Group Cycling Technique and Rider Etiquette


Club rides should be safe and enjoyable for all participants. Riding a bike in a larger group requires special skills, and more care and caution than when riding alone or with only one or two other cyclists. Since riding in a group tends to attract more attention than a single rider, each of us should be role models for all other roadway users. The respect we earn from motorists is dependent on our actions as responsible cyclists.

The following rules are intended to improve safety, enjoyment and public perception of club rides.

  • Like all users of our roads, respect and follow the Basic Rule of Right-of-Way
    • Share the road and always ride defensively. Rather than riding in a large group, space yourselves into smaller groups to allow motorists to pass easily.
  • Before changing positions within the group;
    • Always check behind for other cyclists and motorists,
    • Pass other cyclists on the left, never on the right,
    • Signal your intentions and announce it by saying “on your left” or “passing”
    • Ringing your bell may startle some so a friendly “Good morning” will work just as well
    • Yield to other cyclists trying to pass you by keeping to the right.
  • When possible;
    • Alert other riders of potentially dangerous conditions (potholes, dogs, broken glass, uneven pavement, wet leaves, etc.) either verbally or by simply “pointing” to the hazard as you pass it.
    • Call out “car back” to riders ahead of you to let them know of approaching traffic and to remind them to “share the road”.
    • Never say “clear” to riders following you into an intersection. Each rider must make his or her own decision and learn not to be dependent on the judgement of others, as it may be faulty or conditions may suddenly change.
  • When car and truck traffic is present in either direction, ride only in single file. No exceptions. While it may be great for a conversation, riding more than two-abreast is dangerous at any time as it takes away the “escape route” for the rider in the middle should it be necessary to dodge road debris.
  • After climbing a steep hill, it may seem that the summit is a good place to rest. However, Consider other cyclists climbing up behind you and, Pull completely off the road if a rest is necessary so that others who do not wish to rest may proceed. Remember that sight lines for cyclists and motorists at the crest of a hill may be compromised.
  • When following another cyclist, always allow at least a metre between your bike and the bike ahead. If your wheel even lightly touches the back wheel ahead of you, guaranteed, YOU WILL GO DOWN!
  • The Golden Rule. Always keep your cool. Even if motorists or other cyclists wrong you, remain courteous.