July Newsbrief 2019

The Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society         July , 2019 Volume 36, Issue #7

Presidents Report          July 2019        John Pringle


       Safe-Ride Guidelines


We, the CCCTS Board, had hoped to have a set Safe-Ride Guidelines out to Club members long before the spring solstice, but a busy schedule had this important initiative shunted to the back burner.  


The version below is based on a draft originally knitted together by Lawrence Vey and Ed Fudge of the Comox Valley Chapter. Bruce Dakin, Max McClanahan and I then sat down after the June Board meeting and cobbled together some changes, which I then edited. We sent this draft to Board members who had a last “kick at the can”.  I then put together this final draft. 

Our aim was guidelines that were simple and yet useful for group riding as practiced by Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society members. They are to be used with a ton of common sense. We do not want our members to be unsafe either to themselves or to their fellow riders.  

These guidelines are a work in progress, and will be followed up with a more thorough version for the 2020 cycling season. 

Try them on. Please let us know their strengths and weaknesses. Suggested changes can be sent to CCCTS Safe Riding Director Janet Whitehead.

  • The format of the ride, e.g. a lead/sweep approach vs a self-guided approach, will be described by the event leader in the pre-ride introduction.


  • You will follow traffic regulations as laid down by the governing jurisdiction in which you’re riding. A “smile” to courteous drivers is encouraged.


  • Ensure your bike is safe and well-serviced for the expected riding conditions.


  • Be visible.  Bright clothing is strongly recommended.


  • A mirror is highly recommended. Use it before pulling out into the lane or prior to passing. 


  • Lights, front and back, are encouraged, but should not be overly bright to discomfort fellow riders or motorists.


  • When there are a large number of cyclists, split into smaller groups to allow motorists ease-of-passing.


  • Practice PACCC riding:  Predictability, Anticipation, Cooperation, Courtesy & Communication with fellow riders and other road users.


During the ride


  • “Hands on the handlebar” is the safest place for them. Remove them with caution. Consider using audible warnings to indicate hazards where it’s unsafe to hand signal. 


  • Stay focused.  Do not get distracted. No ear buds while riding.


  • Yield right-of-way to pedestrians.


  • Cycle single-file only.  Save lengthy conversations for coffee breaks.


  • Stay behind the Leader and ahead of the Sweep where this riding format is being used.


  • Keep a safe distance behind the rider ahead of you.


  • Ride in bike lanes where possible. If it must be a shoulder, stay as far to the right as is safe and reasonable. Never cross over the center line. 


  • “Take the lane” when and where necessary, e.g., over narrow bridges or where the shoulder is hazardous for cycling. 


  • Stay in line, and with the pace of the group, wherever possible.


  • Pass on the left while clearly stating, “passing on the left”. Passing on the right can be dangerous, but if you must, state clearly, “passing on the right”. Use extreme caution when passing on a downhill. 


  • Say “stopping”, and hand signal to fellow cyclists your intent to stop. Come to at least a momentary stop at all stop signs


  • Stop at all red lights. Do not proceed through a red light as part of a group (peloton). Only when the light changes to green do you proceed.


  • Look, and signal your intent to turn.  Make eye contact with drivers where possible.


  • Making left turns at intersections (especially busy ones) should be done with extreme care. When traffic is moving quickly, a three-point-maneuver may be a safer choice. 


  • Do not follow a fellow rider through an intersection, or turn left or right, without checking carefully for oncoming traffic. 


  • Where necessary only, utilize the “car back” caution to warn other cyclists of an approaching vehicle.


  • Use extra caution when crossing over railroad tracks, cattle guards, gravel patches, slippery or sandy roads, or when encountering any situation that is potentially dangerous or uncomfortable for you.  


  • Where necessary, communicate with other riders via hand signals, or verbally when unsafe to hand signal, the potential dangers on the road, i.e. potholes, glass, gravel, etc.


  • Move well off the road, at a safe place, when a group stop is planned.


  • If you wish to leave the ride (either to go ahead of the group or cut the ride short) make the Leader or Sweep aware of your plans