As a cyclist, you are aware that there are risks, hazards and dangers inherent in cycling, and that you, and you alone, have the ultimate responsibility to operate your bicycle and conduct yourself in an alert, cautious and prudent manner at all times. Your acknowledgement and assumption of this responsibility is the most important factor in your safety and the safety of other members of the group.
Your personal responsibility includes, but is not limited to, the following cycling practices and principles:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Ride with traffic (on the right side of the road).
- Ride single file—never ride two or three abreast.
- Call out if you want to pass another rider, and always pass on the left.
- Ride on the shoulder or as close to the edge of the road as is comfortably possible.
- Control your speed on descents—know that there often is sand, gravel, or other debris commonly on the road. Never take your hands off the handlebars during the descent. Aero tucks may look cool, but remember that we are touring, not racing, and control, and therefore safety, is compromised as speed increases.
- Be alert for changing road conditions, including but not limited to, potholes, gravel, sand, standing water, even ice (on high mountain routes).
- Be alert for road warning signs announcing hazards and other road conditions, and prepare to respond appropriately.
- Beware of the hazards of riding in a paceline and other forms of drafting. The safer practice is to keep at least two bike lengths between you and the cyclist in front.
- Walk over railroad tracks and cattle guards, particularly if you cannot cross these hazards perpendicularly.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Use hand signals when turning and stopping to alert cyclists and motorists alike.
- If you stop cycling for whatever reason, pull completely off the road.
- Dogs—try to outrun them, if you feel reasonably confident that you will win the race. If you lose, or decide to dismount and walk through the dog’s territory, keep you bike between you and the dog. Know that your bike becomes a potent weapon of self-defense (particularly, if it’s a rental, should the worst-case scenario unfold. Dogs usually won’t chase you past their territorial boundaries. Do not veer out into the center of the roadway to avoid the dog.
- Know that cycling safely and responsibly will only enhance your absolute enjoyment of your vacation experience.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this note and for accepting it in the spirit in which it has been offered. Your participation in our program constitutes your acknowledgement, assumption and agreement to your personal responsibility as a cyclist in our program.