Group Riding Etiquette

Club rides take place on public roads and those taking part are expected to obey the Highway Code and ride sensibly with regard for your own safety and that of other club members and road users.


The most important factor to successful group riding is communication. Make sure you know the meaning of and always pass any verbal signals through the group. As well as obvious shouts such as “slowing” and “braking”, others to be aware of are “car up”, meaning there is a car ahead to be aware of, “car back”, meaning there is a car behind and “single out”, meaning to adopt single file. Be aware there are local variations of these shouts, so use your eyes too. There are a number of hand signals you should also be aware of (see illustrations to the right).

Ride Leaders

At the start of the ride, you should establish ride leaders for each of the groups that are riding at different speeds.

Large Groups

If there are large numbers of riders in any one group, you should split into smaller groups of no more than 12 riders per group.

Ride Formation

Ride in formation of no more than two abreast, but be prepared on small or busy roads or from a call from another rider to ride in single file. If necessary be prepared to stop to let traffic overtake.

Two Abreast

When riding two abreast ride in two close parallel lines, focus on keeping the lines neat and tidy, there should be no more than 600mm between shoulders.  Follow the wheel in front of you and avoid overlapping it, do not drift off line out in the road, this will give the appearance of riding three abreast.


When climbing hills, avoid following a wheel too closely, some riders slow quickly when they get out of the saddle.


Cover your brakes at all times and brake as gently and smoothly as you safely can.


Check over your shoulder for other riders or traffic before moving out in the road to overtake.

Splits In The Group

Check over your shoulder for other riders or traffic before moving out in the road to overtake.

Be Prepared

Be prepared by bringing with you a mobile phone, drinks, food in the way of bars, together with some money in case of emergencies and café stops.  Bring two spare tubes, tyre levers and a pump.  A multi tool can be useful too.


Please do not argue with motorists, even if you think they are in the wrong.  You and your fellow riders are identifiable as members of Eastbourne Rovers Cycling Club; you should never act in a way which may bring the Club into disrepute.

For More Information

Click here to be directed to the British Cycling website where you’ll find everything you need to know about cycling.

Hand Signals

Slowing Down

One hand as if “gently patting an invisible dog”: This shows that the group is slowing down or just to ease the pace back a bit.

Hazards on the Road

Pointing down at the road sometimes with a circling motion: Indicates an obstruction or hazard on the road such as a pothole or drain cover that needs to be avoided. Be sensible with this one and only point out major obstacles that should be avoided. This signal is often accompanied with a call of ‘below’.

Obstruction Ahead

Waving/pointing behind back: Indicates that there is an obstruction such as a parked car or pedestrian and that the whole group needs to move in the direction indicated to avoid it.