Safety Reminders for New Members

Safety Corner logoby Eli Post

 

If you are new to CRW and to group cycling, you should recognize that group riding dynamics are very different from those for solo or small-group rides. Riding in groups requires a new set of skills and introduces several safety concerns. Some common characteristics of CRW group rides are: a) riders having a wide range of riding speeds and styles, b) routes and roadways with which riders have little or no familiarity, c) possibility of sudden slow downs, stops, or moves to avoid obstacles or bad pavement, and d) limited visibility when a rider’s view is blocked by other cyclists.

Riding in a group can feel intimidating at first, so we encourage you to identify yourself to the ride leader prior to the ride. He or she may be able to match you up to an experienced rider or group that is appropriate for your ability or the type of ride you feel like doing that day. Ride with a group that is suited to your abilities. In the early spring, we offer many follow-the-leader rides, which are perfect opportunities to more fully appreciate the safety considerations that arise in group riding, the techniques for handling them, and the rewards of group riding.

Once underway, keep several pointers in mind:

These guidelines do not substitute for exercising good judgment based on the specific circumstances that you encounter while riding. Find additional discussion of group riding tips in Chapter 7 of John S. Allen’s “Street Smarts”, available at your favorite cycle shop or online at http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm.

Again, we remind new riders that cycling is a sport where safety is paramount, and participants must be vigilant and constantly on the alert for hazards. There’s more to safe cycling than remembering a few basic guidelines. It means developing a mindset that keeps the safety mission uppermost in your thoughts so that you are prepared for any mishap that might cross your path.

The act of foreseeing, anticipating and taking measures against possible exposure to risk is common in sports. It’s the downhill skier, ever watchful for patches of ice or exposed terrain. It’s the diver, ever mindful of the hazards of the marine environment. And it’s the cyclist who must be alert to potential road dangers. Your awareness and anticipation will go a long way to ensure your safety on the road.

Remember—safety is about choices. What choices will you make?

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