2017 Risk Management Plan for St. Catharines Cycling Club Members:
Cycling can be a dangerous activity. Cycling Canada (CC) in association with the Ontario Cycling Association has developed this Risk Management Plan to document how St. Catharines Cycling Club rides are to be managed to reduce risks associated with cycling activities. These policies are to be practiced by St. Catharines Cycling Club members, and any permitted visiting riders as permitted by St. Catharines Cycling Club rules, during every St. Catharines Cycling Club ride. All St. Catharines Cycling Club members, and any permitted visiting riders, share the responsibility for making St. Catharines Cycling Club rides as safe as possible.
Each St. Catharines Cycling Club member shall receive a copy, electronic or otherwise of this Risk Management Plan and a copy shall be available on the St. Catharines Cycling Club website. Additional information regarding St. Catharines Cycling Club rules and programs can be found on the St. Catharines Cycling Club website.
Club Rides mean rides formally organized by the St. Catharines Cycling Club and as described on the St. Catharines Cycling Club website . Rides not listed on the St. Catharines Cycling Club website are not St. Catharines Cycling Club rides.
The Cycling Canada (CC) Insurance
The St. Catharines Cycling Club annually purchases General Liability Insurance coverage through the Canadian Cycling Association for each St. Catharines Cycling Club member. General Liability Insurance is designed to protect a person (member) or any entity) against any legal responsibility arising out of a negligent act or failure to act as a prudent person would have acted, which results in bodily injury or property damage to another party. St. Catharines Cycling Club members should familiarize themselves with the terms of the insurance coverage. The coverage details may be accessed through the Cyclinginsurance.ca website.
The St. Catharines Cycling Club must receive signed insurance waivers from each St. Catharines Cycling Club member; membership is not assigned or granted until a signed waiver is received by the St. Catharines Cycling Club .
Standards of Care
This Risk Management Plan and all St. Catharines Cycling Club programs and rides shall adhere to the following, as applicable:
- UCI, CCA, CC rules and regulations as they pertain to St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides.
- Provincial Highway Traffic Acts across Canada while on St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides, all St. Catharines Cycling Club members must adhere to and obey all rules of the road as per the Provincial Highway Traffic Act.
- All members of the St. Catharines Cycling Club are responsible for bringing forward to the St. Catharines Cycling Club Board any safety issues related to St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides which present themselves throughout the riding season.
- While on St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides, all St. Catharines Cycling Club members must adhere to and obey all rules of the road as per the Provincial Highway Traffic Acts.
- Any St. Catharines Cycling Club member on a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride should immediately advise the ride coordinator(s) and other members of the ride should the member feel the group or individuals in the group are riding in an unsafe manner. The member should withdraw from the ride if they feel unsafe.
- All participants of the St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides must provide proof of membership in good standing prior to each ride, if requested by the ride coordinator. If an ineligible rider insists on participating even after being asked not to, then the St. Catharines Cycling Club ride may proceed, however, the ride coordinator shall advise the ineligible rider, with a witness present, that he or she is ineligible and is not covered by any St. Catharines Cycling Club insurance and is responsible for all his/ her actions.
- Each St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride participant will conduct themselves in a responsible manner and retains liability for their own actions.
Helmets must be worn at all times on St. Catharines Cycling Club activities. The St. Catharines Cycling Club will operate both competitive and non-competitive events according to their established risk management procedures designed to reduce the possibility of accidents. All participants need to be informed that the ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the individuals.
- A ride coordinator(s) will be appointed by the St. Catharines Cycling Club Board for each St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride. In absence of the ride coordinator(s), an available experienced St. Catharines Cycling Club member(s) shall assume the role of the ride coordinator(s) The ride coordinator will identify himself/herself to the group so that everyone is aware of who is coordinating the ride. The ride coordinator may describe the general ride route, and may provide a brief safety tip at the commencement of the ride. Each individual group on a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride may not have a coordinator.
- The ride coordinator(s) has the final decision on all matters pertaining to the St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride and his/her decisions must be respected by all participants. The rider coordinator may appoint a designate should the ride coordinator be unable to attend a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride.
- Ride coordinators will carry cell phones for emergency use on all St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides and, from time to time, will remind riders to carry their own cell phones on St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides. Riders should immediately call 911 in the event of an emergency.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides on roads will be planned to use lesser- traveled roads where possible and practical.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club Rides will not run if lightning is present and will be cancelled if lightning is sighted.
