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ETIQUETTE & POLICIES

The Club welcomes non-members on the weekend rides. Please read and familiarize yourself with the policies and practices of the Club before joining in.

Bicycling is a wonderful fitness activity, but it has its hazards. Riding in a safe group is a terrific way to develop your skills, and confidence on the bike. The Santa Clarita Velo has been on the road since 1991 and was the starting place for many of the excellent riders in Southern California.

Regarding our Saturday rides, It is very important to set some expectations. 

  1. The Saturday ride is for “serious cyclists.” It is not a gingerly pedal-around-the-city ride. While we would never dissuade someone from trying the Saturday ride, we’ve been suggesting our Sunday ride as first ride to get a feel for riding in a group. Sunday has become more of a chatty, recovery like ride that has a more mellow pace, but still may put in 40 miles plus. Be aware. Even this ride can be challenging (e.g., climbing Bear Divide at a reduced pace).
  2. Ensure you check our Saturday ride posts and study the route. You need to understand how much distance and particularly, how much climbing is involved in the route. If you have ridden the outskirts of Santa Clarita, there are no flat rides. You need to be fit! You need to be able to easily, comfortably ride at least 50 miles at a pretty brisk pace and have the legs to do a good bit of sustained climbing.
  3. Riding in a bunch and on canyon roads for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. You’re riding elbow to elbow with folks you don’t know on roads with sometimes narrow shoulders that cars often pass too close. You need to develop a new mindset to deal with it. It takes time and practice. Above all else, while in the group, just hold a straight line. You need to be predictable and all the riders behind you will appreciate you. See below for more dos and don’ts.
  4. You need to be your own bike mechanic. Be self-sufficient. Bring tools, tubes, patch kits, CO2 cartridges etc. to deal with minor issues on your bike. At a minimum you need to be able to change a tube and fix a dropped chain. Typically, as a group, we stop for all mechanicals, but if you get dropped, you need to be able to deal with it by yourself, on the side of a road. Many times, you may be out of cell range.
  5. Speaking of dropped, on any group ride, at some point, everyone experiences getting “dropped.” You run out of gas and watch the group ride away from you at ever increasing speed. Don’t despair, simply keep pedaling. Eventually, you’ll catch the group at a “re-group” point. (or you may want to evaluate turning back if way over your head).
  6. On longer rides, plan ahead and pack enough food and water! Protein bars, nut bars, gels, energy chews, peanut butter and jelly sandwich… you get the idea. Most riders will bring a variety of food to eat on and off the bike along with two bottles of water and/or electrolyte/energy drinks.
  7. Lastly, have a tough skin and be tenacious. Once you’ve attained fitness to be able to stay in the bunch for long periods of time and to be only a few minutes behind most folks at the re-group points, you’ll get a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Group safety is paramount at all times; you must have the basic skills to ride in a peloton to participate. (The Club offers ride clinics on the second Saturday of each month at 8:15am from Incycle for those new to group riding. Please email info@santaclaritavelo.org to check that the clinics are running.)
  • Be able to “hold your line” and ride at a predictable pace.
  • All riders must wear helmets without exception.
  • Please do not wear any headphones or earbuds in the peloton.
  • Bring your own support: cellphone, tubes, air, food, water, money, etc. There is no SAG.
  • You must have I.D. and observe traffic laws and speed limits at all times.
  • All riders must be on properly maintained bicycles.

GROUP ETIQUETTE:

  • Please point out potholes and other hazards with an extended hand.
  • Call out and signal clearly (use simple phrases e.g.: “Car Back”, “Flat”, “Stay!”, “Rider Up”, and “On Your Left”)
  • The entire peloton will stop for mechanicals and flats. (Practice changing tubes expeditiously to avoid delaying the group – check out the clinics to be held on the second Saturday of each month for help with the best procedures.)
  • The paceline should never be wider than two abreast.
  • The Club tries for tight rotations and echelons (rotation is always counter-clockwise regardless of wind conditions).
  • Avoid creating gaps in the paceline; we ride better and faster as an orderly group.

CLUB POLICIES:

  • Be familiar with the route, especially the return home. (Each ride splits into ability groups, and there is always a range of fitness levels and experience; It is OK to elect to “fall out” of the group and ride at your own pace – please announce your intention if you do so.)
  • The Club assumes no liability for the riders members, or guests.
  • You may unintentionally fall behind the group,and thus “dropped,” as the rides progress. (Chose a wheel to follow that matches your goal for the ride. But some days are better than others; do not be discouraged if you find yourself uncomfortable with the pace at various points in the ride – look at this instead as a motivation to improve.)
  • The routes may be subject to change.
  • If participating in our Sportive Group, please see the Sportive page for additional information

CYCLING CAVEATS:

  • Bicycle riding is an inherently dangerous sport.

  • Any cycling related activity, including road cycling, and mountain biking (but not limited to such) involves risk.

  • There is a real chance that you may get hurt while cycling anywhere at anytime and these injuries could even result in your death.

  • The Santa Clarita Velo Bicycle Club members are not and do not claim to be experts in cycling safety.

  • The Santa Clarita Velo Bicycle Club cannot guarantee your safety while on your bike and riding with us.

  • Although open to public participation, The Santa Clarita Velo Bicycle Club does not sanction rides; they are posted for reference only.

  • We make no claim to safety, control of attendance, or road conditions.

  • The Santa Clarita Velo Bicycle Club does not assume any liability by your participation.

  • In no event shall The Santa Clarita Velo Bicycle Club accept responsibility for any injury, loss, or damage you might sustain.