Safety Basics

Traffic Laws 

Riders on OBC group rides are expected to obey all traffic laws and rules of the road.  In particular,  

  • Never ride through red lights. If you are at the back of a group when the light changes to red, please stop. The lead riders are expected to stop or soft pedal on the other side and wait for everyone to rejoin the group. 
  • All riders should stop at stop signs.  At four-way stops, the group should proceed through the intersection as a unit, while ensuring that any cross-traffic is waiting for the group to pass.  At stops where cross-traffic does not have to stop, each rider should determine for him/herself when it is safe to proceed.  Although calling “clear” to cyclists behind you may be helpful, each rider is ultimately responsible for their own safety. 
  • Use the appropriate lanes on the road: use left or right turn lanes when turning, but keep out of right turn lanes when going straight.  
  • Never pass stationary vehicles on the right side, whether at an intersection or elsewhere. 


As a cyclist on a club ride, you are responsible for your own safety and you are also responsible for contributing to the safety of the group.  It is important to avoid injuries by riding in a safe manner and by encouraging others in the group to do likewise.  If you are concerned with the riding habits of another rider in your group, discuss the matter with the Group Leader, the Ride Leader or raise your concerns with the Touring Director. 


One of the key expectations of cyclists when riding in a group is that they act in a predictable way.  One means of being predictable is the use of hand signals to inform the cyclist behind you of: 

  • upcoming turns; 
  • when you are slowing the pace or preparing to stop; and 
  • road hazards (e.g., potholes) when the group cannot take a line that enables all riders to see the hazard in advance.  

Signals to other riders should generally be brief, so that the information is passed along while enabling everyone to maintain control of their bikes with two hands on the handlebars as much as possible. 

Courtesy and Co-operation 

Please be courteous to other road users.  Our safety is enhanced if we can minimize motorist frustration.  Co-operation with both motorists and other members of the community is essential.  We do want to present a positive image of the OBC to the public at all times.   

Bike Paths 

Some of our rides include segments along mutli-use pathways.  Be courteous to and cautious around other path users – particularly children, whose moves can be unpredictable.  Don’t pass other path users unless 

  • you alert them in advance, e.g., by ringing your bell; 
  • you can see sufficiently far ahead to know that the pathway is clear of oncoming traffic; and  
  •  you can give at least 1 metre of clearance in passing the other path user.