BCC - The Safest Riding Club Around! - How we do it...Please Read & Comment.

Rider Safety

Cycling Safety and Etiquette - ALL OF US: from seasoned racers to novice recreational riders, benefit from brushing up on our basics.

Helmets are MANDATORY.

Obey the rules of the road. Conduct yourself with the same consideration as you would expect from any other road user, particularly motorists. Aggressive behaviour and gestures by cyclists will alienate motorists and could lead to endangering other cyclists. Know and use all the basic hand signals.
- Traffic: Lead rider must take responsibility for those behind when approaching turns, intersections, transitions from multi-lane to single-lane etc.
- Traffic lights and stop signs: Do not cross an intersection, even if the traffic light is green, unless you are sure that the whole group will be able to cross safely before the light changes.
- If the group becomes split at a traffic light, the leading riders should then slow, or stop in a safe place, to allow riders to re-group.
- Crossing major highways and uncontrolled intersections: Do not act individually. Car drivers see the group as one entity and expect it to act as one.
- The rider at the front takes charge directing everyone not to cross until there is a gap in traffic large enough for the entire group to safely cross the road.
- Do not hold up following traffic: Ride single file on single-lane and busy roads where motor vehicles are frequently coming past.
- On occasion, you must "take the lane" for your own safety. This is both legal and practical (such as a narrowed construction zone).
- Your ID and emergency Contact Info Should be on you for every ride and easily accessible.

Rider Etiquette

- Respect your fellow rider. Any concerns with disruptive conduct or riding etiquette that have not been resolved should be discussed with your ride coordinator or the general membership of the club.
- Be predictable, ride in a consistent manner. Do not swerve accelerate or brake unexpectedly.
- Anticipate the moves of the cyclists ahead of you. Look ahead at what is happening on the road.
- Indicate your intentions - use common hand signals.
- Indicate hazards with hand signals or your voice.
- Never half-wheel (overlap your wheel with the rider ahead). Either ride directly beside or directly behind.
- Half-wheeling is only done in an echelon which requires considerable skill and practice.
- Do not ride in or near the shoulder of the road: more debris increases chance of a puncture, + when you ride at least ½ metre out from the shoulder, you make it easier for the rider behind to follow your wheel. NOTE: this applies to all formations (single paceline, double paceline, echelon etc.)
- Strong riders should do longer pulls at the front than weak riders
- Regardless of how long the ride is, the front group rides fast. The back group drops nobody (No Drop Policy).
- When you see your fellow rider struggling, help them.
- If you are getting dropped in the fast group, make an effort to get back on
- If you see someone getting dropped and it is only temporary because of the terrain, tell the group to ease the pace so they can get back in, recover, and then contribute to the group effort.
- Wait until you are at the back of the paceline/group to reach for your water bottle/jersey pocket etc.
- Challenges and wagers between riders are natural and welcome in any group ride but not to the point where it causes the group to be strung out for kilometers. When your "sprint for the sign" is finished, allow the riders behind to re-group.
- Be self sufficient and also ready and willing to support other riders
- If you do not ride in a straight line, you will be politely asked to ride at the back of the group

- Riders following the leader(s) must also use hand gestures, as well as call out gaining and passing vehicles, for maximum clarity as road users.  In the case of a driver of a car gaining on a group from behind might not be able to see even a hand signal from a lead rider, who in turn, due to the size of the group of riders behind him or her, might not able to see that gaining car while glancing back. 

In addition, for maximum awareness, it is always important that each rider in a group know the ride route, in order to anticipate all turns and road conditions. All BCC ride routes are posted in advance, so please take a moment to study them.

Link to the BCC Framework ::CLICK HERE::


Views: 380

Comment by Paul McKeever on April 1, 2016 at 9:56am

Great post, Dan. Sophisticated and straightforward rules for safe riding. It's going to be another great season!

Comment by Rita Masson on April 1, 2016 at 10:06am
Read carefully. Thank you Dan, excellent instructions
Comment by DRU on April 1, 2016 at 10:17am

I'd add: 1. Keep your hands on the bars! Everyone knows you're an awesome bike handler who can ride with no hands, but should something unforeseen occur, you are putting the group at risk. Be in control of your bike at all times in order to minimise the risk of injury to yourself and others. Set a good example!  2. There will be the odd driver unhappy with the group. Minimise and moderate your interaction with them. Do not engage if at all possible. When riding with a group, your interaction with drivers are not "teachable moments"!

