Adult club ride rules and suggestions
Ahead of all the other suggestions below always follow the Highway Code. Rules, regulations and laws of the road apply. You are responsible for your own safety so ensure your bike is road-worthy and that you’re confident riding on the open roads.
Remember that when you are riding in club rides or other organised events, you are the face of the club, this is especially true when you are wearing club clothing. The impression of the club by the wider community is based on you so please act responsibly and be considerate of other road users and pedestrians.
1. Have fun: Above all, the club runs are meant to be fun. There may be some rules here but the club run isn’t a military drill, it’s about enjoying yourself, meeting new people and getting out on the bike.
2. Say hello: If you’re new, please identify yourself to those leading any club rides. Please listen to them, as they will explain how the ride works and where it’s going.
3. Highway Code: You must at all times comply with the Highway Code and more than that, you must ride with courtesy and respect for other road users. You are responsible, not only for your own safety but for other riders around you. There will be a leader but their role is limited to choosing the route and keeping the group together. They are NOT responsible for your safety, you are. Experienced Club members may ask you to adjust your speed, road position or style. Please respect them, as they are only concerned for everybody’s safety and keeping the group together.
4. It’s not a race: The club rides are social rides – we are NOT racing. There will always be a few hills (up and down!) where you can let off steam. We wait for people who go off the back of the ride. If you go off the front we’ll assume you’ve gone off on your own and it’s your job to come back and find us.
5. Group riding etiquette: When we ride as a group we look good! Aim to ride close to the rider in front (you’ll save a lot of energy doing this). Ride in pairs when it’s safe, NEVER more than two abreast. Single-out if a car is behind so it can pass, or if the road conditions make it sensible to do so. Don’t surge ahead suddenly, ride consistently and predictably. Be careful when braking suddenly as riders behind can easily crash into you.
6. Ride a predictable line: A really simple rule, but if you don’t ride a predictable line then the rider behind is likely to crash into you.
7. Ride together and wait: When the group gets broken up, slow down a little to allow the riders behind to catch up and proceed as a group. The aim is to keep the group together throughout the whole ride. When it’s safe, re-group at the top of hills (and if necessary at the bottom). The ride leaders should make sure that all riders are back in the group before resuming at normal pace. It’s okay to keep moving but slowly, until everyone is back together.
8. Stop in a safe place. If you’re in a large group it’s important not to wait on dangerous sections of road longer than necessary as you’ll get in the way of other traffic. Find a suitable place to wait at the side of the road while others to catch up.
NEVER STOP IMMEDIATELY AROUND A BEND OR JUNCTION AS CARS WON’T KNOW YOU’RE THERE AND IT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS.
9. Signals and warnings: You’ll soon learn ride signals, but if you’re not sure just ask.
Front riders should warn of hazards ahead and inform the rest of the group verbally and/or with hand signals.
Rear riders should (inform of hazards approaching from the rear as well)ensure that no one is falling behind. If they are, then they should inform riders in front and the group should slow to allow it to be reformed.
There are lots of signals cyclist use. Here are a few simple ones you’ll experience on a Penge CC ride.
When rider two abreast and you need to single out, the outside rider should move behind the inside rider. Talk to each other while you do it so every rider is clear.
Point and call out at holes or objects on road. Basically, if you have to go around anything tell the rider behind about it before they hit it.
“Car down/car front” – means a car is approaching the ride from ahead.
“Car up/car back “means a car is coming up behind the ride.
(down your throat, up your bum!)
Right hand or left hand pointing straight out means rider is turning. Not to be confused with…
…A left hand behind the back pointing to the right. This means rider is pulling out around an obstacle or parked car. You may also see a ‘wafting’ motion as if a rider has made a smell – that means the same thing!
10. Join the club: We especially welcome new members on the club rides and if you like riding with us, please become a member. We’re happy for you to try the ride a few times but after three rides you must join if you want to ride with us. This covers the Club for purposes of adhering to insurance regulations.
11. Fill in the online questionnaire. Once you’ve joined you must fill in the survey so we have all your relevant safety information and cycling targets for the future.
Here all riders should have filled in emergency contact details. Any medical conditions or allergies that may affect the ride should pointed out confidentially to ride leaders.
12. 3rd party ride insurance. You need to have this to ride with us. All details of where to get insurance are on the membership pages on the website here.
13. Club kit: We’d love members to wear the club kit if they can as it adds a small contribution to our funds and promotes the club, but feel free to come and ride wearing whatever you like. The Penge Cycle club clothing is pro-team quality and can be ordered on our website. The club will place an order with the manufacturer three times a year.
14. Mechanicals: If someone punctures or has a mechanical please shout to alert other riders. Everyone is expected to stop. Make sure you start the ride with spares like an inner tube, tyre levers and that your bike is roadworthy. While repairs are taking place the group may decide to circle around to keep warm.
15. Contribute: We’re a volunteer run group and anything you can add will make us even better. Become a ride leader, help with a club role, become a Go-Ride coach or just come along to the pub meetings – it all helps.
16. Keeping safe. Penge CC (may) insist all riders wear a helmet on club rides. We insist you also have good lights front and rear for evening rides. Mudguards are a good idea too if it’s wet so you don’t soak the rider behind you. Headphones are not allowed on Penge CC rides.
17. What to bring. Please carry a mobile phone and make sure you swap numbers with ride leaders and fellow rider before we leave. Bring inner tubes, a snack, a drink, and clothing suitable for the weather. Please also bring cash or a credit card in case a train journey or an emergency cake stop is required.
18. Waiver & release of liability. Cycling is an adventure sport with inherent risks. I confirm that I have no medical condition which could restrict me from taking part in club rides. I agree to indemnify Penge Cycle Club, its Ride leaders, other club officials and any other persons connected with the event from any liability whatsoever resulting in personal injury (fatal or otherwise) loss, damage or expense caused. I agree that I participate in rides entirely at my own risk. I confirm that I will always wear a helmet on rides, that my bike is in good working order and that I shall take reasonable precautions as to ensure my own safety and the safety of all other participants.