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Homesafety- May 2018

Fun With Bikes
Sarasota-Manatee Bicycle Club Safety

  May 2018 1. Principles of a Smart Ride 2. Group Riding Principles 3. Hand Signals 4. What is Dooring
Basic Principles for a Smart Ride


from The League of American Bicyclists

Let's Go for a Group Ride

A group ride is a ride in which all cyclists form a single-file line in the road and ride quite close to the rider in front of them.

In close proximity such as this, all riders behind the leader benefit from the aerodynamic effects of the head rider blocking the wind.

A drawback of this practice is limited sight distance. Oncoming traffic, traffic signals, turns, pedestrians, potholes and debris all require prior notice.

This notice is achieved through verbal and hand signals that are passed ‘down the line’ starting with the lead rider. These signals must be established before the ride begins and must be employed uniformly by all participants. 

Some group rides stay together in a single line with one ride leader and little movement among the group.

Other group rides incorporate pace lines with their group. A pace line occurs when one rider pulls a line of other riders behind them.

Each person follows the rider in front of them by staying within a few inches to a few feet of their leader's rear wheel. This area of least wind resistance is known as a slipstream. Each rider takes a turn in the lead.

Tips When Riding in a Group

Don’t focus on the rear tire of the bike in front of you.

 - Don’t make sudden movements.

 - Use brakes cautiously, if you brake hard  you’ll cause everyone behind you to pile up. 

 - Communicate. Call out actions and conditions i.e. TURNING, SLOWING, STOPPING, DEBRIS, DOG!!! 

 - Don’t overlap the wheel of the bike in front of you.

 - Wait until a full stop to eat that energy bar or peel the banana. 

 - Know your limitations. If you are tired stay near the back and let the stronger cyclists pull in front of you.

 - If you get separated at intersections, the lead group should soft pedal until the rest have rejoined.

 - Listen for cars approaching from the rear. 

 - Watch out for the cyclist in front of you and behind you

Common Hand Signals Used By SMBC
SMBC signals

Below are hands signals that are different that what SMBC commonly uses. These may be used by visitors or newcomers to the club.
Therefore, it is advised that all groups go over the hand signals they plan to use each ride to help keep the communication understood within the group. 

six signals






What is Dooring?????

What is the “door zone”? 

This is a common term for the space that an open car door extends beyond a car parked at the curb. Drivers opening their car doors before looking for cyclists in the roadway or bike lane is one of the most common forms of bike-car collisions, often resulting in serious injury or worse (bicyclists sometimes refer to it as “getting doored”).

Why does this happen? 

Some bicyclists aren’t aware of the “door Zone” and ride too close to parked cars.


Whose fault is it?

Well, in most states there is a law regarding “dooring”. State laws typically find a motorist at fault for opening a car door and causing a crash.

Dooring collisions have occurred for decades.

There is only one, way for a bicyclist to absolutely avoid dooring crashes: 

Don't Ride in the Door Zone.

Friends don’t let friends ride in a door zone

Florida's law


s. 316.2005 – Opening and Closing Vehicle Doors

No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.

 Questions, Comments Contact: SMBC Safety