Helmet should be certified CE1065 and ideally changed after 5 years of constant use. It definitely must be changed if it has been struck with force e.g. during a fall
Your helmet should fit snugly on your head with the front section just above your eyebrows. Use the dial to the rear to tighten your helmet in place. The strap should fit comfortably under your chin. Keep it loose to allow you put your finger between it and your skin but not loose enough to come off your chin.
Make sure that the side buckles are positioned just under your ears. This keeps your helmet from tilting.
Equipment that every cyclist SHOULD have:
- 2 x tubes
- Multi Tool
- Adequate Food Supplies and 2 Bottles
- Suitable clothing
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION/CALLS AND SIGNALLING WHEN GROUP CYCLING
- Verbal and non-verbal signals are extremely important
- The front of the group must communicate with the back of the group and vice versa.
CALL “Slowing” usually accompanied by a hand signal to indicate that the cyclist or cyclists are slowing down for some reason. For example, approaching a signal-controlled junction.
CALL “Stopping” usually accompanied by a hand signal to indicate that the cyclist or cyclists are stopping for some reason. For example, approaching a signal-controlled junction.
CALL “Wait” typically at a junction to indicate there is a car coming or that it is unsafe to proceed.
CALL “Clear” to indicate that a junction is traffic free or that it is safe to proceed. N.B. Cyclist must always check for themselves and not rely solely on others.
CALL “Single Out or Single File” to instruct cyclists to get into single file.
CALL “Car Up” to warn cyclists that a car is approaching from the rear of the group. Cyclists should be prepared to single out if riding two abreast to accommodate the car(s) moving through.
CALL “Car Down” to warn cyclists that a car is approaching from the front of the group. Cyclists should be prepared to single out if riding two abreast to accommodate the car(s) coming down, particularly on narrow rural roads.
CALL “Rider Up” to warn cyclist(s) that the cyclist(s) behind intend to pass. Cyclists should be prepared to move over or single out to accommodate the cyclist(s) coming through
SLOWING: HAND SIGNAL: Raise your arm, move up and down.
STOPPING: HAND SIGNAL: Raise your arm, open palm
MOVE OUT: HAND SIGNAL: Bring hand behind the back (left or right depending on which side the obstruction is on) and wave or point behind back indicating that there is an obstruction such as a parked car or pedestrian, etc. Cyclists should move in the direction indicated to avoid the obstruction.
POTHOLE OR HAZARD: HAND SIGNAL: Extend arm (left or right depending on which side the hazard is on) pointing down at the road, to point out hazards such as pot holes, manhole covers etc. In the event of a pothole, cyclist should shout “Hole” while pointing towards the hazard.
COME THROUGH: ARM SIGNAL: Hands on the handlebars, flick your left or right elbow away from your body. Flick the elbow on the side that the following cyclists will come through on.
PUNCTURE: HAND SIGNAL: Raise your hand, stop pedalling and hold in a straight line until everyone has passed. When all the cyclists are ahead, it is safe to pull over.
GLASS OR LOOSE GRAVEL OR UNEVEN GROUND: HAND SIGNAL: Extend arm (left or right depending on which side the hazard is on) with hand open and palm facing the ground. Move hand left and right to indicate gravel or uneven ground, etc.
Advantages and Considerations of Group riding 2 abreast
- Smaller length of group on road compared to one long line
- You can own the road better / cars will overtake with more space…generally!
- Shelter! You can save a lot of energy sitting behind one cyclist?
- Everyone gets to do a bit of work and then get a bit of rest. Group size very important! 8-10 Max
- More sociable! You get to talk to someone different every 10 mins or so!
- Stay in your line! On the way up and on the way down
- Don’t let gaps appear; keep at least max wheel diameter to the cyclist in front of you. If you let a gap appear, you will be dropped!
- No half wheeling!
- When going up and over, look over your left shoulder.
- When going up and over, don’t go too hard; it should be gradual.
- If you are struggling, don’t spend long on the front, or else keep to the back
Singling Out …..How and When?
- Outside line drop back one cyclist and in; It is easier to drop back and in than to accelerate and up and over
- It is very important to look over left shoulder and point that you are moving in in front of inside cyclist.
- For inside cyclists, make sure you leave space for outside cyclist to move in. Guide them in!
- Double up again when safe and clear. Move out and back up to where you were originally.
- Single out when: Traffic is building up behind; it’s common road courtesy and reduces the chance of someone taking a chance to overtake cars and the group in a busy area such as a town or village. Use your common sense; if you feel it’s a dangerous situation then single the group out.
- N.B. Never encourage or signal a car to overtake the group as it is the driver’s responsibility, not yours!
When looking over your shoulder or behind you….
- It’s important to be able to look behind safely without wobbling!
- Get right up out of the saddle and forward and lean on bars
- If looking over your left shoulder, lift your left knee/pedal up and look over left side
- If looking over your right shoulder, lift right knee/pedal up and look over right side
- Saddle secure and at correct angle and height
- Seat post clamp securely fitted, quick release is tight.
- No play in the headset and handle-bars move freely.
- Brakes securely fitted, no excessive wear on the brake pads (Front and Rear).
- Brakes working correctly. Check front and back brakes.
- Axle nuts and quick release are tight front and rear
- Tyres not worn, sufficiently inflated
- No missing or loose spokes
- Wheel Spins Freely and runs true (Front and Rear).
- Front derailleur works correctly and changes smoothly
- Rear derailleur works correctly and changes smoothly
- Pedals spin freely, no play in the pedals
- Crank spins freely, no play in the crank
- Frame free from rust, damage and cracks
- Keep the groups small
- Make sure that you know the basics of group riding before going on a club spin
- Learn the signals, both verbal and non-verbal
- Be sure that your bike is road-worthy and that you have appropriate clothing, food , drink and other equipment with you.
- Practise the basic skills with other cyclists in a safe location whenever you can
- ENJOY! AND BE SAFE!