GUIDELINES FOR GROUP RIDES
When registering with the OCA as a member of the East Side Riders Cycling Club you are required to agree on a liability waiver. To review the waiver click go to bottom of this webpage.
Cycling in general can and often does result in crashes, injury, and even death. Bikes riding on open roads within close proximatry to each other can increase the chance of collisions. Below are additional rules to increase the safety of cyclists riding in a group. These rules are not a guarantee of safety but are the best way to ensure that we minimize the risks associated with what can be a dangerous sport. Although the club makes a reasonable attempt to conduct its events safely, you should recognize that riding a bicycle on public roads is very hazardous and there are no guarantees for your safety.
The following 7 rules will be strictly adhered to:
Group Riding Rules of Thumb, Safety, and Etiquette:
Inappropriate and unsafe behavior on rides is to be reported to the Ride Captain Committee who will make recommendations to the board of directors. If a rider has consistently demonstrated unsafe behavior he or she may be asked to ride in another ride level, or to practice cycling skills before returning to group rides.
Group Ride: MCCG Rides are group rides, so you should be prepared to ride as a group in proper formation and within the speed parameters of that group. If you prefer to ride at your own pace, in your own way, please choose to ride on your own at another time and place.
Maintain your bike: Keep your bike and your gear in good order.
Obey the law: You must ride according to the Highway Traffic Act, which means things like: staying to the right hand side of the yellow line, yielding right of way, stopping at STOP signs and red traffic lights; signaling turns; waiting in line at the back of a traffic queue (no filtering to the front) and using good observation at all times.
Communicate: Communication is important to a good group ride. Communicating verbally or with hand signals is essential to group safety. Signaling when a pull is done, when going over railroad tracks, when there are poor road conditions, gravel, approaching cars etc. are all routinely communicated. Let other riders know if you are not feeling well, if you want to stop to check a mechanical issue, if you feel like the ride is too difficult. etc.
Be Prepared: It is up to you to carry enough spare money, food, drink, clothing, medical supplies, repair kit, extra tubes, pump, multi-tool cell phone and anything else you may need to satisfy your level of risk. Ride captains will not carry such items for the group.
Safety and Equipment:
You are responsible for your own safety.
Type of Bike: All rides are intended for road bikes unless otherwise stated. Mountain bikes are fine for mountain biking but are not suitable for road riding and you will likely have trouble keeping up with the group speed. Cyclocross rides are often scheduled in the cooler weather. Riders with triathlon or time trial bikes are welcome on ESR rides provided can ride in a stable and safe manner with hands on the brake levers at all times. Aero handlebars are unsafe to use on any group ride setting. If you have a bike with aero handlebars we ask that you never ride in aero position while on a group ride.
Proper attire: Proper cycling attire for the temperature and predicted riding conditions is advised.
Bring a bike in good working order: You should always bring a bike in good working order. If an experienced member thinks your bike is unsafe, you may not be welcome to join the group ride. Check all nuts and bolts for tightness. Ensure all items on the bike are secure as loose items can cause hazards if they fall off. All water bottles need to be cage specific or secured with cords if inserted in TT bottle cage holders. Wheels should be running true and tires should be in good condition and inflated to proper pressure before each ride.
Other Equipment: You should carry at least one spare tube and a reliable pump with the right adapter for your tubes. It is advisable to carry a multi-tool and tire levers to deal with any mechanical problems.
Bike lights: Front and rear bike lights are required by law starting 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise.
Bike computer: A handlebar mounted bike computer is essential to help you maintain a consistent pace when pulling at the front. Steady acceleration and consistent speeds at the front of the group help to keep the group in a good formation.
Hydration and Nutrition: Bring sufficient fluids and nutrition for the ride. Many rides will provide opportunities to refill, but availability may be out of our control or need to change for road conditions on long county rides. Bring cash to purchase more if free refills are not available.
Health Issues: Feel free to notify the ride caption of any potential health risks you want to disclose such as allergies, asthma, diabetes etc., but assume that nobody has any first aid experience.
Be on Your Game: If you are tired, hung-over, or feeling ill, today may not be the day to ride. Riders who are unable to focus can be dangerous in a group, especially at high speeds.
Good Group Riding Behaviour
Riding in the peloton: A peloton is a group of riders who travel as an integrated unit saving energy by riding in formation. Riders take turns riding on the front to create a draft for the riders behind. The reduction in drag is dramatic; in the middle of a well-developed group it can be as much as 40%. The effectiveness of the group depends as much on the skills of riders within it as it does upon their strength and conditioning.
ESR CLUB WAIVER
Members are required to agree to a waiver including the following: