Details of each ride and dates are set out in the programme to enable you to judge if it is suitable for your level of skill and experience. PedalPals has a “no drop” policy which means that if you do fall behind, for example on a hill, the rider leader will wait for you at the next suitable stopping point, riders will also be asked to wait at junctions and signpost the direction for other riders.

When it is necessary to regroup a suitable place, preferably other than at a road junction, will be used. A group of cyclists waiting at a junction can cause difficulties for other road users.

Riding on the road brings a different set of hazards to off road riding, notably other road traffic in the form of cars, vans, lorries, motorcycles, horses etc. Some of these users may not extend the level of courtesy to bikes riders that we would like! You will also encounter potholes, glass and gravel etc., which needs to be avoided.  The aim therefore when riding on the road is to ride defensively so that you do not put yourself and others riders into danger and that whenever possible you alert other riders to oncoming danger.

There are established calls to alert other riders in the group to hazards. These are:

  • CAR FRONT – to indicate vehicle approaching
  • CAR BACK – to indicate vehicle behind
  • COMING THROUGH – used on a narrow road to indicate a vehicle behind that is overtaking
  • HOLE – to indicate a crater or hole that needs to be avoided
  • GRAVEL – to indicate a loose road surface
  • SINGLE OUT – a request to move to single file formation to allow traffic behind to pass

You should pass these calls up or down the line of riders as appropriate.

Hands signals, in addition to the normal turn left and right, are used to point to other hazards such uneven road surfaces and overhanging branches.

On busy roads riders should form smaller groups of  4-5 riders and leave a gap of four or five car lengths between each of the smaller groups to allow vehicles to move up the line of riders piecemeal rather than having to wait for a long clear stretch to get by the full group in one pass.

Exceptional care should be taken when waiting at road junction behind or near large vehicles such as lorries. The driver may have limited or no vison of anything near to the vehicle and the turning circle may be a lot sharper than you estimate.

Punctures happen from time to time so please carry a spare inner tube, tyres levers and a pump. Don’t worry if you can’t change a tube yourself there will always be someone on hand to help or advise, or both!  It is always a good idea to carry some water to maintain hydration levels.

With experience group road riding is an enjoyable way to visit some of the quieter lanes and delightful scenery in the area in the company of like-minded people who will make the event much more than just a ride on the bike.