How To Be A Good Cyclist

Love the Land
We are guests of the area. This ride takes place on the scenic bike lanes along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Each litter bit will show up against this beautiful backdrop. Drop nothing, even if it is biodegradable. Riders must stop at all stop signs, ride single file, and obey the rules of the road. Riders must obey California Vehicle Code for operating bicycles as motor vehicles. Pull safely and completely off the road if you need to stop. And remember your cycling etiquette.

Just A Reminder
This is not a ride for untrained riders and we expect all riders to demonstrate good cycling etiquette and obey the laws. There are some LEFT turns on the course across vehicular traffic. Use pedestrian crosswalks if necessary. These points will help you avoid falls and gain the confidence of others around you.

No helmet = NO RIDE

A bike bell and gloves are also a good idea. At all times keep to the right and obey all traffic rules.

Be Predictable With Your Actions
Maintain a steady straight line and avoid braking or changing direction suddenly. Remember that there are riders following you closely from behind. To slow down, gradually apply your brakes and say “slowing.” Follow in a single file line. If you want to pass, pass on the left of the rider you are passing, just like when driving a car. Same road, same rules.

Point or Call Out Any Road Hazards
These include potholes, drain grates, stray animals, opening car doors, sticks or stones, parked cars, etc. There are also hand signals for this.
– left arm straight out to signal a left turn
– right arm straight out for a right turn
– palm or fist behind your lower back to signal slowing or stopping
– shake hand side to side in the direction of sand, glass or any other road hazard

Do Not Overlap Wheels
A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels with another cyclist and fall. Advanced riders pedal down hill when at the front of the bunch. Experienced cyclists dislike having to ride under brakes (the riders following the leader benefit from her draft, thereby having to pedal less and brake more).

Stay to the Right When in Front
to allow room for others to pass safely on your left, particularly in traffic. Pass other riders on the left hand side whenever possible.Be smooth with your turns at the front of the group. Avoid surges unless trying to break from the bunch. A group will travel quicker when turns are completed smoothly.

Avoid Leaving Gaps When Crossing Streets
When your cycling group is stopped together at a light or stop sign, wait until it is proper to cross, then do so as a group. Straggling across streets with cars creates an undue hazard, and frustrates drivers too.

When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely
Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.

Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider
Try to stay relaxed in your upper body to absorb any bumps. This is a part of cycle racing in close bunches and is quite safe provided riders do not panic, brake or change direction. Real cycling is a contact sport! There are a lot more minor points that could be mentioned here as becoming a proficient bunch rider takes time and experience to achieve. The most important point however is to be aware of others around you and respect other riders, your actions will have a direct response on theirs.

Ladies, Make Us Proud & Review a Few Frequent Commands!
It’s no secret that event permits are revoked when riders take advantage of the host city’s goodwill…
Here’s a reminder of common cycling communications so we look good out there.

Slowing – When someone yells out “Slowing”, this means that there is something that is causing the pack to slow down. This can be anything from a light, a slower pack of bikes, a car up ahead. In any event, prepare to slow down. Ease your brakes and repeat the yell “Slowing”. This is to indicate to others that you’ve heard them and you are also slowing. This will also alert those behind you that you are slowing down.

Stopping – When someone yells out “Stopping”, this means that there is something that is causing the pack to stop. This can be anything from a light, a slower pack of bikes, a stop sign or a car up ahead. In any event, prepare to stop. Tap you brakes and repeat the yell “Stopping”. This is to indicate to others that you’ve heard them and you are also slowing to a stop. This will also alert those behind you that you are slowing to a stop. It’s VERY important not to slam on your brakes especially if there are others behind you!

Hold your line – When someone yells, “Hold your line”, this means that you need to stay in a straight line as best you can. In most cases, the person yelling this out to you is attempting to pass or warn you your riding is not steady and predictable. If you swing out or if you don’t keep your bike steady, you could cause the other bicyclist trouble or injury.

On your Left – When someone yells, “On your Left”, this means that they are passing you on your left. No need to take this personally. Let them pass as they have the right of way. You should never hear “On your Right”. That is, a bicycler should never pass on the right. However, there are many bicyclers with varying experience. Be on the look out for those that will pass on your right. If someone does this, kindly remind him or her that they should pass on the left. Also, it is common courtesy to say “Thank You” to the person yelling “on your left”. This indicates to them that you’ve heard them.

Car Up – When someone yells, “Car Up”, this means that there is a car up front. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the vehicle up front. It is also common courtesy to repeat this so that others behind you also know about the car.

Car Back – When someone yells, “Car Back”, this means that there is a car back behind you. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the vehicle is behind you. It is also common courtesy to repeat this so that others in front of you also know about the car.

Bike Up – When someone yells, “Bike Up”, this means that there is a bike up in front of you, either coming toward you (as on a bike trail) or riding at a slower pace. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that you may need to pass the cyclist or a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the bike up front. It is also common courtesy to repeat this so that others behind you also know about the bike.

Bike Back – When someone yells, “Bike Back”, this means that there is a bicylist behind you. It is intended to be a verbal caution indicating that a bike may attempt to pass you or a stop may be necessary. If you hear this, repeat the call so that others know that you are aware of the bike behind you. It is common courtesy to repeat this so that others in front of you also know about the bike.

       

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The California Girl Series® gets women active in a series of fun steps – get inspired, set a goal, get the gear, train, then participate in the annual Beach Babe Classic bike ride or Beach Babe Half Marathon in Long Beach, CA.

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