Sample Safety Talk
Below are issues that can be covered in a safety talk. As a Ride Leader, you should use your judgment in how many of these rules you cover and to what level of detail.
Registration and Liability Waiver - All participants must register for each ride and agree to a liability waiver. As a Ride Leader, you must ask at the start of your ride if everyone has registered. If not, they can use their phone to register at the ride start. This is also a good opportunity to welcome new guests and suggest that repeat guests join the club and support our work.
- BE LEGAL - On bikes we are subject to the same laws as motorists, including observing red lights, stop signs and one-way streets. Obey all traffic laws: stop signs, traffic lights, pedestrian crosswalks, blocking "right turn on red" traffic lanes, etc.
- PAY ATTENTION to all road conditions, traffic, other riders
- SIGNAL YOUR INTENTIONS - Use hand and voice signals for all your moves. Yell out "stopping," "slowing," "passing," "left turn", etc. Let other riders in your group know what is happening. Demonstrate hand signals to new riders.
- CALL OUT SPECIAL ROAD CONDITIONS - Sand, runner up, dog, horse, etc. Use hand signals as well whenever it is safe to do so. Point out road hazards to riders behind you.
- OVERTAKING AND APPROACHING CARS - Riders near the rear of a group should call out, "Car back!" when a vehicle is approaching from behind. Riders near the front should call out “Car up” on narrow roads when a vehicle is approaching from the opposite direction. Riders near the front of a group should call out or give a hand signal when there is a vehicle, pedestrian, or other obstruction that requires the riders to move left into the middle of the road so that it can be avoided. Be courteous to motorists and relinquish the right of way. On a narrow road, when you can see it is clear ahead, slow down and move to the far right side of the road to let the vehicle pass.
- DO NOT YELL “CLEAR” WHEN IN AN INTERSECTION – Cars can approach very quickly and the conditions might be very different for a rider a few seconds behind you.
- RIDE SINGLE FILE - Stay in single file when there is automobile traffic, not two and three abreast. Communicate with other riders in your group to also do so. Long pace lines are very difficult for motorists to pass. Break up the line if necessary, let the car pass, then rejoin.
- DISPLAY SAFETY AND COURTESY - Pass other riders on the left only. Ride on the right side of the road, not in the middle. Call out, "On your left!" to let riders ahead of you know you are behind them and about to pass.
- MOVE COMPLETELY OFF THE ROADWAY whenever stopping, even if only briefly. Stop only where traffic approaching from either direction can see you clearly. Be sure all riders in the group move completely off the roadway.
- GROUP RIDING - Encourage riders to limit groups to 6-8 riders. When more than 6-8 riders are involved in tight groups, there is no improvement in drafting, there is increased risk of accidents among riders, and it is significantly harder for cars to pass the group.
- REMEMBER, in any accident with an automobile, YOU LOSE!!
- CLOSING - "We can be an overwhelming presence on the road and in the small communities we pass through. Please help CRW with our community relations. Make an extra effort to be courteous to one another and to local citizens. Thank you and have a great and safe ride."
If you have a particular incident or accident to talk about make it short and make your point.
STRESS THE FOLLOWING:
Most accidents happen because someone is not paying attention to his or her surroundings. Be constantly aware of cyclists and motorists behind, in front and beside you. If there are riders behind you and you do something without warning, you may cause an accident.