Mind your manners

Riding etiquette is as essential when your training with a team or just riding with friends

As you navigate your way through the world of road riding, it may be no surprise that you will come across all types of people with varying abilities, attitudes and egos.

But whether it's out on the road or in everyday life, there's no excuse for bad manners.

So, without sounding too preachy, we've put together a quick list of do's and don'ts that, from time to time, we may all need to be reminded of.

Don’t:

Undertake

You want to overtake the rider ahead, but not wanting to get too close to the traffic you overtake on the left. This is a particularly cowardly manoeuvre. It may unsettle the slower (and potentially less confident) rider, who likely has no idea you’re there and nudge them into traffic. If you don’t have the confidence to overtake on the right, just sit tight. If the rider ahead hasn’t given you enough room, ring your bell and call “passing right" to give them a chance to move left.

Overtake without warning

A rider whizzing past at 40km/h, a hair's breadth from your handlebars, without warning, can be enough to put a rider off balance. It’s an aggressive and intimidating move, if not dangerous. Before overtaking, ring your bell and/or call out “passing right” to warn the rider ahead and give them time to move left.

Wheel suck

A wheel-sucker is a bike rider who sits on your rear wheel - tucked nicely into your slipstream - and avoids taking their turn at the front.  Do not be this cyclist! The correct etiquette is for all riders to share the load and take their turn facing the wind. 

CyclingTips Ella: How to avoid being THAT cyclist.

 

Do:

Follow the road rules

Road rules are there for a reason and they apply to cyclists. Don't ignore them.

Communicate

Whenever possible, make your intentions clear. When overtaking, ring your bell and/or call out. Use hand signals to indicate to other cyclist when you’re stopping or turning and point out potholes and other hazards, such as opening car doors.

Be predictable

An erratic rider is one who weaves all over the bike lane, brakes suddenly, turns without signalling and constantly varies their speed. They are not only annoying but they are a danger to other riders because it is impossible to calculate what they will do next. They’re difficult to ride behind or overtake because there’s a good chance they might swerve or stop without warning. To ensure a stress-free ride for all, pick a line and hold it. If you need to overtake, turn, avoid an obstacle or brake suddenly, communicate your intentions verbally or with hand signals.

Enjoy the ride

Not every ride needs to serve a purpose or be a race. Ride your bike because you love it. Take the time to be mindful, explore your surroundings and enjoy the journey. Relish the rides where you can stop and indulge a post-ride treat with friends.

CyclingTips Ella: Do be THIS cyclist


At the end of the day, the only behaviour you can control is your own, and showing a little consideration and respect for others will go a long way in making the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone.