GREG COMBS: As Spring Season Approaches, Take Notice of Riding Rules
I recently received a letter from the Sandhills Cycling Club informing me of the club ride rules. Unfortunately, I was violating one of the rules by wearing headphones during the start of one of the group rides. Although I forgot I even had the earphones placed in my ears and they were not even turned on does not make it right. I demonstrated poor judgment and total disregard for the safety of my fellow cyclists. My deepest apology.
Since the cycling season is quickly approaching and more people will be joining the local group rides, I would like to help the Sandhills Cycling Club by informing fellow cyclists of the SCC rules. The SCC asks that cyclists abide by the rules and follow basic ride etiquette. The rules are in place for the safety of all riders and to make riding enjoyable for everyone. The SCC asks that all riders adhere to the rules and help enforce them. The following are the current SCC rules:
Helmets must be worn on all rides.
Ipods, MP3 players or any device that requires ear buds or earphones are prohibited on group rides. Ear buds or earphones must be removed even if not in use.
No cell phone usage. If you must take a call, drop out of the group and pull over to the side of the road.
Obey all NC traffic laws.
Riders on triathlon bikes/time trial bikes are welcome, but are requested not to use the aero bars on group rides.
Obey all traffic signs and signals. This includes traffic lights and stop signs.
Communicate with your fellow riders, using proper cycling terms, such as "On your left," "Car back," etc.
When you hear "Car back," move to single file on the right-hand side of the road or shoulder. Give way to the car.
When you hear, "On your left," allow the person coming up behind you to pass safely within the lane; not crossing over into the other lane. If necessary move to the right.
Stay to the right, except to pass. Pass on the left side only. Do not pass on the right.
Do not cross center line regardless of passing zone.
Use proper signals when turning. Make left turns from the center of the road or left turn lane.
Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
Ride in control of your bike at all times (i.e. being able to stop within a reasonable distance.)
Ride defensively, in consideration of your fellow riders.
Point out and call out any road hazards ahead. These include potholes, drain grates, stray animals, opening car doors, sticks or stones, parked cars, etc.
Do not overlap wheels with other riders. A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels and fall.
Pedal downhill when you are at the front of the bunch. Cyclists dislike having to ride under brakes.
Be predictable with all your actions. Remember that what you do affects others.
Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider. Try to stay relaxed in your upper body to absorb any bumps.
When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely. Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.
Combs is a coach, cyclist and triathlete and expert in bicycling fitting/rider positioning. He takes a holistic approach to bike fitting to assess and correct repetitive strain injuries, pelvic asymmetry and muscle imbalances. He is also the Director of the Sport Management Program at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. For more information browse: www.velosmart.com or e-mail him at email@example.com.
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