Please Read. It's kinda, really, important. Please Comment.

After last weeks talk about groups of 10 and looking out for each other in the club, it seems that most members understand the benefit of the small groups from the safety perspective, however, my feedback from this weekends ride shows there are still members that do not get the importance of the safety in smaller groups and the effect it has on the ability for everyone to be accountable for each other.  

Time is spent on creating routes, multiple start times, etc. is to ensure the safety of all the members in the BCC.  It is to help make the BCC rides fun, enjoyable and predictable.  

Please do yourself and others a favour - know the route you plan on doing.  It seems that there is a lot of uncertainty of routes and this also adds to the large groups and affects everyone's safety on the road, not to mention we don't look pro.  

This is now really a problem.  

So here it is again(see below).

Here is a revisit of my key points/Rules:

Club Responsibility

In case you missed the discussions from last Saturday and Sunday, moving forward the following club rules will be in effect:

  • Groups no larger than 10.
  • Know the Route you plan on riding.
  • Riders need to select the appropriate group for their skills and ability.
  • Communication and safety within the group is critical. Everyone needs to know what is happening and if someone has a problem the group needs to assist their fellow rider.
  • Keep a buffer between groups. This includes bunching up at stop lights and on the road. Co-ordinate a controlled clean pass if you need to move around a slower group.
  • Have fun and remember that when you are on BCC rides you are representing the group so be a good example out there on the road.

I cannot stress this enough.  I am requesting full co-operation for these rules - they will be enforced.

I really need your co-operation to make this a success.   

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please comment to show your support for this initiative.

Dan.

Views: 614

Comment by Paul McKeever on June 8, 2014 at 11:13pm

I agree with you and support this. Thanks for the reminder, Dan.

Looking forward to being out on the weekend more often in the upcoming weeks!

Comment by Alexx Hooper on June 9, 2014 at 5:45am

Thanks Dan, and I totally agree. It drives me nuts when I'm out with a group of people and some of them have no idea where they are going. I've heard a lot of "I'm just following a wheel in front of me". It means that if those people are at the front of the group, they are likely to miss a turn. It puts pressure on the leaders of the groups as well. And if they need to turn back, it means they are lost.

Conversely, the marshals need to stick to the posted routes rather than taking "cool detours" that they know. If we are insisting that people study the routes and maybe even load them into their Garmins, we, as marshals, need to stick to those routes. I was on a ride where we went off on a tangent parallel to the posted route. Those of us who knew where we were knew that we were still parallel with the main road, however, a newer rider was upset because their Garmin told her she was off course, and she was quite disoriented and upset. And rightly so! On club rides, when we are responsible for other people - people who we have asked time and time again to "know the route" - we need to DO the posted route. We can always explore on our own time.

Thank you Dan!

Comment by Jon Spira on June 9, 2014 at 9:16am

There is no way to overstate how important this is.  

Comment by Jon Spira on June 9, 2014 at 2:07pm

The message also applies to groups, however well-formed and balanced, that continue to push despite one or more riders falling off.  DY has said it many times: the group rides to the abilities of the slowest person.  Everybody is responsible for choosing wisely and not getting themselves in over their head.  But even the strongest riders have bad days.  They shouldn't be punished for it and left for dead by their crew in the name of a KOM/QOM or a PR.  A "personal" record is just that, and isn't always compatible with a "group" mentality.

Comment by Marco Martinez on June 9, 2014 at 2:29pm

First of all thanks Dan and everybody else for helping me be a better rider, this is my second year in the club and I can't believe how much I have improved, how many new friends I've done and how much more I enjoy riding my bike.

 

I definitely agree that having a good size group (i.e. 6-10 people) is more fun, that way you know exactly who and where is there and you coordinate better and in general you have more fun.

 

One important thing that nobody had mentioned and I think it is important to say is that even if you are not a strong rider do not be afraid to go in front to do the pull and ask if you can go a bit slower. That will help you to get stronger and it will allow the group to recover, very few people will say it (or admit it) but everybody needs to recover sometimes. From my point of view, I prefer somebody who tries instead of just skipping turns

Comment by DY on June 9, 2014 at 8:35pm

Thank you all that have taken the time to comment on this recent safety post.  


