Please read the following guide
Club members are strongly encouraged to read and familiarise themselves with the content provided in this guide which aims to provide a best practice approach to safe riding in a group.
Please do not assume that someone else will have ‘spares’, and ensure you can perform basic repairs, such as tyre/tube changes. Groups will stop for repairs, refreshment and comfort breaks when required.
Only HCC members are permitted to join the club runs, unless the rider is trialling the club or has permission from the HCC committee.
Bike Maintenance & Pre Ride Checks
Riders should carry a suitable tool kit and spares to cope with at least 2 punctures. It is inevitable that you will suffer from a puncture (s) and possibly a mechanical failure so the need to carry the following tools being essential.
- Inner tubes x 2
- Pump or CO2 canisters
- Puncture repair kit
- Tyre levers
- Chain splitter and chain links in the event of a broken chain
Food & Drink
Our club runs usually DO NOT include a cafe stop during the ride. Take at least one bottle of water with you and an energy bar or whatever you prefer. Drink at regular intervals to avoid dehydration and eat as required to replenish lost energy. Drink before you are thirsty, eat before you are hungry.
Sunday Club Rides
The Hythe Cycling Club (HCC) main focus is the club run which takes place each Sunday morning leaving at intervals from 08.35 am to 9:00am from the Hythe & Saltwood Sailing Club. It is recommended that riders arrive 10 minutes before the club ride commences in order to prepare for the ride. Riders should make themselves known to the group ride coordinator (s) who will provide the following information.
- Ride Captains
- Route for the day
Select the Right Group
The Hythe Cycling Club comprises of 4 groups as detailed:
- Fast Group
- Fast Intermediate Group
- Intermediate Group
- Steady Group
Full details of these groups can be found in the Sunday Club Ride Group within the HCC website. Note each group leave at different times and we use the app SPOND to coordinate this. All members are added to the spond app where they register their participation with a ride and can see the proposed route for that week. We recommend that any prospective members should arrive at the club by 8.30am to join the most suitable group.
Ride Captain’s Role & Responsibilities
- The ride captain heads up the group ride and will be an experienced club rider managing the group from start to finish and will be familiar with the route. They will have emergency contact details for all riders in the group, held securely via the SPOND app.
- The ride captain is to be appointed once the route and groups have been organized.
- The ride captain will take note of the number of riders within their group requesting a volunteer from the group to be assigned as the groups sweeper before the ride commences.
- The ride captain will ensure the speed of the group complies with the groups designated speed and will work in conjunction with the sweeper.
- The ride captain will periodically look behind to ensure the group is together.
- In the event the group starts to separate, the ride captain will ease the pace in order for the back riders to catch up. Stopping at junctions and slowing down before making a turn being an ideal time for the back riders to catch up which will also prevent riders from missing the turn.
- It’s important that riders respect the ride captain’s decision as their role is to safeguard the group during the ride.
- The ride captain will encourage other members of the group to take their turn on the front of the group in order to share the workload and gain experience of leading a group.
- The ride captain should ensure that all riders return to the start, unless they have decided to make alternative arrangements which should be brought to the attention of the ride captain before or during the ride.
- Any rider that continues to find it difficult to ride at the groups designated speed and wishes to leave the group should inform the ride captain or a member of the group.
- The ride captain must take note of the rider(s) that leave the group and recalculate the number of riders within the group to ensure the headcount is correct.
- All incidents should be recorded by the ride captain, informing a HCC committee member at the end of the ride.
Sweeper’s Role & Responsibilities
- The sweeper will be appointed at the start of ride and will be an experienced club rider whose main role is to ensure that riders do not become detached from the group.
- The sweeper will work in conjunction with the ride captain during the course of the ride.
- Advises the group of traffic approaching from the rear calling out “Car Back” for example.
Group Ride Key Points
- The group should ride as a cohesive unit.
- A group ride is not a race.
- Riders should hold their line within the group, riding in a consistent manner and refrain from sudden braking.
- Riders are expected to take their turn at the front of the peloton albeit still under the command of the ride captain.
- Riders should look out for each other within the group slowing down at times to keep the group together.
- Good communication within the group being essential
- Front riders should make it known to the rest of the group when slowing down by verbal communication and hand signals.
- Riders should not ride more than two abreast unless the road conditions allow.
- Aim to ride 1 metre apart and 1 metre behind each other (do not overlap wheels).
- The group should adopt a single file configuration in order for vehicles to pass safety or when cycling on narrow country lanes.
- Be courteous to other road users and adhere to the Highway Code.
- If for some reason you wish to leave the group please advise the Ride Captain, Sweeper or a member of the group of your intensions.
- Incidents involving third parties are to be reported to a club official as soon as possible for the club to maintain a record of these
Use group ride signals and calls – see here
Above all enjoy the ride
By following the guidance given in this policy it is hoped that we can all enjoy many hours of safe and exhilarating cycling.