5 Biking Essentials and Ride Protocols

PCMSC ROAD CYCLING ESSENTIALS

While not mandatory, the Club suggests that riders bring the follow five essentials on a ride:

Fluids       Water, sports drink – bring more than the minimum (don’t turn into a raisin)
Clothes     Bright colored cycling shirt and rain jacket is recommended
Food        Power bars or lunch, if there are no food stops noted in the ride description on a long ride
Personal    Sunglasses, sunscreen, health insurance card, credit card
Equipment   Make sure you bicycle is in good condition.  Test tire pressure, brakes and gears before going on a Club ride.  A spare tube, patch kit and pump should be in your tool kit.  A cell phone is highly recommended.  A rear view mirror can be handy.

STARTING TIME

All rides will have a specific starting time posted with the ride.  In order to complete the release form, it is requested that riders arrive 15 minutes before the starting time and be ready to ride.  Leaders may depart at the schedule departure time in order to not inconvenience the other riders.

CANCELLATIONS

The ride leader may not be at the ride start location if there is adverse weather near the schedule starting time.  It is the rider’s responsibility to verify the status of the ride by calling the ride leader on their cell phone.  The ride leader’s cell phone number is posted with the ride schedule.

RIDE ETIQUETTE
By Ellen Sherk

 With the warmer weather upon us, it’s time to relearn (or learn for the first time) the rules of group road riding. There’s a certain etiquette for road riding, and following these rules is key to staying safe and showing that we’re ambassadors for our sport.

  1. Announce Hazards. Point out rocks, potholes and road debris with your hands, and hopefully the message will silently get passed down the line. Sometimes you won’t see these hazards until it’s almost too late, in those cases, yell out “hole,” “stick,” “gravel” and hopefully those in back of you will have enough time to avoid the hazard.
  2. Passing. Always announce when you’re passing someone, “on your left.” Don’t EVER pass on the right
  3. Hand Signals.
    1. To turn left–left arm straight out, pointing left
    2. To turn right–right arm straight out, pointing right (don’t hold up your bent, left arm, most drivers have no idea what this means)
    3. Stopping/Slowing–hold your left arm down with palm facing behind you. Yell out “stopping” or “slowing” in case the people in back of you don’t see your hand signal.
  4. Lights and Stop Signs.
    1. It’s the law to stop at ALL lights and stop signs. Please don’t blow through them
    2. When turning left, take the lane. Don’t EVER turn left from a bike lane that’s on the right hand side of the road
    3. If going straight, stay single file along the right side of the lane, don’t take the entire lane. This will allow cars to stay in the lane while waiting for the light
    4. If there’s a right hand turning lane, and you’re going straight, don’t stop in this lane. Cars can then turn right on red
  5. Clearing an intersection. Don’t EVER yell “clear” as you go through an intersection. What might be clear for you, may not be clear for the person behind you.
  6. Cars
    1. If riding in a big group on a road with no shoulder, leave a gap for cars to pass. This way they can take advantage of shorter passing intervals
    2. On a non busy road, if a car is approaching the back of the group, announce “car back” to let other riders in front of you know that a car is coming. If you’re riding two abreast or out in the road, and you hear “car back,” return to the side of the road and ride single file
    3. Use the warning “Car up” on narrow roads to warn following riders of approaching traffic
    4. make eye contact with drivers at intersections