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Cycling Etiquette

Hints & Tips

Cycling etiquette is an unspoken yet understood code of practice in the cycling community. If you are new to cycling it is best to make yourself aware of some of the rules that other cyclists follow.

Safety is the key aspect to consider when cycling, both safeties for yourself and other road users. Bicycles and cyclists have to obey the same laws of the road as motorists do; cyclists should be considerate and ride predictably and safely. All road signs and regulations should be obeyed, such as red lights and stop signs. As a cyclist you should be aware of what is happening around you and have a plan of what to do if circumstances change. It is important that you stay in control of your bike at all time, keeping your hands on the handlebars at all time to ensure you ride in a straight line.

As a cyclist you should ride as far left as possible when on the road, if need to pass other riders then do so on the right. If you are holding someone up then move to the left so others can pass you safely. On public roads you should ride in single file formation.

When cycling on the road you should be considerate and show respect for other cyclists and drivers, a smile and a wave to a driver who has waited for you to get through a junction is considerate. Making eye contact with any drivers or pedestrians whose paths you cross is friendly and welcoming and when passing other cyclists it is polite to say hello. If you are riding cross country then any pedestrians and horses have right of way so you should slow down or dismount and let them pass.

When riding as part of a group then communication is essential between other riders and yourself. If you are riding ahead of others and see an obstacle or problem then call out or motion to other riders to warn them of the impending hazard. Hand signals should be used when riding in a group, and when on your own, to let other riders and vehicles know where you plan to turn and when. If you are attending a group ride it is courteous to arrive a few minutes earlier than the start time to enable you to prepare for the departure. Keep to the stated pace of the ride, if the ride is too fast or slow you should change the level of ride that you are on, if gaps do occur then the lead pack should slow their pedalling to let the rest of the group catch up.

For mountain bikers there are a number of other issues that cyclists should be aware of before venturing out. Before setting off on your route you should check that cycling is permitted on that route and check the upcoming weather conditions and prepare accordingly. If the trail that you wish to ride is muddy then it would be advisable not to ride it, riding the muddy path can cause trial widening and erosion that can lead to long term damage. When cycling be aware of other bikers on the trials that you are riding; if you are descending a hill and other bikers are cycling up the hill then you should let them pass. If the trails are crowded then you should ride safely to ensure the safety of all other users on the trails, pass other people on the trail with care and be prepared to stop if necessary. Horses should be given a wide berth as they can scare from bikes. All areas should be left as you have found them, take any rubbish away and respect the environment in which you are cycling.