Railway and streetcar tracks are very dangerous. Crossing at the wrong angle, they can spill you and damage your bicycle wheels. Always cross the tracks at right angles. Plan your crossing well ahead of time, slow down and put yourself into the best road position to make a right-angle crossing.
If the tracks are at an angle to the road, you may need a full lane. Use hand signals to slow traffic behind you and give you room to cross the tracks safely. Go slowly and stand on the pedals when crossing over particularly bumpy tracks.
Road and hybrid bikes, typically with tires up to about 32 mm (1¼”) wide, are best-suited to club tours, although some members use mountain bikes. Mountain bikes, with wider and softer tires, offer more rolling resistance, and hence require more effort for the same distance. While a road bike is more suited to touring, more important is your selection of a group whose speed you can match without tiring.
Traffic Laws, Safe Riding Practices
It is in our own interest to obey traffic laws and follow the rules of the road. It only takes a few inconsiderate cyclists to create a negative perception of cyclists among the general public. Never ride through red lights. There are not many traffic lights on tour routes. If you are at the back of a pack when the light changes to red, please stop. Pack leaders are expected to stop the pack on the other side and wait for riders to get through the lights.
When starting a ride or restarting en-route, after red lights, stop signs, mechanical problems etc. the group leader will announce that the group is starting. All riders will move off together as one unit and when it is clear that all riders are in formation, the speed can increase.
Groups and Packs
A group is several cyclists who wish to travel at about the same speed. If necessary, groups will be divided into smaller packs of six to twelve riders. Larger packs are difficult to manage; smaller packs will lead to early fatigue.
The tour leader organizes the tour and is responsible for the route, making announcements and giving directions at the start of the tour.
Ottawa Bicycle Club group rides are organized in packs of about six to twelve cyclists grouped according to speed, distance, ability, and interest of the participants. Riding in a pack allows riders to meet and converse with other riders, saves energy (particularly when riding into the wind), and it is easier for the tour leader to guide and direct riders. And, if you suffer a flat tire or any other problem, you will have other riders in your pack able and willing to help you.
It is in our own interest to obey traffic laws and follow the rules of the road. It only takes a few inconsiderate cyclists to create a negative perception of cyclists among the general public.
Below are some useful links pertaining to cycling and the law.