Winter Riding Etiqutte

So the clocks have gone back and there is certainly a notable change in the temperature this weekend. It always becomes that little bit more challenging to get out that door and go for a ride. Group cycling in winter can be a great way to stay motivated and it certainly pays dividends when spring arrives (which feels a long way away at the minute!).

However riding in a group when it is dark and the weather is often worst can create some additional hazards but if we all watch out for one another and follow some simple tips we can ensure we all have a pleasant and safe winter’s cycling. This time of year always throws up these challenges as we all still have our summer legs on but are suddenly plunged into darkness.

  • Group Size – In the dark/wind/rain it is often more difficult to communicate with one another, by having smaller groups it becomes easier to know whether riders have become separated from the group. Maximum group size will vary dependant on the weather conditions however 8 would seem a sensible starting point (less if it’s particularly grim and perhaps a couple more if it’s a nice still night).
  • Speed – In winter potholes and other hazards are identified/signalled a lot later than normal. Therefore to ensure safety it becomes necessary for the group to reduce the speed a little and leave a bigger gap to the wheel in front to allow more time to react.
  • Be aware – It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for one another, take note of how many are in our group and check to ensure people are still there frequently and when it is safe to do so. If someone is becoming separated from the group please check they are ok, it is possible they may have had a mechanical/medical or other issue and no one wants to be left by the side of the road with a problem in the dark/cold/wet.
  • Follow the route – Please follow the published route, if the worst should happen then at least we can narrow down where you could possibly be. The winter routes have been narrowed down to just 4 so we can become familiar with the directions and hazards. Thursday will always follow Winter CV1 and Tuesday will publish one of the other 3 routes the day before. As a reminder the winter routes can be viewed/downloaded from www.crostonvelo.co.uk
  • Rider ability – In winter numbers naturally drop off and having a full range of groups becomes more difficult, as a result you will often find that groups can be more mixed ability and we need to adapt the pace accordingly. Please continue to try and set up different pace groups at the start of the ride if numbers allow as this will ensure those present continue to have a ride to suit them.

And a few useful tips on bike’s and gear

Mudguards – There is nothing worst on a bike than being sat behind someone without mudguards when the roads are wet. Out of courtesy to your fellow club mates in these conditions please fit some mudguards to ensure that they don’t end up with a mouthful of whatever is on the road.

Punctures –are more common in winter as the debris on the road increases. Make sure you are self-sufficient and able to fix a puncture, it is worth carrying a minimum of 2 spare inner tubes, tyre levers and a pump/CO2.

Tyres – Linked to the above. Proper winter tyres serve 2 purposes firstly they are more durable and secondly they have more grip for when it is wet, also consider a wider tyre diameter 25mm or 28mm if your bike frame allows. Remember to check them more regularly as a poorly maintained tyre can lead to more moments stood fumbling around in the dark by the side of the road with frozen fingers.

Maintenance – Unfortunately the weather does take its toll on your bike, a lot of cyclists have a cheaper bike they use though winter for this very reason. Worst case though making sure your stead is in cleaned on a regular basis will prolong its lifespan, pay particular attention to moving parts such as the chain/groupset as well as the braking surfaces and brake pads.

Lights – Get some decent ones, being able to see the road in front makes it easy to react to potholes and other obstacles that the British highways present us. Where possible keep a 2nd small light on front and back as backup if your main light was to run flat or fail. Ensure they are fully charged when leaving the house as its pretty dark out there when they fail on you.

Clothing – Being cold and wet is the reason most people suffer on winter rides. If possible invest in the best quality kit your budget permits. When out in tough conditions you will certainly appreciate it! It is always recommended that you carry a waterproof

New record membership

Great news for the 5th consecutive since we have been set up we are officially a growing club!

For the 2018/19 season we are now up to 113 paid members.

Remember we have now reduced membership to half price (£10) for the rest of the season (up until April 2019) so now is a great time to join to keep up that motivation through those winter months!

Its been a great season with so many memories, thank you to all who have been involved!

Club Ride Etiquette Reminder

The club has recently received a complaint from a member of the public about a Croston Velo group riding through Mawdesley on Thursday 30th August. In this instance a group was passing a skip on the side of the road however as it passed a member of the group seemed to swerve out of the group in front of an oncoming vehicle causing the driver to have to slam on to avoid a collision.

