The Cycling Club will now be leading the New Albany COP Thursday night ride. We are co-marketing the ride with COP. Keeping with COP’s ideology, this is a “group ride” not a “group race”, we will be concentrating our efforts to help continue having a safe ride. With this being said, we need to take a deeper look at ourselves and ask if we are riding as safe as we can, am I doing the best I can. You might be a good rider but you could be a great rider. This is not talking about your fitness or race results, but your ability to ride in such a way that others use you as an example to the new riders of how you should ride. We are riding shoulder to shoulder with guys and gals on these group rides each person’s safety depends on everyone in that group. We need to be good stewards of this sport, we need nurture the newer riders, give them tips to help them be a better rider and continue to grow as a cyclist. This newer cyclist doesn’t have to be a brand new rider; he/she just might be new to riding in groups, or just has lack of knowledge of riding on the road. So when we come across these individuals we need not be afraid of speaking up and sharing our knowledge and nurturing them in a constructive manner to help facilitate the safety of the group.
Some of the main safety issues we will be addressing will be the running of Stop signs and Traffic lights
There is no good reason to run a stop sign, your average speed is not so important to run stop signs. The safety of the group whether there is traffic coming or not is irrelevant to stopping or not stopping at the sign or signal. Most of us sane people, if we were to ask them if they would run a stop sign or traffic light in their car, they would answer NO. Then why would we do it on our bike, as cyclist we are under the same traffic laws as the cars. This is where I am asking you to become a great rider and help the ride leaders to lead and ride by example.
At a Traffic light, it is one thing to be stopped at a traffic light and it not change and you proceed with caution. It is a totally different thing to see that there is no cross traffic coming and proceed thru the intersection at speed, that rider just ran a red light and should be given a ticket/we don’t need that type of rider on our ride, so that rider needs to change or we will ask them not to participate in our ride.
Where and how to ride on the road
We should be keeping to the right of the road if your single filed up we would recommend riding approximately 16-24 inches inside the white line (on the road not on the berm, this makes you more visible to traffic coming from behind and gives you room to move to the right if need be it).
Riding two abreast, this does not mean one rider on the white line and one rider at the center of the road. We should be to the right of the road with a safe distance between riders this distance changes per the level of the group. The A group should be bar to bar to take advantage of the aerodynamic efficiency with their experience. The B group should be very similar to the A group maybe a little more space between the riders but not much more. The C group will typically have a little more distance between the riders also, not always necessary. The key is to ride consistent and predictable, if we ride in this manner; we should have very few to nearly no accidents out on the road.
There should be no reason any rider should be crossing the center line of the road while riding (just because there is no line on the road doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a center)
We look forward to having a successful year of riding, I know I have said a mouthful, although we are safety focused, we do enjoy having a spirited ride keeping in mind safety. We all have families and want to make it back home to them.
Thank you Rick Miller VP of The Cycling Club
Thursday Night COP Ride main contact firstname.lastname@example.org