Club Etiquette & Rules

Crescent Cycling Club (aka The Club)
Rules of the Road & Bike Safety when riding with our Club
(updated: Sept 2023)

Members take part in Club rides at their own risk and agree to abide by the Club’s Generic Rules regarding basic bike maintenance, ride preparation and road riding etiquette.

All members are required to read The Rules upon joining the Club.

If in any doubt, please contact the Club Secretary.

All members of the Crescent Cycling Club are required to read, understand and adhere to the rules and etiquette guidance below.

Risk can never be totally eliminated but can be mitigated / reduced by following these rules and guidance.

  • All riders who participate in the Club’s activities do so at their own risk.
  • The Club requires all members to wear a cycling helmet when riding with us.
  • All members are highly advised to carry photo ID and an emergency mobile contact number when they ride with the Club

Third Party Liability Insurance:

  • It is strongly recommended that all members join either British Cycling or Cycling UK (formerly CTC) which will give them basic third party insurance cover. There are also other companies offering third party liability insurance, such as LAK. Please contact the Club Secretary for advice and information if needed.
  • This recommendation is given so that are protected if any unfortunate incident occurs where you damage someone else’s property.
  • The Club has third party liability through affiliation with British Cycling. However, this covers the Club and nominated persons assisting the Club in its activities but it DOES NOT cover individual riders or their bikes.

Riding with The Club:

  • When taking part in Club related activities, whether this activity involves cycling or not, all members must remember that their conduct reflects directly on the Club, and consequently it must be of the highest order.
  • When cycling on the road, all members must adhere strictly to the ‘rules of the road’ and must not put themselves or fellow cyclists, whether Club members or not, in danger.
  • Safety in our sport is of the utmost importance, and members must not only look out for themselves, but also for fellow cyclists. This includes pointing out obstructions on the road and remaining as a group to assist a member with any mechanical or other issues that may arise. The group must only move off when the issue has been resolved or if the person requiring assistance has agreed that the group may continue without them. NO RIDER WILL BE ABANDONED.
  • Each member is an ambassador for the Club, and should promote the benefits of being part of the Club whenever they can.
  • Wearing the Club Clothing whenever they are participating in a Club activity is highly encouraged.

General Riding Etiquette and Safety:

  • Ride steadily. Keep a steady line and constant speed while in the group. Any sudden change of speed is magnified as it reaches riders at the back and so can have dramatic consequences.
  • Ride two abreast where it is safe to do so but always be prepared to single out when necessary.
  • Ride immediately behind the rider in front – do not overlap wheels either forward or sideways. Overlapping forwards gives you no chance to avoid the rider in front if he swerves or falls, and overlapping sideways results in the group presenting a three-abreast profile.
  • Never ride more than two abreast.
  • When approaching a hill anticipate the gradient and change gear in good time. Missing a gear change on the steep bit can bring you to a sudden halt … not a good thing for the riders behind you!
  • Don’t try to push yourself too hard, particularly on the hills. Ride up at your own pace, nice low gears are better! The group will wait at the top.
  • Ride safely at all times. Follow the requirements of the Highway Code as they apply to cyclists and guidance from your Leaders.
  • We are a road cycling club, which means we ride on the roads and not on pavements.
  • We try to ensure that riders in the group are not dropped off the back, so make sure the pace is kept at a level that all can cope with.
  • If you are struggling to keep up, then please shout up! The group needs to know, so the pace can be slowed.
  • Treat members of the group and other road users with courtesy. Acknowledge with a wave any courteous behaviour by other road users. (Many oncoming motorists will slow down or stop when they meet a large group of cyclists, whilst others may allow the whole group to join or cross a major road).
  • Do not however “wave through” a following vehicle that is waiting to overtake – let the driver make his/her own decision. This will avoid the risk of being held responsible if the overtaking results in any form of accident.
  • Do not react to bad driving incidents with gestures or provoke retaliation. Remember a road rage motorist has a one ton weapon at their disposal !
  • Remember that just as we tend to notice only the inconsiderate or bad drivers, so other road users also see poor behaviour by some cyclists. Make sure that you do not provide ammunition to the anti-cyclists lobby.
  • Always carry personal details – name, address, contact phone number and some money.
  • Carry drinks and food, even on short rides. The food can be some form of high energy bar to get you to the café stop.
  • If you have problems or decide to leave the group then please inform fellow group members.
  • Always wear cycle-specific clothing as it provides a better level of comfort and practicality.
  • Carry a waterproof jacket, not only for the rain but also to give an extra layer if you have to stop with a puncture and cool down.
  • A club jacket or jersey will help to publicise the Club and also make you very visible.
  • Stay relaxed in the group but be aware of your surroundings, constantly looking around and don’t mindlessly follow the wheels in front. Look past the riders in front to get a heads up of the road ahead. Always look first and let the riders around you know before moving within the group.
  • All riders must obey the Highway Code. Do not jump red lights, mount pavements, ignore road signs etc.

