MUST NOT wear earphones unless there is a medical reason for doing so.
  6. Wear a helmet AND bright colours. Redhill Cycling Club strongly recommends and advises helmets. Learn how to fit and wear yours properly. If you come along to join a ride without a helmet, the leader of that ride may exercise discretion and not allow you to ride with the club on that occasion. Bright colours are essential as a dark-clad cyclist may be as good as invisible to a car driver in many circumstances.
  7. In any conditions other than sure-fire good weather, carry a water-proof top. It is better to be too warm than too cold. Gloves/mitts are also essential, as is eye protection. If you fall, your palms need protection and grit kicked up by a car or lorry (or another bike) can cause serious eye injuries.
  8. Use simple commonsense – don’t ride for hours in bright sun and think you won’t get burned. Take plenty to drink and carry food.

WHILE RIDING

  1. If you are struggling in any way, you MUST let the leader (perhaps via a chain of riders in front of you) know so he can moderate the speed or discuss an easy return route for you, preferably with a ‘buddy’.
  2. Experienced riders will speak up if they see any rider involved in unsafe manoeuvres or careless cycling. If you show yourself unable or unwilling to ride safely, you may be asked to leave the ride.
  3. Riding two abreast in quiet lanes is often OK but you must never aggravate car drivers. Cars will often overtake riders courteously and should be thanked but some may not. Move safely into single file if instructed or if you have any doubts about a car's ability to pass you safely.
  4. If a group ever has to stop, riders should move off the road or into the kerbstone in single file (but preferably off the road). 
  5. DON’T brake suddenly in a group if you can avoid it. Watch the road and surface ahead to anticipate, avoid, and warn others of, hazards. Learn from experienced riders how to recognise and point out hazards. Potholes, gravel, oil, branches, debris, pedestrians on the road, parked cars and even bollards can cause accidents if other riders can’t see them. It is dangerous to avoid a hazard yourself and not make following riders aware.
  6. If you ever start to drop off the back of a group of riders, shout out to make them aware so they can slow the ride down. Likewise, if you see anyone else struggling, let the ride leader and those around you know so the group can slow or stop to assess the situation. Even if the pace is ‘too slow’ for you, DO NOT zoom off in front or you may get lost and leave a group concerned for you. WAIT at the next junction for the rest of the group.

For MTB Riders...

Other people also use the bridleways and we all want to enjoy ourselves without upsetting each other. There is a definite pecking order when on bridleways and cyclists are last. 1) Horses 2) Walkers 3) Cyclists

  1. Horses

    • It is less threatening for a horse if it can see any passing cyclists. A horse rider will often turn a horse to face the cyclists before they pass.

    • Horses can be easily startled by sudden movements or loud noises.

    • Some horse riders will ask cyclists to dismount.

    • Gather on the same side of the track so the horse does not need to pass between cyclists.

    • When overtaking a horse on a road, inform the horse rider of your presence and ask them if it is OK to overtake. Give the horse a wide a birth as possible.

  2. Walkers

    • Many walkers will step to the side so cyclists can pass, remember to thank them.

    • If you are travelling in the same direction as the walkers, they my not have seen you, so make a noise to alert them of your presence.

    • Watch out for dogs as they are unpredictable and may want to join you. Depending on the situation, either out run them, or slow down gently to a stop. This is usually accompanied by their owner frantically calling their name.

  3. Cyclists

    • Watch out for other cyclists coming towards you. Try to keep to one side so you can both pass amicably.

AFTER YOUR RIDE

Check your bike again. Any noises? Tyre pressure OK? Does it need oil? Don't wait until next time you are about to start a ride.

Assess how you coped with the ride you have just done. Were you uncomfortable about any aspect of the ride? If so, speak to the co-ordinator of the ride or other experienced riders and discuss issues with them.

Allow yourself time to recover and eat/drink sensibly so you are in the best condition next time you venture out.

PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR YOUR SAFETY. THEY ARE NEITHER COMPREHENSIVE NOR ‘SET IN STONE’. GOOD RIDERS LEARN HOW TO MAINTAIN AND HANDLE THEIR BIKE WELL USING COMMONSENSE ALL THE TIME TO PROTECT THEIR SAFETY AND THAT OF OTHERS.

Redhill Cycling Club carries out a full general risk assessment - you can download a PDF of this document by CLICKING HERE. This includes many of the potential hazards and dangers for road cyclists and ways of mitigating these. If you believe there are any dangers we have not considered or addressed, please get in touch via the contact form on this website.