The British Cycling Club’s Guide to Safe Riding in a Group (v1 March 2019)
1) Be Group Aware
- Respect and actively support the Ride Leader as it is their responsibility to lead the ride.
- Designate a Back Marker to support the Ride Leader on every ride.
- Stay in visual contact with the main group checking both ahead and behind you regularly for
any hazards or riders off the front or back.
- Please wait and regroup regularly at junctions and / or turns where it is safe to do so.
- Ensure you have the contact details of both the Ride Leader and the Back Marker.
2) Communication and Calling Out
An important factor to successful group riding is effective communication.
- Look all around you before moving away from the kerb, turning or manoeuvring ensuring you
give clear verbal and / or hand signals as below.
- Call out any verbal signals to other riders about your intended movements to include “coming
up” when approaching a rider from behind; “slowing”; “stopping”; “car down” indicating a car
coming towards you and “car up” indicating a car behind you waiting to come past.
3) Ride Consistently and Predictably
Your movements will affect everyone in the group.
- Where possible ride 1 metre out from the kerb and don’t sit in the gutter as this increases the
risk of hitting obstructions i.e. kerbs, drain covers, gravel etc and of picking up punctures.
- Try to hold a straight line, don’t ride too close and don’t overlap the front person’s rear wheel;
instead ride either side of it to avoid accidents.
- Be aware of traffic held up behind you and pull in or slow down where safe to do so.
- Always overtake to the right hand side of the rider in front and give any verbal warning or
hand signals as detailed in 2) and 4).
- Leave plenty of room when overtaking any parked vehicles, obstructions or hazards.
4) Using Hand Signals
- Use the left or right extended arm signal to indicate your direction of turn especially when
cycling on the public highway.
- Use other hand signals such as pointing to potholes or hazards in the road. Pointing with your
arm behind your back indicates an obstruction ahead such as a parked car or a pedestrian.
5) Obey the Rules of the Road
- Obey all traffic signs, hazard signs and traffic light signals.
- Ride 2 abreast where safe to do so, otherwise ride single file on narrow and busy roads and
- Ride to the prevailing weather and hazard conditions.
6) Prepare Yourself and Your Bike
- Ensure your bike is well maintained. Carry a bell and lights.
- Always carry suitable spares i.e. inner tubes, tool kit, pump etc.
- Wear a helmet and preferably high visibility clothing.
- Carry something to eat and drink.