On Saturday afternoon I received an email from a member of the club who rode with the 7am group that morning. This cyclist reported a large group with lots of riders just hanging on to the wheel in front of them...which is not cool because we should have had no more than 10 per group as per the outlined safety guidelines. Bottom line, this rider got dropped and no one knew they had dropped a rider. We need to eliminate this problem as it is a repeat of the previous weekend when no one looked back after I stopped at a red light. Being a part of the BCC means you share the same belief system as I do: Safety first, and look out for your fellow riders.

To make this work, we all have to sacrifice - sometimes a little, other times sometimes a lot.  This is what makes the Club(BCC) what it is.  This is why you are a member and are reading this right now.  I probably gave you a personal invite or you met someone that shared this level of care when you first started and you got hooked because it felt nice to be accepted into a good thing.  I am asking that members of the club now show the same level of care with new members, a level of respect you would expect yourself.  Is this too much to ask?

This is what will make it all work.  Trivial but true.

For the record, the thought has crossed my mind(more than once) to just end the club and hang it up when times and situations become difficult to manage as my love for cycling gets lost in trying to keep everyone safe and making everyone happy(my objective).  It's pretty taxing.  But it hasn't happened yet.:-)

The thing that keeps me motivated to even post this as I contemplate on the past is that; I too, have made friends through the sport of cycling(the BCC).  This part money can't buy - you actually have to be there.

So, thanks to all of you that have sacrificed your rides to help me achieve "my objective" with new members, skills, or ridden in a group because I told you I needed help that morning.  Special thanks to those of you that offered without me having to ask.  You have made what I try to do with the BCC all worthwhile.  You know who you are.

So at the end of the day... all of the discussion really revolves around our respect for each other as fellow cyclists.  

I am away for my first summer vacation in a long while. Please respect the members I have left in charge as they are doing me a favour by adopting the clubs mandate and enforcing it. Remember safety first, fun is the result!

In solidarity,

Dan.

Comment by Paul van Dongen on June 13, 2014 at 1:09am

Thanks, Dan, for once again reiterating this very important credo.

I'd like to talk about groups and speeds. Yes, it is essential that they be manageable in size and that everyone knows with whom they're riding, and communicates with them. If you don't know someone, ride next to them and introduce yourself. Don't go out with 10 and wonder why there are only nine of you left when you get to Stouffville, or worse, not wonder that fact.

Secondly, mechanicals aside, there is practically no reason why our groups should be passing other groups mid-ride. When we assemble to ride we roll out from fastest to slowest, thus avoiding this dangerous scenario. Enough with the false modesty, already. If you intend to ride Group 1 pace, please do that and have a nice ride. On the other hand, if you've decided to take it easy one morning, state that. Don't be a dick and decide to pin it half way through the ride, thereby blowing your group to smithereens. A confident, fast – with ego in check – rider knows how to ride slow.

Now, on the subject of routes, what the heck happened last Sunday? I decided to sleep in and catch the group at Donlands and Cosburn. After waiting a minute (I could still be waiting now) I decided to roll along till I was inevitably caught. Never happened. Later I found out everyone had decided last minute to change the route entirely and go east instead. That's fine as I know all routes and enjoy riding them alone. Others might have been quite annoyed with this last minute sea change.

Comment by DRU on June 15, 2014 at 9:00pm

Regarding last Sunday, I'll have to take the heat for that. I lead the vote for the change of route. I didn't feel like dealing with that mess up Leslie south of VanDorf. 

It's not like it's a lesson I haven't already learned, heck, I get irritated myself when the route gets changed...

Comment by Paul van Dongen on June 15, 2014 at 10:15pm

Sure thing, Dru, but I must take part of the blame I myself, as I failed to indicate my intentions before last week's ride. It's always helpful to know who is planning to come out, especially if they plan to catch up with the group somewhere en route.

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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.

 

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