You should expect your Ride Leader to cover these Bolded points, at minimum, plus any other safety information they feel is important, but we're also asking each Club rider to be aware of, and follow, these rules while on rides.
I know it can be difficult to "call someone out" if they're being unsafe but we have to police ourselves on every ride and if someone is creating dangerous conditions, they need to know. It can be done politely and with courtesy, but clear communication between riders is essential. I've been called out a couple of times and when that's happened I've appreciated knowing, even if it was sometimes difficult to hear.
- Ride Defensively in all aspects of your ride: assume the worst of your fellow riders, vehicular traffic and pedestrians - and be prepared for anything that may cause an accident. Try your best to make eye contact with car/truck/motorcycle drivers whenever possible for turns, stop signs and other potential interactions between bike and vehicle.
- Be a Predictable Rider at all times: signal by (loud) voice and / or hand signals what your intentions are at all times. This includes slowing, stopping, passing, turning etc. Always use hand signals for turning on roads so that vehicular traffic is clear on what your intentions are.
- Accept Personal Responsibility for being a safe rider: pay attention to every aspect of your ride 100% of the time – accidents can, and do, happen in the blink of an eye so you MUST pay attention to your ride at all times. Don't call out clear for other riders! What may be clear for you won't necessarily be clear for others so look for yourself to see if a turn or road crossing is safe.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate with your fellow riders, especially when you're passing, on their wheel or in any way potentially impacting them. NEVER ASSUME SOMEONE KNOWS YOUR INTENTIONS.
As Safety Chair, I will offer three other comments that are my viewpoints:
First, I NEVER expect a rider to pass me on the right even if they call it out. I want the road to my right to be clear at all times in case I need to move quickly (and away from where vehicles are) to avoid dangerous road conditions or other issues.
Second, I think passing someone going downhill, or bunching up going downhill, is equally hazardous. We're all going fast and an accident for one will almost inevitably turn into a multi-person accident.
Third, please get / wear a ROAD ID. The Club gets a discount and these are incredibly helpful if you have an accident or medical issues that occur during a ride.
Ride Leaders are also now authorized to specify any other safety practices (lights, mirrors, staying with the group etc.) that they feel are important. This should be done in the ride description clearly and fully. If a rider refuses, the Ride Leader may exclude that person from the day's ride.
CLUB GUIDELINES FOR STEPS TO TAKE IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT
Hopefully, if we all follow the Club Safety Guidelines there won't be any accidents. Nonetheless, accidents happen even to the safest riders for a variety of reasons. Here are steps we are recommending in the event of an accident.
WHAT TO DO IN AN ACCIDENT
- One person take charge – call out "I'm taking charge" and then do that loudly and clearly. Check if anyone has medical training; if they do, let them take charge.
- Carefully secure scene – warn on-coming traffic to slow or stop without putting yourself at risk. Upending your bike on the road is one way of warning traffic.
- Assess the rider – look for confusion / significant injury / shock. Injuries moderate to significant call 911 immediately. No food or water. See if the individual is wearing a ROAD ID and look for medical information that emergency responders will want / need to know.
- Do not move a moderately or seriously injured rider - do not remove helmet and DO NOT move head/neck under any circumstances. If injured rider has impaired limb function or feeling keep rider as still as possible.
- Other riders should get at least 10 feet off the road if at all possible.
- Wait for full extent of injuries to become apparent before letting rider back on bike. If head / helmet injured / damaged, do not let rider continue.
- Take photos of driver and license plate of vehicle if relevant.
© Westchester Cycle Club 2023