Junctions and slow/stationary traffic:

  • When pulling out from a junction or turning into a road, be aware of the riders behind you: slow down a little so that they can catch up.
  • Stop at junctions. Don’t jump across when vehicles are approaching as other riders may follow you.
  • When pulling up at a junction, stay in two lines: do not scatter across the road.
  • Do not pass or crowd around vehicles at the junction.
  • When approaching a line of slow/stationary cars – never undertake them, always go around them if safe to do so being mindful of oncoming traffic on the other side of the road.

Potholes, parked cars etc:

  • Make sure you use hand signals to notify other riders of road hazards, such as potholes, parked cars etc.

Call outs and gestures whilst riding in the group:

The list below shows some of the main call outs when rising in the group:

“Car Up”: Vehicle(s) approaching from the back of the group.
“Car Down”: Vehicle(s) approaching towards the group.
“Pot Hole” / Drains etc: Point finger towards the offending danger.
“Gravel”: Point finger at gravel
“On the left”: Obstruction on the left, for example a parked car.
“Single out”: Call to adopt single file
“Easy or Ease” Call to ease the pace slightly.
“Slowing”: Call to warn the group is slowing
“Stopping”: Call to warn the group is stopping.
“Clear”: Call to indicate a clear, safe exit at a junction.
“Horses”: Call to warn of Horses ahead, slowing and passing wide.

Bike Information / Winter Rides / Mudguards:

  • Carry enough tools to get you out of everyday problems like punctures or nuts or bolts working loose. Remember it’s easier to change an inner tube than it is to repair a puncture at the roadside (especially if it’s cold or wet).
  • Carry two spare inner tubes, tyre levers, a pump, gas and Allen keys to fit as the minimum. A puncture outfit may also be needed in case you get more than 2 punctures.
  • Good front and rear lights are compulsory for evening rides / Winter rides.
  • Keep your bike in good condition and replace any worn out parts. The group will help if something goes wrong but will not be best pleased if the problem was caused by poor maintenance.
  • Keep a close check on your tyres. Look for perishing, bulges or cuts as well as the actual tread depth and pattern.
  • In wet weather, it is compulsory that your bike is fitted with effective mudguards and a rear mud flap extension that extends sufficiently below the rear axle height so as to avoid spraying your fellow riders with a mixture of road slime and slurry.
  • When standing 1m behind your bike, you should not be able to see your rear tyre.
  • If you turn up for a Winter / wet ride without mudguards, you will asked to stay at the back of the group.
  • Mudguard extensions can be home-made or purchased at Raw Mudflaps.

Snot Rockets:

  • As distasteful as this may sound, most of us, at some point have cleared our nose on the bike. Often, other riders can be caught in the crossfire.
  • Aside from the obvious hygiene issues, it’s also just bad etiquette to clear your nose in a way that will impact your fellow riders or when passing pedestrians.
  • There are some simple steps that can be taken to clear your nose courteously…
  • Wait until you are at the back of the group
  • Pull out of the path of other riders (safely and appropriately)
  • Aim down to the road, not out to the side
  • If you can’t do it without hitting someone else…don’t do it.

If you decide to join one of our Pacelines:

Club Single Paceline:

  • This technique is reserved for a Club Bash, and NOT a Sunday Club Ride.
  • The front rider is driving the pace along in a smooth and consistent style.
  • The exact amount of time spent on the front can vary depending on the skill and stamina of the individual rider, but the most important thing is to keep the speed and effort level consistent.
  • A stronger rider may do 1 or 2 minutes, whilst a weaker rider may do 30 seconds for example.
  • Once a rider is finished on the front they will pull out of the pace line and begin to drop back down the line or riders, without easing off the pedals completely.
  • Once the former lead rider has dropped back level with the rear of the group, the back-marker will call “last rider” and they can slot in behind them, taking care not to overlap wheels.
  • In the line, each rider stays on the wheel of the rider in front until they peel off. At this point, the rider will need to increase their effort in a smooth and consistent manner, concentrating on maintaining the speed of the previous rider. Do not accelerate or “surge”.
  • Both of these techniques require excellent teamwork, trust and cooperation. Once mastered, each rider becomes a valued cog in the machine.
  • Although perhaps sounding a little daunting at first, a Paceline is in fact an exhilarating experience particularly once all riders have settled into the flow of the ride.
  • Paceline is normally about 30 miles or so, and usually ends at a café stop!

Note: If you need any further explanation on anything in the Rules then please just contact the Club Secretary who will be happy to explain and help out.

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