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Mandatory Safety Rules for Club Rides

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Mandatory Safety Rules for Club Rides

Old 06-13-16, 03:39 PM
  #26  
genec
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
My local club has only one safety related requirement for club rides-everyone wears a helmet. We are considering additional rules to increase safety on our rides. Among the measures being discussed are:

1. Mandatory use of front and rear blinkys
2. Limit the number of riders in a paceline (not unusual for us to have up to a couple dozen in a double paceline).
3. Uniform paceline rotation scheme (currently at the discretion of the ride leader. Most prevalent in the club is double pull off-meaning 4 abreast for a period of time).

Any thoughts on these or other measures? What requirements, if any are imposed on your club rides? I'm a club board member, and I know this is likely to be a very controversial decision for us, and I'd like to be able bring the experiences of other clubs to to table for discussion. Thanks!
How about the basic "follow the rules of the road." That rule seems to be missing.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:11 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
The Quebec highway code limits the size of groups to 15,
How in the world does a government enforce a group ride limit? How do they even define such a thing? When 20 people at the office decide to all drive across town to lunch at the same place are they required to abide by that same rule?
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Old 06-13-16, 04:22 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
While helmets are usually required by bike club insurance
No they are not.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:23 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How about the basic "follow the rules of the road." That rule seems to be missing.

+1
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Old 06-13-16, 04:33 PM
  #30  
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1: no hitting stuff
2: no getting hit by stuff
3: no falling over

If people can just follow those rules, you won't need helmets or insurance.

As for the blinkies, just put them on the rear bikes, and make everybody do rolling bike swaps for the paceline rotations. Bonus points if they all get good enough to take their own saddles with them without dropping under 20mph.
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Old 06-13-16, 04:38 PM
  #31  
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Rear blinkies while riding in a group is extremely distracting for the people riding behind the person with said blinky. Seriously, have you ever ridden a foot behind somebody with an extremely bright blinky light? Next to impossible to concentrate.

If anything, have two designated people stay at the back and have blinkies there. (Preferably people who need more help than others since they'll be drafting the whole time.)
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Old 06-14-16, 04:24 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
How about the basic "follow the rules of the road." That rule seems to be missing.
I guess I should have stated explicitly what is obviously implied.
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Old 06-14-16, 04:29 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
That is a very thoughtful idea... especially considering the recent crash in MI. Your heart is in the right place. But "doing something" for the mere sake of doing something can have very negative results. I'd first figure out how you can test the effect of your ideas... before just changing things for the sake of change in safety's name.

The [only] sure-fire way to eliminate all club ride injuries.... is to simply dis-ban your cycling club. No cycling club... no club ride injuries. It is a slippery slope. Maybe instead of risking injury on the roadways... your club could setup trainers in a group setting and have weekly spin classes. Then all you'd need would be Doctor's permission slips, mandatory heart monitoring, and hydration breaks. Sounds pretty safe to me!

I don't mean to sound like a smart-arse.... but cycling is a sport. I'd even add a blood sport. Injuries... some fatal injuries... are part of cycling. Mortals can not create immortality through cleaver devices and well thought out planning. Humans will get hurt. They will suffer pain, cry, have regrets, and eventually die. This is the human experience. Cycling doesn't cause this... and no amount of rules on the cycling experience will change the human experience.

Just my humble idea.
We're not "doing something for the sake of doing something." Rather we're trying to figure out what (if anything) can be done to make cycling in groups safer. Of course the risk cannot be eliminated entirely, but it should be minimized.
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Old 06-14-16, 04:33 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
If you have more rules, you have to enforce them. Who's going to do this? What happens if someone shows up without blinkies? What happens if you exceed your self-imposed paceline limit and riders go down and someone gets hurt. Do they sue the club for failure to enforce its own rules and this contributed to the injuries?

I don't know the answers to all of these. I am a board member and I do know telling riders what to do is much like herding cats. We strongly recommend a helmet, but that's the extent of our rules.
Every club ride has a designated ride leader in charge of enforcing existing rules (helmets, signing in/out). If we adopt a blinky rule, the plan is for the club to subsidize purchase of a blinky set for all members, and to provide ride leaders with extra sets for anyone who shows up without.
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Old 06-14-16, 04:39 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Rear blinkies while riding in a group is extremely distracting for the people riding behind the person with said blinky. Seriously, have you ever ridden a foot behind somebody with an extremely bright blinky light? Next to impossible to concentrate.

