Shipston Cycling Club organises group rides every Sunday (weather permitting), meeting at the Bridge car park in Shipston on Stour. There are also regular training rides on Tuesday evenings and some Saturdays, plus social rides on Thursdays in the summer months. The Tuesday night rides are very weather sensitive in the dark as safety is paramount at all times but more regular during the lighter months of the year.
All rides are covered by our generic risk assessment which you’ll find here, and below you’ll find some tips for safe group riding.
- Follow the Highway Code at all times – it applies to ALL road-users
- Cycle a maximum of two abreast when conditions permit
- Ride directly behind the rider in front of you
- Be prepared on small or busy roads to ride in single file; the inside riders to make space for outside riders to pull into the side
- Cover your brakes when appropriate and always when in close formation
- When on the front, keep pedalling, this is particularly important going downhill. If you freewheel everyone behind may have to brake
- If you are on the front, remember that people are following your calls. Stop at T junctions and only pull out when it is safe for the whole group to make the move.
Verbal calls and hand signals – there’s a full guide here
- Point out hazards in the road by either shouting or using hand signals, preferably both
- Shout “Car back” if you’re riding at the back of the group and there are vehicles behind you.
- Shout “Car front” if there’s a vehicle approaching from the front of the group
- Brake as gently and smoothly as you safely can when riding in a pack, calling out “Slowing” or “Stopping.”
- If you decide to pull out on a roundabout or junction, you need to call “Clear” or “Wait” – to warn the pack of hazard
- Point out with hand signals and shouts, all potholes, manhole covers and other dangers in the road that could cause a puncture or an accident
- If you are at the back of the group and you, or someone else is being dropped, call to the riders in front that the pace is too high. The pack will then communicate this up to the front
- When asked to “ease up’ or “slow a little” do not brake suddenly. Gently ease your pace by pedalling less hard or freewheeling for a moment
- Slow right down when passing horses, and pass them as wide as it is safe to do so. Always call to the horse riders well ahead of catching them – a cheery “Good morning” or “Hello” will suffice