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GROUP BEHAVIOUR                                             

The Club Run is a social event not a race. Obey the rules of the road and maintain a civil approach to the public including drivers. Each rider of the group is individually responsible for his/her own safety but the ride will be safer and more enjoyable if the actions of other riders can be more easily predicted, for this reason our club has a riding etiquette. All regular riders on our club runs should be aware of this code of conduct and help “newbies” by informing them and showing them the ropes.


Through its membership of British Cycling, Coventry Road Club (CRC) has Liability Insurance related to club activities, committee members and other officials of the club, members acting on the instructions of the committee, and certain non-member participation. 

Please note that Individual Club Members are specifically excluded from the British Cycling insurance policy. Participation in club rides and other events is at your own risk and you are strongly advised to obtain Liability Insurance cover.

British Cycling has confirmed that club runs are a “ride of individuals” who are each responsible for their own actions and for obeying the law. Being on a ride with the CRC does not remove your individual responsibility and liability. Likewise offering to lead a ride does not make you responsible for the actions of others.

Obtaining the required insurance is easy, and is normally done by taking out membership of the organisations listed below, which also help support cycling in Britain (though other providers do exist).  

British Cycling membership can be obtained at a discount using reference: NEWCMRA


  • Traffic lights – Red, amber and red/amber all mean stop (none come with an “except cyclists” exclusion).

  • Keep left signs and bollards – it means exactly what they say, keep left.

  • Stop signs at junctions – Don’t have a quick glance then sprint across, this endangers riders and drivers and the chances are the rest of the group will have to stop and you will only end up waiting for them.



  • No more than two abreast and single file on busy or narrow roads

  • Usually ride in pairs in line with the pair in front but single out when necessary..

  • Don't echelon and spread across the road (this appears to be 3 and 4 abreast to vehicles approaching from the rear)



The optimal group size is 10 riders, groups nearer 20 have the following problems:-

  • Communications break down

  • More difficult to single out and negotiate road junctions

  • Confuses motorists particularly when cutting back in after overtaking

  • The committee strongly advises that large groups should split into smaller groups



Good communication throughout the group is essential, learn the shouts and use them loud and clear and pass them on through the group:-

  • “Car up” car approaching from the rear, “car down” car approaching from the front

  • “On the left” obstacle on the left e.g. parked car, pedestrian etc. (call often accompanied by placing the left arm behind the back)

  • “Hole” warning of a hole in the road, the call is accompanied by pointing to the obstacle, this shout can be adjusted to suit other obstacles such as branches, horse droppings, bricks

  • “Easy” slow down and pay attention, this could be for a hazard, the group breaking up etc.

  • “Stopping” self explanatory but avoid sudden braking and bunching up

  • When changing direction let other riders know with a warning that is both verbal and visual




The communications referred to above should not be relied upon as the only source of input:-

  • Concentrate just the same as you should when driving a car and anticipate!

  • Be aware of road conditions and assess probability of incidents (read the road, the pros do).

  • Adjust riding to suit (adjust pace, gaps between riders and one or two abreast).

  • On blind bends and crests of hills, if you can't see on-coming traffic don't assume there isn't any.



Particular care must be taken at road junctions:-

  • It has already been mentioned that stop signs should be obeyed.

  • Groups should remain orderly and avoid bunching at the mouth of the junction.

  • Riders who have negotiated the junction, should check whether others had to wait, if so ride at a speed where they can rejoin quickly.



Members should have a clear and well understood method of singling out:-

  • riders on the inside should in turn slightly accelerate to allow riders on the outside to in turn slip in behind them.

  • the instinctive reaction to an oncoming car is to brake. The braking severity increases through the group, makes singling out difficult and may take riders down. Avoid it if possible.



In a group of similar ability riders, it seems only fair that all members of the group should take a turn at the front, particularly when the group is riding into a strong wind etc. However, in groups with less able riders or riders experiencing problems it is totally acceptable for the them to opt out of a turn on the front and for stronger riders to work for the good of the group on the front.

It is recommended that riders use the following procedure to change over at the front:-

  • Clearly tell the group that there is to be a change at the front.

  • The rider on the outside at the front accelerates and moves over in front of the nearside rider.

  • The outside riders then move up one and the last rider on the inside will move to the outside to reform into pairs.

The other method for singling out, where the two front riders move apart and the group rides between, needs greater care as while the two riders are moving to the back there is a section of the group that is 4 abreast. This should only be attempted on quiet lanes with sufficient space.




Pay attention on hills, when climbing:-

  • Avoid bunching and riding more than 2 abreast

  • When standing on the pedals maintain an even pace by pushing harder on the initial stroke (slowing has the perceived effect of moving backwards into the rider behind and can cause collisions)

  • Be aware that others may not be too skilled at the above and leave space where possible


When descending:-

  • The right line obviously helps when descending but not at the expense of safety, the wrong side of the road on blind bends is unacceptable.

  • It's not a road race on closed roads, your luck will run out one day and causing a car to swerve is putting the driver and your club-mates at risk.



As you approach a horse let the rider know you are there by shouting 'bike behind!', 'coming up!' or something else friendly that will alert them that you are there.The rider can then take measures to alert their horse. Please slow down to a walking crawl, taking a wide berth and making sure it is safe to overtake. If you are in a large group, consider thinning out so as not to bombard the horse with a lot of bikes at one time.


If you are new to cycling or group riding you will also find this information useful