Rules of the Road - Cycling Safe
Updated: Jun 16, 2022
"A road, a mile of kingdom, I am king of banks and stones and every blooming thing."
Patrick Kavanagh (Inniskeen Road : July Evening)
Cycling is not free of perils anywhere in the world,
but all we can do it try our best to minimize the chances of things going wrong. Cycling outside can be intimidating or a little scary, but with practice and prudence, it becomes much more natural. However, group rides are a great way to get fitter, learn new skills and enjoy the scenery of longer rides, and not to mention the great company of like minded individuals. Let’s always be safe out there.
The most important thing to learn and remember is that everyone is there to have fun and enjoy themselves.
Here are some things we've learned over the years that are considered to be good etiquette as well as help keep us all as safe as possible when riding out in the Hanoian countryside.
1) The Ride Leaves on Time Respect your fellow cyclists.
Gather at the meetup spot 5-10 minutes before set-off time.
2) New to the Group? Introduce yourself! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
3)Wearing a properly fitting helmet, dressing in cycling appropriate apparel, and maintaining your bicycle is an absolute priority!
Pre Ride Checklist:
check tires and brakes in good working condition.
check front and back lights if riding before dawn.
carry a pump, CO2 is great but a pump is essential.
check tool kit includes 2 spare tubes and tire levers; and
carry 2 full bidons, drink the first bidon the first 60-90 mins if possible. (longer rides have water stops for refills during warmer rides)
carry food (energy bars/gels) for longer rides. An added benefit of starting @ the shop is that you can always get your tires pumped, water bottles topped up or even grab energy just before the ride begins.
4) When it comes to riding in a group, awareness is paramount.
You should be extremely aware and vigilant of your surroundings at all times. Even if you're engaging in conversation with the cyclist next to you. When you start out assess the rider in front of you and give wobbly/novice riders a slightly bigger gap.
Keep an eye on the rider behind you as well. Your eyes should be up the road in front of the lead riders if possible.
Don’t stare at the rider in front of you.
5) Obey the traffic laws and respect other road users.
6) Do Not Half-Wheel/Overlap Wheels. Always ride @ ride leader's discretion. Handlebars level, Ride in Pairs or single files, Neat and Tidy.
7) The pace is set by the ride leader according to the group,
not the strongest rider.
8)Turns and Hazards are signaled from the front.
Pass them all the way back to warn your fellow riders. Use vocal cues such as "heads up" if you're unable to take your hands off the bars and you spot something to be cautious of ahead of you or the ride in front indicates something. Some important calls to know:
“Stopping” – This call is usually only made by the front cyclists for things like traffic lights etc. In an emergency situation a rider from inside the group can also make this call - it means a rider needs to stop now e.g. a puncture. It should not give rise to a discussion. Every rider in the group should stop including those at the front and behind.
“Turning left/right” – with associated hand signal
“Slowing” – means the brakes are being used.
“Hole/Debris left/right” – is used to warn of a pothole or crack in the road. Adding a left or right to the call is very helpful to those behind. At the same time as the call you should point to the hole/debris. Key to happy group riding is safety and it's the ride leader's primary concern. It is important to prioritize your own safety first, however keep in mind that your actions will impact those around you. If you don’t feel confident to take your hands off the handlebars and point at a hole you don’t have to. You can simply call “hole left”. Similarly if you would like to change your position in the group, mention it to the riders around you and don't make any unannounced moves while in the group.
9) The group will wait Puncture or mechanical? Raise your hand and alert your fellow cyclists. in a safe plac