Comment by Paul McKeever on April 1, 2016 at 11:49am

I would like to add a point about lane sharing and safety. For the most part, it is always safer for a cyclist to take the lane so that you can safely avoid obstacles and debris on the curbside without the risk of having a car being too close to our left side. In Toronto, there are many streets where it is simply too narrow to safely share the curbside lane with a motor vehicle. By the same token, there are also streets in Toronto where the curbside lane is sufficiently wide to share with a vehicle and this is where riding as far to the right as is practicable is important. When riding in a single paceline, it is important to determine when it is safe to share the lane on a 2-lane road (1 lane in each direction) and when it is not (i.e. if there are parked cars or an obstruction on the curbside, it may be safer to take the lane until it is safe to allow a car(s) to pass).

When riding in a group (4+ people), a 4-lane road (2 in each direction) allows us to safely use the entire width of the right-most lane in a double paceline. For this to work effectively, we need to ride ~1 metre out from the curb and treat our pacelines similarly to a motor vehicle so that each line is situated where the wheels of the car would be. In this case, we are far enough from the curb that a safe rotation of the front riders can occur (we become 4-wide for a brief period of time). When it comes to approaching traffic lights, we treat out entire group similarly to a motor vehicle and stop behind the last car in the right lane - absolutely no sneaking up the right side!

Comment by James Eaton on April 1, 2016 at 12:09pm

great post Dan.  

Comment by Scott Moore on April 1, 2016 at 3:14pm

Looks good Dan.   I also like the comments from Paul and DRU.


Comment by Gordon Walker on April 1, 2016 at 10:56pm

This is great, Dan! Thanks for posting it!

I hope that everyone takes the time to read everything and watch the videos.

Comment by Jon Spira on April 3, 2016 at 9:36am

Adding to Dru's emphasis on "hands on the bars"...  It's good etiquette and critical to group safety to point out hazards.  However, this needs to be balanced with 1) remaining in control of your bike, and 2) the extent and context of the hazard.  To point at every crack, bump or sewer grate is often necessary and has a counter intuitively negative effect.  Every time a rider points at something, they experience a split-second of instability.  It also desensitizes followers to real obstacles when arms are constantly flying about pointing what are in fact inconsequential objects in the road.

If lead riders are looking up the road they can adjust their path in advance to avoid the hazard and the the rest of the train follows.  This saves the pointing and calling for situations where the risks are real.

Comment by Paul McKeever on April 3, 2016 at 6:53pm

Very true, Jon. Good call on that reminder. That is possibly one of the most important safety notes, especially given Toronto's crumbling pavement.

Comment by Jeff N on April 4, 2016 at 1:21pm

Great thoughts, and gets us started on the right track.

I am Glad safe riding is a core value to our club.  




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BCC Rides

Cycling in the summer can be about casual riding, sprinting, spinning, big-ring hammerfests or what ever your chosen type of riding is. The BCC was founded for the sole purpose to network cyclists. It has grown into a successful club which accommodates Riders at almost all skill/fitness levels. Everyone should be able to participate and have fun at their respective levels.


Weekend Rides: 


Saturday Morning
Start time is 8:00am early season, 7:00am as days get longer. Route distances vary from 55-120km and several pace groups are available. Saturday morning rides focus on a social vibe.


Sunrise Sundays
Rides will start around sunrise. Rotating routes will focus on distances from 55-160km.  Remote start rides outside the GTA.

Weekly Rides:



Advanced Turbo Tuesdays
For this ride, advanced group riding and bike handling skills are required. You must also be aware of your limitations. Riding speed is 35kph+.


Hillicious Thursdays
Starts at 5:40am. This ride includes Bayview, pottery rd, redway other local hills.



Starts at 5:30AM. Bring your CX or MTB out for a great Don trail ride. Some weeks, we'll head to a local park to practice CX skills.

Informal Rides Click Here

Other Rides:

Race Team

BCC Race Team
Please join if you will be racing in 2018 as part of the BCC Race Team!

Track Cycling

BCC Track Cycling Group

A place where those interested in, or already addicted to, riding the boards can share info.

BCC Youth

BCC Youth Group

An initiative to have weekly skills sessions and rides for young riders.

Interested in finding a new route or refreshing your memory on an old faithful? Check out the Routes page.


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