In order to make your ride with us as safe and as enjoyable as possible, we ask all our riders to follow these simple rules:-
- Wear an approved helmet. The current helmet standard is AS/NZS 2063:1996. Check the sticker inside the helmet. Make sure it fits reasonably tightly, sits level, comes down onto your forehead, and that the strap is tight enough to prevent it being pushed back on your head in case of a fall or being knocked off your bike. A one inch rotation upwards is about the most you want. Remember, your helmet is your first line of defence against head injury. It's not meant to be a fashion object!
- Make sure your bike has a bell. Use it to warn pedestrians and other cyclists that you are about to pass them. Remember, if they don't know you're there you can't blame them if they move in front of you.
- Make sure your bike has brakes that work! Brakes are used for more than stopping. They help you slow down for intersections, keep your speed down on a long descent, and of course they help you stop before you hit something or something hits you.
- Bring a pump, spare tube, and drinking water. You never know when you'll get a flat, and the quickest way to get on the road again is to replace the tube. And remember, cycling is hot work. You'll need plenty of drinking water. It's best if you can have a water bottle that fits in a cage on your bike.
- Know and abide by the road rules. The road rules are there so that others can predict what you will do. Hand signals, riding on the correct side of the road, making turns correctly, etc. all make for safer cycling. If you decide to weave down the middle of the road or make a right hand turn from the left hand lane you're not only breaking the law, you're making it very hard for a motorist or fellow cyclist to know what you're doing.
- Call your intentions to other cyclists. Everyone rides at different speeds, but it's often difficult to know when someone is about to overtake you. So give them a call ("Passing") as you approach, "Stopping" if you're going to stop and "Bump" if there's a pothole ahead that a following cyclist may hit.
and some handy hints ...
- Make sure your seat is the correct height. The correct height is when you can sit on the seat with your heels on the pedals and pedal backwards so that your legs straighten but you don't move your buttocks. Get someone to hold the bike!
- Hard narrow tyres make riding easier. Many people ride with fat soft tyres that look cool but feel like you're riding in glue. Comfortable but a lot of work. For road and bike path use, smooth and narrow is better. For off-road work, thick and knobbly is the way to go. Look on the side of the tyre for the recommended pressure and pump your tyres to that pressure. Pressing the tyre with a finger doesn't tell you the pressure. Use a gauge.
- Keep your chain clean. A dirty chain is like oiling it with grinding paste. A nice mixture of oil and sand right inside where you can't see it, wearing the links away till eventually the chain breaks. Usually about 10 km from home! Clean and oil it regularly.
- Look out for opening doors when passing parked cars. 40% of bike accidents involve cyclists running into opening car doors. You may not see that driver leaning down to pick up his keys from the floor, and he may not see you when he opens his door, so leave about a metre clearance when passing parked cars.
- Secure your shoe laces inside your shoe. Shoe laces catching in your chain can cause a serious accident. Secure your laces inside your shoe, or better still, get some dedicated cycling shoes with velcro lace loops and a reinforced midsole. Try the multi-purpose ones before you splash out on a racing design!
- Try to keep following cyclists in view. Punctures do happen, people do fall off, and they do have accidents. By keeping an eye on those following, you can go back and help if needed.
- If you have to rest, say so. If you have to walk up a hill, do so. Take it easy and enjoy yourself! We are a recreational riding club, not a racing club. We will wait for you. We will help you with punctures. So don't be nervous about riding with us. Come along and give it a go!
and finally ... enjoy yourself!