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
    around bends.
  • 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.