Lost River Cycling group ride etiquette
LRC guidelines are designed to provide riders with enjoyment, exercise, training, support from other cyclists, safety. At the same time, we strive to promote a positive image of cyclists in our actions - on and off the bike. The guidelines are:
- Obey all traffic laws
- Wear a helmet for safety/role model for children
- Any rider experienced in pack riding may "lead the pack" - for part or all of the ride. Whomever is leading is expected to keep the speed at 15-18 mph (example of exceptions - cycling to or from Hilltop where the group agrees on reforming at a given point).
- Ride leader is expected to keep an eye on the pack. If the pack gets spread out, the leader is expected to slow the pace.
- Sweeper - it's preferred that an experienced cyclist ride at the rear to assist inexperienced cyclists with cycling tips/repairs as needed.
- Ride single file except in areas where it is safe to ride side by side.
- When riding in a pack, look at "shoulder level" of cyclists in front of you to allow you to see what is occurring ahead of you – as in further up the road than just the cyclists in front of you. Fixing your gaze on the back tire of the person in front of you doesn’t give you enough time to react should the entire group slow down!
- It is the responsibility of the sweeper to notify the cyclist in front of them that a car is approaching from the rear by saying, "Car Back." Each rider is expected to pass the caution towards the front in order that all riders can take appropriate action - usually "thinning" the pack to single file or closer side-by-side.
- It is the responsibility of the lead rider to notify the cyclist behind them of approaching issues by saying, "Jogger Up, Cyclist Up" or whatever potential danger is approaching. It is the responsibility of each cyclist to pass the caution back.
- Hand signals, instead of words, are used to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway. In a pack, oftentimes, the only cyclist who has enough visual warning is the front cyclist. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the lead rider to warn the cyclists behind them. If the lead cyclist (or the cyclist in front of you) shakes their hand to the right, that means there's a pothole, branch or some obstacle to the right. Shaking of the left hand means there is an obstacle to the left. If the lead rider puts their hand behind their posterior, that means to follow right behind them as there might be obstacles on both sides. If the lead cyclist puts their right hand down with the flat of the hand facing you, that means the lead cyclist is slowing down or coming to a stop.
- The lead cyclist is responsible for determining when it is safe for the group to "ride through" a stop sign or stoplight.
- It is the responsibility of each cyclist to operate their bike in such a manner as to not offend motorists, pedestrians, etc. While not required, a "thank you wave" to a motorist who yields to the pack does make friends! A "hi" to a youngster that we pass may encourage the youngster to begin cycling.
- Avoid slowing down abruptly or making any other sudden moves. With the size of our riding groups, a nasty group spill could occur.
- Do ask questions of more experienced riders when you’re not sure what is occurring.
- If you are in the lead and are ready to let the person(s) behind you lead, there are several options. If we’re in two columns, the front riders smoothly slide to the outside and let the next two riders gradually ride “through” to the front. The previous leaders let the columns of riders pass through and then catch on the back. If we’re in a single column, the lead rider smoothly drops to the side where the wind is coming from. That allows the next rider to pull to the front without also dealing with the wind.