Paceline Safety

When participating in group ride every cyclist takes responsibility for group safety, more so when riding upfront.


Stay Alert and Be Ready to React

Communication & Signals

Clear, timely and proper communication is key for safe group riding.

Following table lists most of signals we use

Call outSignal
Approaching a turn, turning"Right turn" or "Left turn"Point to the side with right or left hand.
Intention to slow down"Slowing"Waiving arm down with palm facing backwards.
Intention to stop completely"Stopping"Arm bent in elbow pointing down with palm facing backwards.
Intention to start moving or keep moving"Rolling"
Moving out of the paceline, suggesting to pass"Out"Wiggle elbow, use appropriate arm to indicate side that you wish riders to pass you on.
Approaching road hazard such as hole, bump, crack, debrisCall out the hazard and where it is (left, right or middle)Point the hazard with index finger.
Car approaching, appropriate when close to riders, narrow road, etc."Car back", "car up", "car left" or "car right"
Request riders up front to reduce pace"One down" or "Two down"
Informing/instructing riders up front that it is safe to change lanes"Take the lane"
Announcement of a mechanical issue with some rider's bike"Mechanical" or "Flat"

Paceline Etiquette

The following may be not directly related to safety, but makes group more solid and pleasant to ride with.


Check your bike before you ride it. There are several different quick check protocols. Most of them cover same things:

Make sure your bike is well maintained, take care of it yourself or take it to a professional mechanic.

Sharing Road with Cars

We share road with motorists. And a lot of them think they own the road. Be alert and be prepared to react according to quickly changing traffic situation. Be aware of the following most typical motorist mistakes:

  1. Car turns left in front of oncoming bicycle traffic. Cyclists are often overlooked or their speed is misjudged.
  2. Car turns right across the path of the bicycle. Often due to bicycle speed is misjudged.
  3. Car pulls from a stop sign and fails to yield right-of-way to bicycle traffic.

Being aware of these mistakes helps anticipate and possibly prevent collision if motorist made mistake.

Riding with Health Conditions

Bicycling is an excellent way to add exercise to your day. You can be in the fresh air with (or without) friends; you can see new things; it can be easier on your joints. It is well known that exercise is important for physical and mental health.

The SCCC has numerous members who have weathered health problems. Many would be happy to discuss your concerns.

However, before participating with an adverse condition you should get clearance from your physician to participate in vigorous activity. Your physician should be your first resource before taking the advice of other riders.

Once you receive clearance from your doctor, spend some time building up your endurance. Start slowly and gradually build up. Once you are ready and your doctor agrees, we welcome you to ride. You should do the following:

  1. Have on a RoadID or MedicAlert bracelet with your name, address, emergency contact, and that can access your medical issues.
  2. Alert your ride leader before starting about any issues you could have during the ride.
  3. Let the ride leader know (or another rider if you can’t get to the leader) during the ride if you are having problems. Do not just drop quietly off the back. That is dangerous for your health, and we are always ready to slow down or help as needed

Here are some web resources that may interest you (note that SCCC is not responsible for the content of these resources):


  1. If you do not feel well, STAY HOME! (Do a solo ride if you feel the need to ride.)
  2. If you have just returned from a trip where there was a high incidence of the virus, please, again, do a solo ride, not with the group.
  3. Practice good hygiene. Wash hands frequently.
  4. Limit after club activities. Avoid large crowds.
  5. Carry hand sanitizer or hand wipes and use liberally.
  6. Reduce interactions (no person-to-person contact) and time at rest stops.