Basic Tips for FCC Club Runs
- Friday Night
- Make sure your bike is in GOOD working order.
- Pump up tires to the pressure specified on the sidewall.
- Bring personal essentials: cycle helmet, clothing to suit weather conditions
- Bring cycling essentials: 2 spare tubes, pump, patchkit, water bottle(s), pocket food, money.
- Get up in good time.
- Eat a good breakfast consisting of carbohydrates and proteins.
- Leave enough time to visit the toilet before you leave.
- Leave home with enough time to get to the Sports Complex, Buncrana Road, Derry by 9.00 am.
Basic Safety Tips
The most common causes of bicycling accidents are the rider falling down and bicycle-on-bicycle collisions. Falls are caused by hitting something in your path and by equipment failure. To avoid falls, learn to keep a close eye on the condition of the roadway ahead of your bicycle; a large stick, a pothole, a curb, a sewer grating–all can put you on the ground. Also, regularly inspect your bicycle for loose nuts and bolts, make sure your drive train (crank, pedals, chain, cogs, derailleurs, shifters, shift cables) is in good shape, and be very sure your brakes and brake cables are functional and not rusted.
Bike-on-bike collisions commonly occur when one bicycle runs into the rear of another or when one bicycle turns in front of another. If your front wheel touches the rear wheel of a bicycle travelling in front of you, you will probably hit the ground very quickly; when riding close behind another rider you must always watch what they are doing and what is happening in front of them–all clues about what is about to happen are vital to your continued good health. Turning accidents usually happen when
a group approaches a road junction; always maintain a straight line through the crossing, or signal your turn; be especially observant of other cyclists in the junction ahead of you.
While you are riding your bicycle, you are constantly (without realizing it) making minute corrections with your steering to maintain your center of gravity directly over your bicycle (we call this “keeping your balance”). Anything that prevents you from doing this will lead to an instant fall. The most common thing that will prevent you from steering is getting your front tyre up against the tyre of the bicycle in front of you. This won’t affect the rider in front, but you will eat gravel!!!
When you are riding in a group of cyclists, it is important to remember that you are no longer alone. Anything that you do may have some affect on your fellow riders. The more radical your maneuver, the more the likelihood of an adverse effect. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of riding
smoothly and predictably when with other riders.
Maintaining proper spacing between bicycles is very important. When following another cyclist, leave at least one foot of clearance between wheels. On slower, less intense rides, you may want to leave somewhat larger gaps. On faster rides where drafting effects are being used, do not let a gap of more than three feet form between wheels.
Side-to-side placement is also very important. Even if you are not following directly behind the cyclist ahead, do not allow your front wheel to overlap the rear wheel of the cyclist forward of you. Should the cyclist ahead need to move over suddenly, you will have little chance to avoid a fall. In a double pace line, you should always strive to keep your handlebars even with the rider who is next to you; this requires the cooperation of both riders.
As much as is possible, it is safer for the group when you to stay in line. An odd cyclist riding out in the road causes problems for passing cars as well as for riders dropping back to the back of the line after giving up the lead. In a double pace line (which advanced groups use out in the countryside), pair up and maintain your pairing.