Guidance for Leaders and back-up riders


Guidance for Leaders and back-up riders
(NB. For the purposes of this guidance the term “leader” includes any leader who acts as a leader of a sub group under the following provisions.)

Group rides and safety
Cycling UK stated policy is that groups should be around 6 and the distance between groups should be no less than 50 metres and more if roads are particularly busy. Many of our rides are on quiet flat roads or on cycle paths or tracks. Many however are all or partially on roads with moderate or heavy traffic and/or with steep or long climbs. In this case a large group will need to be split into smaller groups. The first group will be led by the ride organiser and newly formed sub-groups will be led by a leader registered with Cycling UK.

It will be for the ride organiser, with his or her knowledge of the route, to decide the size those groups need to be, where on the route those groups are needed and what the size of the gap between groups should be. He or she will need to stop before the part of the ride on which this group structure is to be applied.


Before the day of the ride
Assess the chosen route for potential hazards (busy/narrow roads/ hills). Review the route to ensure there are no parts which contravene the Highway Code for example pavements other than shared pavements. Decide the optimum group and sub-group size and the distance needed between groups and where on the route the group structure is to be applied.

On ride day
If more than one group is needed determine the size of the groups and seek a leader for each sub-group. Tell any other leader what gap to leave between the rider in front and him or her. Appoint a backup (from leaders registered with Cycling UK).

Give a briefing to all riders before the start of the ride. This should include:
 Specify the destination
 Give a brief description of the route, terrain and distance
 Identify any hazards along the route
 Inform the group of the Backup rider and of any other leader(s).
 Ask if there are any questions
Ensure all riders are wearing helmets
Check radio communication between yourself and your Backup and any other leaders.

During the ride
During the ride, always be aware of where the Backup and any other groups are and try to keep them in sight. Adjust your speed to ensure groups remain in touch and be aware that road junctions etc. may result in groups losing sight of the group ahead. In these circumstances the leader or sub-group leader immediately ahead should consider using a marker at any turning. Stop immediately before the section of the route when the separate group arrangements are to be applied. Stop occasionally to allow re-grouping. Do not stop on bends or at road junctions.

The back-up is in the best position to assess how well or badly the safety measures are working and should give feedback to the organiser (main leader) and a committee member. Check radio communication between yourself and the overall leader and any other leaders. In case of incident during the ride (fallen rider, puncture or mechanical problem) inform the Leader by radio as soon as you are able, before the Leader goes out of radio range. If you see that members of the group are falling too far behind, inform the leader either by radio or at the next stopping location. If you consider groups are not close enough or too close radio leader in front to make him /her aware. Tell main leader at next stopping point.

Highway Code:

It is against the law to ride on a pavement other than a shared pavement. A pavement may be shared or segregated.

(i) Shared
This is identified by the blue sign showing pedestrians and cyclists. Cyclists may use this but pedestrians have priority so cyclists should be patient. Overtake with care (especially from behind) and not on the inside (right) unless the pedestrian allows you to overtake by standing on the left. (Example Lymington Road.)

(ii) Segregated
Here the pavement will be divided by a solid white line. You must stay in the lane allocated to cyclists. You are not permitted to enter or cross into the lane allocated to pedestrians. This is an unshared pavement. (Example. On route to Queen’s Park along side of A338 after crossing the footbridge up to crossing on Castle Lane West.)

Cycling is only permitted on Toucan crossings and parallel crossings. Riders must dismount and walk across any other crossing.

(i) Toucan crossings (Two can cross (i.e. cyclists and pedestrians)
These are light controlled crossings where after pushing the button you are shown a display with both pedestrians and cyclists. When green you may ride across. (Examples. Lymington Road near Hoburne roundabout, Iford Bridge crossing to path on Sheepwash.)

(ii) Parallel crossings
These have a green lane marked on the road and run parallel with a zebra crossing. Motorists should stop as if you are on the zebra crossing and you may cycle across on the green lane. N.B. you are not allowed to encroach onto the zebra crossing. (Examples. Bournemouth end of Tuckton Bridge). It is recommended that where a ride involves Iford Lane this crossing is not used for the outward journey and instead leaders take the riders round the roundabout to Tuckton Road with a stop in the layby to ensure everyone has
successfully negotiated the roundabout).

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