Rules of the Road
The following are the Rules of the Road we require every member to adhere to in an effort to make club rides both enjoyable and safe for all riders in attendance. These Rules of the Road will also help us make a great impression on motorists and others in the community. Please review this page along with our Good Rider Etiquette page and help us make cycling in Western PA safe and fun for everyone.
All members are required to practice safe riding, adhere to the Rules of the Road, and avoid putting themselves in unsafe situations on all club rides.
- Slow and stop at all traffic lights and stop signs. The new PA "Ride on Red" law may apply to cyclists. Click here to read more.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the rider in front of you, especially when descending a hill. Riders should always spread out when going downhill.
- Ride no more than two abreast on quiet roads and only where it is safe to do so
- Ride single file on all busy roads
- Stay alert with your head up and eyes up the road
- Always assume you are invisible to automobile drivers. Make yourself visible by wearing bright colored clothing and using lights on your bike.
- Remember, it is illegal to pass stopped automobiles in a line of traffic. You wouldn't do this in a car, so why do you think it is okay to do this on a bike?
- Lane Positioning: If a lane is wide enough to share with a vehicle (about 14 feet), ride 3 feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, "take the lane" by riding in the middle. Additionally, remember it is illegal to ride more than two abreast.
- Recognize that a rider behind you cannot always see road hazards and that it is the lead rider's duty to alert other riders to the hazards he/she sees coming.
- Verbally communicate any road hazards by shouting out "Hole!" or "Rough road!" when appropriate. When riding in a tight group or pace line, riders immediately behind you cannot see what you can see out front. Protect other riders by staying alert yourself and verbally announcing hazards as you see them.
- Verbal Communication When Descending/“On your left!”: Riders need to keep in mind that wind noise may prevent other riders from hearing verbal communication when descending. However, riders should verbally communicate as loudly as possible and as early as possible upon descents when passing another rider and/or when a road obstacle is identified. This is important for the safety of all riders nearby. It is ill-advised to pass other riders on steep, fast descents or when descending narrow roads.
- It is unsafe to be in a tight group or pace line when descending a hill. Riders should spread out so each rider can see the road in front of them.
- The group may stop for mechanical problems. If there is a designated sweep who can assist, then the ride can proceed.
- If a rider wishes to leave the route, you must tell the Ride Leader.
- Club Aero Bar Policy: Due to safety concerns in group riding, riders with aero bars installed on their bike are prohibited from using them on club rides. Rationale for this policy: Being in the aero position is more unstable and prevents the rider from being able to access their brakes more readily in case of road obstacles or moments requiring quicker action. Additionally, the terrain in this region is not ideal for riding in an aero position. It is too hilly and road conditions are either rough or too rolling and/or curvy.
- Communication on Rides Policy: All members are required to use verbal and/or hand communication to announce road hazards, obstacles, traffic, and/or other changes in road conditions to alert other riders. It is each member’s responsibility to honor this policy on every ride.
- Clearing Intersections Policy: Clearing intersections, by shouting “CLEAR” to indicate that no traffic is entering the intersection, is strictly prohibited on all club rides. Each rider is responsible for making sure that his or her own path is clear and safe before proceeding.
- Passing on the Right Policy: Passing another rider on their right-hand side is strictly prohibited on all club rides, except where the safety of the rider or other riders is in jeopardy. This exception includes unsafe road conditions. Any rider being forced to pass on the right should clearly and loudly announce himself or herself, as soon as possible to ensure the safety of other riders.
- Ride Right Policy: Riders are expected to ride as far to the right side of the road as possible and not hug the center line unless road conditions require otherwise.
- Throttle-Assist Bikes: Throttle-assist bikes are prohibited on our club rides. However, e-bikes that are pedal-assist are welcome on all of our club rides.
Regardless of your experience level, aero bars should not be used during club rides.
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