We are unaware of who specifically this was however it seems like an opportune moment to ask all members of the club to always ride with courtesy for other road users and pedestrians. The club has a published guide to group riding and group etiquette to ensure the safety of everyone in the group, if you are unfamiliar please read/review this.
http://www.crostonvelo.co.uk/main-a…/group-riding-etiquette/

It has also been mentioned to me recently that it seems only a small number of each group have the routes downloaded to their GPS devices. The more members who have the routes available allows us to be more flexible when arranging groups and ride captains and also ensures you are aware of upcoming turns for safety. All 2018 routes are published on our ‘ride directory’ page of the website. If you are unable to download the route please try and familiarise yourself prior to the ride.

http://www.crostonvelo.co.uk/ride-directory/

A step by step guide to downloading routes to Garmin has been published  below.

Garmin Guidance

 

Thank you to everyone who helped yesterday

We had an awesome days racing yesterday at the Croston Velo Road Race held at the Pimbo circuit. Congratulations to our race team of Tom Warren, Tom Hobson, Dave Bigio, Graham Yardley and Jo Ryding and awesome to get the home win. Chapeau to Tom Warren!

However none of would be possible with the help and support off a large number of volunteers who give up their time to make these things happen, here goes and I really hope I don’t miss anyone!

Thank you to our officials on the day Chris Novak, John Novak, Oliver Stuart and Rob Aindow who did a great job of ensuring we had a well-run and fair event, and our NEG riders Terry Martin and Andy Hunter for keeping everyone safe.

Thank you to Carl Ryding and Paul Newton for lead car duties, those well-polished cars looked immaculate in the midday Pimbo sun!

Thank you to all the marshalls you gave up there Sunday to stand by the side of a road on an industrial estate with a flag! Cheers Dave Taylor, Dan Connor, David McLennan, Gary Heron, John Decamp, Mandy Dirkzwanger, Nick Clarke, Peter Rigby, Peter Bland our our accredited marshals Ann Taylor and Keith Emery.

Thanks to our HQ crew who did a fantastic job of ensuring that sign on was a smooth and efficient process Andrea Whitehouse and Emma Pulsford.

Great work by Shirley Ryding and Kerry Rigby on getting all the catering together and managing it all on the day. Those cakes looked impressive and the drinks were needed in the scorching heat!

Thanks to Mark Wilson (from Taste) for providing a full scale coffee machine and supplying all the tea and coffee and sorry our generator wasn’t big enough to provide the power! Bit of an oversight on our part there….. Next time we will know better! Thankfully cold drinks were ok on the day as it was scorching (although I was getting caffeine withdrawal by the end of the day – making up for it today).

Thank you also to those people that didn’t have a specific task but were there on the day and kept busy as I gave out orders to takes stuff here, ferry all the kit to the start, film the finish, deliver food to marshals, taking time gaps, doing the lap board etc etc. (it was quite a tough job that one as you had to spend most of the day with me!). Cheers to Sarah Williamson, Andy Ashton on that one!

Ellen Isherwood was there capturing the moment as always. Her photos always capture the action in the best possible way and the NW racing scene would not be the same without you. Thank you. (Couple of photos below – appreciated)

Thank you to Event Medical UK for your medical support on the day (thankfully you had a quiet one as everyone stayed on two wheels).

Thanks to Heather Bamforth, Fred Bamforth (Racing Chance Foundation) and Colin Baldwin (Southport CC) who still provide me support and advice from time to time given this is only our clubs second road race promotion.

Thanks to Dave Cockram and Adam Newall at British Cycling for co-ordinating things from your perspective to make the race happen and also lending us some kit.

Finally perhaps the most important thank you is reserved for my wife Lindsey Styler as although I was down as organiser it really was a joint effort to bring yesterday together. Lindsey handled so much of the logistical arrangements and collecting of kit this year and invested many, many hours in making it happen. Thank you for all your support.

That’s a long list of thank you’s but without you all it cannot happen so on behalf of Croston Velo Thanks again for making a great days racing and we really appreciate your support.

Club riding in Croston

We need to bring to your attention that we have received a complaint from a Croston resident which has come via British Cycling. The main element of the complaint involves conduct of club cyclists in and around Croston and general respect for other road users in the area.

