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Group Riding

Calder Clarion is concerned for members’ safety and that of other road users and expects members to ride responsibly. Every rider is responsible for their own safety whilst out on any club run, and is expected to contribute to keep the ride safe for all

Obey the Highway Code.

  • See DfT guidance for cyclists
  • Always keep 2-abreast where road conditions and traffic density allow.
  • Be considerate to other road users.
  • Stop at red lights and pedestrian crossings.
  • Keep to the correct side of the road.

Stay close

  • Riders won’t suddenly stop in front of you, get used to riding about 2 feet behind the rider in front and about 1 foot from the rider at your side.
  • Keep the spaces small and the group compact.
  • Don’t ride too far away from your partner because the wheel in front of you intimidates you.
  • The gap you’ve left between you and your partner is a waste of space and to a motorist behind, it appears that you are three wide.

Be attentive

  • Call the behaviour of errant riders and be prepared to heed warnings from others.


  • You’re responsible for your own safety but think of others.
  • If you see an obstacle ahead like a pothole, then warn the others with a shout or hand signal. (but do not take risks with riding one-handed).
  • Give warning of approaching vehicles, shout ‘nose’ to warn of oncoming vehicles and ‘tail’ to warn of vehicles behind.
  • You can’t chat or hear any calls when the group is strung out.

Be Predictable

  • Remember riders are following you closely behind.
  • Avoid sudden braking or sideways movements except in emergency, maintain a steady straight line.
  • Be aware of the cyclists directly in front of you, in case they slow or stop.
  • Be aware that if you stand up in the saddle abruptly your bike will suddenly move backwards.
  • If you are on the front don’t accelerate. When starting after traffic lights or a junction make sure the group is together.
  • If you have to wait for for strugglers on a social ride, give them a few minutes to recover/have a drink/snack once they catch up. Don’t set off again as soon as they arrive.
  • You are more predictable for car drivers.
  • You are easier to overtake, cars can’t slot in between riders during an overtake.
  • You look good – ie it looks like you can ride a bike properly.
  • The group will ride the route more quickly and efficiently.
  • Tired riders can seek shelter and get home.

Singling out

  • Communicate clearly with the riders around you (the recommended technique is for the inside cyclist to go ahead. The outside cyclist is then able to see immediately when it is safe to move in behind.

Don’t take risks

  • Move to the back of the bunch if you need to remove clothing or do something else that might disrupt the bunch or involve risk.

Don’t get distracted

  • Do not use music players, check your phone or do anything that takes your attention or awareness away from other riders in the group and other road users.


  • If someone punctures or has a mechanical, everyone is expected to stop.

Setting off

  • When the group sets off don’t dawdle, get into formation quickly.

Do Not accelerate 

  • On a hill do not power up it – if you are a strong rider ease off and ‘soft pedal.


  • Ride a wheel length behind the rider in front. There should be NO gaps in a group ride. As soon as you see a gap, fill it by riding into the space in a steady and controlled manner. There is no need to sprint into the space and then slam on the brakes, just gradually fill in any gaps as soon as you see them.

No overtaking

  • Do not overtake the front riders – you’ll get your go on the front.

Handlebar to Handlebar

  • This is probably THE most important rule. Whenever riding in a group you should be riding 2 by 2, side by side (with only a few centimeters between you, you should not be able to fit a bus between you and rider beside you).
  • Do not at any time sprint ahead and disrupt the flow. Even if there is a corner coming up, stay side by side and go through the corner like a well oiled machine.

Do not Half Wheel

  • Riding with your bars ahead of the rider beside you is called “half-wheeling” and is a major faux pas. It’s up to you to keep up with the speed of the slower rider next to you.

Don’t take over the road

  • Keep to the side of the road, there is no need to take over the whole lane and annoy car drivers.

Pulling Through

  • We swap on the front every 5 minutes, or two miles.
  • After having a turn on the front, the right hand rider (i.e. the non-kerbside rider) moves over to the left in front and of his/her partner.
  • He/She is then joined at the front by the rider who WAS riding directly behind. In addition to getting the opportunity to talk with everyone in the group.
  • This also means that the group never gets any wider than 2 riders.

Too Tired To Go To The Front?

  • If you do not want to go to the front, sit at the back and let the riders coming back from the front of the group slot in ahead of you.
  • Do not work your way up to the front if you are tired. If for whatever reason you do find yourself at the front, go through and tell your partner to move over in front of you.

Everything in moderation

  • Brake gradually and progressively. Don’t make any quick maneuvers Two hands on handlebars
    Never take both hands off your bars in a group.

Riding in Single File

  • Communicate clearly with the riders around you (the recommended technique is for the inside cyclist to go ahead. The outside cyclist is then able to see immediately when it is safe to move in behind.

Department for Transport guidance for Cyclists

Your Safety
You are responsible for your safety, individuals take part in any group activities at their own risk. Calder Clarion & its members accept no responsibility for the safety of anyone participating in group rides and runs, and no liability in the event of an accident. Insurance
We strongly encourage members to take advantage of the Clarion’s reduced cost CTC 3rd party insurance or make similar insurance arrangements for example with British Cycling