Firstly, why ride with or in a Group?

There are many reasons for riding in a Group whether it’s for safety, social training, competition and fitness. You will learn road and awareness skills and will be able to learn from experienced riders so that you understand more about riding and increase your enjoyment of cycling.

You’ll make new friends; find and experience different rides and routes and you will be able to find other similar riders to you or riders to improve with and to set yourself goals with too.

Also, by riding with an experienced Group then we will help you if you are either new to the sport or the area. We will help you if you get into trouble and by riding in a group you shouldn’t get lost!

Don’t switch suddenly – Hold your line and keep a steady cadence, this is for the rider who may be riding behind and needs to be close and confident that you won’t move suddenly or wobble.

The riders in front should not stop suddenly without warning, but always be prepared for any sudden moves. If you have to stop suddenly, try to give a loud and clear warning to riders around you.

Relax – Try to relax your upper body as much as possible. This will help prevent fatigue and also prevent you from making sudden changes in direction. Bend the arms a little and keep your head up.

Riding in Group has to be done safely and with everyone knowing what’s going on at all times. If you’ve not ridden with a Group before then please make sure that your Bike Leader is made aware of this.

We will give you instruction as you ride, remind you as you progress and will monitor your responses accordingly. This is done to encourage and support you, ultimately – though to ensure safety first.

We would strongly recommend that you take out personal insurance to protect you and your equipment. By joining our Club, you will receive a discount if you join British Cycling and the different levels of cover in their membership offers.

We cannot make you join the Club, but if you ride with us, you are riding with the Dunmow Velo club – so it is not unreasonable to ask you to adhere to our guidelines and rules.

Our Groups will ride at no more than 20 riders together and our Bike Leader will be marshalling and directing the ride – so please listen to them.

In traffic or in town, be prepared to leave a gap or two so that any traffic can safely pass -there is nothing worse than a queue of impatient drivers behind you waiting for what seems like an eternity!

EXTREME CARE should be taken if waving a car on to overtake in case of unforeseen situations. It could be a recipe for disaster if someone gets waived through and then another car approaches, if in any doubt DO NOT waive other road users on.

If a car approaches, everyone should ride close together in single file and let the car driver decide when it is safe to overtake.

If you hear these commands make sure that you communicate them within the Group It doesn’t need everyone shouting at once, but if your colleagues aren’t vocal, then be so!

“Car front” or “Car back”
A general awareness warning of a car trying to pass or one coming around a corner. A car coming towards you is usually car front & a car approaching from the rear which might try to overtake the group is car behind.

When passing through a junction, look both ways and shout clear so that riders don’t need to unnecessarily brake. All riders still should check both ways as they pass through the junction.

If you hear this shouted it usually means there is a bad junction or, narrow road, or potential hazards and to pay attention yourself. It’s often very easy to rely on the ride leaders to warn you of pending problems in the road.

This is especially important if you are in a large group and it will take a while to get around the hazard.

“Single File”
When you hear this, you must listen and act accordingly. Normally called when very busy with traffic or a potential hazard so look up, look to the rider infront, to your sides and behind you. Ideally, if you’re on the outside then you should look to go behind the rider to your left. Only ever move forward and try to come inside if the rider on your left has either made space for you or told you to do so. Otherwise, slow up and look to go behind.

If you’re on the inside try to cover the rider outside of you on the right. They should be aiming to go behind you, so if you do allow them to go in front, make sure that you’ve given them space, not braked suddenly causing the rider behind to brake suddenly too and if anything tell the rider to your right that its clear to come in.

Simple enough – it may be a bad junction or a need to stop the Group for whatever reason.

“On your left”
This means that there is an obstacle on the left and the group will move to the tight to avoid it e.g. a single parked car, walkers or obstacles.

This is a very unique command and will normally be a hand signal pointing to the hole.

Hand signals are a tradition that provide the Group with direct communication at all times.

You do need to look out and learn them and most importantly pass them down the Group to the riders behind you.

Pointing out holes in the road
This is essential. You must point out drain covers, holes, road kill, glass or anything else which may cause harm to a cyclist. Basically if you have to go around it, tell the rider behind about it before they hit it.

Indication directions to riders behind
Whether it is slowing down or turning at junctions, large groups need everyone to indicate for other road users, so let them know what you intend to do. You should know your hand signals to turn left or right.

Waving for parked cars, horses, pedestrians and obstructions
When overtaking, riders will sometimes wave a hand behind them. This signifies that there is a hazard that means the group will have to move out. They will do this by waving in the direction you will need to move. REMEMBER you are expected to do the same so the rider behind you has seen the obstacle. Hand up in the air usually signifies that the rider signalling is stopping – normally your bike Leader. But it could be for a puncture or that there is a hazard in the road that the whole group may have to stop for.

Dunmow Velo welcomes riders and all abilities and speeds, we are a new club and as such are establishing procedures to group riders in the right group, speed and ability and or other preference wise. As a general rule (subject to attendance) we run three groups for each club ride

n an organised Dunmwo Velo ride out, you may drop off the back of a group, but you will never be left alone and generally all groups stop and rest/re-group every 5 to 10 miles depending upon the route.

No problem, everybody starts sometime. Every Dunmow Velo organised Ride out has a ride leader and she or he will talk to new members and guests personally and allocate a “buddy” for your first ride.

Dunmow Velo prides itself on being a friendly and welcoming club, everybody has to do a first meeting! If you don’t just want to turn up (which we encourage) e-mail us and we will call you to chat through the ride outs and address any concerns you may have.

However, when you do ride out with us, we do have some rules:-

No helmet, no ride.

Road bikes only, no hybrids or mountain bikes

Please send us an email to dunmowvelo@gmail.com

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By becoming a member you will be able to sign up for club rides and become involved with a passionate group of like minded individuals looking after your safety on your rides, and having fun on the journey.

If you would like to become a member of Dunmow Velo, please full out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.