Welcome cyclists to another great year of riding with the Stanford Cycling Club! We are excited to see all the new faces joining us and are sure this year is going to be a blast. Please take a moment to read this as it covers some serious topics that need to be addressed. We are very concerned with the safety of our members and feel that we need to outline some very important principles concerning proper club-ride behavior and road etiquette. Most of this is second-nature to experienced cyclists, or at least should be. We hope that by bringing this up now, we will have fewer incidents in the future.
You are a representative of the club
When you slip into your Stanford jersey or attend one of our rides, you are representing the club. Foolish behavior on the road could tarnish the club's reputation and possibly endanger your friends. The car you cut-off when trying to sprint around your buddy could be driven by one of our equipment sponsors... oops. The road rage you incite in a driver when you run a red light may result in him later running your teammate off the road when he recognizes the jersey. Please act responsibly on the road and remember that your teammates will be judged by your actions.
Share the road
We live in one of the most bicycle-friendly areas in the country...
let's keep it that way. All road users have a right to the road, even though some drivers and cyclists may not behave that way. There are places where riding two-abreast is acceptable -- for instance in the wide shoulder of Foothill Expressway -- and places where it is not. If you are on Skyline, Arastradero, or other heavily trafficked routes with no shoulder, please treat other road users with the same respect we expect in return. Ride single file at a safe distance from the shoulder. There are times when, for safety's sake, you need to "take-the-lane". Use your best judgement when doing so, but please don't cruise along blocking the road just so you can ride two- or three-abreast. Riding two-abreast is usually possible in most bike-lanes without crossing into the car lane. If you cannot handle riding that close to your partner, it is either time to get comfortable with it or revert to single-file. Riding in close proximity to others is a necessary skill for a successful entry into road racing.
Be seen and be predictable
Wear bright clothes if necessary, use lights when it's dawn/dusk/night, don't ride in the blind-spots of drivers, and maintain a position on the road that allows drivers to see you coming... for instance, it is not wise to fly down Skyline, approaching the intersection with 84 from the South, whilst hugging the edge of the roadway, hidden in the shadows of the trees. After making sure the lane is clear, move to the left a bit to give the cars at the intersection a better opportunity to see you coming. Don't make erratic maneuvers and signal your intentions. The more respect you give others, the more you'll get in return.
Simple: wear one and buckle it on. Cipollini needs to look good for the photos, Pantani didn't want to carry the 4 ounces up Alpe d'Huez, but you aren't either... you are a member of this club and we require them on our rides. We will take every precaution to make sure you are safe... planning safe routes, helping with your bike if you ask, teaching emergency maneuvering skills, and politely reminding you that you must wear a helmet on our rides. Ride leaders will be enforcing the helmet rule and shouldn't have to ask twice for a helmet to be put on -- after all, the ride leader and/or club could possibly be held liable for injuries you sustain!
A few final notes for the road...
- When waiting for others at regrouping points, please move completely off the roadway.
- If another rider is behaving irresponsibly, please politely ask them to reevaluate their actions. If you are uncomfortable with this, please bring it to the attention of the ride leader and/or contact any of the officers after the ride.
- Stop signs and traffic signals are there for a reason. If we expect to be treated as equals on the road, we must obey the same rules as other vehicles.
- Carry identification at all times. Others on the ride may not know your last name or phone number. If there is an emergency, the information could be critical.
Some mountain-biking notes
- Please obey all rules in the local parks and open space preserves.
- There are 15 mph speed limits in most parks.
- Yield to horses and hikers by stopping and letting them pass... say hello!
- Leave no trace: when trails are muddy enough that you leave tracks... head for dry ground/pavement.
See you out there,
Stanford Cycling Officers