I know that for many of you this will be upsetting as Croston Velo wants to me known as an inclusive club where like-minded people can come and enjoy the sport of cycling in a friendly, social environment. I feel the significant growth of the club in the last two years has meant that club rides have grown in numbers and as a result has caused some inconvenience to local residents. It seems sensible at this stage to remind club members of some simple points that if adhered to should ensure we can work together with the residents of Croston to ensure we minimise any disruption.

1. When cycling through Croston and other local villages please slow down and be respectful of local residents and your surroundings.
2. Never ride more than two abreast, and on narrow country roads please consider single file if appropriate to ensure no obstruction/risk to oncoming traffic.
3. When approaching road junctions ensure you reduce speed and be prepared to stop. Always ensure the road is clear and there would be adequate space of the group to navigate the junction before pulling out.
4. At the end of the ride please slow down as we re-enter Croston.
5. Always adhere to the Highway Code, if you wish to review this it can be found at http://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/ (rules 59 to 82 apply to cycling).

We have enjoyed a very successful 4 years since the club started in 2013 working in partnership with Croston Sports Club we want to be seen in a positive light by our community providing opportunity for local people to enjoy the sport of cycling at all levels. Let’s ensure we all work together to minimise future disruption and build a positive reputation for the club.

We do have a guide to club cycling and the etiquette of riding in a group which is published on our website, if you haven’t yet reviewed this or feel you would like a refresh this is available at http://www.crostonvelo.co.uk/main-a…/group-riding-etiquette/

Let’s ride safe and enjoy the rest of the summer (when it stops raining!)

Croston Velo Road race – Photo and Video

There has been a lot of photo galleries and video’s published of the Croston Velo Road Race sponsored by Twin Lakes Velo Cafe on the 3rd June. Thank you to all those who have published content including Ellen Isherwood, Stephen Salmon, Sean Owens and Dan Styler. to make things easier we have collated links to all of the albums.

Ellen Isherwood (Lancs Racing Scene)

Mens 3/4 – Link

Womens 3/4 – Link

Steve Salmon

Mens and Womens race – Link

Sean Owens

Mens and Womens race – Link

Road Race Video – Link

Dan Styler

Mens 3/4 – Link

Womens 3/4 – Link

Group Riding Etiquette

As the number of people on our club rides grow we have recently published the decision to have a club ride for all abilities on Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays. One of the key reasons for our growth has been the inclusive and friendly approach we take to our group riding.

Given the number of different abilities and range of group riding experience it seems a good opportunity to re-affirm some of the key cycling etiquette’s that makes group riding an enjoyable pastime. Please take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with these, full details of the Croston Velo group riding etiquette can be found at http://www.crostonvelo.co.uk/main-a…/group-riding-etiquette/

• Communicate – no one likes riding through a giant pothole or having a near miss with a car, where possible point/call out holes and other obstacles

• No Half Wheeling – This occurs when two riders on the front decide to continually try to nudge in front of one another, it has the effect of driving the pace up and up until the group starts to struggle (potentially causing accidents)

• Surging or riding off the front – A group ride is not a race and creating a gap makes it difficult for everyone which slows the whole group down overall. If you want to go faster see if someone wants to go with you to ride separate from the group.

• Accelerate steadily out of junctions – fast accelerations cause significant gaps as riders struggle to get up to speed. It is known as the concertina effect. It has the effect of stretching everyone and making riders tired.

• If you are on the front, remember that people are following your calls. If you make a decision to pull out on a roundabout or junction, you need to call “Clear!” or “Wait!” to warn the pack of hazards.

• If you are at the back of the group and either see someone dropping or are being dropped, it is your responsibility to call to the cyclists in front that the pace is too high. The pack must communicate this up to the front. The lead cyclists will not be aware if you start to drop.

Group riding etiquette is to ensure rides are safe and enjoyable for all people involved. It’s great to see our members growing so well and I look forward to a long and enjoyable summers riding! No just for this rain and wind to go away and give way to the warmth and sun!

Rider Communication

There has been some confusion in recent weeks about the correct communication in the group. This was discussed at the recent meeting and the following was decided. Please can all riders use these going forward where possible.

‘Car up’ = Car approaching from behind

‘Car down’ = Car approaching from the front

‘Inside’ = pothole to the left of the group

‘Middle’ = Pothole in between riders

Can we also ensure that all calls are passed down the group to ensure all riders remain safe.

Thank you in advance.