Sunday Club rides take place throughout the year and all riders, whether visitors, guests, or potential members, of any cycling ability are made welcome. Club members meet outside the front of The George Public House on Portsdown Hill, above Cosham (Widley), at 0900 and set-off at 0915.
As the club is keen to promote all aspects of safe riding the only mandatory requirement for attending a ride (other than a bicycle of course!) is a correct fitting cycle helmet, irrespective of whether you chose not to wear one when riding solo or with friends.
Please note that for insurance purposes any youth rider under the age of 18 years will require a signed Parental Consent form (see column on right) and that the minimum age limit is 13 years. PNECC takes its Duty of Care very seriously and while it encourages all riders to attend the Sunday Club rides, advance notice of the attendance of younger riders would be appreciated so that the Club Captain can ensure that there are experienced riders to mentor on the day and assist as, and when, deemed necessary.
As there is a wide range of cycling ability and a varying degree of overall fitness riders are normally split into two groups: A “Sporty” group, for those who are confident on a bike and have a reasonable level of fitness; and a “Social” group for new joiners, and those who wish to have a more relaxed ride. However, when numbers and rider ability dictate there is also an “Intermediate” group which tends to roughly follow the same route as the “Social” group but at a slightly increased pace and an increase mileage of about 10 miles.
The “Sporty” group tend to cover roughly 50 miles and aim to arrive back at The George by 1230 (which would have included a Café stop).
The “Social” group tend to cover roughly 30 miles and again aim to arrive back at The George by 1230 (which would have included a Café stop).
The Club Captain allocates a rider to lead each group and dependent upon the chosen routes both groups attempt to meet up at the same Café stop to promote a friendly club environment. A safety brief and a rough outline of the route are given to each group before the ride starts.
No rider is ever left behind to struggle on their own and it is usual that riders re-group either at the top of a climb or where it is safe to do so.
We look forward to seeing you in the very near future (remember some cash for the Café stop).
A sample of, where we meet, the quiet lanes and the rolling hills.
3 Reasons to get out early AM onto the tranquil local lanes
Sunshine on top of the hill, up from the 'Hurdles' PH, Soberton
Off towards Teglease Down, South Downs, not a car in sight.
Rolling mist on the rolling hills, towards The Sustainability Centre
December & Heavy frost on the 'Sheep fields' East of Soberton village
Winter has arrived, ensure you have plenty of 'wicking' layers (polyester rather than cotton) good gloves, thick socks/feet covers etc., ear warmers. You'll still need your fluids - don't forget your change for the cafe stop.
For the bike? Mudguards, Winter tyres, give your bike the once over more regularly (especially the tyres and brakes)
REMEMBER: "No such thing as it's too cold to ride, you just haven't got enough layers on!"
Code of Conduct
The code is no more than a formalisation of the basic principals of decency, road safety and common sense that the club would expect from all its members and covers how its members should act when riding on a club ride.
The club also expects its members to respect all aspects of the code affecting other road users when riding solo in or out of club colours.
When riding as a club we have obligations: to the club to behave in a manner than represents it in a good light, to ourselves in terms of our own safety and well being and more importantly to our fellow club members by assuring that our behaviour does not threaten the safety of others and promotes wellbeing and fellowship.
Responsibilities to the Club
MANDATORY - For your safety and the safety of others the club expects all riders on club rides to adhere with the rules of the road. Continual disregard for the rules set out in the highway code and behaviour that endangers yourself or others may lead to disciplinary action by the committee and even in extreme cases expulsion from the club.
Club rides are not races and members are expected to treat them appropriately.
Responsibility to yourself:
To ensure that the maximum benefit and enjoyment is gained by all and mechanical problems are minimised the club asks that riders keep the bikes in reasonable repair and roadworthy. It is also advised that a minimal tool kit is carried. Each rider should have adequate tools to fix common mechanical problems, you can not rely on other members to have tools.
Minimal Tool kit:
A pump or way of inflating tyres. At least two replacement inner tubes (a puncture kit can also be advantageous) Two tyre levers Allen keys or multihead spanner as appropriate to your cycle Spare foldable tyre (optional) Cable ties can help make temporary repairs (optional)
Clothing – Club runs continue regardless of weather, it is advised that you dress appropriately you should carry a waterproof on all but the best of days. If you are in doubt about issues of clothing or equipment club officials and fellow members will be happy to advise you.
Club runs generally stop at cafes (bring some cash), however you are advised to carry water and food with you.
