Riding advice

This advice has been written to help keep you and your fellow cyclists riding safely and efficiently and to help minimise inconvenience to other road users. It is based on Cambridge Cycling Club’s guide. In the main the advice refers to club runs, but is useful for all rides. It is not comprehensive, so please also use your common sense and comply with the Highway Code.

HIBC is an inclusive club that encourages new and less experienced cyclists. The group will try to help you if you have a problem, wait for you if you have a puncture or mechanical problem or are a little behind on the hills! However the aim of club cycling is to ride at an even pace with rides largely non-stop, unless a visit to a cafe is planned.

Our rides are advertised by their intended average speed and these speeds will usually be attained, so you should choose rides according to your ability to maintain that pace.

For All Riders

  • Make sure your bike is in good and safe working order before each ride.
  • On each ride take at least: water, some food, a puncture repair kit, pump, spare tube, basic tools and some money for a café stop, if planned.
  • In wet weather we ask you to use mudguards. It is courteous to riders behind you, and in really wet conditions prevents spray from obscuring others’ visibility.
  • Punctures can often be prevented by using tyres suitable for wet and winter conditions, and by checking them for flints and tears after every ride.
  • We strongly recommend wearing a helmet.
  • Keep Left! When riding two abreast keep to the left hand side of the road so that motorists can overtake easily. DO NOT drift right.
  • The close proximity of other riders in the group makes sudden change in speed or direction undesirable or dangerous. Please do not make any sudden movements when riding in a group. Try to think about where other riders might be and how your actions may affect them.
  • Riding style. If road conditions permit groups normally ride two abreast which is often safer than a long line of riders. Riders should present a compact profile on the road to other road users. There may be occasions when it is necessary to single out to avoid holding up other traffic however.
  • Riding style. Try not to let large gaps open up between you and the rider in front – you lose the benefit of aerodynamic drafting and it strings the group out over a longer distance making the group less safe as motorists try to pass.
  • Riding style. Experienced riders sometimes ride very close together; don’t panic if the rider next to you bumps bars or shoulders.
  • Good manners. When changing position in the group, do so relatively slowly. Particularly if overtaking, do this at up to 1 mph faster than the other riders; this allows them to take your wheel and benefit from the aerodynamic drag that you produce. Then and only then slowly increase your speed to that required.
  • Wheel positioning. Do not ride with your front wheel overlapping the rear of the person in front. If the person in front makes a sudden move, your front wheel could be knocked from under you and you will crash, probably along with those behind you.
  • Hazards. Point out or call out any road hazards in plenty of time so that your signals can be passed down the line.
  • Shout and signal if you intend to stop. If you have a puncture (or mechanical problem) shout PUNCTURE and slowly pull over to the side of the road.
  • If you see another rider that is having problems, alert others in the group to this.
  • Don’t overtake (and in particular ride well ahead of the ride coordinator) unless you are willing to take responsibility for your own navigation. The ride coorindator is not obliged to chase after people who miss a turning in this way.
  • And finally… if you want to leave the ride en route or plan only to ride part of it, please let the ride coordinator know.