Rules of the road for the Utah Velo Club

It is the responsibility of every person in a group to assure the safety of everyone else in that group.

A- Environment:

1- When biking on a highway with a white line on the side, stay on or outside the white line.  Otherwise remain as far to the right as is safe.

2- While on a bike trail or out on the open road NEVER CROSS THE CENTER LINE on blind corners.

3- If you have to stop, get off the road!!!!!

4- When approaching speed bumps hold your line and either bunny hop them or just ride straight over them. Do not swerve across the road and do not cross the center line of the road

B- Equipment:

1- Aerobars are prohibited.  DO NOT USE THEM unless you are in the lead or there are at least 5 bike lengths between you and the rider in front of you.

2- No earphone devices are allowed unless you are hearing impaired and use hearing aids.

C- Etiquette:

1- Communicate your intentions by hand signals and by voice.

2-Cyclists do NOT own the trail and we must safely share it with everyone who uses it. Be courteous and thank others for letting you go by and for holding their dog, etc. When approaching other people/animals on the trails PLEASE slow down to the point that if they don’t see you and suddenly step into your path you can safely stop. The general public does NOT understand what “on your left” means or even what “passing on your left” means. Just because you call out to them, do not assume that they hear you unless they stop and move to the side for you to go by. Go slow enough to avoid them or stop as needed. One of the worst things that could happen is for a cyclist to hurt someone walking on the trail. Especially if you hit them from behind.

3- When riders have to stop on the road, raise an arm high and call out as an alert to other cyclists and motorists.

4- Basic hand signals help other riders and motorists know your intensions (especially in conjunction with verbal warnings). Left, Right and Slow should be known and used by all of us.

5- Pointing to objects such as pot holes, glass, rocks, bottles, etc. as you announce them assists close riders.

6- Signal to your intended change, as you change positions in a group.  This can help riders back to make room or to increase effort to catch a wheel you may be leaving.

7- Help a stranded cyclist. Asking a person if they have what they need for repairs can be done on the roll. If a person isn’t head down doing repairs, chances are they need something. Who hasn’t had a spare fail, forgotten to replace a spare, or just been unprepared for a problem? Loaning tools or experience costs a few minutes, tubes are cheap enough to give one to a stranger. It’s usually a long walk home, and we all hope someone would stop for us. Consider helping others insurance that improves your odds of getting help when you need it. Thankfully, most cyclists are very generous toward fellows in need.

8- If you must pass on the right be sure the person gets plenty of notice by saying loudly “passing on your right”.

9- When riding in a group, communicate with other riders. Let everybody know your intentions and what’s going on around you: Yell, “BRAKING” when brakes are applied. Yell, “HARD BRAKING” when brakes are applied hard. When coming up behind someone, say or yell “ON YOUR LEFT” or “ON YOUR RIGHT”. Yell “CAR UP” or “CAR BACK” when cars are approaching.

10- If you see something in the road, let everybody know behind you, yell: “BOTTLE DOWN”, “PUMP DOWN”, “RIDER DOWN”, “BUMP”, “ROCKS”, etc…

11- ALWAYS: Hold your line. Pull your own weight, whenever possible.

12- Look behind you when you pull out (or around) others; there’s always a chance that someone will be rapidly approaching from behind or will have their front wheel overlapped with your rear wheel.  This is the most common cause of serious crashes.

13- Ride single file on tight shoulders! When cars want to go around you, and you’re riding 3-4 side by side, fall back into one line and let the car pass. Even if the cars cannot pass, you will have least made an effort, they may not be as mad.

14- When riding with a group on a narrow road and the cars pile up behind. Think of all the good will you will generate if the group pulls into a wide spot or a driveway to let the cars pass.

15- Ride with your front wheel slightly offset to one side or the other of the rear wheel of the rider before you.

16- Always be looking for an escape route should a crash occur in your front. Know whether to exit to the right, off the road if the terrain allows, or as a second choice, to the left (I always think about this unless I am in the lead position-which is the only time I relax in a paceline.)

Group Technique:

1- Braking in a paceline with a following rider must be considered a last resort.  When approaching a traffic light and the light changes to amber, If you can safely continue through do so but don’t slam on your brakes.  Stop if you can do so safely without causing chaos behind you.  If the pack gets split then those who went through MUST slow or stop on the other side to allow the others to catch up again.  The same is true in the case of stop signs.  The cyclists MUST stop and the proceed with caution.  The MUST wait rule promotes more caution by those who get cut off.  Do not risk going through for fear of getting dropped.

2- Maintain a view of the paceline beyond the rider before you.

3- Ride with your front wheel slightly offset to one side or the other of the rear wheel of the rider before you.

4- When you are relinquishing the lead of a pace line, indicate by voice or hand signal that you are coming out of the lead and (generally) pull out to the left permitting the line to continue without swerving around you.  DO NOT slow down until you are off to the side of the pace line.

D- Ride Format:

1- We need DESIGNATED WAITING SPOTS along our route to give people a chance to get back into the group. We will discuss them as we go through each ride since they will depend upon the mix of the group.
Here are some things we can do when riding in our group:

1- Know if you are at the back of the line… is anyone behind you? If you are last in line, do your best to stay in the slipstream of the rider in front of you. If you can’t hold the wheel let the one in front of you know that you can’t hang on any longer. Communicate!

2- If you see a gap forming in front of you, close it down even if you have to pass a few riders to do it. If the pack is splitting and you are not able to close the gap. Communicate to people ahead before the gap gets to big for them to hear you.

3- Most of our events are “no-drop” rides. Meaning we try to stay in a pack so that weaker riders can draft and keep up. If you are the strong rider up front, pay attention to the line behind you and listen for communications about the pace or if a split has happened back off the gas just a little and let the group form again.

4- Sometimes if we know a planned rest stop is only a few miles ahead the fast guys can give it a hard push and split the pack but don’t do it with more than 5 miles to the next stop. Slower riders need to push on and not lose too much time.

5- Please let the ride leader know if you plan to drop out early so that we don’t start wondering what happened to you. Communicate!

6- If you are near the back and have a mechanical or a flat, Yell out so someone can hear you. We don’t want to leave ANYONE with a problem. Don’t worry about stopping everyone else because of something is wrong. At least give the group the opportunity to assist you. If we were in a big hurry we wouldn’t be riding a bike, we would take a car!!! So please scream, whistle, holler! Communicate.

7- If you hear or see someone going off the back, let those ahead know about it! Communicate it all the way up the line.

E.   I’ve copied a bunch of links to YouTube videos on paceline tips and safety tip