If you are a new member of the group, unconfident of finishing the ride or suffering from mechanical problems let other riders know as soon as possible. Please do not wait until you are dropping off the back of the group. The ride leader and the group will do all they can to assist you but they can only do so if they are aware of your problem. It is your responsibility to make them aware. All cyclists suffer from these problems occasionally and the group will be supportive.
Responsibility to the group
Tribars - The use of all forms of spinaci bars and tribars are strictly banned. Whilst the club accepts they may be permanently attached to your bike they must not be used during a ride, they can cause instability which may be dangerous whilst riding in a group.
Mudguards – Mudguards do more than keep you dry, they stop spray from the wheels of your bike affecting other riders, please respect your fellow club members. Until this code was revised in November 2002 officially mudguards where mandatory. Between the winter months of October to March and in inclement weather this remains the case on the majority of rides. However this rule is at the discretion of the ride leader and some groups opt not to enforce it. If you are in any doubt the default is for full mudguards, check with your ride leader for clarification.
Riders should ride no more than two abreast unless overtaking
Riders should endeavour to ride smoothly and not break without warning if it can be avoided, your actions have impacts on the riders behind you, the club promotes safe cycling
Shout warnings and signal other rider if there is a danger in the road
When riding as a group you should allow for riders behind you
Groups should allow appropriate gaps in traffic and slow to allow enough time for the entire group to negotiate obstacles. Riders at the back of a large group will be affected by the 'concertina effect' which means they will have to slow a lot more than those in front to negotiate the obstacle. The riders at the front should slow or even stop at the next appropriate place to allow the group to reform.
Should the group be split due to any circumstance riders should slow down or find a safe place to stop and reform before proceeding.
The group has an obligation always to stop and assist any of its riders suffering from mechanical or physical problems.
The group should always wait for the last rider unless the rider has requested to be left, or an agreement made (with the consent all of on the ride and the ride leader that this will not happen)
No rider should leave the group without first notifying other riders, preferably the ride leader.
Ride leaders will endeavour to ensure that the rules laid out in the code of conduct are adhered to and that the ride is conducted in a safe and well-organised fashion. However it is the responsibility of all riders to assist the leader in this duty.
On a ride, the leader is the official representative of the club and their instructions should be adhered to.
This code is set out to ensure all members of the club can gain maximum enjoyment and benefit from club rides and to promote safety, it outlines the minimum standards expected on all rides. Different rides may have additional rules or codes of conduct you are asked to respect them. If in doubt consult your ride leader.
Distances, speeds and destinations of rides are communicated on the club website and in the club forum.
GUIDELINES FOR RIDERS (ON-ROAD)
You will find that cycling in a group is great fun but different from cycling on your own. To enjoy your ride in safety we would ask that you observe the following points:
Know your Highway Code.
Look over your shoulder before starting or changing position.
If you need to stop for any reason, shout "STOPPING" before you slow down. Stop close to the verge.
Ride in single file on busy roads and under circumstances where it would otherwise be dangerous for vehicles to pass (defer to the leader’s judgment).
Never ride more than two abreast. (If riding alone within a group, ride behind the inner rider of a pair.)
Keep your distance from the cyclist in front, especially when riding two abreast; you or your partner may need to cut in suddenly.
Take care on lanes, looking over hedges and listening for approaching traffic. When riding the outside position of the leading pair, hold back on the approach to blind corners; there may be a car approaching.
Change to single file riding when the call "car up/down" is heard - normally the inside rider of each pair moves forward, allowing the outside rider to slot in behind. If there is traffic behind which is unable to overtake, split into smaller groups of about five to help it pass.
Do not overtake the leader (exception long uphills - at the top, stop where safe, to regroup).
Pass leader’s messages down the line so that everyone follows suit.
After junctions, each rider should check that there is still another rider following, and, if not, either wait at the junction or notify the leader.
At a junction, do not block the sight of motorists already waiting to pull out.
Members wishing to leave the group should notify the leader (to avoid their being treated as "missing persons").
Other safety factors
Cycles must be legal and roadworthy. Carry working front and rear lights when necessary. Consider duplicating the rear light with an LED type.
Failure to comply - leader may refuse to allow you to join the group.
Wear PNECC clothing when held or light bright coloured clothing, with reflective clothing or belts at night.
Members should be courteous to all other road users.
As a minimum, you should carry: - spare tube(s) and puncture repair kit, pump, tyre levers - some drink, food and money for emergencies - wet weather wear and warm clothing - address and telephone contact number. Mobile phone owners - please carry it for emergency use. Use proper bike bags to carry the above.
GUIDELINES FOR LEADERS AND BACK MARKERS
(To be read and noted by all members) Leaders must be current, paid-up members of the PNECC. This gives essential insurance cover. The Club’s reputation depends to a large extent on its friendly, capable and competent leaders.
