Key points for cyclists regarding the Highway Code and the Human Race Cycling Code
Whenever you are out on your bike, whether you are taking part in an event or not, please always ride safely, remain aware and look after yourself, bearing in mind that other road users and the conditions that you face may be unpredictable. It is also important that all road users are aware of the Highway Code and are considerate towards each other. Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence.
1. HUMAN RACE CYCLING CODE
From the start to the finish of every cycle sportive, or the cycling section of a triathlon that uses the public highway, all participants will be expected to adhere to all briefings/information given in communications shared in advance of the event, briefings given on the day (which may supersede previous information if there have been any changes), and also to the Human Race cycling code, which includes the following:
- Unless otherwise or expressly stated, the roads should always be considered as open to traffic and you must ride accordingly – including obeying all Highway Code rules and road regulations at all times.
- You are requested to ride in single file where appropriate and no more than 2 abreast at any time. Single file riding is mandatory when double white line systems are in operation on the roads.
- Unless required during a safe overtaking procedure you should not cross the centre line whilst riding, and should make sure, particularly on descents, that you slow down sufficiently to be able to make a turn onto a side road without having to cross onto the ‘wrong’ side of the road.
- Please always remain aware of your fellow participants and all other road users (including motor vehicles, other cyclists, horse riders & pedestrians) and ensure you always leave sufficient space / give way where required.
- Please always indicate & signal your intention to stop or change direction, including at junctions.
- Please do not pass through any red traffic lights, but wait as directed. Similarly give way at all pedestrian crossings to those wishing to use them.
- Please look out for and observe all Highways signage relating to descents, bends, general road regulations, cattle grids and other hazards.
- Please also take note of any specific event signage which has been erected as this will be in place for your safety and to warn you of what is approaching on the Highway – HOWEVER these will not and cannot highlight every risk and so you must remain alert & maintain an awareness of your surroundings at all times.
- You should remain in control and ride according to your ability as well as the road conditions / environment. So think and look ahead to look out for any potential obstacles / risks coming up. This may include hidden dips and obstacles / hazards around corners – if you cannot see a good way along the road ahead of you or around a corner then slow down accordingly so you can respond / react if necessary.
Please note that we reserve the right to terminate your participation if you fail to comply with any of the above, or are seen to be riding dangerously.
2. THE HIGHWAY CODE
You can find a full version of the Highway Code here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code
Rules for Cyclists (59 to 82)
- never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends
- not ride close behind another vehicle
- be considerate of other road users
- look well ahead for obstructions in the road, so that you do not have to swerve suddenly to avoid them
- take care when overtaking
You MUST NOT:
- ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner
You MUST obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals
Before overtaking you should make sure:
- the road is sufficiently clear ahead
- road users are not beginning to overtake you
- there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake.
Animals. When passing animals, always go by slowly. Give them plenty of room and be ready to stop.
Horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles. Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always wait until it is safe to do so and pass wide and slowly on their outside. Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard; they can be unpredictable, despite the efforts of their rider/driver.
Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.
Whilst the wording of Rule 146 refers to ‘drivers’, the points made in it apply to all road users, including cyclists, and are important areas to familiarise yourself with as they refer to adjusting to the appropriate type and condition of road you are on. The points include but are not limited to:
- taking the road and traffic conditions into account
- being prepared for unexpected or difficult situations, e.g. the road being blocked beyond a blind bend
- being prepared to adjust your speed as a precaution where there are junctions and in case of other road users emerging from side roads
- whilst on country lanes being prepared to look out for unmarked junctions where nobody has priority