Two important goals for FCCC are safety and having fun.
FCCC developed these Ride Guidelines to provide concise and reliable best-practice for bicycling-specific safety. Any question, concern, or idea to enhance these Ride Guidelines or Ride Intensity is welcome and encouraged.
Please, contact Recreational Rides Committee if you have comments or recommendations.
Most bicycling-specific terms are defined in Wikipedia Glossary of Cycling
FCCC's Safety Policies
Our Safety Policies are based on the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Five Rules of the Road and the Colorado Department of Transportation's Colorado Bicycling Manual. Colorado bike laws are... linked: http://colobikelaw.com/law.php.
Refer also to FCCC's Resources for Group Riding, Pacelines, and Drafting.
Members are encouraged to periodically review these resources to refresh their awareness of FCCC Safety Policies, which may include LAB updates.
Additional Safety Information Resources
FCCC -- Hand & Vocal Signals for Group Riding
Q & A - Know Your Rights
City of Fort Collins -- Rules of the Road
Report aggressive driving -- Building a Bicycle Friendly Colorado. Dial *CSP (*277)
Membership and Waiver Requirements
The following apply to all FCCC-sponsored rides.
- Members must have a completed waiver on-file with FCCC.
- Non-members must identify themselves at a FCCC-sponsored ride; and, complete a waiver prior to the ride.
- Non-members are allowed only one ride with FCCC before joining.
- A separate waiver must be completed for all community-invited special event rides.
Eight Ride Participant ResponsibilitiesFCCC primarily focuses on safety and the pure enjoyment of cycling. Even on very challenging (♦♦) rides, we suggest taking time to socialize and enjoy the tranquility inherent with cycling in the beautiful state of Colorado. Please follow our Ride Guidelines to maximize the safety and enjoyment of the experience for yourself and others.
ACKNOWLEDGE: You are solely responsible for your safety at all times. This includes complying with FCCC's Safety Policies, and the terms and conditions for participation stated in the FCCC membership waiver. If, at any time, you believe conditions are unsafe, it is your responsibility to immediately discontinue further participation in the ride or activity. Ride Organizers, Ride Starters and/or Ride Leaders are not responsible for the safety of Ride Participants.
EVALUATE: Please evaluate the difficulty of the ride you are considering relative to your physical abilities and interests prior to participation in a particular ride. Contact the Ride Organizer if you have any questions about whether the ride is an appropriate choice for you.
Blue (Square) is moderate pace. Speed is not a precise measure of effort; and, what is moderate for one person may be very easy or difficult for another. I guess for an average person, though, a moderate pace on mostly level terrain without (significant) wind; should be about 14- to 17-mph.
ON-TIME: Please arrive prior to the start of the ride as specified in the ride announcement. Important pre-ride briefings will usually occur before the start time.
PREPARE: Conduct a thorough pre-ride bike inspection in advance of riding to confirm overall mechanical functionality of your bike. For each ride, bring: your helmet; protective eyewear; adequate water/food; appropriate weather-specific clothing (including items for potential adverse weather); and spare tube, pump/compressed air, bike multi-tool, and tire changing tools. Your bike should have safety flashers with fully charged batteries. Use of flashers and high visibility clothing in low light conditions is encouraged, regardless of time-of-day or light conditions. We suggest you develop a check list for preparing to ride and the items you routinely need, particularly for long-distance rides.
ROUTE: It is critical to know the ride route and designated regroup points, if applicable. If there are sub-groups during the ride, confirm that one of the riders with whom you are cycling knows the route and the next regroup point. Printed route maps are not provided by FCCC. Please print a route map and/or cue sheet prior to participating in a ride.
EMERGENCY CONTACT: You are responsible for having emergency contact information with you during all FCCC rides. We suggest using Road ID or having another form of visible emergency contact information (e.g., a bracelet, necklace, or shoe-tag).
COMMUNICATION and SUPPORT: Please look for opportunities to support other Ride Participants, and/or the Ride Starter(s) or Ride Leader(s). If, for whatever reason, you decide not to complete a ride (or need to ride ahead), communicate your intentions to the Ride Starter(s) or Ride Leader(s)/Sweeper. Lastly, if you use headphones or ear coverings, make sure they will not impede your ability to hear vocal calls.
- SAFETY CONCERNS: Generally, non-urgent safety concerns are best communicated via post-ride comments and without speaking to specific riders. If a safety concern needs to be addressed during the ride, please be respectful and congenial. Everyone invariably makes mistakes in cycling. Also, maintaining an open mind facilitates a learning environment for all participants and may lead to improved ride safety and general/group riding skills.
Ride Organizer Responsibilities
As a Ride Organizer you are not responsible for the safety of Ride Participants (refer to point one of Ride Participant Responsibilities), but you are responsible for the following.
- Complete and submit a Proposed Ride Form to the Recreation Ride Committee. This requirement does not apply to Ride Organizers who have a standing ride form approved by the Recreation Rides Committee.
- With the exception of Show and Go rides, when a route will be determined at the beginning of the ride, use a publicly accessible ride program to plan your route so that Ride Participants can print the route and/or download it to a GPS device.
- Give safety factors (e.g., traffic volume and road construction) careful consideration in planning your route. Avoidance of bike paths is recommended particularly during times of high volumes of pedestrian traffic (i.e., small group Green Circle rides may be an exception).
Ride Starter(s) Responsibilities
As noted in point one of Ride Participant Responsibilities, Ride Starters and Ride Leaders are not responsible for the safety of Ride Participants. Neither are you required to make sure Ride Participants have prepared for the ride (e.g., making sure everyone has appropriate water/food, clothing, etc.), nor are you required to have a sign-in sheet or collect emergency contact information. You are, however, responsible for the following.
- Ask if everyone is a member of FCCC. Non-members are extended the courtesy of one free ride, but they must sign a waiver form.
- Waiver forms must be completed for either non-members, or family members under the age of 18.
- Conduct a pre-ride briefing, including a review of the route and any regroup points, the anticipated pace, and if there are Ride Starters or Ride Leaders who will try to maintain a set pace. You are not required to repeat this information for Ride Participants who do not arrive in time for the pre-ride briefing.
- If feasible, count the number of Ride Participants at the pre-ride briefing so that a head count may be reassessed if/when regroup points are part of the ride plan.
- Be open to suggestions for improving safety conditions either during the pre-ride briefing or during the ride. Near the end of the ride, or in a post-ride discussion, please ask the Ride Participants for comments about the overall ride experience or any safety concerns.
- After the ride, make arrangements to forward any completed waiver forms and/or post-ride comments to the Recreation Ride Committee.
Ride Leader(s) Responsibilities
Green Circle and other specifically designated no drop rides have Ride Leaders.
As noted in Point One of Ride Participant Responsibilities, Ride Leaders are not responsible for the safety of individual Ride Participants.
All Ride Starter responsibilities apply to Ride Leaders. In addition, the Ride Leader(s) should keep the group together (or sub-groups); and, ensure there is a Sweeper. Explain how SAG (Support and Gear) will work, if applicable.