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Scroll down to read KABC Guidelines for safety and Ride Etiquette
KABC Safety and Ride Etiquette Guidelines
Cycling in a group is challenging and requires all riders to adhere to certain rules for the safety and enjoyment of all. Group riding also requires skills that may take some practice. With this in mind, the following list of safety and ride etiquette rules are provided to assure you have a safe and enjoyable ride.
1) Ride predictably.
This involves every aspect of riding from changing positions in the group to
following traffic rules.
2) Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
Look up and ahead, not at the rear wheel of the bike in front of you. This will allow you to see things that are developing in front of the group. Do not use your hand-held smart phone for pictures, videos or calls while riding.
3) Be visible.
Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing at night. Always use
4) Ride like a vehicle when on the road.
Cyclists are considered motorists when on roadways and must obey all rules
of the road (e.g., traffic lights, stop signs, lane markings, etc.). Maneuver as a vehicle for lane changes, traffic circles, turns, intersections, etc. Scan, signal, scan, then move when safe.
SC Bike law summary: https://pccsc.net/sc-bike-laws/
5) Make eye contact.
Make eye contact with motorists at intersections and driveways before proceeding. When crossing roadways with two lanes moving in same direction, make eye contact with the motorists in both lanes. If in doubt stop!
6) Maintain group integrity.
Remain tightly in group when at intersections that are controlled by traffic lights or stop signs. Double-up and take control of the lane intended for the direction of travel. Proceed through the intersection as a group quickly and safely.
7) Ride single file on busy roads and on pathways.
8) Move and stop with the group for safety.
Move the group to a safe place on the side of the road if a significant number of motorists are unable to pass and allow them to pass.
9) Do not say “clear.”
Do not use the word “Clear” at intersections – each cyclist is responsible for determining that the way is clear by looking both ways before proceeding.
10) Behave like a pedestrian.
When on pathways, use marked crosswalks, follow pedestrian signals, look both ways, etc. Vehicles have the right of way but must yield to pedestrians in
11) Report pathway debris .
Report glass and unsafe conditions on HHI to the Town’s Pathway Hotline at
843-342-4580. Be specific to location and issue.
12) Be vocal.
Enunciate loudly and clearly when approaching intersections, slowing, stopping, or turning. All actions should be smooth and deliberate. Give hand signals and vocal commands for Right Turn, Left Turn, Slowing and Stopping.
13) Give vocal commands.
Alert other riders loudly and clearly for situations such as, Car Back, Car
Passing, Car Up, Bikers Up, Pedestrian Up, Runners Up. Pass it up/down
the line of riders.
14) Warn cyclists
Alert other riders loudly and clearly of any hazards, e.g., glass, potholes, RR
tracks, sewer gratings, sand, dogs, etc. Also be aware that wet road markings
can be slippery.
15) Ride steady .
With regard to both speed and travel direction, maintain a speed that is
appropriate for the group and road/pathway conditions. Avoid stopping, turning or accelerating abruptly.
16) Pass cyclists and pedestrians on the left.
Call out "On Your Left!" Do not pass on the right.
17) Relinquish your position safely.
Relinquish your position in the group by maintaining your cadence, scanning,
signaling your intention, moving to the left slightly, allowing the rider behind to
move up then drifting back. Scan behind and to the side before changing
18) Leave an appropriate space .
Leave a (bike length) between you and the cyclist in front of you. KABC
discourages pace lines (i.e., faster speeds with close spacing).
19) Wait for slower riders at convenient stopping points.
Groups get separated when faster riders pull away for a short period or when some riders are left behind at an intersection. Allow the slower riders to hydrate and rest, if necessary, before continuing.
20) Give Emergency Signals.
Give vocal and/or hand signals, if possible, to alert the group to any emergency,
( e.g., flat tire, mechanical problem, etc.) Scan behind and to the side before pulling over and stopping. Move completely off the road or pathway.
21) Use a rearview mirror.
Be aware of the riders/problems behind you, especially if you are a ride leader.
Mirrors should not be used to verify that it is clear for a rider to move left or right; turn your head and scan the area first.
22) Safely Leave the group.
Inform the ride leader if you intend to leave the group (e.g., speed ahead) and
designate a rendezvous point.
23) Have a Cue Sheet.
Pull up copy of the appropriate map and/or cue sheet for the ride on your smart phone or print hard copy for use.
Please visit SafeStreetsSaveLives.org for tips and videos on safe riding.
Safety Tips - below, an excerpt from Bicycling Magazine:
Stay Safe in Traffic
Continue below to learn about tips and techniques that will help you thrive on any road.
By Alex Stieda
Hook your thumbs
Always wrap your thumbs around the handlebar, instead of laying them across the top. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a rider go down after his hands were jarred off the bar when he hit a bump. Also, please no aero riding on busy streets. Save it for when you're on a smooth road with few cars.
Looking behind you without swerving is an essential skill. For new riders, simply glancing back with your hands on the brake hoods may work, but this method often causes the bar to turn in the direction you're looking. This way is better:
To look left, move your right hand toward the center of the handlebar near the stem, and then drop your left hand off the bar as you turn your head to look back. Track racers use this technique when doing a Madison relay change. Watch the Madison at the Olympics this year--magic bike handling. Keep your upper body relaxed the entire time and practice, ideally in an empty parking lot with lines you can follow.
Don't keep secrets
When you drive, you use turn signals, and your car has brake lights. As you ride, try to think of what drivers will see as they drive up behind you. Use hand signals to indicate where you intend to go. At intersections, make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you. Also, for future goodwill, wave a thank-you when you're given the right of way.
Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, with 7-Eleven in 1986, leads tours and skills camps (stiedacycling.com).
Help Keep Our Pathways Clean & Safe
When we ride on HHI's pathways, we can be the town’s eyes and ears for pathways’ safety and debris conditions. All members should program into their cell phones the number (843) 342-4580, which is the Town of HHI Facilities Management Help Desk. If there is a condition to report, identify who you are (a KABC member is OK), the condition, specifically where it is and when the call was made (if it goes to voicemail). The town does respond to these calls and it will help keep our pathways clean, safe and free of debris.
Stay Safe with a Road ID!
You’ve no doubt seen some KABC members wearing a Road ID bracelet. It’s a great idea and worth your consideration. The ID can be found at www.roadid.com. Use this code for free shipping if you order something: EBFC97B3.
Bike Safety - Use of Hand Signals
Did you know the use of hand signals is required of bicyclists making a turn or stop? It's the law! Our South Carolina Bicycle Law (Article 27) is a model for other states. Here is an excerpt of the law relating to hand signals and a link to the entire bike law:
South Carolina Bicycle Laws - Article 27:
SECTION 56-5-3480. This section describes the use of hand signals.
(A)(1) A bicyclist shall indicate a right turn by extending the left arm upward, by raising the left arm to the square, or by extending the right arm horizontally to the right.
(2) A bicyclist shall indicate a left turn by extending the left arm horizontally.
(3) A bicyclist shall indicate stopping or decreasing speed by extending the left arm or the right arm downward.
(B) A bicyclist is not required to give signals provided for in subsection (A) continuously if the hand or arm is needed to control the bicycle.
(C) A violation of this section is punishable by a fine of twenty-five dollars.
SC Bicycle Law: http://pccsc.net/sc-bike-laws/