Bike Riding: Group Safety

(adapted from

Be Predictable

  • In a group, your actions affect those around you, not just yourself
  • Riders expect you to continue straight and at a constant speed
  • Signal your intention to turn or slow down before you do so

Use Signals

  • Use hand signals to indicate turns and point out hazards to others
  • Left or right arm straight out to indicate left or right turn
  • Left arm out and down with palm to the rear

Give Warnings

  • Ride leaders should call out turns and stops in addition to signaling
  • Announce turns before the intersections to give riders a chance to position themselves
  • Try to avoid sudden stops or turns except for emergencies

Change Positions Correctly

  • Slower moving traffic stays to the right; faster traffic to the left
  • Pass slower moving vehicles on the left; announce your intention to do so
  • Announce passes on the right clearly as this is not a usual maneuver

Announce Hazards

  • Most cyclists in a group do not have a full view of the road.
  • Announce / point out glass, gravel & potholes and other hazards

Watch for Traffic from the Rear

  • The last rider should frequently check for overtaking cars
  • Announce “car back” clearly and loudly
  • It is also helpful to announce “car up” on narrow / winding roads.

Watch Out at Intersections

  • Leaders should announce slowing or stopping at intersections if necessary
  • Cyclists should not follow others through intersections without scanning
  • Each cyclist is responsible for checking cross traffic; if you must stop, signal
  • Never regroup at an intersection – either before or after – depending upon safety.

Leave Room for Cars / Share the Road

  • On narrow, winding roads avoid a long string of riders, which drivers can’t pass (Drivers can pass 2- 4 riders easily, not a large group)
  • Good relations with motorists is the responsibility of every cyclist (a ‘Thank you’ waive for courtesy is great PR!)

Stop Off the Road

  • When stopping for mechanicals or regrouping, always move off the road
  • Only if conditions permit should you move back onto the road as a group

Ride to the Right - Always!

  • It is illegal to ride more than two abreast (practice being close and comfortable)
  • Never approach the center line — even on quiet, country roads. (An oncoming vehicle will perceive riders in the middle of the road as dangerous or arrogant.)

Communication, Vigilance, Teamwork and Mutual Respect are Crucial for Safe Cycling!