Etiquette for Riding Bicycles in a Group
From the desk of Chad Skaggs, Ride Marshal
- Abide by the traffic laws. Under Alabama Law, bicycles must follow the same rules as automobiles while on the street.
- Those behind you have reduced visibility. Call out hazards (“Gravel!”, “Pothole!” “Speedbump!”, “Railroad Tracks!”…etc.) to those behind you. If safe to do so, also point them out.
- Use appropriate hand signals for turning and stopping. This signals to the rider behind you your intent to change direction/speed. The accepted international signals:
- Right Turn – point your right arm to the right – announce “Right Turn” (**Note…Americans are taught to use the left arm bent at the elbow pointed up….this makes sense in a car….not on a bike)
- Left Turn – Point your left arm to the left – announce “Left Turn”
- Slowing/Stopping – Hold your right arm/hand down, palm open facing backwards – announce “Slowing” or “Stopping”
- Be predictable and Hold your Line – don’t make sudden changes of direction or rapid acceleration or decelerations.
- Don’t ½ wheel (your front wheel should never overlap the rear wheel of the rider in front of you)
- Ride no more than two abreast – leave the larger group conversations for the rest stops
- Pass on the left – announce “on your left” when overtaking other riders
- Maintain the GROUP pace – if you find the pace challenging, let someone know…..this will get communicated to the ride leader who will slow the pace. If you find the group pace too easy, soft pedal…Do not pass the ride leader.
- Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other riders – leave maneuver space to react to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. swerving to avoid a pothole)
- If you have a mechanical failure, move to the right and stop – announce “mechanical” or “flat tire” to let the group know. The support riders / SAG wagon will assist you in getting repaired and back on the road.
- Move as a GROUP through intersections. The Ride Leader will bunch the group before proceeding, and “Corkers” will block traffic while the group moves through. Pay attention to the ride leader and support riders for directions.
- Please refrain from taking selfies or texting while riding in the group – save it for the rest stops
Families are welcome to the Tweed Ride! Pets, and children who need assistance keeping the pace, must stay with their parents. Pets must be able to ride with their owner; please do not ride with your pet running alongside. This is a pleasure ride, not a race; the pace is leisurely, and several long stops for refreshment are built into the day. Our ride will end before sunset. Still have questions? Please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.