1. The proper equipment is compulsory.
a. Helmets are required; if you need to borrow any equipment, then let the group organizers know the night before the ride.
b. Carry a spare tube, patch kit, pump or CO2, and plenty of water. In the summer, plan on one large water bottle per hour. Until you have a chance to purchase these items, the group leaders will carry spares.
c. If you are having bike problems, then arrive 30 min. early as group members will likely be available to help with minor maintenance.
d. Stop and assist those with flat tires and/or minor mechanical problems.
2. Arrive 10-15 minutes early and be ready to leave on time as this helps individuals plan when the ride will finish.
3. Expect a 15-20 min. warm-up at a slower pace. Do not try to push the pace during this time period!!
4. Practice safety and obey all traffic laws.
a. Traffic lights in Thomasville and the surrounding areas may not be triggered by a cyclist’s weight. If this is the case, then we will post road guards and pass the group through in mass.
b. If the group does not make the light, then those who made it through will stop and wait for those that did not.
c. Avoid overlapping wheels in a paceline. Riding with your front wheel next to the rear wheel of the bicycle in front of you is dangerous. If the rider in front of you suddenly swerves in your direction, then he or she will not take you down as their rear wheel smacks into your front wheel.
5. Use standard Calls:
a. Car Back: There is a car approaching from behind.
b. Car Up: There is a car approaching from the front.
c. Off the Back: When a rider is dropped, or cannot keep up with the pace of the group or another rider and falls behind.
d. Toast or “O.D.”: O.D. is short for “Off Day”. Even the best riders have them. Falling off the back of the group and headed home or following at a slower pace. Related to these terms is “Bonk” which is running completely out of energy.
e. Back On: Resume the pace.
f. Flat: Rider has a flat and requests assistance. The group should stop and help.
6. Use hand signals:
a. Pointing down alerts riders behind you of obstructions or imperfections in the road.
b. Open Palm (facing back) indicates others should prepare to stop.
c. Pointing left indicates a left turn.
d. Pointing right with right arm indicates a right turn. The “old” left bent arm is for cars.
7. Always discuss break points where the groups will split.
a. Always notify someone in the group before leaving the group (Exception: Attacks).
8. The advertised speed of the ride will be enforced.
a. Exception: C rides and Fun Rides
9. Group rides will continue in inclement weather.
a. Exception: Heavy downpours or lightning and maybe snow. Slip times will be standard 2 hours (i.e., 8:00am T-storms, the group ride will begin at 10:00am).
10. Aero bars are only to be used by the first or last person in the peleton. Only very experienced riders should attempt this as a mistake endangers the entire group.

Modified from our friends, the Azelea City Cyclists.

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