Group ride etiquette

When joining our Club Rides please use common sense and obey the rules of the road. You are responsible for your own safety.

Please read our guide on etiquette to make the rides enjoyable and safe for everyone!

Rules of the road:

  • Traffic lights – Red, amber and red/amber all mean stop.
  • Stop signs at junctions – Don’t have a quick glance then sprint across, this endangers riders and drivers and the chances are the rest of the group will have to stop and you will only end up waiting for them.

Group structure and size:

  • No more than two abreast and single file on busy on narrow roads. Usually ride in pairs in line with the pair in front but single out when necessary
  • To maintain safety please do not spread across the road as this can cause issues for both cyclists and motorists trying to overtake


Communicating during the ride:

Good communication throughout the group is essential, learn the shouts and use them loud and clear and pass them on through the group:

  • “Tail” car approaching from the rear, “nose” car approaching from the front. These are warnings not instructions to single out.
  • Placing the left arm behind the back pointing away from the obstacle signals an obstacle on the left e.g. parked car, pedestrian, overtaking another cyclist who is outside of the group etc.
  • “Hole” warning of a hole in the road, the call is accompanied by Pointing to an obstacle signals a hole.
  • Moving your hand up and down signals slowing down.
  • “Stopping” which is self-explanatory – provide plenty of notice to avoid sudden braking and bunching up. Use the same hand signal as slow down.
  • Changing direction let other riders know verbally and with hand signal. Individual riders should signal as well, in particular if the group splits up.
  • “Clear”- When turning at a T junction, ’clear’ is an indication that the road is completely clear in both directions, BUT PLEASE CHECK yourself – it is every rider’s responsibility to ensure the road is clear for them.


Singling out:

Members should have a clear and well understood method of singling out. Riders on the inside should slightly adjust their pace to create gaps to allow riders on the outside to slip into the line. When it is safe to do so call “clear” so that the rider on the outside knows it is clear to pull in front of you. The group leader should call, “single out” to start the move. Once it’s safe the group leader can call “double up“.


Going to the front:

In a group of similar ability riders, it seems only fair that all members of the group should take a turn at the front, particularly when the group is riding into a strong wind etc. However, in groups with less able riders, or riders experiencing problems, it is totally acceptable for them to opt out of a turn on the front and for stronger riders to work for the good of the group on the front.

For more information about riding in a group, riding safely on the road, how to corner, how to descend and much more check out British Cycling’s ‘Ridesmart’ series of videos.


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