Membership & Ride Rules

You can read the club guidelines below or click here to download a copy

Part 1

Club Guidelines

All Club Rides are the main event of the weekly Club calendar. A Club Ride. Whether full Club Run, Dev Ride, Easy Wheelers or weekday rides officially organised by the Club, are primarily social events giving everyone the opportunity to compare notes and share the riding experience with the whole Club. The rides may test your ability at times and will encourage you to become a more competent rider. It’s important to understand they are not personal training rides or races.

As a knowledge sharing opportunity, the more experienced riders will have words of wisdom for the less experienced and will be responsible for ensuring the Club adheres to “good form” for all aspects of the ride. Overall, the designated Ride Leader is responsible for keeping order.

Below are a few guidance notes that the Club expects every rider on any Club Ride to have read and understood. They are for development purposes and the safety of both yourself AND others. Please take the time to read each one. Once out on the road, you will be expected to adhere to them.

All guidelines below are above and beyond the basic requirement that all Club riders understand and adhere to the Highway Code. Whether in a car or on a bike, it applies to you!

THE BASICS

No helmet, no ride.

Where conditions dictate – No lights, no ride.

Your bike must be in good working order and you must carry your own spares. The Club does not ride with a designated mechanic and, although all riders will help where they can, you are responsible for your own kit/mechanics and getting yourself home in case of breakdown.

No headphones.

GROUP RIDING

As general guidelines, the following is subject to alternative agreement prior to the ride. Where no agreements or alterations are made, the following applies by default.

Ride in a pack less than 1 metre between you and the rider in front.

Two-abreast, only going to single file through clear agreement with the group. (e.g. on narrow roads, busy roads – Highway Code Rule 66). Doing so without indication and agreement can cause accidents.

Do not overlap wheels with the person in front. It is dangerous and will cause an accident.

There will always be one rider at the back who will keep an eye on the pack. He/she will be required to ensure that no one is dropped and that we all work towards these etiquette rules. This person may alternate by agreement during the ride

When the back of the group calls out cars, remain two-abreast but close the gaps as best you can. It does NOT mean single file or slow down as doing this unexpectedly or suddenly is dangerous.

When coming to a stop at any time, pull as close to the side of the road as you can and keep the line in tact. Do not bunch up and spread across the road. Remember, there may be cars approaching from behind who deserve a clear view of the junction too.

Make sure you stop in a visible place. Stopping on blind corners, just off a junction or just over the brow of a hill all make you difficult to see and motorists may not have time to make allowances.

HOLD YOUR LINES!

Particularly when cornering, do not cut or under steer the corner.

Trace the road centreline/pavement as when riding in a group there WILL be someone to your left or right whom you will be forcing off the road or into the path of an oncoming car.

DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE RIDE LEADER.

The lead rider is controlling the pace and navigating the route.

Anyone accelerating significantly ahead of the group will be assumed to be on a ride of their own and will not be chased after if they miss or take a wrong turn.

We wait for people who go off the back of the ride. We do NOT wait for people who go off the front.

Exceptions are made when tackling significant uphill or downhill stretches, in which case you will regroup at the first sensible opportunity.

Do not try to “up the pace” of the ride. The Club Run is NOT a personal training ride. If the agreed pace is too slow for you, you are respectfully advised to leave the ride and take up your own training ride. There are six other days of the week to plan rides to your personal requirements.

COMMUNICATION

Communication is a key part of group riding. A group that keeps talking is a safer and more unified group. You will make quicker progress and enjoy the experience more.

Without exception, you must indicate with hand gestures (and verbally where applicable) when making manoeuvres.

Point and/or call out potholes/road deformities, people in the road, parked cars, horses etc.

Indicate and/or call out when stopping or slowing to avoid the rider behind you crashing into you.

If a person behind calls a warning this MUST be repeated up the line to ensure everyone is aware. 

When calling a warning, if you are the last caller and do not hear it being repeated you MUST repeat the warning until it is repeated up the line. Calls up the line are usually warnings in regard to yours and others safety.

When pulling out at junctions call back to the riders still at the junction “clear”, “car left/right as appropriate.

Avoid “dropping” your bike when getting out the saddle. Try to stand smoothly or else call out before standing. It creates havoc behind when your wheel drops into the rider behind.

Please do not overtake a rider without considering whether a call of “on your left/right” is required.

GENERAL NOTES OF ETIQUETTE

If you are on the front of the pack after reaching the top of a climb, do not accelerate away immediately as you go down the other side of the hill. Remember that in a big group the rear riders will still be pulling slowly up the hill, even after you are descending down the other side. Keep the group together.

Exceptions are made on rolling sections, in which case you should wait and regroup at a sensible point along the road.

Do not break-up the ordered group. Only on significant gradient climbs should you break away if you want to, as all people have a different comfortable climbing pace. In this case, always wait at the top of the hill to allow a re-group and a short recuperation.

When pulling out from a junction or turning into a road, slow down a little to allow the riders behind to catch up. Everyone takes time to set-off, clip-in and get settled back in the saddle.

Ensure that the front knows if the back is struggling with the pace.

Do not litter. If you eat on the move, put the wrapper in your pocket.

WINTER RIDING
Winter riding can be very cold and very wet. We ride in remote areas for many of our rides, so please make sure you are properly prepared for the conditions.

Appropriate clothing is your responsibility.