Before the ride
Where possible, choose routes which avoid roundabouts and main roads. To avoid unnecessary stops, ensure that you are familiar with the route. Identify points of interest (and coffee stops and toilets) and allow time for riders to appreciate them.
Check that the chosen refreshment stops are open, can accommodate the likely numbers and that food will be available. Offer to advise on numbers eating if say more than 10. Aim to arrive for lunch as soon as possible after mid-day, and agree leaving time.
On the day
Appoint a back marker (where possible a PNECC member who is familiar with the route), supply with route (preferably as map) and details of coffee, lunch and tea stops. If there are more than about 15 riders, split into two groups. Appoint a leader and back marker for each group.
Before the start, describe the ride in brief detail and introduce yourself and the back marker to riders and especially to newcomers. Try to ascertain the group-cycling experience of newcomers, tactfully check their cycle for safety and introduce them to a few members who can "help" them on the ride. Ensure that riders and/or bikes do not cause obstruction at the meeting point.
Always choose a safe place to stop as a group. In particular, avoid road junctions, bends and other physical road hazards. Warn riders before stopping, and keep the carriageway clear. Similarly, in the event of punctures, breakdown etc. clear the carriageway if possible, or instruct the group to continue to a safe waiting place. Assess the problem and decide whether to hold up the ride or leave the "victim" with helpers and details of the route to the next stop(s).
If unsure of the route, stop well before junction to consult map. Check for presence of back marker at junctions. If necessary, wait for slower riders beyond the junction.
If necessary, warning of approaching traffic should be given by shouting "car down" (for on-coming vehicle). Similarly, the back marker (or last rider) should give warning of traffic from behind by shouting "car up".
For dangerous road surfaces (pot-holes, gravel, wet leaves etc.), call as appropriate and point down with left or right hand. For other hazards (e.g. walker, jogger, dog, parked car etc.) call "on the left" or "on the right" and slow the ride down as appropriate.
When traffic is held up behind, give positive instruction to open gaps in the ride (at least 20 metres between groups of about five riders) to help traffic to pass with safety.
Give positive instruction to ride in single file when road and/or traffic conditions dictate.
On observing a road junction warning sign, assess the junction (type, traffic, visibility into junction) and ease the speed of the ride as appropriate. On approach, try to establish eye contact with driver(s) waiting at, or approaching junction from a minor road on your left, to encourage them to give way.
On observing horses, warn group and slow the ride down. When closer, warn the horse rider verbally (horse accustomed to voice) of the group’s presence. Obey any advice given by the horse rider.
Directional hand signals must be given to the group (and other road users) in good time. (Verbal direction should be given to a rider abreast.) Give the group loud verbal warning of approach to a major road, dual carriageway, mini-roundabout, ford etc.
Always lead from the front! When the route deviates from "ahead" at a junction, instruct a rider to wait for any slower riders. This keeps the group moving. If the ride has spread out due to the pace, slow the ride down.
The leader should carry a first-aid kit and the following are also suggested: - two spare tubes - coins and card for telephone, or mobile phone if available - chain rivet extractor, spoke key, Allen keys, small adjustable spanner, screwdrivers
SAFETY AND COURTESY IN GROUP RIDING
1. Those at the front give warning of any dangerous road surface before they have got to it – not as their back wheel goes past it (by then it is too late for those following to react) – by calling out the nature of the danger (‘hole;., ‘drain’, ‘loose’ etc.) and/or pointing to it. Those following to, in turn pass the warning down the line. 2. Warning given in front of any other dangers such as parked cars or other obstructions, with the call of ‘On the left’ or ‘on the right’ as appropriate. An alternative used by racing clubs when training works well by waving with your hand, or arm behind your back indicating to move over to direction pointed by hand to indicate to the following rider that he/she should pull out from the side of the road.(This avoids confusion to other road users ahead of the group). 3. Warning to be given from the front of slowing and especially of stopping and, of course, passed down the line. 4. When road conditions demand riders to be in single file; as is demanded by the Highway Code Single out in an orderly manner by creating space by adjusting speed. 5a. Warning of ‘oncoming’ vehicle by call of ‘car down’ 5b. Warning of ‘overtaking’ vehicle by call of ‘car up’. Never suddenly slow down or brake when riding in a group. If you drop your water bottle or some other problem arises ease out gradually when safe to do so. It is likely that someone at the back will retrieve anything dropped anyway. We are not advocating Military style regulations, we should all enjoy our cycling all the time, but the requirements outlined are simple and have been used by club cyclists for over 100 years.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you soon on one of our Sunday club rides!