If anything, have two designated people stay at the back and have blinkies there. (Preferably people who need more help than others since they'll be drafting the whole time.)
Personally, I don't find blinkys to be distracting. I know some do. Interesting discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/onli...22963987819016
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Old 06-14-16, 05:39 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
Personally, I don't find blinkys to be distracting. I know some do. Interesting discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/onli...22963987819016
I find blinkies extremely annoying and wouldn't ride with a group tha used them on the rear. I think your helmet rule is good and perhaps capping the size of the group but that's about it. Leave the rest to rider disgression.
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Old 06-14-16, 05:58 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
We're not "doing something for the sake of doing something." Rather we're trying to figure out what (if anything) can be done to make cycling in groups safer. Of course the risk cannot be eliminated entirely, but it should be minimized.
Maybe I wasn't plain enough. It is just plain dangerous to field test safety ideas! Do your testing before you implement your attempts. Don't "figure out" your ideas... with living human test dummies!

If safety is your number one concern... the solution is simple. It is almost unheard of for cyclists to be in an accident... while sitting on their couch.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 06-14-16 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 06-14-16, 06:04 AM
  #38  
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Wear a helmet and eye protection
Obey traffic laws (stop lights, crossing yellow lines, etc)
Double file on back roads, single file on two laned roads AND blind curves
Every member to perform a pre-ride safety check on their bike
No ear pods
Keep to the right when practical and safe (avoiding holes and gravel)
Warn others of dangers (car up, walker up, holes, glass, gravel, etc)
Wear bright colored jerseys
Respect the pace. Never ride with a slower or faster group if you can't hold the pace.
Carry spare tubes and a multi tool
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Old 06-14-16, 06:27 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post
How in the world does a government enforce a group ride limit? How do they even define such a thing? When 20 people at the office decide to all drive across town to lunch at the same place are they required to abide by that same rule?
How do they enforce it? By issuing traffic tickets to cyclists in groups that exceed the limit if they are caught on the road in too large a group. If there is a group of say 20 cyclists it is a simple matter for them to split in two and ride as 2 separate groups. If people are driving, that is another matter, cars don't drive as closely spaced as cyclists

Last edited by alcjphil; 06-14-16 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 06-14-16, 06:38 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by jwalther View Post
I guess I should have stated explicitly what is obviously implied.
It is important... some may form "other rules" in their mind about what a pace line should do when encountering certain traffic devices.
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Old 06-14-16, 06:44 AM
  #41  
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Having a front or rear blinking light in a group ride is both unnecessary and rude.

Just run them on steady, the visibility is just a good. I've noticed a lot of local cyclists have been adding extremely bright front blinking lights on the Silver Comet as well as the Stone Mountain trail. No cars on the former and very minimal on the latter. Like helmets, I think they're held as a magic talisman of "safety" when all the really do is distract and annoy other non-automobile road users. There are no mounting standards or beam spread standards for most of these lights and they are often not installed intelligently.

"Don't look at them"

Hard not to when they're several hundred lumens focused directly at your face, flashing in the most conspicuous way possible.
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Old 06-14-16, 07:32 AM
  #42  
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Past the obvious laws of the road where you live, it seems like a discussion better suited for your group.

I'm quite good at following the extra rules laid down by a club without complaining. Others are not so into that, at lest not without much argument about why the rules are necessary and looking for every way out of them. I have no idea the personality and skill level of your group. To me, it is more important that the people riding together are in agreement on how things work than the specific things that are or are not adhered to.
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Old 06-14-16, 11:17 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
If there is a group of say 20 cyclists it is a simple matter for them to split in two and ride as 2 separate groups
Sorry for hijacking this thread, but I'm having a hard time getting my head around this concept. I'm all for group rides that limit themselves as a matter of courtesy to other road users, but mandating what to me seems like a very low threshold (15 riders?), and determining what a group ride is both seem very wrong to me, especially because these rules do not apply to motor vehicles when they are almost entirely the cause of traffic impediments. Perhaps it's a very different culture between California and Quebec, but here are a couple of not-hypothetical situations.

1. I'm leading a casual ride of 15 cyclists. A different, faster group of another dozen approaches from behind, and they hang back until it's safe to pass. Under Quebec code, The Man can really write 27 citations? How is this not outrageously wrong?

2. A single commuter train in my area routinely disgorges up to 100 people with their bikes. When two or three trains show up at the main train depot in San Jose, we can easily have 250 people off of the train, and all going the same direction (towards downtown) on their bicycles. Who decides if this is a "group ride" or not? A dozen or more of these riders might very well be on their way to join my own twice-monthly morning ride, but they're in the mix with all of the other regular commuters so there's no way to single them out as part of their own group.

3. When we have large event, it's not at all unusual for several thousand people to arrive by bicycle. Heck, local event organizers even occasionally encourage this because cars take up significantly more room than bikes, especially because these cars "don't' drive as closely spaced as cyclists." Our area bike advocates will even announce informal rides to help people navigate to the event; by the time all of these various groups converge at the event location and hangers one and strangers join in, we can easily have 30 to 40 people in a loose confederation riding together by virtue of the fact that they're all headed to the same destination. As in the other examples, who decides if this "group ride" or not?
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Old 06-14-16, 11:53 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
If it is possible, then it would also be practical, now, wouldn't it? That's just a dumb word game you're playing.
No, this is not at all true.

