Frequently Asked Questions
Check most frequently asked questions here, if you still need help then please contact us at Beachescyclingclub.com
- Respect your fellow rider. Any concerns with disruptive conduct or riding etiquette that have not been resolved should be discussed with your ride coordinator or the general membership of the club.
- Be predictable, ride in a consistent manner. Do not swerve accelerate or brake unexpectedly.
- Anticipate the moves of the cyclists ahead of you. Look ahead at what is happening on the road.
- Indicate your intentions - use common hand signals.
- Indicate hazards with hand signals or your voice.
- Never half-wheel (overlap your wheel with the rider ahead). Either ride directly beside or directly behind.
- Half-wheeling is only done in an echelon which requires considerable skill and practice.
- Do not ride in or near the shoulder of the road: more debris increases chance of a puncture, + when you ride at least ½ metre out from the shoulder, you make it easier for the rider behind to follow your wheel. NOTE: this applies to all formations (single paceline, double paceline, echelon etc.)
- Strong riders should do longer pulls at the front than weak riders
- Regardless of how long the ride is, the front group rides fast. The back group drops nobody (No Drop Policy).
- When you see your fellow rider struggling, help them.
- If you see someone getting dropped and it is only temporary because of the terrain, tell the group to ease the pace so they can get back in, recover, and then contribute to the group effort.
- Be self sufficient and also ready and willing to support other riders
- Think of everyone in your group when you make a decision.
- Things that you would do when riding by yourself are not always going to work when you are managing a group. i.e. making a turn - don’t make a turn unless the entire group can safely communicate it and navigate it as a group. Not everyone’s reaction may be fast enough, so ample warning is key. Moreover, poorly planned/executed turns can confuse oncoming cars since they naturally expect a group of cyclists to move together as a unit at all times.
- Marshals should lead by example and post their route/distance choice and Speed groups online ahead of time.
- Since the ride starts can be chaotic, as marshals we need to take charge and state our intentions and help other riders make a decision more readily. If the choices are clear at the start of a ride, it then becomes the responsibility of the individual to have chosen the correct route/pace group and therefore absolves any recourse. With that said, sometimes people make mistakes and try to bite off more than they can chew.
- Lead Marshals should recap key safety concerns at the start of the ride. Get everyone’s attention and stay key safety concerns depending on the route/weather variables. ie. For an Up North Ride - revisit the no passing on an up hill and downhill rule on single lane roads.
- As ride leaders/marshals, we too, need to be able to enjoy our group rides. If at any point in time you feel that you cannot maintain the standards discussed in this framework, please pass on the responsibility to a fellow marshal and take time to reset.
- Managing safety during a ride can sometimes be difficult and sometimes known as “herding cats”. Ride marshals in a group lead by example by exhibiting a high level of communication with each other and with the rest of the group.
- In our experience, maintaining a high level of communication keeps new groups riders aware of what is going on and helps to maintain safe riding practices.
- Front of the Pace Line - Know the route; Hold the pace agreed by everyone in the group; Look back regularly to ensure the group is together and there are no gaps in the pace line. Riders at the front are responsible for the entire group and should always be looking ahead for safe line on the road to take avoiding pot holes as well as checking the intersections for potential hazards. When they call a stop, everyone should respect their call. Depending on the size of the group and the speed, two front riders will have to decide quickly and stick to the decision.
- Middle of the Pace Line - Don’t half wheel and help the pace line leaders by reminding the riders in the middle of the pace line to eliminate gaps and stay together. This will help the leaders to implement a more consistent pace upfalse flats and hills. Gaps cause an accordion effect and break groups apart as they cause an unnecessary “interval workout” for riders. – Ideally, this will not need to be addressed if no gaps form in the first place. Therefore, ensure you communicate any change in the pace to the leaders so this does not become an issue.
- Back of the Pace Line - Know the route, Keep an eye out for cars so you can call “Car Back”. Check for clear lanes when the group needs to turn and facilitate safe merging/lane change. Help keep the group tight and to the right depending on the road situation
- To help with safety and to allow members to practice proper group paceline etiquette, it is important to set a pace line rotation time.
- Choose something along the lines of 30sec, 60secs, or 90secs. Typically, anything longer than this could lead to complacency and a lack of active communication about safety hazards within the group. It also allows everyone in the group to become familiar with the different responsibilities along a paceline (see above).
- It is also good to encourage that people communicate when they are feeling too tired to do a full pull on the front and then an improvised rotation length can be implemented. If this is communicated well, this will also allow the next riders to hold a pace that allows any tired individuals to recovery.
- Sometimes laying everything out on the road is part of the fun (i.e. the classic sprint points that our groups have already). A ride marshal should decide when it is appropriate to "go for it" and when it may not be a good idea (i.e. for beginner groups, where “laying it out” may not be possible right away or when traffic/road debris makes it unsafe).
- Importantly, BCC does not leave riders behind. We always regroup at the end of any "sprint segment” to recovery and reflect on the fun together.
Riding & Safety Etiquette
Obey the rules of the road. Conduct yourself with the same consideration as you would expect from any other road user, particularly motorists. Aggressive behaviour and gestures by cyclists will alienate motorists and could lead to endangering other cyclists. Know and use all the basic hand signals.
- Traffic: Lead rider must take responsibility for those behind when approaching turns, intersections, transitions from multi-lane to single-lane etc.
- Traffic lights and stop signs: Do not cross an intersection, even if the traffic light is green, unless you are sure that the whole group will be able to cross safely before the light changes.
- If the group becomes split at a traffic light, the leading riders should then slow, or stop in a safe place, to allow riders to re-group.
- Crossing major highways and uncontrolled intersections: Do not act individually. Car drivers see the group as one entity and expect it to act as one.
- The rider at the front takes charge directing everyone not to cross until there is a gap in traffic large enough for the entire group to safely cross the road.
- Do not hold up following traffic: Ride single file on single-lane and busy roads where motor vehicles are frequently coming past.
- On occasion, you must "take the lane" for your own safety. This is both legal and practical (such as a narrowed construction zone).
- Your ID and emergency Contact Info Should be on you for every ride and easily accessible.