Safety Corner logo



Safe Route Design

Safety Corner logo


by Bob Zogg



Designing a route for a club ride requires a very different perspective than picking a route for a small group of friends or a solo ride. Club rides will include a broad range of rider speeds and experience levels. Also, packs of riders can obscure visibility, and an obstacle that requires a cyclist to brake suddenly can quickly lead to a multi-cyclist pileup.

Whether you’re a ride leader or a ride participant, it is helpful to know what constitutes a safe route. Ride leaders, whether developing a new route or using a tried-and-true club favorite, will want to review the route carefully to ensure that it is reasonably safe. Ride participants may want to give a ride leader constructive feedback if they notice opportunities to improve a route for future rides.

Of course, “safe” is relative—no route is free of potentially dangerous spots. Keeping a few basics in mind, however, can make a route safer than it might otherwise have been.

Get off to a good start:

What to avoid:

What to minimize:

You may need to leave out a scenic stretch of road if it’s not up to club-ride standards. Nice scenery cannot compensate for a bad crash. On the other hand, sometimes a risky road becomes a safe road simply by switching the direction of travel—stay flexible and be creative. Participants will be grateful that you kept their safety in mind when you designed your route.

Please send corrections, additions, comments and praise to Safety Web Admin

© 1997- CRW, Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: