BMCC Club etiquette
- None of the rides are races – the aim is to keep the ride together.
- Please observe the rules of the road at all times, i.e. no red light jumping, pavement riding, undertaking large vehicles, etc.
- Ride in pairs wherever it’s possible and safe to do so.
- Don’t ride more than two abreast and keep to the left unless going around obstructions.
- Use hand signals to point out obstructions, pot holes and changes of direction – only take your hands off the bar if you are confident doing so.
- Ride in single file if a queue of vehicles has built up behind – the hindmost rider will usually decide when this should happen.
- Once you are on the front do not increase pace so others drop behind at the back.
- If you find the pace too slow and wish to ride on your own, inform one of the other riders.
- If you have a mechanical issue then please make it known to the group – all rides will wait for mechanical issues.
- Groups should be kept to a manageable size which, as per BC guidelines, is a maximum of eight – if there are more than this then the peloton should be split into smaller groups.
- We encounter lots of horses on the quieter country lanes we use for our club rides.
- Our policy is to slow right down, talk to the horse riders, and to pass on the other side of the road. Sometimes horses can be startled by the sudden noise of a loud freewheel, so always just slow pedal.
- Click for the official guidance from Cycle UK and the British Horse Society.
- Remember the horses may already be twitchy – you’re probably not the first to pass them.
- Cycling Guidance leaflet
Special Arrangements for Winter Riding
- For the purposes of Brighton Mitre, winter officially starts when the clocks go back and daylight saving begins, and finishes when we commence BST.
- In winter, it is expected that all riders will fit mudguards to their bike for the sake of both their drivetrain and the person behind. Note that at the rear, the bottom of the mudguard needs to extend at least below the level of the axle or else spray will still hit the person behind from under the bottom of the guard. The club has team issue mud-flaps that can be attached especially for this purpose. If you’re in any doubt about fitting mudguards to your bike, then speak to other members who will be happy to help.
- Winter tyres are highly recommended as they offer increased protection against punctures which are far more likely in the Winter. The group is likely to be sympathetic to your plight if they are forced to stand around in the cold and rain whilst you attend to a hole in your Conti 4S, less so if you’re removing debris from a paper thin summer racing tyre.
- It is the club’s policy that group rides be cancelled if the weather is forecast to drop below zero overnight the night before a ride to prevent multiple pile ups on patches of ice. Even on days when this has not been the case, there are still frequently patches of ice, especially north of the downs. Always take additional care when riding in temperatures close to zero. Keep a look out on Facebook to check for cancellations.
- Rides may also need to be cancelled if the wind is forecast to be particularly strong and gusty. Again, Facebook for info.
What will I need to wear?
- You will need to be wearing appropriate clothing for the conditions – multiple layers and overshoes in winter, waterproof jacket if rain is forecast, sunscreen in summer.
- You don’t need to wear full Lycra, though you’ll find that current Mitre members will as it’s more comfortable when cycling. On the faster rides you’ll notice that everyone will be thus attired.
- Members are encouraged to wear club kit – especially ride leaders.
- You don’t need clipless pedals with clipped in cleats, though again you’ll find the current members tend to use these for efficiency when pedalling. Old fashioned toe clips are OK if you want the full L’Eroica experience.
- And finally, helmets are not compulsory but there is no earthly reason for not wearing one, and if you don’t wear one then you will be in a minority of one.
What will I need to bring?
- You will need to bring sufficient food and water for your chosen ride – a couple of energy bars or gels and two water bottles especially if it is hot.
- Spare tubes – much easier than patching up a hole roadside.
- Tyre levers.
- A small pump.
- A puncture repair kit in case of multiple punctures.
- Emergency money…or more importantly cake money for the café at the start, end, middle of the ride
- Emergency contact details and relevant health information should always be carried – this is essential
If you’re new to riding, then you’ll soon discover that you’re better off putting your things in the pockets of a cycling jersey or a saddle bag rather than a backpack.
Have I got the right bike?
- We recommend road bikes (dropped handlebars) as you might struggle to keep up on a hybrid or mountain bike. Although if you can maintain the pace on a bike with flat handlebars, you’re more than welcome. On the faster paced rides, all riders will be on dedicated road bikes.
- Whatever kind of bike you ride, you will need to make sure that your bike is in good working order – tyres fully inflated, both brakes working, drivetrain functioning correctly and chain appropriately lubed.
Please note: If you’re deemed ill-equipped or unprepared you may be asked to leave the ride by the ride leader.