Every now and then something happens, and we have to look at how we address the situation.
Last week I received a mail from a fellow cyclist voicing a concern on how our group was behaving on the Al Qudra cycle track, riding more than two abreast, taking over the entire track, and being unruly.
From the onset ,Team Cycle Safe Dubai, has been a vital and integral part of the Al Qudra cycling track development, being the first group to make use of the road before a cycle track even existed. We have set the standards of how to ride safely, how to ride in groups and how we are all part of a growing cycling community.
Now, the track is used by a diverse pool of riders, from all walks of life with various riding abilities, and on various styles of bikes (Road, Tri, Tandem, MTB, BMX, Recumbent, E-Bikes and Kids bikes). The Cycle Path should be a place for everyone to enjoy.
From the letter I have received, we can take a few points, and see how we can address it as a Team / Group moving forward, in a positive manner.
Obviously, as the founders and organizers of Team Cycle Safe Dubai rides, we would love to only hear positive feedback, but we live in the real world and none of us can control how several different groups on a Friday or Saturday behave. What we can do as a collective is to all adhere to the same principles and code of conduct.
I don’t believe that anyone from Team Cycle Safe Dubai is malicious or has any intention to ride in a manner that is not fitting to a safe and enjoyable ride.
Every member of Team Cycle Safe Dubai is an integral part of the Team and has a valued opinion and viewpoint. Every member also has a responsibility to help maintain the safety and reputation of the Team Cycle Safe Dubai at the highest level.
We are lucky to have a few “Outspoken” in the groups, that help keep us in order – but this is not the responsibility of the few, but rather of us all.
If someone is out of line and riding in the manner that needs to be pointed out, Do So, Point it out!
We all need to work together and share the load of responsibility as leaders.
The New Team CSD kit is available and if someone is not riding in Team Kit they need to be told to sign up or find another group.
We may be the one of the biggest groups on the path but we certainly are not able to look after everyone. Lets rather be the safest than the biggest.
Perhaps it is a good idea to run over a few vital pointers to remind everyone of some Good Conduct and generally vital behavior pointers. We will try put more information into the upcoming weeks email communications on how to keep the rides positive, safe and FUN.
I am certain there will be loads of different views and opinions, and your replies and suggestions are welcome.
As a Group / Bunch / Peloton everything you do as a rider in that group will have a cause and effect. Think of a peloton as a singular unit. If you, as the front riders, slow the pace, the riders behind you will slow. If you jam on the breaks at the front, everyone will see the result.
Lead the group in a safe manner, be predictable, hold your line and keep to the RIGHT of the track (as much as you can).
If you’re leading and want to rotate, look ahead and make certain the track is clear enough. SIGNAL your intention, point down and make a circle with your finger (DO not point to the sky like the Lone Ranger and swirl your lasso – this will cause riders to look up and away from your wheel – Potential Danger).
Once you have signaled your intention, speed up a little to give you some room behind your rear wheel to rotate to the Right or Left (depending on you side of the group). Let the group pass you don’t stay along side, remember at this point the group is now FOUR wide – when we only want to be 2 abreast.
Often we see things on the track that could cause incidents or issues for other riders in the group, like sand, stones and trees (overhanging). Point these out and if you see someone giving a signal – pass it down the line.
When you see a rider coming from the opposite direction, shout it out: “ Rider UP”. This helps everyone in the group know to keep to the right and not drift across the center line. It may sound tedious but the rider approaching will certainly appreciate the bunch being made aware.
Possibly something that should not be done on the Cycle path, but if it’s done, it should be done safely and only if there are NO riders wanting to pass from behind or any rider coming from the front.
Not an ideal practice for new or less experienced riders, as things can easily go wrong.
Choose carefully what group you set off with in the morning.
Just because you can hang onto a group riding at 37km/h average dose not necessarily mean you can lead the group at that pace. You have to be sure that regardless of weather conditions you can deliver the same output as the rest of the riders in the group whilst you are at the front.
The time it takes for a new rider to advance through the groups from the Slow Poke ride to the Fast 104km is relatively fast. This is certainly due to the conditions we have here, flat smooth roads with only the wind to deal with. The reality is, given any hills or adverse conditions, most newcomers’ bike handling skills have not yet been honed and in so, we need to keep an eye out and offer advice. When it comes to safe following distances in a group – if you find yourself barely keeping up to that wheel in front of you, THE GROUP IS TOO FAST FOR YOU, so drop off and join another slightly slower ride.
We are all out there for the same reasons, so let’s be courteous and considerate to the other cycle path users, and let’s keep it safe.