Swindon Wheelers Riding Etiquette

All Riders

• You are responsible for your own safety and all Riders join club rides and activities at their own risk

• If you have a medical condition and come out on a club organised ride it is your responsibility. However, you must inform the ride leader and be mindful of the effects your condition could have on the other riders in the group.

• In case of emergency, it is advisable that you either carry a completed Wheelers club card with emergency contact details and any significant medical issue documented or activate the emergency details section on your mobile.

• We strongly recommend that you download a location App such as “What3Words” in case you need to call for help from the emergency services

• You must ensure that you and your bike are roadworthy

• Be courteous to other road users and follow the Highway code at all times

• Unless you are an experienced rider who is used to group riding, start in a lower group (Nova’s) and work up, if unsure a senior member of the club can advise

• All rides use recognised hand signals to alert the group of possible dangers such as potholes. Please familiarise yourself with these (web link found at the bottom of this guidance).

• Fatigue is a large factor in accidents involving group riding; therefore when signing up for a club ride consider if it is within your capabilities in terms of length, climbs and anticipated group average speed.

• No new rider is ever left behind unless the ride leader is satisfied that someone is coming to pick you up.

• If you find yourself dropping off the back of the main group (i.e. not able to keep up for some reason) let another rider know so this can be conveyed to the ride leader

• If you are leaving the ride before the designated end point you must let the ride leader know, ideally before the ride sets off but before you leave the ride

• Consider joining British Cycling or the Cyclists Touring Club to obtain 3rd party insurance.

• Be predictable: applying the brakes unexpectedly, standing up out of the saddle when it is not necessary or safe to do so and decreasing speed without alerting others can all lead to a crash when riding in a group. (Always accelerate slightly and call “standing” if you are about to stand in your pedals).

• To keep you and those around you safe, be as predictable as possible. If you are going to change direction, speed or position within the group, let those behind you know before making the move.

• For safety reasons you must not allow your wheel to overlap with the wheel in front of you as this could cause wheels to touch leading to an accident. To keep this from happening, always ride directly behind the rider in front of you.

• When riding in two’s a good rule of thumb is to keep your handlebars even with the handlebars of the rider who is beside you

• Ride two abreast where it as safe to do so but always be prepared to single out when necessary. Ride immediately behind the rider in front – do not overlap either forwards or sideways. Never ride more than two abreast

• Unless your ride leader has said otherwise, wait in a safe place for the rest of the group at the top of climbs

• Carry enough tools to get you out of common problems – see list on the Wheelers website

• Tri-bars are not permitted on club rides for safety reasons

• Helmets are compulsory for all rides

• Mudguards are highly recommended in the winter

• A working rear light should be on during ALL club rides. Front and rear lights are compulsory for evening rides.

• By joining in with Club rides you are agreeing to abide by the above and follow the ride leader’s instructions

• If you have an accident whilst out on a club ride in conjunction with the ride lead or deputy, you must complete a club accident form. Doing so helps the club and other riders learn from accidents.

• Finally, the most important rule is to enjoy the ride!!

The Front of the Ride

• On a group ride the ride leader may take the front or sit further back in the group. It is important to take personal responsibility when you are on the front to keep those around you safe. This includes using hand signals when making a turn, alerting others of approaching obstacles and maintaining a consistent speed. You should also always follow local laws and obey traffic signals and street signs.

Junior Riders

• We do not currently have a junior section, there are clubs in the area who do

• 16-18’s can ride unaccompanied with parental consent – email to the membership secretary swindonwheelers1923@gmail.com

• See separate club guidance relating to conduct when around junior riders

Resources for Group Cycling




Relevant High Code Rules

Rule 63

Cycle Lanes These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway. When using a cycle lane, keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Rule 163

Overtake only when it is safe and legal to do so. You should give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.

Rule 167

DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example: Stay behind if you are following a cyclist approaching a roundabout or junction, and you intend to turn left

Rule 212

When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room. If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.

Rule 213

Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.