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Rider Guidelines

ANSI approved helmets must be properly worn on all rides.

Our goal is for everyone to have a safe and fun time on each group ride. The following are some suggestions that will help make that happen. If you're unsure whether a particular ride is a good fit for you based on the description, please reach out to the ride leader. TCC rider leaders are always happy to answer any questions you might have!

Before the ride

  • The descriptions for each ride will include the average speed you can expect to maintain while moving (rolling average speed). These descriptions might also mention things like sprints, drops, and sweeps. Choose rides where you can maintain the scheduled speed for the advertised distance and terrain.
  • Make sure your bicycle is mechanically sound (tires pumped, etc.).
  • Call the ride leader in advance of the scheduled ride, if you have any questions.
  • Take basic equipment for you and your bike: water bottles, appropriate clothing, helmet, identification, money, mirror, gloves, sun tan lotion, snacks and minor repair tools (pump, spare tube, patch kit, tire tools). Consider carrying an area map and a cell phone.
  • Have adequate lighting for night riding.
  • Build up to longer rides, so that you have a reasonable capability to do the ride.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled ride start time. Be sure to sign the ride roster and provide an emergency contact name and number. (TCC rides start at the listed time.)
  • Know your ride leader and other riders. Introduce yourself.
  • Pick up a map (if provided). Pay attention to any special ride instructions from the ride leader.

During the ride

  • Ride in a safe manner. Call out road hazards to others. Pass other riders when it's safe and after informing them.
  • Obey traffic laws.
  • Pace yourself to complete the ride.
  • Assist other riders when appropriate (mechanically or emotionally).
  • If you have difficulties or decide to leave the group for any reason, tell the ride leader or another rider.
  • If you choose to ride ahead of the ride leader, you do so at your own risk.
  • Be aware of the other cyclists around you. Keep a proper distance between bikes ahead of you and around you. Only draft another rider with his or her permission. Give hand signals as appropriate and verbal signals as needed.
  • Exercise courtesy toward cars and pedestrians, thus encouraging acceptance of cyclists on the roadway and in the community. Remember that bikes are subject to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles.
  • Soak in the scenery, make a friend and enjoy your accomplishment. Have Fun!

After the ride

  • Thank the ride leader. Make any suggestions for improvements in a pleasant manner.
  • Join your fellow riders for pizza. Not available on all rides :-)


Paceline riding: Riding in a single line, or in two lines, close enough to draft from the rider in front of you. Paceline riding can be very dangerous. Crashes are common with inexperienced riders. Ride with extreme caution. Tell the ride leader if you have never done this type of riding before, or are uncomfortable with it.

Sag: A driver who provides assistance to riders.

Sweep: A rider who rides at the rear to make sure no one is left behind.

A compilation of guidelines taken from a number of club newsletters and reprinted with permission of Adventure Cycling Association; P.O. Box 8308; Missoula, MT 59807.