Rules and Roles

Our rules and guidance for riders and ride leaders is fundamental to creating a safe and supportive environment for all our activities. 

All Members

All members must read and understand 'Role of Club Riders', 'Group Riding', 'Bad Weather and/or Icy Conditions', 'Club Rules', 'Rider Safety & Insurance' and 'Youth Policy'.

Role of Club Riders

  1. Select a ride group within your capability.
  2. Comply with the ride leaders instructions and advice and aim to make their job simple and their ride pleasurable. Help the ride leader do his job.
  3. Ride safely and encourage others to do the same. Remember that you are responsible for your own and other riders' safety.
  4. Be aware of other riders behind you and help signal problems. Be aware of what riders in front of you are doing so you can react accordingly
  5. Ride with other road users safety in mind. This includes not riding two abreast or in the middle of roads when inappropriate (eg on main/busy roads or near blind bends).
  6. Make space for vehicles to overtake by riding in single file where appropriate. When riding in a large group, and where practicable without causing the group to split up, leave gaps to enable overtaking drivers to avoid traffic coming the other way. If necessary, stop to let traffic overtake.
  7. Be aware of and signal approaching traffic.
  8. Riders should be aware of the traffic conditions, be considerate to other road users, whether they be pedestrians, other cyclists, motor vehicles, horses/riders and even cattle. This includes pulling over or stopping if necessary. Do not ride through red traffic lights.
  9. Ride at the speed set by the ride leader and ride as a group around them.
  10. If the group splits reduce your speed or stop at a sensible location until the group reforms. Don't get too far ahead of the Ride Leader - you may go the wrong way and delay the ride or disappear off it altogether. Always allow the group to reform at the top of hills. All riders should be aware of where the last rider is and be considerate to them.
  11. Never argue with motorists, even if you think they are in the wrong - you could worsen an already dangerous situation. Regardless of any perceived provocation, the exchange of bad language or threats should always be avoided.
  12. You and your fellow riders are identifiable as members of Horsham Cycling; you should never act in a way which may bring the Club into disrepute.

Group Riding

If you are new to group riding these notes on etiquette and safe practice when riding in a bunch may be helpful. As you may not be familiar with the warnings used in-groups, we have also listed the most commonly used terms, signals and warnings that riders give each other.

  1. Always maintain a space between your front wheel and the rear wheel of the rider in front of you and avoid overlapping your front wheel with the rear wheel of the rider in front of you.
  2. Keep your eyes up at all times and protect yourself by being slightly off the line of the rider in front so that you can see what is happening ahead.
  3. Maintain a consistent speed and avoid slowing suddenly.
  4. Never slow suddenly or attempt a quick stop without a voice signal to those riding behind you first.
  5. Always provide hand signals to warn the rider behind about debris, potholes, manholes, other riders, parked cars, traffic islands, pedestrians and horses etc.
  6. Take great care when overtaking riders in front. Be aware of oncoming vehicles and ensure you can easily move into the left without causing other riders to take evasive action.
  7. Never ride more than two abreast unless doing so when it is safe and clear to overtake.

Here are a few of the shouted warnings used when riding in a group:

  • Car down / Oil down - car/vehicle approaching from ahead.
  • Car up / Oil up - car/vehicle approaching from rear.
  • Single out / Single file - get into single file safely and promptly.
  • Stopping - Brake!
  • Wait - Usually at junctions to indicate traffic coming.
  • Clear - To indicate that a junction is traffic free. Although you should also check yourself, and not rely on others.
group-riding-obstruction group-riding-hole
Vehicle / obstruction on the left Point to warn of pot holes or debris

So in essence, when in a group, ride smoothly without sudden movements and be aware of the other riders about you and take note of the ride leader's instructions.

Bad Weather and/or Icy Conditions

IF THERE IS A RISK OF ICE, DON'T RIDE. A hard frost will mean stretches of ice on untreated roads. You will be at risk not only because you are on two wheels but also from other vehicles that may lose control on slippery roads.

If adverse weather conditions are forecast then two out of the group of the Club's Officials and Club Rides Secretary will decide on Saturday evening whether or not to cancel all rides, and the membership will be notified. (Please see Club Rule 9 for full details).

Even if a general cancellation does not occur ride leaders will decide if, in their opinion, it is unsafe to ride, and members must respect the decision made by the leader. It is the responsibility of members to check with the designated ride leader if they want to know whether or not the ride will go ahead; contact details of ride leaders can be found on the Club calendar on the website. If the ride leader doesn't turn up and has given no message to the contrary, members must assume the ride has been cancelled. If members choose to ride without the leader then they will no longer be taking part in a Horsham Cycling Club ride.

Even if the ride leader does turn up and go ahead with a ride, individual members are always responsible for their own decision about whether or not to join the ride and should therefore make their own judgement about whether they consider conditions to be safe.

Due to the difference in bikes, terrain and riding experience an off road ride may still proceed even when on road rides are cancelled.

