MDCC club run etiquette

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Here are a few reminders on club riding etiquette; please remember that we all bear a responsibility of care
for the safety of anyone we are riding with.

Keep together.
Front riders are the eyes of the group.
Front riders should warn of:

  • Hazards ahead
  • Change of speed
  • Change of direction
  • Potholes
  • Manhole covers and other ironwork
  • Parked vehicles
  • Approaching vehicles

Warnings should be both verbal and by pointing, and given in plenty of time.
Any warnings or directions given by the lead riders should be repeated by the following riders and passed down the group from pair to pair.
After any interruption in the ride, e.g. road junctions, roundabouts, stopping for any reason, after a climb or descent, the lead riders should make sure that all riders are back in the group before moving off at normal pace. It is OK to keep moving, and is preferable to keep moving, but slowly until everyone is back together. But don't make dropped riders have a long chase to get back on, it just makes them even more tired!

Exceptions are:

  • When riders are a long way down, then stopping is an option to consider.
  • When the route involves negotiating roundabouts, road junctions, etc, then waiting at a corner, etc, may be necessary to ensure dropped riders follow the correct route.
  • If novice or unfit riders are present, avoid letting them ride for long periods by themselves on hard sections of the route, i.e. long hills or climbs.
  • Ride in line with the rider in front of you; do not overlap wheels.
  • If gaps appear in the group, warn the riders in front and request them to ease down. Avoid letting large gaps open.
  • Try to ride as a close knit group, including most climbs.
  • When climbing in a group try using the same gear as the rider in front of you; keeping the same cadence helps for smoother riding.
  • When climbing in a group use the same style, i.e. in/out of the saddle.
  • When climbing in a group stay in line and keep your position.
  • When climbing in a group and you cannot hold the wheel in front, do not let a gap open up in front of you - let the rest of the group behind you move forward to keep the group together.
  • Communicate with other riders. If you notice gaps occurring because the pace at the front is too high, ask the riders at the front to ease off. Keep the group together.
  • Change riders at the front frequently, stronger riders doing longer turns, weaker riders shorter.
  • Rear riders should warn of any overtaking vehicles, or instruct the group to form single file to help following traffic when necessary.
  • Rear riders should warn the group if any riders are dropped.

Many Thanks to David Lambourne, Thames Velo Club Coach and MDCC 2nd Claim Member who
wrote the above guidance notes for his Club, Thames Velo, and allowed us to use them.