Sun City Cycling Club
   
   
 
Safety Tips
 
Lane positioning and group riding
Three items that we should consider in road positioning:
At intersections:
You should be positioned in lane that will take you in the direction you plan to go when departing the intersection. If there is a right or left turn lane and you are going straight, you should be in the lane that goes straight. Often there is no right turn lane, stop in the middle of the straight lane to allow cars which want to make a right turn to come up on your right. If you are going right stop in the right turn lane or the right portion of the straight lane in the absence of a right turn lane. If you are going to make a left turn, stop in the left turn lane or the left portion of the straight lane in the absence of a left turn lane.
 
Riding in the lanes:
You should ride in the right most part of the lane as is practical and safe. The last portion is very critical: If the lane is too narrow for a car to safely pass, you should take the lane (ride in the middle) to force the car to pull into the parallel lane to pass you. Do not ride on the edge of the road on narrow streets; that will encourage drivers to squeeze by you. Always move over as soon as it is safely possible to allow traffic to pass. This is the law if more than 4 vehicles are backed up behind you.
 
Group Riding Guidelines
 
Ride Carefully and Considerately
When riding in groups of 6 or more with traffic approaching from behind, it is wise to ride two abreast and in a nice tight formation. This prevents traffic from squeezing by you and also shortens the distance by ½ that the traffic has to travel in passing the group. Your safety comes first but courteous behavior is always a positive in sharing the road.
 
Bikes are considered vehicles, just like cars, and are required to obey the same traffic laws. Getting a traffic ticket or placing your fellow riders in danger is certain to make a bad impression. Make sure that any actions you take are possible for those behind you. It is a natural tendency to follow the rider ahead of you at cross streets and intersections, but every rider needs to make their own decision regarding when it is safe to proceed and need to communicate this clearly to all riders behind them.
 
Communicate
Communication is the key to safe group rides. Because roads are full of traffic and hazards, and because visibility is limited when riding in a group, it is important to warn others about hazards and to remain alert at all times to the warnings shouted and pointed out. Warnings you are likely to hear include: Car back: there is a car approaching the group from the rear. Car up: car approaching from the front Car right (or left): a car's approaching on a cross street Stopping: the group is stopping for a stop sign or light Walker up: there is a pedestrian on the road ahead Gravel, Sand, Glass or Hole: there is a road hazard ahead.
Don't let this happen to you!
Ride Smart to Stay Safe
Group-ride dynamics are interesting and ever-changing. As the pace and terrain changes, the pack stretches and compresses. The latter can cause some very tight quarters and even an occasional crash. To ride safely it is important to ride smoothly and avoid hard braking as much as possible. In fact, even light braking or swerving by someone in front can have a ripple effect and cause problems at the rear of the pack. Inexperienced riders who panic and touch a wheel may crash. Never fear! You can avoid problems by practicing these simple rules: 
 
  1. Stay alert at all times.
   
Never assume that it is safe. Keep "reading" the dynamics of the group and always leave yourself an out by keeping an opening to one side that you can escape through if there is a crash or obstacle you have to avoid.
  2. Hold your line.
   
This means swerving as little as possible. If you need to move left or right, do so gradually after checking the area for other riders and pointing out your move to make your fellow riders aware of your intentions. If you notice that someone is swerving, they are probably tired or inexperienced. Stay away from them!
  3. Don't overlap wheels.
   
Overlapping is putting your front wheel next to someone's rear wheel. This is asking for trouble, because if they move, they will bump your front wheel knocking you down. Try to always be behind the bike(s) in front unless you are passing.?
  4. Don't look back!
   
Looking back causes even skilled riders to swerve, which can cause a crash. Practice staying in a straight line while looking back and limit looking back during group rides. Using a mirror great increases your ability to safety monitor what is going on behind you. Unlikely you would drive your car without a rear-view mirror, so why would you drive your bicycle without one?
  5. Relax!
   
Use a relaxed grip on the handlebars, keep your shoulders down (not up against your neck) and bring your elbows down and in so that they are slightly bent. These steps will help you stay relaxed, which allows quicker reaction time and prevents tension in the neck and shoulders that can lead to fatigue and sloppy riding
  6. LEAVE YOUR AEROBARS AT HOME.
   
While triathlon or time-trial bikes are not necessarily a no-no, riding on your aerobars in a group can be extremely dangerous. This is due to the additional time it takes to reach for the brakes and the decrease in overall control you have over the bike. To keep the overall safety of the group in consideration, it is best to leave your aerobars at home.
  7. Keep your hands on the handlebars.
   
Riding no-handed in a group is and absolute NO-NO. Riding no handed is a formula for disaster as you cannot react quick enough in and emergency not to mention that it makes your fellow group riders uncomfortable.
  8. Focus on the rider(s) ahead.
   
Do not make the common mistake of focusing on the back wheel in front of you. Look up at the shoulders of the riders ahead and occasionally look at the road ahead and the riders up front so you can see what is going on and be prepared for sudden changes.
  9. Don’t brake unless absolutely necessary.
   
If you must brake, do so lightly to scrub off a little speed. You can also slow down by sitting upright and catching more wind in your chest.
  10. Warn others of hazards.
   
Keep on the lookout for things that could cause problems and shout out a warning and/or point out the hazard.
11. Pass carefully.
   
Generally, it is best to hold your place in the group, but if you are going to pass you should always announce your intentions that you are passing on the left. NEVER pass on the right.
  12. If you get tired, move to the rear.
   
Fatigue causes dangerous riding, so it is safer to go to the back of the group than to be in the middle of the action. Do not just swerve and slow, though! Tell those around you that you are dropping back so it is a safe move.
  13. Be Prepared.
   
Be prepared for the challenges of the ride. Learn the route ahead of time to ensure you do not get lost. Also, if you know the route, it is easier to shortcut the ride if you get into trouble.  Always bring a tube, a pump, and any tools you need. Bringing a cell phone and cash is a good idea, too. 
 
You travel further and faster in the group.
Be prepared for the challenges of the ride. Learn the route ahead of time to ensure you do not get lost. Also, if you know the route, it is easier to shortcut the ride if you get into trouble.  Always bring a tube, a pump, and any tools you need. Bringing a cell phone and cash is a good idea, too. 
 
Happy and safe riding!! Warren Smock LCI 1429
 
Below is a simple diagram that will explaining proper thought process in bike lane use. Keep in mind the AZ law, statute 28-815 Riding on Roadway and Bicycle Path; Bicycle Path Usage.
 
 
*§28-817. Bicycle equipment:
A bicycle that is used at nighttime [ "the period between sunset and sunrise" -- §1-215 ] shall have a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and a red reflector on the rear of a type that is approved by the department and that is visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when the reflector is directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A bicycle may have a lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear in addition to the red reflector.
 
A person shall not operate a bicycle that is equipped with a siren or whistle.
A bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
 
Sun City Cycling Club