- When a large number of riders come out for any given St. Catharines Cycling Club ride, the riders will be encouraged by the ride coordinator to break into smaller groups. A size of 6-12 is a reasonable group. Groups should be at least 100 metres apart on the road to allow other vehicles to pass safely in two manoeuvres.
- Riders must not be left behind during an St. Catharines Cycling Club ride unless they first confirm with the ride coordinator(s) that they are detaching from the group or are participating in a planned “Drop Ride” scenario; all members of the St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride are responsible for ensuring they property notify the ride coordinator(s) if they are detaching from the group.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club members are responsible for ensuring that their bicycle is in good working order before attending each St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride.
- Bicycle helmets must be worn at all times while participating in any St. Catharines Cycling Club ride and other protective equipment is strongly encouraged (e.g., gloves, eye wear).
- Front and rear lights are required during any St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride which takes place one half hour before sunset and/ or which may extend into darkness.
- While trail riding all riders must be courteous and considerate of other trail users and the trail system.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club members are responsible for ensuring they are sufficiently fit for their desired activity.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club members are responsible for bringing sufficient liquids and food, as required, for each St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride, as well as appropriate tools/ spare tubes, etc.
- St. Catharines Cycling Club members are not to be under the influence of any drug or beverage product that could impair their riding judgment while on a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride.
- Any and every accident on a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride shall be immediately reported to a St. Catharines Cycling Club Board member to be reported to the Ontario Cycling Association through the proper reporting procedures and forms provided by CC. The list of Board members can be found on the St. Catharines Cycling Club website.
- For non- St. Catharines Cycling Club riders wishing to try-out a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride, extra waiver forms may be available at the beginning of each club ride. Proof of OCA membership will be required. (Citizen Permit, UCI or Affiliate Club Membership). Note prior approval by the St. Catharines Cycling Club is required.
- For non-OCA members wishing to try out a St. Catharines Cycling Club Ride, the club will have designated try-out dates where an individual can try out the club on a one-time basis. Prior notification is required and a waiver and sign-in form will be required prior to participation. All non-members participating in the program are asked to bring any emergency medical information and a health card.
- The St. Catharines Cycling Club encourages all riders to be comfortable and proficient with group riding before joining a St. Catharines Cycling Club ride.
- To support rider skills development, the St. Catharines Cycling Club will periodically hold skills development programs for road riding and/ or mountain biking and encourages all St. Catharines Cycling Club members to attend these programs and / or other cycling skills courses.
- Riders may be requested to complete a skills development program before attending or continuing to attend regular scheduled St. Catharines Cycling Club rides. This applies for both road and off-road St. Catharines Cycling Club rides.
- New or novice member are encouraged to participate in the Learn to Ride programs that may be offered by the St. Catharines Cycling Club before participating in more challenging or technically advanced rides.
- All St. Catharines Cycling Club members must complete the Ontario Cycling Association /Cycling Canada waiver prior to obtaining membership. This can be done through the provincial membership registration site. Physical waivers may be approved with prior consent. Physical waivers for participants under the age of 19 are required to be sent in to the OCA office, completed by a parent or legal guardian prior to membership being issued.
- Do not alter the waiver in any way, specifically the language or spacing. Paper waivers must be submitted on the appropriate sized paper (8.5 X 11)
- St. Catharines Cycling Club members under the age of 18 when joining the club must have an adult (18 years or older) complete the waivers. It can be signed by someone other than the parent or legal guardian but they may find themselves in an awkward position in the event of litigation, since they are accepting responsibility for the youth’s participation.
- Waivers will be stored at the Provincial office for a minimum of 7 years, to ensure that they can be accessed if legal action is taken against the club. Waivers are crucial in defending the club and the Ontario Cycling Association and CC during litigation.
- Failure to obtain waivers from all members of the St. Catharines Cycling Club will place the St. Catharines Cycling Club insurance coverage at risk.
Getting Started in Cycling
Read our PDF summary on getting started in Cycling.
Group riding – Be predictable!
As a novice rider, one of the most important skills to learn is how to ride in a group. The primary reason is for your safety and those of others. You are riding close together and a higher speed than you normally would. You will be within inches of each other side to side and front to back. This means you don’t have the same view of the road and far less time to respond.
