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Safe Riding Policy

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

With group riding there are responsibilities for both the rider and the ride leader.


Riders

All riders should read and understand the VBC Safety Policy.  We value the safety of our riders and leaders.  We've taken a lot of time to think it through and describe actions we expect of riders and leaders to keep us all safe.  If riders are unclear on any aspect of the VBC Safety Policy, we encourage them to take responsibility and ask the ride leader to explain the policy.

Riders should also assess their ability to meet the demands of the ride.

  • Can I maintain the ride pace for the entire ride?
  • Can I ride the listed terrain?
  • Is this the right ride for me today?

It is unfair for riders who cannot meet the requirements of a ride to expect the other riders to wait. We encourage riders in doubt to start with an easier ride. 

NOTE: This expectation does not pertain to No Rider Left Behind rides.


Ride Leaders

  • Understand the VBC Safety Policy.
  • Ride at the listed pace.
  • Adhere to the listed ride type.

Ride Realities

There may be more than one group of riders on any VBC ride.  The ride leader will choose and publish a pace for the ride.  The ride leader will always ride at that published pace. 

VBC rides may have riders or groups of riders who go faster or slower than the published pace. This is normal and expected.  It is the choice of those riders.  

However, the support of the ride leader may not be available to those riders who choose to ride at a different pace or are unable to ride at the published pace.  The primary responsibility of the ride leader is to those riders who ride at the published pace, as the ride was designated for a particular skill level of rider.


Ride Safely and Have Fun!

It is of paramount importance that all participants in club rides behave in the safest manner possible, exhibiting appropriate bicycling etiquette, and behaving with respect and consideration for the health and welfare of themselves and other riders, pedestrians, and drivers.

We realize that some riders, particularly novices and those who have not previously participated in group rides, are not aware of certain basic principles of safe riding.  To maintain a safe riding environment, each ride leader (and club member) has the right and responsibility to help prevent unsafe behavior.  To do so, it may be necessary to speak directly to someone who is riding unsafely.  Therefore this Policy establishes expectations for safe riding by riders that the Road Captain and Ride Leaders should use to enforce safety on club sponsored rides.

Riders are expected to abide by certain standards, including:

  • following directions provided by ride leaders;
  • wearing an approved safety helmet       
  • using bicycles in safe mechanical condition;        
  • obeying all applicable traffic laws and observing traffic signs;
  • staying alert and focused at all times looking for hazards, communicate all hazards to other riders;
  • signaling other nearby riders of intent to turn, slow, pass or stop, etc.;
  • riding in an expected manner and using caution when near other riders;
  • communicating with fellow riders as needed.


All of these measures are essential for individual and group safety.

Additional safety recommendations include:

  • high visibility apparel;
  • using a rear view mirror;
  • using appropriate reflectors and head and tail lights.


Should participants in club rides behave in such a way as to present a hazard to themselves or others they will be asked to modify their behavior.  If it is necessary to correct a rider, the goal should be to explain why the behavior affects or endangers others, and to offer specific advice for improvement.  Most people simply do not know any better, and if our approach is friendly, almost any rider will be cooperative in this situation and even welcome the advice.  If, however, the unsafe riding persists, the ride leader (or member) should document the problem using the Incident Report Form, to establish a record of the unsafe behavior that supports further discussion with the rider.  If the rider cannot or will not ride in safe manner, her/his participation in club rides may ultimately be disallowed.

Ride Leaders are entrusted to cancel any ride when climatic or road conditions are such that riding presents undue hazards and risk.