Club Rules

Our 'terms and conditions' which members agree to when joining:

  1. Annual subscription renewals for existing members will be due on 1 April each year. New members joining at any time between 1 April and 31 December will pay the full subscription for the year in question (ie there will be no pro rata reduction). New members joining between 1 January and 31 March will pay a full year's subscription at the rate in effect at the date of joining, but will be deemed to have paid up until the end of the following membership year (ie they will benefit from an effective free membership period from date of joining until 31 March).
  2. Existing members who fail to renew their membership by the 1 April renewal date will be deemed to have resigned their membership.
  3. When riding on Club rides, members must: abide by applicable road traffic law; be courteous to other road users; and keep the safety of other riders in mind.
  4. Members should make every effort to wear Club clothing on Club rides.
  5. Members on Club rides should endeavour to stay together and not leave anyone behind.
  6. Every adult member is expected to assist with Club events at least once in each year.
  7. Horsham Cycling encourages junior members (under 16s), but junior members may only participate in Club activities of any sort if accompanied and supervised by a parent or other responsible adult.
  8. For any ride to be deemed to be a Club ride, it must be led by a ride leader from the Club's list of approved ride leaders.
  9. Bad weather and/or road conditions:
    (i) When weather forecasts indicate adverse weather and/or road conditions are likely, any two from the Club Rides Secretary, Club Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary may decide by 20.00 hrs the day before the ride that all regular Club road rides on the following day shall be cancelled. In the event that such a decision is made, it will be posted on the Club website and it will be notified by a general e mail sent that evening. Such a general cancellation will not apply to off-road rides nor to rides taking place as part of a club excursion.
    (ii) In the event that a ride leader deems weather and/or road conditions not to be sufficiently safe for a Club ride to take place or continue, he or she shall cancel the ride (eg in event of a deterioration in conditions on the morning of the ride or during the ride itself).
    (iii) In the absence of the designated ride leader or any approved replacement nominated by him or her, members should ordinarily assume the ride has been cancelled. However, if there are no obvious adverse weather and/or road conditions, and no general cancellation under (i) above applies, another approved ride leader may run the ride. Designated ride leaders who are unable to attend their ride and who are not seeking to cancel the ride due to adverse conditions should endeavour to find a replacement ride leader before the ride is due to commence.
    (iv) For the avoidance of doubt, ride leaders may not overturn a general decision to cancel rides made under (i) above.
  10. It is the duty of each member taking part in a Club ride to ensure that his or her bicycle is in good mechanical condition and that he or she is adequately equipped to deal with punctures.
  11. Members are strongly advised to wear approved cycle helmets at all times when cycling.
  12. The Club takes the welfare of its younger members seriously, so if any member has cause for concern over the welfare of a fellow member under the age of 18 they should report it to the Club Welfare Officer or a Club Official straightaway.

Rider Safety & Insurance

The Club encourages members to ride safely but incidents can occur and it is recommended that all members carry some form of emergency contact details with them on club rides. Ideas you might like to consider include:-

  • Place ICE (“in case of emergency”) numbers in your mobile phone so that they can be easily found, although your phone will need to be unlocked if access is required by others.
  • Write the contact details on a card or something similar and carry it in your pocket or saddlebag.
  • Wear one of the bracelets that are readily available. We have found a source of one of these at a reasonable cost that may be of interest to you all. They are known as “Vital ID Adult Medical Emergency ICE Wristband” and an internet search will soon find you a supplier. There are other brands in the market place should you prefer something else.

The Club strongly recommends that for your own safety you wear a cycling helmet on all rides.

The Club’s insurance covers the Club and those responsible for its activities, it does not extend to cover the liability of individual members for what they do on Club rides. This is brought this to all members’ attention on joining the Club and when you renew your annual subscription. The Club strongly recommends that all its members purchase this type of cover. It is available from a variety of insurance providers but is also part of the package with certain classes of membership offered by British Cycling and the Cyclists' Touring Club. The latter also offers affiliation to the Club’s own membership for a reduced rate, but without the full membership benefits. If this cover is chosen then the Club’s own CTC membership number needs to be obtained from the Secretary to complete the application.

Youth Policy

Click here for details.

Ride Leaders

Our Club depends on volunteers to organise rides and maintain safety standards. Ride leaders and group coordinators should use the following guidance.

Role of Club Ride Leaders

  • Ride Leaders should familiarise themselves with Club rule 9 concerning the arrangements for deciding on whether or not a ride goes ahead during bad weather and/or road conditions. Where the decision rests with them they should follow the instructions in section (ii) ie. In the event that a ride leader deems weather and/or road conditions not to be sufficiently safe for a club ride to take place or continue, he or she shall cancel the ride (eg in event of a deterioration in conditions on the morning of the ride or during the ride itself).
  • If you become unavailable for a particular ride try to arrange a swap with another leader notifying the group co-ordinator of the intended swap.
  • Encourage safe riding in the group.
  • Ensure the group stays together and rides within the group speed and distance parameters, taking into account the make-up of the group.
  • Ensure no one is left behind unless they so request.
  • Consider appointing a back marker if the group size warrants it.
  • At the start of the ride advise the group of the intended route and ascertain if any guests are present and take note of their name(s).
  • Provide an enjoyable ride within group speed and distance parameters.
  • Along with all members point out any inappropriate ride behaviour during a ride advising the co-ordinator if felt the incident is serious enough.
  • Provide a ride report to the site by 20.00 on the evening of the ride.

Role of Group Coordinator

  • Recommend and manage the criteria for your group/s to the Committee.
  • Manage and submit the ride leader rota at the required intervals.
  • Manage and appoint ride leaders, instructing them on their role as appropriate.
  • Advise the Club membership secretary of ride leader appointments so that the Club can advise the CTC.
  • Manage overall Group behaviour particularly in relation to safety, speed and distance issues.
  • Deal with any Group discipline issues by supporting the ride leaders and involving the Club Committee if disciplinary action is deemed necessary so it can be dealt with it in accordance with the Club's disciplinary procedure.
  • Advise Committee of any group issues.