You have to trust the other riders and they have to trust you! And of course, it goes without saying, if you are interested in competition, you have to be proficient at this. Experience is crucial. The Rockway rides is a comfortable place to learn. On the faster rides, stay at the back until you are ready. There’s no shame in learning.
Regardless of the ride, when crossing a controlled intersection, wait until all riders can safely cross. Sometimes you’ll see a rider sprint off near an intersection; no, they’re not trying to lose the group, they’re trying to determine the traffic conditions before the group arrives to facilitate a smoother crossing. Don’t leave people behind at the crossings just because they missed an opportunity!
Pacelines allow you to draft other riders more efficiently and provide some degree of control and predictability in a group ride.
PLEASE NOTE: Groups rides that use a side-by-side paceline, with the 2 front riders pulling off to the left and right side as the pack moves between them and are strongly urged to NOT USE THIS FORMATION. This creates a hazardous situation of being 4 riders abreast and occupying the entire lane The St. Catharines Cycling Club recommended formations are:
This is our standard rotation used while warming up or just cruising along. In the Social Paceline we start from the premise of the two abreast formation where everybody is 2-3ft apart laterally and fore/aft. The two leading cyclists are breaking the wind and setting the pace. The lead cyclist on the right, after a reasonable period of time (ie 1- 2 minutes, it’s flexible) asks the cyclist on their left to “Cover Me”. That means the leading left cyclist will gently ride forward and fade right to shelter the right side of the group. In turn the left side of the group will gently advance forward to the front of the group beside the right line. Those two riders will now lead the group for whatever time they feel comfortable with, again it’s negotiable. All passes are to be done smoothly and gently and make sure that your rear wheel is clear before you fade right.
A very important point to rotating a group : While you are in front of the group, the group is at your mercy. Anything you do, good or bad, will effect the entire group. If your pass is smooth and steady, then the group will remain smooth and steady. If you accelerate aggressively it will start to shatter the group and create gaps and confusion. If you half wheel the lead rider beside you it will offset the whole group or create gaps. We all have a responsibility to the riders behind us to move in a smooth and predictable way and watch the road surface ahead.
On faster sections an echelon may be formed with 2 “lanes” which are constantly rotating, one side is moving slightly faster than the other and only the lead rider of the fast lane pulls over to the slow lane. They slip into the fast lane again when they get to the end. This keeps the group speed higher. The amount of time you spend on the front depends on rider fitness, wind and the group itself.
A Few Points to Keep In Mind
- Whether riding a paceline or echelon, the prevailing wind direction influences how the following riders align themselves to the rider in front. Traffic permitting, the group may form diagonally across a lane. In these conditions the the slow lane is the windward side.
- When taking your turn at the front, maintain the same speed. Accelerating off the front can fracture the group and won’t make you very popular.
- Don’t make sudden or unexpected changes in speed or direction when there are riders behind you.
- Don’t overlap wheels!!
- Don’t stare at the ground or the wheel in front of you! Keep your eyes up and a few riders ahead.
Point out road obstacles so that those following can avoid them, e.g. potholes, cracks, debris, pedestrians, dead animals.
Use traditonal hand signals indicating turns and stopping.
Use a sweeping hand motion to indicate a larger obstruction that can’t be avoided, eg. gravel on the road.
Raise your hand and say “flat” if you experience a flat or mechanical. DO NOT SLOW ABRUPTLY, but GRADUALLY PULL OVER to the right side of the road.
The use of physical contact in the form of a gentle push as safety measure if a rider’s behaviour becomes unpredictable or a risk to the safety of other riders.
It is traditional to announce a car approaching from the rear with a “car back”
Announcing on-coming traffic with a “car-up” is not usually expected unless it is a narrow or blind section ahead.
Approaching an intersection, call “clear” if it is safe for the whole group to pass.
“Car left”, “car right”, indicates the direction of traffic to watch for. It is each riders’ responsibility to check for themselves!
If you get dropped by the group try shouting “slow up”. If the group decides to wait for you to catch up, let them know you’re back on with “on”.
If the first riders are pushing the pace too high for the intention of the ride, let them know with a “slow up” or “steady your pace”.
“Steady” or “hold your line” may be used as a gentle reminder if a rider’s behaviour becomes less than predictable.