CBR Group Riding Rules and Etiquette

Before You Ride

Pick the Right Group Ride - Group rides and objectives vary. Finding out the group’s pace, distance, and goals will ensure that you join a ride that’s right for you. Not sure? Just ask the ride leaders before the ride starts.

Be Prepared - Bring a tube, CO2 or a pump and the tools to change a flat. Money & cell phone, too. 

Food and Water - Bring  water and snacks. You'll want to drink a bottle of water and eat one snack each hour you ride. 

Don’t Be Late - Group rides typically start within minutes of the official starting time. 

Helmets Yes, Earbuds No.- Wear a helmet for safety. No headphones or cell phones while riding. 

Practice your skills ahead of time e.g. ability to look around without veering; ability to make hand signals.

On the Ride - Be a Safe, Steady and Predictable Group Member

Ride Predictable - This involves every aspect of riding from changing positions in the group to following the traffic rules. Do ask questions of more experienced riders when you’re not sure what is occurring.

Ride Safely - Ride single file except in areas where it is safe to ride side by side. Pass others on the left only, no one will expect you on their right side. Stay alert at all times. 

Be Considerate - Be responsible for operating your bike in such a manner as to not offend motorists, pedestrians, etc. 

Don’t Overlap Wheels (also called “half-wheeling”) - If you accidently overlap the wheel of the rider in front of you, announce to that rider that you are overlapping them. Ease off the speed until you are no longer overlapping.

Be Steady - This includes speed and line. When everyone is working for the group, maintain a steady speed as you ride. No sudden stops. “Feather” the brakes. This means apply the brake very lightly.

Know Your Limitations - If you’re not strong enough or too tired to take a turn at the front, stay near the back and let the stronger cyclists pull in front of you.

Change Lead Positions Correctly – Group rides are “led” from the front. When the lead rider is ready for a break, they will signal by hitting their fist against their hip and then waving their hand forward on the side they want the line to pass them. Don’t assume the lead rider wants a break and attempt to pass the lead rider.

Announce Hazards - Use hand signals for most roadway hazards. In addition, verbally warn other riders of “Car Up”, “Car Left”, “Car Right”, “Jogger Up” “Glass”, “Gravel” and “Sand”. 

Note: riders in the pack are expected to relay these warnings to the rear. If you are in the back of the group, announce traffic approaching from the rear (“car back”). 

Signal - Be vocal when approaching intersections, slowing, stopping, or turning. Hand signaling lets everyone (vehicles and riders) know your intentions, too. In a group, combine your hand signals with a vocal warning of your intentions.

Relax - This one is really important. It will allow you to be smooth and responsive. 

On the Ride - Proper Lane Position

 Lane “position” means where on the roadway does the group attempt to ride. Here are the typical lane positions depending upon the circumstances:

  • Residential Striped Roads with Bike lanes (e.g. Hill Road, 15th Street) – Ride within the bike lane unless there is a hazard in the bike lane. 
  • Shared Bike Path (e.g. Greenbelt) – Ride within the right half of the bike path (assuming traffic in both directions). Be mindful of your speed, keep it under 15 mph.
  • Sharrow Marked Road (e.g. 13th Street, Bannock) – Use the full lane as appropriate being considerate of other roadway users, including other cyclists. 
  • Regular Urban Striped Roadway 
    • Speed limit of 35 mph or less (e.g. Park Center Blvd, Roosevelt Street) – Typically ride to the left of white line but not past the first wheel track.
    • Speed limit of 40 mph or more (e.g. Gowen Road, Old Horseshoe Bend Road, Beacon Light Road) – Typically on the white line or slightly on the shoulder to the right of the white line if a shoulder is available.
  • Quiet rural striped roadway with speed limit of 40 mph or more but few cars (e.g. Swan Falls Dam Road, Kuna Road, Emmett Highway) - Typically to the left of white line but not past the first wheel track. 
  • Unstriped Roadway, including Gravel Roads (e.g. South Slope Road, upper 8th Street) – Typically on the right half of the ride and mindful of others using the roadway. 

CBR's Promise to You

We Don’t Leave Stragglers - If you get separated at intersections, the lead group will typically soft pedal until the rest have rejoined. Climbing hills often will lead to the group getting spread out. Regrouping at the top of most hills (where it is safe to do so) is typical. Additionally, regroups are common at turn points to ensure everyone stays on the route. 

We Don’t Leave You Stranded - If you have a mechanical issue (e.g. flat tire, dropped chain), let the riders around you know by yelling “Mechanical” or “Flat”. 

If you decide to drop off the route or turn back, be sure to tell the ride sweeper, the ride leader or someone in the group. The ride sweeper has the responsibility to ensure all riders are in contact with the group. 

You will be a valued member of the CBR club if you practice the good, safe riding techniques discussed above.

Riding in a group can be fun and exhilarating. It is safest when everyone knows and follows the rules. Happy cycling.  

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