Code Of Conduct
They say that a person’s rights end – where another’s begin. And that is certainly true of the Cresta Wheelers. We are particularly strict on the issue of conduct – simply because a safe and enjoyable riding environment depends on the total buy-in of every member. Courtesy and consideration needs to be shown to other cyclists, motorists and road users.
Let’s take a quick look at our Code of Conduct. It is a sine qua non and must be obeyed at all times. Failure to do so will be regarded as a serious matter and may result in disciplinary action, or possible expulsion from the club.
Safety is always the critical issue. It is the responsibility of each individual to practice safety in respect of their own actions, as well as in their conduct towards others on the road.
Must be worn on all rides, it is not a nice-to-have … it is a statutory requirement. Gloves and glasses are also important and recommended for protective purposes.
- ROAD WORTHINESS
Bicycles and equipment must be maintained in peak condition.
- LIGHTS (both front and rear)
Must be utilised whenever riding in the dark. We must be visible to oncoming and following cars. It is recommended that rear ‘flashers’ should be used even during daylight hours to alert other road users to one’s presence.
- REFLECTORS (belts or anklets)
These should be worn when riding in the dark in such a way that they are visible to traffic.
- CELL PHONE
Should be carried for safety in the event of a breakdown, a crash, getting lost or any other problematic situation. You should make sure that you have the contact number for the ride manager and your ride captain. In an emergency you can phone 084 124 (ER 24). CELL PHONES ARE NOT TO BE USED TO HOLD UP THE RIDE FOR YOUR SOCIAL SMSs: such as a call to your mother-in-law – or to order a pizza – or any other such activity!
- IDENTIFICATION (e.g. ER 24 band/ICE ID)
ID is compulsory on all Club rides – and must be worn on the person, not on the bicycle. It must – at least – include your name, an emergency contact number and any major medication, conditions, or allergies – you may have.
It is also recommended that you include additional information such as medical aid name and number and an alternate emergency contact, in case the first one can’t be reached. This ensures speedy identification, evacuation and treatment in the event of an emergency.
If you’re a newbie, please identify yourself to the ride manager and your ride captain when you attend your first Club ride.
- CLUB KIT
Please wear your Club kit during all Club rides and races. This helps create awareness of the Cresta Wheelers brand. It also helps us identify you as a member and thus make sure you don’t get lost or left behind. Please also note that only rides and races which you undertake in Club kit will count towards your mileage log (for the mileage awards).
Riding Etiquette & Conduct
- BE PREDICTABLE
Please ride in a consistent manner – by keeping in line. Do not swerve, move, speed-up or slow-down unexpectedly. Take special care when standing up out of the saddle to keep peddling in order not to slow down unexpectedly; the same applies to when you’re taking a drink or removing something from your pockets.
Make a point of learning the accepted cycling hand signals and use them consistently.
Signs most often used comprise the following (note that illustrations described here are as viewed from behind):
- Turns coming up in the road ahead. Point your hand in the appropriate direction and be careful not to interfere with other cyclists while doing so. These signals are also used to indicate to other road users when you intend to change direction.
- Slowing Down – wave one hand up and down slowly.
- Debris or road surface irregularities ahead – point your hand down on the side where the debris or road surface irregularities are to be found.
- Obstacles Ahead – slap buttocks and point behind your back indicating the direction in which the group must move in order to avoid the obstacle. This normally applies when overtaking pedestrians, slower cyclists or stationary vehicles. If the obstacle is on the left, slap your buttocks with the left hand and behind your back point your left hand towards the right and vice versa when the obstacle is on the right.
- Stopping – Show the open palm of your hand towards the cyclists behind you.
- DO NOT APPLY BRAKES IN A SHARP MANNER
Look ahead at what’s happening on the road and in the bunch and anticipate the moves by the cyclists ahead of you.
- KEEP ADEQUATE DISTANCE TO AVOID OVERLAPPING
Ride with a defensive frame of mind to avoid being brought down.
- OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD
You must conduct yourself with the same degree of consideration as you would expect from any other road user, especially motorists. Aggressive gestures and behaviour by cyclists, will only serve to alienate motorists and can quite likely impact negatively on other cyclists.
- STOP AT ALL RED TRAFFIC LIGHTS, STOP SIGNS & UNCONTROLLED INTERSECTIONS
Where your route crosses over an intersection and there is a group of riders following do not cross, even if the traffic light is green, unless you are sure that the whole group will be able to cross safely before the light changes.
- DO NOT HOLD UP FOLLOWING TRAFFIC
Wherever this is practical – that is, single file on single lane and busy roads where motor vehicles are frequently coming past. It is illegal to ride two abreast, but traffic officers tend to overlook this practice, provided it is executed safely. Only ride two abreast where the road is quiet, where there is a tarred verge and/or a double lane. Do not stop in the road.