Full length mudguards are strongly recommended on all Club Rides through the winter. Though at this point it is not compulsory, it will be monitored.

Lights are compulsory when visibility is poor, regardless of lighting conditions. It is the law.

GENERAL NOTES OF CONDUCT

As part of a Cycling Club you are expected to act in a manner the Club and your fellow club members would be proud to associate with. When representing your club, especially when wearing the Club jersey, you must adhere to the Highway Code and treat members of the public with respect.

A large part of Club interaction takes place on social media. This is a convenient resource that relies on members acting in an adult and responsible manner to keep the community constructive, lively and friendly. Specific “rules” need not be applied here but it is hoped that members will use the resource for positive, Club-specific purposes which respect everyone within the community.

One aspect of social media (and Facebook in particular) is the ease with which conversations and comments expand and spread throughout the community. This fact demands particular thought when posting comments. If you feel your comments may be offensive, controversial or in any way not in the spirit of the community it is requested that you first approach the Club Committee in order that they are given the opportunity to appraise the comments and respond accordingly. This is particularly relevant with any complaints against the Club or it’s members, in which case the accompanying “Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures” shall be invoked.

Please respect the Club Committee’s right to rectify any complaints directly and privately in the first instance. In this way you can help us to create a better Club for everyone.

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Cycling can unfortunately attract negative behaviour and comments on the road. This will always be present and there is very little we can do to change the attitude of those intent on disliking cyclists. What we can do is ensure we are following the rules of the road while also acting responsibly and considerately.

From time to time there will be altercations, but please try to avoid them. Where they cannot be avoided, please conduct yourself in an adult manner in the least aggressive way possibly.

If a car passes sounding it’s horn or shouting out the window, please think before responding. Will it really help? They’ll be gone in seconds anyway.

Remember, if you are wearing a BlaydonCC jersey you are also wearing the Club’s reputation, not just your own. Unwarranted aggressive or antisocial behaviour will be subject to our Complaints and Disciplinary procedure.

Part 2

SOCIAL MEDIA CODE OF CONDUCT

The Club’s social media channels, in particular the Members’ Chat Facebook page, has played a fundamental role in the development of the Club over the last few years. In order for this page to continue to be helpful to all involved we encourage members adhere to the principles below.

Respectful behavior:

– Be friendly; treat one another with civility and respect

– Please avoid personal attacks direct or indirect, slurs, and excessive profanity

– Respect other members’ points of view even if they differ to yours

– Please consider how others will view/react to your posts

QUICK RULE:

– When replying to others – especially those with whom you disagree – imagine you’re having a face-to-face conversation, and ponder how differently you would interact with those people while in the same room, looking each other in the eye, as opposed to a few miles away with limited comeback.

Relevance:

– Ensure that your comments are relevant to group members (i.e. cycling related)

– We encourage you to keep your post as close to the subject as possible

Links:

– Before posting links to outside websites and videos, please take a moment to scan the page and see if someone else has already posted a link to the same page/topic and/or video.

Overposting:

– Please don’t post new topics in rapid succession

– Allow as many to have their say as possible.

– Keep messages of goodwill on one post by using the ‘Reply’ button.

Club Issues

– These are best directed at committee members in person, by 1email or, in exceptional circumstances, by formal discussion. Please refer to our Club Guidelines and Disciplinary documents if you have any new ideas that might impact the running of the Club, issues or complaints about members or Club Officials.

Last but not least, treat everyone as friends. Everyone should have a voice and everyone deserves to be heard. Resist any urge to talk down to people or to push your opinions so hard as to spoil or dominate the conversation.

Posts made to our Facebook pages are subject to removal at any time, and membership in the Facebook group is subject to review and/or termination at any time, at the discretion of the creators/operators of this Facebook page in line with the Club’s constitution.

Part 3

Complaints and Disciplinary

Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures

The Club Committee is responsible for hearing and resolving all complaints in a timely manner. From time to time there may be issues that need to be brought their attention. This is a basic guide for how to do that.

On occasion disciplinary actions may need to be taken, including possible termination of membership.

We encourage all members to attempt to resolve issues privately and amicably before entering into this formal procedure.

REPORTING COMPLAINTS

While on Blaydon CC Official Rides

Please report issues on rides directly to the designated ride leader.

The ride leader will determine if the issue can be dealt with on the ride. (e.g. Group safety is at risk).

If the matter cannot be resolved while on the ride, the rider should document and email their complaint to a member of the Club Committee. Preferably the relevant ride leader, but any committee member is acceptable.

The committee will review all complaints and determine what appropriate action will be taken.

At All Other Times

Please report issues directly in writing to a member of the Club Committee.

The committee will review all complaints and determine what appropriate action will be taken.

Complaints About the Committee

As of November 2016, all committee positions are elected (by members’ vote) representatives of the Club. To this end, complaints are equally valid against Committee members as any other aspect of the Club.

Please report issues directly to any member of the Club Committee to determine what appropriate action will be taken.

Upon the complaint being upheld, a vote of no confidence will be proposed leading to possible dismissal of the individual, at which point a new member can be proposed and voted in.

Disciplinary Action

Should disciplinary action be necessary, it will be followed up by a member of the Club Committee in the following manner:

1st offense – Informal conversation, either verbally or by email.

2nd offense – Formal written notice of required resolution.

3rd offense – Termination of membership.

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