Before we start the ride today, I’d like to have your attention for a couple of minutes to remind you of some general safety issues and go over a few points specific to today’s ride. 

These recommendations apply to ALL riders, so please listen up!

  • "Is everyone is a current NSC Member?" Ask any new riders to introduce themselves. 
  • "Does everyone have a helmet?" (Required).
  • We recommend you wear bright colors and use flashing lights on the front and back of your bike for visibility.
  • Ride in a straight line and always single file on busier roads. If you ride side-by-side on a back road please be aware of vehicles behind you. Never ride three abreast. 
  • Stay alert to cars approaching from the front, side, or back. We recommend you use either a simple mirror or a rearview radar light such as the Garmin Varia.
  • Signal and call out your moves. Demonstrate left turn (left arm and hand extended straight out), right turn (right arm and hand extended straight out OR left arm extended with elbow bent 90° upwards and hand pointing up), slowing or stopping (either arm extended with elbow bent downwards or behind you and hand pointing down).
  • Pay attention to the road surface and call out and point to obstacles (demonstrate) such as major potholes, rough roads, glass, gravel, sand, or large branches. Don’t overdo it. Please do not call out every crack in the road or obstacles that don’t actually protrude into the road.
  • Pass on the left only and call out “on your left.” First check traffic and bikes behind you, then signal. 
  • Call “car back” to alert riders ahead - especially on roads where there is not much traffic or when another rider is passing and not aware of the approaching vehicle. Don’t overuse it – not necessary to call out every car on busier roads where there is a steady stream of traffic. 
  • Call “car up” to indicate an oncoming car of concern.
  • Call "walker up" to alert the riders of walkers in or near line of travel.
  • Pass calls and signals on to fellow riders ahead or behind.
  • Single up AS SOON AS you hear “car back.” Usually the rider on the left scoots ahead but that needs to be coordinated with fellow riders.
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs, and observe yield signs. Try to make eye contact with drivers entering the intersection.
  • Don’t block vehicle traffic when you  stop to regroup and wait for other riders.
  • Allow safe distance to the rider in front of you and don’t overlap wheels. Allow more distance on hills.
  • Don’t use your cellphone or wear earbuds while riding.
  • Avoid unannounced moves or sudden braking when leading a group of riders. Look ahead and choose a smooth line because riders will follow your path. Allow gaps in large groups so that vehicles can get by. 
  • Never ride up on the right of riders without warning; they do not expect to see you there. (It can happen when the cyclist you wish to pass is riding close to the middle of the road.) 
  • Occasionally, groups form pace lines. Here it's normal to pass on the right when the leader moves to the left and waves the pace line forward. If you are not familiar with pace line riding, ask someone in your group about the etiquette or drop out of the pace line.
  • If there is an emergency, call 911 but if you need help otherwise, ask another rider for assistance or contact the ride leader.
  • Please let the ride leader know of any accidents or route issues after the ride.

Two words sum it up: Be predictable!!


Thanks for listening and now for a few specifics for today’s ride….

Examples of some ride-specific info (take note ahead of time for your talk):

-Riding through Gloucester - Allow adequate space for parked cars opening a door.

-Mention any high road edge drop-offs.

-If bad RR tracks – cross them at a right angle if possible.

Winter rides –mention if conditions might be icy, sandy, or high crosswind.

If using a bike path - slow down, keep right, yield to pedestrians, let them know you’re coming up behind with “on your left” or “coming through”).

-Roads or trails that might have horses – let the rider know if coming up behind, give them plenty of time to get control of their animal, check that the oncoming lane is clear, stop or cut a wide berth around them

-Suggested stops for food stop or bathroom breaks (ideally should be included on cue sheets or ride description).

-Mention snacks or social gathering afterwards.

-Any questions?

-Ask who is doing which route?

-Release riders by route distance (unless a large number are doing the same route – then release faster riders first.)