Our cycling group has been going since 2009 and its popularity is ever increasing. We have always had guidelines for conducting ourselves on the ride etc, but we have now formalised these into the rules shown below. Please make sure you are familiar with them before you join a ride

Responsibilities of Riders

1. On joining the Horsley U3A cycling group, you should give the Group Coordinators (currently Sue Reeve and Bob Spackman) an emergency contact number (normally next of kin) for use during rides and also the number of the mobile phone you will be carrying on the ride. This information will be circulated to the Ride Leaders but not beyond members of the U3A Cycling group.

2. You should carry an “In Case of Emergency” card on every ride. This card should state your name, any serious medical conditions such as severe allergies, epilepsy, asthma and diabetes, any significant medication e.g. taking anticoagulants, and the name and contact number for next of kin. This card should be kept in an accessible place such as your cycling top. It is important that you keep the card up to date. If you carry an “epi pen”, please let the leader know under what circumstances it should be injected and any other special action that should be taken.

3. You should also inform the Group Coordinators and the Leader of each ride if neither Group Coordinator is present, of any serious long term conditions which might require special emergency treatment and any significant changes in your conditions. If based on this information, the Coordinator or Ride Leader feels it is unwise for you to join or to continue the ride, then they should say so.

4. If you have never ridden on the highway before or have not ridden for a long time then we suggest that you familiarise yourself with the latest Highway Code Rules for Cyclists.

5. You should take note of the route proposed, and satisfy yourself you are fit enough to complete the ride safely in all respects, and that your bike is both roadworthy and suitable for the event. 

6. You must wear a cycle helmet (compulsory). You should wear a bright top so you can easily be seen. If you do not have a bright top, then front and rear flashing lights are advised.

7. We also advise you to bring a bottle of water, a pump and 1 or 2 spare inner tubes. Other riders will try to assist you with any breakdown, but it also helps if you carry some basic bike tools including a multi-tool, tyre levers, a chain connector or chain breaker tool. 

8. You are responsible for your own safety on all rides. Please do not allow the social and comradely aspects of group cycling to distract you from watching where you are going! 

9. Although cyclists have the same right to occupy the road as other road users, in the interests of good relations we encourage U3A riders, especially when in a large group on a busy road, to:

a. Never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends, as specified in the Highway Code

b. Leave a gap of 50 metres between each group of 3-4 riders, to enable passing traffic to overtake more easily.


Responsibilities of the Ride Leaders 

10. For each ride the Leader should specifically consider:

a. The weather forecast, especially if adverse. The Ride Leader should consider cancelling or delaying the ride if adverse weather is forecast - heavy rain, high winds, freezing or near-freezing temperatures – see below.

b. The current state of repair of the roads and tracks to be covered.

c. The route proposed, including coffee and refreshment stops and comfort break points.

11. Once the route is chosen, the Ride Leader should send an email headed “ Horsley U3A Cycle Ride…” to all Group members a few days before the ride describing:

a. The route

b. Riding conditions including weather forecast, and any challenging climbs and terrain.

c. Proposed stops

d. An estimate of the distance and time to be taken

e. Recommended type of bike(s). 

12. The Ride Leader must carry an emergency contact list of all riders (see paragraph 14), take note of any medical conditions notified by ride participants, and act accordingly (see paragraph 3 above).


Responsibilities of the Group Co-ordinators

13. The Group Coordinators will keep a diary of proposed rides and leaders. This list and any subsequent changes will be circulated to all members by email. 

14. The Group Coordinators will send an up to date list of all members’ emergency contact details to Ride Leaders before they are due to lead a ride.

Policy in the event of Freezing or Near Freezing Conditions 

15. In common with most local cycling clubs, the Horsley U3A cycling group policy is that, should the local forecast indicate that the overnight temperature will drop below 3 Deg C and remain at or below 2 deg C by 8am (even where the temperature is forecast to rise subsequently), then rides involving significant road sections, will not proceed under the auspices of Horsley U3A in view of the risks from road ice.

16. The Ride Leader will issue an email or text message the previous evening, no later than 10 pm where possible, noting the forecast and telling potential participants to check their emails again after 8.30am, to see if the ride is confirmed, or has been cancelled, before setting off for the start point.

17. Should the leader be unable to issue a cancellation notice, riders should still make themselves aware of the weather forecast and follow the Horsley U3A Cycling Group policy (see paragraph 15).

18. Riders may then choose to ride as individuals but not under the auspices of Horsley U3A. Public liability indemnity will not be available for such unofficial rides.

19. Leaders and riders should be aware that, on mornings when it has been close to but above freezing, ice can still be present on exposed bridges and on minor roads that are shaded from sunlight. Wherever possible, riders should stop and walk over potentially icy bridges, and leaders should keep watch for any ice patches and advise people to stop and walk until it is safe to ride.


October 2018