- BIKE SKILLS
It is indeed a learning process – but you must strive to handle your bike with the utmost proficiency. Attend bike skills training arranged by the Club or ask some experienced cyclist to assist you. You need to know how to ride through corners, how to ‘jump’ over obstacles, what to do when your handle bars lock, when you bump into a fellow cyclist or when your front wheel connects with the rear wheel of the bike in front. Plus many other predicaments and how to solve them.
- AGGRESSIVE OR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR
This is simply not allowed even if strongly provoked. Remember that no cyclist in a bunch will deliberately try and cause an accident, so there is no need to shout at a fellow bunch of riders. A calm reminder to keep in line, not brake suddenly, etc. is all that is required. There is also no need to be aggressive or abusive towards other cyclists – even if such person is clearly in the wrong. Even where such other individuals are in the wrong, aggressive or abusive, discourteous behaviour by any member reflects badly on the Club, as well as its sponsors and cycling in general. Moreover, it could lead to retaliatory conduct and thus endanger the safety of other cyclists.
- CITING DANGEROUS PEOPLE
Cycling together in bunches requires strict enforcement of discipline to ensure everybody's safety. You are obligated to report to the Club Committee any incidents with motorists or cyclists where their actions tend to endanger cyclists and where they were transgressing any road laws. You must provide facts and details, that is: date, registration numbers, motor description, witnesses and so on. The Club or GPPA will trace the motorist and attempt to positively influence them to take more care; a database will be maintained so that more stringent action might be taken in the future e.g. disciplinary measures against members or legal proceedings against motorists.
- CELL PHONE USAGE
For official cycling and emergency use only. Private calls or SMSs (causing the group to be held up) is definitely not acceptable.
Organisation & Support
- RIDE CAPTAIN
Must be appointed or elected for each group ride. Such individuals will be responsible to ensure that good order and safety are maintained at all times. This could mean stopping for stragglers or accidents or ensuring that someone goes back to assist in the event of a puncture or a breakdown. Every Club member must carry out their directions and decisions made during the ride.
It is preferable – from a logistical point of view – that cyclists of equal ability and fitness ride together. No more than 10 to 15 is a manageable group for a Club Ride; therefore groups should be divided when necessary and the appropriate CGC grading applied. It is important to choose a group where one is comfortable and adapts easily within one's capability bracket. It is unfair to expect a group to wait for a rider when it was that rider who chose an overly strong group – in the first place. Another factor, if a rider cycles with a weaker group (perhaps because he wants an easier ride) he must not set the pace of that group, but leave it to the regular riders of that group to determine the pace. If the strength of a group varies significantly, the ride captain must split the group and nominate a second ride captain for the following group. Under no circumstances are women cyclists to be left behind on their own.
- 'A', & 'B' and 'C', GROUPS
Are generally the 'racing groups’ on Sunday Club rides and will not expected to hold back for anyone who cannot keep up.
- 'D' and 'E' GROUPS
Are geared towards our social riders and beginners. These groups should stay together and collect stragglers by stopping or slowing down from time to time. It is recommended that 'D' and 'E' groups have a second ride captain (called a sweeper) who will ride at the back to ensure nobody lags behind or is 'mugged' en route.
- USE THE "BUDDY" SYSTEM
Every rider should, at the start of a ride, ask another cyclist to be his ‘buddy’ for that session. Each rider should then ensure that his buddy is not left behind at any stage.
- BAILING OUT ALONG THE ROUTE
If you will be leaving the group at some stage along the route please inform the ride captain so that unnecessary searches can be avoided.
Cycling is all about having fun and living life to the full. We urge you to celebrate Cresta Wheelers by riding together and in Club kit whenever possible. Make a point of greeting fellow members, and other cyclists, when you pass them, in a polite and friendly manner. After all, it is a great privilege to have the health and strength to do so. Be nice. Acknowledge patient and considerate conduct by motorists or other road users with a friendly ‘thank you’ wave of the hand. Try and attend the Club socials and other functions where possible: you’ll be sure to get a lot out of it.
Particular care should be taken to make visitors feel welcome: after all, they are the lifeblood of our Club. At the start of the ride the ride captain should welcome them and make sure they will be looked after. Please note that after two or three rides with the Club, visitors will be required to decide whether or not they wish to join.
Club members are expected to treat everyone in the cycling ‘eco-system’ with the prerequisite respect. Please avoid doing anything that could bring the Club or its sponsors into disrepute or, alternatively, cause some embarrassment to take place.
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