Unionville Cycling Club Riding Rationale, Rules and Guidelines (click title to download PDF version of club rules and guidelines)

The Mission of the Unionville Cycling Club is to develop cyclists who want to safely exercise together in an atmosphere of congeniality and mutual respect. Although not a “racing club” the UCC aims to develop skilled and accomplished riders who can participate with any cycling group around the world. The Safety Rules and Guidelines are designed to support the UCC Mission, encourage the development of riders and to ensure their safety. These rules apply to UCC‐sanctioned rides but in the interest of safety and a positive public image of the Club, the rules should be followed at all times.

There are two main Riding Groups in the Club with the following average speeds:

Stelvio Group: 28‐32km/hr and Ventoux Group: 25‐28km/hr

Riding Safety Rules
In order to attain and sustain a level of skill and safety, the following rules must be adhered to by all Members on Club Sanctioned rides.

1. Be alert at all times when riding.
2. Obey the Ontario Highway traffic Act including,

  • Obey all traffic lights
  • Obey all stop signs
  • Yield to school buses
  • All turns, stops, etc. shall be communicated via proper arm & hand signals

3. Lead riders shall clearly wave off obstacles (potholes, gravel, etc.) with enough advance notice to alert following riders.
4. Lead riders must loudly call “clear” or “stop” when approaching intersections. Riders following must also pass the message on to trailing riders.
5. Following riders must judge when oncoming traffic is too close to follow leading
riders across an intersection and stop. If it’s okay to cross, lead riders and those following must call “clear.”
6. Following riders shall not come around or pass the stopped group and cross intersections.
7. Unless riding in an echelon formation never overlap your front wheel with the leading rider’s back wheel.
8. Whenever it’s safe to do so, following riders should be no more than a half‐wheel behind their leading rider.
9. Never pass a rider on the right unless in an echelon or a pace‐line.
10. All riders must stop and assist a rider with mechanical problems.
11. The Ride Captain is the ultimate authority during all Club Sanctioned rides. (See Guidelines for Ride Captain)
12. Bike lighting should be used on all rides (rain or shine)
13. It is each rider’s responsibility to have a well‐maintained bike: including routine safety checks, tire tread, brake wear, etc. and to carry a spare tube and repair tools.

Guidelines and Riding Etiquette
All riders must remain alert at all times. You are responsible for your own safety but consideration of the safety of the group is also very important. The following Guidelines and Etiquette must be considered by all riders when participating in Club Sanctioned Rides.

1. All sanctioned rides depart no later than 5min. following the stated start time. The preride social is also an integral element of club culture so respect your peers by arriving in ample time.
2. Control your competitive instincts so all riders within the group are not continuously being dropped.
3. Ride with the appropriate group so you are riding within your comfort zone.
4. If you are dropped several times during a ride, drop back and do your own ride rather than hold up the group; unless the Ride Captain decides otherwise.
5. Ride at a steady pace, including on hill climbs and descents and whenever required, accelerating and braking slowly.
6. Never delay pedaling when getting out of the saddle so that your bike drifts back on climbs or in a strong headwind.
7. Avoid sitting up suddenly when travelling at a high speed because it will dramatically reduce your speed and pose a potential danger for the riders behind.
8. When coming up on another rider, as a courtesy verbally indicate to a rider if you are on their “right” or “left”.
9. Those who have crossed an intersection should slow down or wait for the remaining riders to rejoin.
10. Ride in a straight line, never moving more than 4 inches (10cm) from your line of travel without looking first to ensure no oncoming traffic or rider is approaching.
11. Sometimes it’s easier to use a higher (harder) gear than the leading rider in order to ride at a steady pace and avoid continually having to brake and accelerate.
12. Lead riders should pull off before they are tired by first checking to see if they can, then pulling off and slowing down to allow the group to go by.
13. When riding two‐by‐two let your partner know when you want to drop back beforehand so both riders can pull off simultaneously.
14. Lead riders must make sure they are far enough from the road’s edge so that the “curb” lead rider has enough room to fall back while still on the asphalt.
15. At all times lead riders should be looking ahead (50 meters is a good distance) to anticipate road conditions and smoothly lead the group around obstacles.
16. When riding two‐by‐two make sure you are shoulder‐to‐shoulder with your partner.
17. Lead riders are responsible to ensure they are riding at a pace their partner is comfortable with.
18. Remember to give and receive helpful hints or ideas from each other gracefully as we all make mistakes and need to know how others perceive our riding.
19. If there is any uncertainty about the Rules or Guidelines ask the Ride Captain

Ride Captains – Roles and Responsibilities
To ensure all Unionville Cycling Club rides are consistent and safe, each group will have a “Ride Captain” for the duration of the ride. The Ride Captain is the ultimate authority and assumes a leadership role on all rides and will help promote and achieve a safe riding experience; improved group ride behaviour, adherence to the Club Safety Riding Rules and enhance rider satisfaction.

1. Any rider can volunteer to be a Ride Captain or he/she can be asked to be a Ride Captain prior to the start of each ride – ideally 48 hours before the ride, but a Captain can be chosen by the group just before the start of the ride
2. The Captain is the ultimate authority on all rides
3. He/she decides on the route that will be taken
4. The Captain must be knowledgeable of the Club’s safety rules and guidelines.
5. Must be willing to speak up and assist other riders 6. Be knowledgeable of group riding etiquette.

Prior to the Start of the Ride
1. Ensure all riders are wearing a helmet.
2. Anyone not wearing a helmet cannot participate in the Group ride
3. Ask if there are any new riders and welcome them to the ride.
4. Generally describe the route and ride information, including:

  • 1. Total mileage of the ride
  • 2. Average speed for the ride
  • 3. Any sub‐grouping of the Group ride and the average speed of the group: Stelvio Group: 29‐32km/hr and Ventoux Group: 26‐29km/hr
  • 4. Any problem areas or known hazards on the route

5. Any other useful information about the ride or ride route
6. Go over Safety rules
7. Remind all riders to obey traffic laws
8. Single versus double pace line
9. Staying off of aero‐bars while in the pace line or in peloton
10. Slow acceleration out of turns and corners
11. Go over safety tips for the ride (how to handle gravel, dogs, railroad tracks, etc.)
12. Ask if everyone has checked their tire pressure and brakes, water bottles, etc.

During the Ride
1. Observe riders and respectfully approach riders who are failing to following Ride guidelines, traffic laws or proper Group ride etiquette
2. “Sweep” the route to ensure any “dropped” riders know the return route
3. Vocalize Group ride rules as necessary to remind riders
4. Help to ensure riders who experience flat tires or other mechanical problems receive assistance from other riders when possible.

Revision Date: April 2017