Cyclist safety is an important issue to Big Orange and we have worked closely with CyclingSavvy to help pioneer techniques for safe and cooperative group riding - this includes how we normally do our group rides (learn more). Additionally, all club members are required to complete a Big Orange sponsored CyclingSavvy course. Big Orange sponsors these classes on a regular basis.
CyclingSavvy is a program of the American Bicycling Education Association. It's mission is to provide programs and resources for the education of bicyclists as drivers of vehicles, and bicycling-related education for traffic engineers, transportation planners, law enforcement professionals, educators, and the general public. Support the Mission.
All Big Orange group rides utilize a 2x2 peloton style and we ride in the traffic lane to maximize rider safety. We've worked closely with CyclingSavvy to develop these techniques and have included an FAQ below to help explain the method behind our madness.
Q: WHY DO WE RIDE 2X2 IN THE TRAFFIC LANE?
A: 1) A shorter double-file group is easier to pass!
2) Staying off the shoulder prevents flats from debris and eliminates swerving into traffic to avoid shoulder hazards.
3) The safety of lane control for cyclists is recognized by law in California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21202.
For more information about riding safely and cooperatively in traffic, please check out CyclingSavvy where you can find more information for both solo and group cyclists, including free online courses that award certificates for successful completion.
CA BIKE LAW
Unfortunately, cycling is an inherently dangerous activity, and it is especially so when cyclists and drivers have a different understanding of the vehicle code. One of the most common misunderstandings is where bikes should be in the lane and California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21202 addresses this issue in detail (below). All Big Orange members are expected to both know the code and follow all applicable rules and regulations. In short, bikes are part of traffic and drivers should treat them as they would any other vehicle on the road. And, for a more fulsom discussion of the rules of the road, you can check out the following resources:
California Vehicle Code 21202
a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.
Quick Reference Guide
While rider safety and education is always our first priority, it is important to remember that even the most skilled and saavy cyclist can experience a solo fall or collision. Accordingly, it's just as important to know what to do in a crash. Below are a few things you should do before hitting the road to best protect yourself:
BEFORE AN ACCIDENT
Protect Yourself: Wear a helmet.
Carry Identification: Bring an ID, emergency contact and insurance information with you.
Ride with Others: Ride in groups of two or more and share everyone's emergency contact information.
Get Insurance: Maintain uninsured / under insured coverage on your auto insurance policy.
Be Smart & Aware: Take a CyclingSavvy course.
AFTER AN ACCIDENT
If you or a fellow rider have an accident, the most important things you can do are to take stock of the situation, and, if possible, move out of the flow of traffic and call for help. Once you and / or your riding partner has their bearings, you can refer to our Accident Info guide for additional tips on how to best ensure you are protected.