There are many aspects to Tuff Fitty training but as we move into the multisport season, our members requirements are different. There are a large number who are training for longer distance events which include big miles in the saddle building up to and including the full Iron distance of 112 cycling. Equally we have members who want the confidence in riding with a group.
With different groups we strongly recommend that you apply to join the “TUFF FITTY CYCLING GROUP” on Facebook. This members Facebook portal will give you the latest, particularly useful in the event of inclement weather, or where there are events where Tuff’s are out in force. One of the groups switches to Mountain Bike rides on the first Sunday of the month
Whatever your ride; Please ensure you have read Tuff Fitty’s cycle etiquette below. It is highly recommended that you tuck some money in your back pocket as time in the saddle can often end up with a coffee stop.
The document is split into the following sections:
- Hand Signals
Follow the Highway Code at all times – it applies to ALL road-users.
- Wear an approved cycle helmet, you will not be allowed to ride if you do not have one.
- Ensure your bike is road worthy, brakes are fully operational and that your tyres are pumped up to the recommended PSI (as written on the tyre).
- Cycle a maximum of two abreast in 2 close parallel lines where appropriate, focus on keeping it neat and tidy.
- Be prepared on small or busy roads to ride in single file.
- Lead cyclists to navigate and point out hazards in the road by either shouting or using hand signals. Listen to them and act on the calls, and most importantly, repeat them for the cyclist behind you.
- Ride directly behind the wheel of the rider in front. If you cycle in the middle of the two wheels in front of you, you WILL push the cyclist on your outside into the path of passing vehicles.
- Brake as gently and smoothly as you safely can when riding in a pack-Cover your brakes at all times.
- Talk to each other. Point out either with hand signals or shouts, all potholes, manhole covers and other dangers in the road that could cause punctures or accidents. Follow the hand signals and calls of the riders in front as they will have seen the danger before you and then you can all communicate down the pack.
- If you are the back of the group and either see someone dropping or are being dropped it is your responsibility to call to the cyclists in front that the pace is too high. The pack must communicate this up to the front. The lead cyclists will not be aware if you start to drop. Ask them to slow down; it is your ride too.
- Check over your shoulder for other riders or traffic before moving out to the right
- Slow right down when passing horses, and pass them as wide as it is safe to do so.
- If you are feeling tired let people know. Accidents happen when people are tired and lose concentration. Everyone gets tired, let people know so they can slow the pace down and tuck you in the pack to carry you home
- Cycle with confidence. If you’re nervous you will tense up and then are less likely to be able to respond to things quickly.
- Be realistic so that you enjoy the entire ride and don’t end up bonking after 1 hour, then forcing the pack to slow down for you.
- When approaching parked cars, if you see anyone sitting in the driver’s side, CAUTION, they could open the door on you, so ride wide if possible, or stop if necessary
- Dress in appropriate clothing for the weather
- Bring everything you might need. Prepare for every eventuality. For example, puncture kit, tyre levers, inner tubes, pump, allen key set, waterproof jacket, food, water, money, mobile, contact details in emergency.
- Plan your nutrition according to your ride duration. You will burn on average 500calories per hour when cycling. You should be drinking one 750ml bottle of water every hour. You must have enough food to last the entire ride (riders may not wish to stop, especially if it’s cold or wet).
- Overlap wheels, or nudge in between the wheels of the riders in front. You will come off if they move off their line
- Ride on tri / aero bars in packs as you will not be able to brake or steer quickly
- Make any sudden movements/changes in direction off your line when in the pack. You are responsible for the cyclist behind you; they are following YOUR wheel they need to trust you.
- Ride off the front. This is a group ride, not a race. If you want to go faster then let the others know what you are going to do and if no one wants to join you then go off and enjoy your ride alone.
- Stop pedalling if you are on the front, even on downhill’s. The cyclists behind you will read this as you slowing and could be forced to brake and bunch up.
- “Zone out” on the wheel in front. Keep aware of everything that is going on around you, look ahead and that way you can avoid most hazards.
- Whip round the outside of the pack to get to the front unless in an emergency. Shout up the pack any communication. If you do need to get to the front then make sure you check in front and behind for cars, remember three abreast will push you out into oncoming traffic.
- Pull out at junctions without looking, having heard the “Clear” call from a fellow cyclist. Check whether there is a vehicle coming yourself.
These are some calls you might hear. It is essential that you repeat them down the pack so everyone can hear:
-Keep tight to the cyclist next to you, and be prepared to cycle in single file
–Upcoming pothole to avoid. This can also be followed by a direction i.e. “HOLE LEFT”.
Usually accompanied by a hand signal:
“Slowing” accompanied by gentle extended arm movement up and down to the side
-The cyclist in front needs to slow down for some reason.
“Stopping” accompanied by outstretched arm pointing down with palm facing behind
-Usually at junctions to indicate there is a car coming
– To indicate that a junction is traffic free. You must check yourself and not rely on others.
–Hazard ahead, pay attention.
“Single out/ single file”
–Get into single file safely and promptly