Safety On The Road
The Black Cat Cycling Club meet on open roads several times per week. It is important before you come out and ride with the club that you understand cycling is a dangerous sport. Whilst we can not control the actions of other road users, we can control our own behaviour and have an influence on our safety.
If you take part in a Black Cat ride, you do so at your own risk. The nature of cycling on the public highway means we have little control in our environment and although we take measures as a club to protect our riders, we can not guarantee their safety. Take the time to look at cycling insurance to protect you should an accident happen.
Although we can not stop anyone from riding on the road, if you turn up to a Black Cat ride and are unprepared to follow these guidelines you will not be welcome to ride with us and expect club members to tell you. Riding unsafely not only puts you at risk but all those around you.
All riders are expected to have the following when cycling:
- Spare inner tube, bicycle pump, puncture repair kit
- Mobile phone
- Road worthy bike
- Appropriate cycling clothing
- Food (if required)
- Lighting (when required)
- Mud Guards in the Winter.
- Ride at a level you are comfortable with. – Before coming out on a ride, check the club rides section to ensure you are capable of riding at the distance and speed required, if you are still unsure and would like to come out please contact us and we will try to help you out. Fatigue and loss of concentration can be very dangerous even the most experienced riders can suffer the dreaded bonk and nobody wants to run out of energy with 25 miles to go.
- Listen to the other riders. – There are usually experienced riders out, take on board what they tell you. If you are told to do something by them, check it is safe to do so and act immediately. It will be for your own safety.
- Wear your helmet. – You may think a helmet only protects your safety, but if you fail to wear one and there is an accident all other road users have to deal with the aftermath.
- Ride two abreast. – Ride two abreast and never more. Line out and ride single file where appropriate to avoid holding up other traffic.
- Look before you move. – Check behind and around you before you change your road position.
Warning Shouts & Signals
Learn and understand the following shouts (taken from Rhos Cycling Club website to ensure standardisation amongst local riders), listen to experienced riders to see when it is appropriate to use them.
- “Out” with a hand signal behind to move out to the middle on the road – often used when approaching parked cars.
- “Left” danger on left. Could be a manhole, gravel, water, rocks.
- “Middle” danger in middle of group, manhole, rock on road, etc.
- “Steady” everyone slow down – could be a Give Way, a road junction with car coming, a vehicle in front slowing down.
- “Car up” Car, overtaking, from behind.
- “Car down”Car approaching from front.
Listen and Learn
Listen to and watch other riders in a group. Take the time to learn from them how to behave properly in the group.
Never take unnecessary risks and if you feel unsafe in anyway stop. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it, we’re a friendly club and will do what we can to help you.