Guide to WCC Group Rides

By Lisa Baker updated 4/05/16

The club expects all cyclists to follow these best practices on our group rides: 

Ride single file whenever there is traffic on the road
Stay as far to the right as is safe and reasonable—and not so far that you have to swerve left into traffic to avoid hazards
Hold your line: Ride directly behind the rider in front of you—aim to stay within six inches to left or right
Maintain constant pedaling: Maintaining a steady pace helps the rider behind you predict your speed
Signal well in advance before turns
Look carefully over your shoulder (scan) before signaling and pulling out into the lane
  Don’t move if cars are in the lane or overtaking rapidly—they have the right of way
  This applies if moving from the shoulder to the travel lane—scan and signal before you move
Before you pass another rider, make sure the lane to your left is clear and announce you are passing
When you move out to pass, have a plan for how you are going to re-enter the line of riders
Come to a full stop at red lights—ALWAYS
Come to a stop at stop signs. Take turns with cars at four-way stops
Regroup if the group gets separated at an intersection. No one should be penalized for stopping
Move well off the road if the group stops

We Communicate

“On your left” Whenever we are passing. If our fellow rider doesn’t know we are there, they might move to the left unexpectedly
“On your right” In the extremely rare event we pass on the right (if the other rider is well out in the lane)
“Slowing” So the person behind us will know to slow down too and not run into us
“Stopping” Loudly and clearly
“Car back” Those in the back of line say it first. Everyone else passes it up the line so all are aware 
   “Car back” = “Single file
“Car up” When there is a car in the oncoming lane on a narrow road, or a stopped car in our lane
“Walker up” So fellow riders know to move out and give a pedestrian or jogger some space
“Hole” “Bump” “Branch” “Debris” To warn riders behind us of a hazard

What We DON’T Do

Call “Clear!” at an intersection (because conditions can change rapidly – each rider needs to make their own decision about when it’s safe to go) Instead say: “I’m going
Signal to drivers that it’s safe to pass the group (because conditions change rapidly, and riders in front of us might suddenly move out into the lane)
Wear headphones (because we won’t be able to hear when fellow riders communicate with us)
Pass on the right (because we cut off someone’s safe lane, and they don’t expect it)
Pass on a downhill (because riders who are descending may move laterally without warning to avoid a hazard, and they won’t be able to signal in advance)
Let our front wheel overlap (laterally) with the wheel in front of us (because if they move to the side, we’ll go down)


© Westchester Cycle Club 2019