It's "possible" to ride over horrible, broken pavement, if you go slow enough. It's "possible" to ride over broken glass on the side of the road. It's not practicable though, and it's not safe. The two words have distinct meanings for good reason and you won't find the word "possible" in the law for the same reason (there may be some states where this is not true, I wouldn't bet against it, but for the most part the law says "practicable"

"Practicable" isn't quite the same thing as "practical" either. Closer than "possible" but "practicable" means "able (and reasonable) to be put into practice"

Heck, "as far right as possible" can EASILY by interpreted as "ride in the gravel shoulder" but that's definitely not safe.
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Old 06-14-16, 01:02 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post

1. I'm leading a casual ride of 15 cyclists. A different, faster group of another dozen approaches from behind, and they hang back until it's safe to pass. Under Quebec code, The Man can really write 27 citations? How is this not outrageously wrong?

2. A single commuter train in my area routinely disgorges up to 100 people with their bikes. When two or three trains show up at the main train depot in San Jose, we can easily have 250 people off of the train, and all going the same direction (towards downtown) on their bicycles. Who decides if this is a "group ride" or not? A dozen or more of these riders might very well be on their way to join my own twice-monthly morning ride, but they're in the mix with all of the other regular commuters so there's no way to single them out as part of their own group.

3. When we have large event, it's not at all unusual for several thousand people to arrive by bicycle. Heck, local event organizers even occasionally encourage this because cars take up significantly more room than bikes, especially because these cars "don't' drive as closely spaced as cyclists." Our area bike advocates will even announce informal rides to help people navigate to the event; by the time all of these various groups converge at the event location and hangers one and strangers join in, we can easily have 30 to 40 people in a loose confederation riding together by virtue of the fact that they're all headed to the same destination. As in the other examples, who decides if this "group ride" or not?
If a group overtakes another, all they have to do is hang back 20 meters or so until it is safe to pass. The police are not looking to ticket us unless the groups stay together for extended periods

A bunch of people getting off commuter trains and setting off on their bikes would be travelling at different speeds. Things would sort themselves out after a few kilometers

Large events cannot be organized without the cooperation of the police. Montreal has its annual Tour de L'ile, which attracts over 30,000 people. I have been to other events which had large numbers of cyclists and police presence. Our club used to have larger groups and they were much less safe than the smaller ones we have now, it is very difficult to put together a big group of riders who are all close to the same strength. When we leave on our rides, the fastest groups leave first, with the slowest leaving last. Works for us and if riders in the fast groups can't keep up, there will be slower groups behind they can fall back to. The roads in Quebec are narrow and not in the best of shape, we have found that a small group works much better here
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Old 06-14-16, 01:26 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
Wear a helmet and eye protection
Obey traffic laws (stop lights, crossing yellow lines, etc)
Double file on back roads, single file on two laned roads AND blind curves
Every member to perform a pre-ride safety check on their bike
No ear pods
Keep to the right when practical and safe (avoiding holes and gravel)
Warn others of dangers (car up, walker up, holes, glass, gravel, etc)
Wear bright colored jerseys
Respect the pace. Never ride with a slower or faster group if you can't hold the pace.
Carry spare tubes and a multi tool
I would also add to this, "Call out your passes." One of my biggest pet peeves in group riding is when someone does it unannounced. Usually it isn't a problem, but I have had other riders pass my with very little clearance and not a word, leaving no room to make a maneuver around a pothole or other hazard. Oh, and signal your turns for those riding behind you. It works both ways.
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Old 06-14-16, 01:43 PM
  #47  
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it's entertaining to watch people keep piling rule upon rule.

do this, do that, now do it while pedaling with one leg and patting your head...

makes solo riding look so appealing.
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Old 06-14-16, 02:20 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
it's entertaining to watch people keep piling rule upon rule.

do this, do that, now do it while pedaling with one leg and patting your head...

makes solo riding look so appealing.
I think even the nonconforming, unsocial cyclist can find some words of wisdom in this thread and ward off "Darwinism".
Rules not only protect you from the acts of others, sometimes they protect others from your acts, or typically lack of acting responsible.
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Old 06-14-16, 02:34 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
it's entertaining to watch people keep piling rule upon rule.

do this, do that, now do it while pedaling with one leg and patting your head...

makes solo riding look so appealing.
More rules and regulations has worked well for the IRS in keeping everything clear and simple.
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Old 06-14-16, 02:54 PM
  #50  
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I find that more than one other person riding with me is a nuisance. And BF is about all the social contact with other cyclists I require. 30 years ago I tried the social ride scene for a while. That experience did not endear me to cyclists in general. Nor does BF for that matter.
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