Bike Traffic Light

Ride Safety

No one wants to get hurt

We aim to make Wheelers runs an enjoyable and sociable experience.

Your enjoyment will be enhanced by following some simple rules on how to ride in a group:

  • Riders must wear an approved helmet when taking part in any Wheelers activity

  • Please be aware of the recent changes to the Highway Code

  • The Ride Leader will announce at the start of the ride what the ride “Colour” is, and if it is a “No drop” ride.

  • Please have a working front and rear LED flashing light when on the run (and to and from home to the ride)

  • Where road and traffic conditions allow, riders should arrange themselves in twos, following closely the pair in front. Your Ride Leader should ensure that the group is no larger than 10 riders, unless COVID conditions prevail 

  • Where the road is narrow or traffic is heavy, the group should form into a single file. Please listen for the Ride Leader calling “single out”, and/or two rings of their bell, and move into single file promptly on hearing this

  • As you become more experienced, you can take your turn at riding on the front of the group, moving over to let others take over after a reasonable length of time. It is easy to get to the front, as one line moves up, and one line moves down on the instruction (one ding of the bell!)  by the Ride Leader. That way you get to meet and chat with all the group, unless it’s an even number, and then you only meet half the group!

  • When riding on the front, try not to break away from the group. Don’t increase the pace but keep the pace you inherited from the last change. If you find you are riding ahead, slacken the pace a little until the group is together and then try to increase the pace more gradually. Remember, if you get ahead of the group and go the wrong way it’s your own fault and you may need to find your own way home. If you are finding the pace, either too slow or too fast, you will need to consider joining a different colour group on your next ride but mention it to the Ride Leader as it happens.

  • The group can tend to break up when riding up a climb. When this happens, riders should stop at the top to allow the ride to re-group

  • Take responsibility for the rider behind you. If someone is lagging or missing off the back of the group, report it to the Ride Leader promptly

  • If someone near you has a puncture or other mechanical problem, call out to the group. It is usual for the group to wait together until the problem has been fixed. If you feel you need to ride on because of time pressures, make sure you clear this with the Ride Leader first.

  • At the start of the ride, the Ride Leader will explain the hand signals used. Take time to learn the various hand signals that experienced riders use to point out road hazards such as potholes and parked cars. Make sure you use them when riding on the front

  • A shout of “car up” from someone means that a vehicle is approaching from behind and the group needs to modify its riding to take account of this. Similarly, a shout of “car down”, means that a vehicle is approaching in front of the group

  • Make sure your bike is regularly serviced and is in good working order as far as you can tell at the start of the ride

  • You will find it helpful to become proficient in undertaking a few basic mechanical repairs. As a beginner you will not be expected to have much skill in this area and watching how more experienced riders do these things is the best way to learn. As soon as possible, you should at least become proficient in changing a punctured inner tube

  • Make sure you carry, either in your pocket or saddle wedge, tyre levers, at least one spare tube and a pump or CO2 cylinders. Most riders also carry a multi-tool. Cycle Pal do a mini tyre seating tool, which fits in your saddle wedge, but you will always get that “Gator” type clincher back on the rim!

  • In winter when the lanes are muddy, you should ride with mudguards. If you turn up on a wet and muddy day without mudguards, you may be asked to stay at the back for the duration of the ride.

This may seem like an extensive safety list, but the topics are not too onerous and if we all follow them, they will really enhance our rides

For your own personal comfort, you should also dress appropriately for the weather especially in winter. Most of us find that several layers are more effective than one thick garment. Cold hands and feet can be especially unpleasant particularly in the wet and so good winter gloves and overshoes are a good investment to make. A good pair of winter tights are a very useful addition to the cycling wardrobe and most of us carry a waterproof jacket. All this kit is available in the Club’s Bioracer range.

Rides take place over a longer time period than many other sporting events. Ensure that you have a good breakfast before you start and carry a few items of energy rich food on the ride such as bananas, jelly babies, energy gels and bars. It is also important to stay hydrated and so make sure you carry enough fluid on your bike and that you drink at regular intervals throughout – 600ml per hour!

Potholes and punctures