Rider safety continues to be our top priority throughout Pelotonia weekend. Please take every precaution to keep yourself and your fellow Riders safe. Knowing you are minimizing your risks will bring greater confidence and increased peace of mind during your ride. We hope you find this information helpful as you prepare for the event.
Ride Safe Initiative (RSI)
What is the Pelotonia Ride Safe Initiative?
The Pelotonia Ride Safe Initiative, or RSI as we like to call it, is a structured safety program for Riders and Pelotons intended to enhance the culture of safety within the event. Cycling safety and fundraising are equally important to the success of Pelotonia. The components of the Ride Safe Initiative are: RSI Ground Leads, RSI Road Leads, the RSI Challenge and Pelotonia specific Group Riding Skills Courses.
How can I help enhance Pelotonia’s culture of safety?
- Become an RSI Ground Lead
An RSI Ground Lead is a registered Rider that assists the Peloton Captain in carrying out the planning and execution of safety education, training and awareness for their respective Peloton leading up to Pelotonia weekend. RSI Ground Leads can be a major contributor to the Peloton, the safety of its members and the continued success of Pelotonia.
- Become an RSI Road Lead
An RSI Road Lead is a registered Rider that provides extra safety and security during Pelotonia. Road Leads offer assistance along the route and monitor cycling safety, especially amongst their Peloton. RSI Road Leads look out for unsafe Rider behavior and express concerns directly to their fellow Rider(s).
How many Ground Leads and Road Leads should each Peloton have?
- Each Peloton should strive to have one (1) RSI Ground Lead.
- Each Peloton should strive to have one (1) RSI Road Lead for every fifty (50) Peloton members. Pelotons with fewer than 50 members should have a least one RSI Road Lead.
Will it be easy to identify the RSI Ground Leads and RSI Road Leads?
Yes. The RSI Ground Leads will receive a Pelotonia branded patch they can proudly display on the sleeve of their jersey throughout Pelotonia weekend. The RSI Road Leads can be identified by their custom, Pelotonia branded helmet cover—you can’t miss them!
How do I get started?
Since we think being a smartie when it comes to rules of the road is the most important aspect of the Ride Safe Initiative, we’ve created an RSI Challenge. Take the Challenge to show us you know the basics on group riding and you’ve got what it takes to make a positive contribution to our culture of safety. Even better, once you take the Challenge you’ll become an RSI Pacesetter and a badge will appear on your Rider profile.
How can I find courses that teach safe group riding?
Pelotonia has partnered with Columbus Outdoor Pursuits (pdf) and Yay Bikes! (pdf), who will administer a Pelotonia specific skills course to demonstrate the principles of safe group riding. RSI Ground Leads also have the option to contact Ride Leaders directly and schedule a private session for a group or Peloton.
How will my Peloton benefit by participating in the Pelotonia Ride Safe Initiative?
Taking part in the Pelotonia RSI will enhance your Pelotons reputation and public perception. It will also help to boost the overall safety of the event. Awards will be given to the top safety-conscious Pelotons during the Pelotonia check presentation ceremony.
Rules of the Road
Click here for a PDF version of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Cycling Smarter Guide created by the ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. This is a quick and easy read about the rules/regulations regarding bicycling in Ohio. PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT.
- Pelotonia is not a race.
- The ride is conducted on open roads. Motor vehicle traffic will be present. Be aware of what’s going on around you at all times.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Ride as far to the right of the road as is safely possible, except to pass.
- Pass on the left side only.
- Helmets must be worn at all times while riding.
- Headphones, iPods and radios are not permitted while riding.
- Endangering the safety of your fellow riders is strictly prohibited.
- Ride defensively in consideration of your fellow riders and ride in control of your bike at all times (i.e. be able to stop within a reasonable distance).
- Communicate with your fellow riders using proper cycling terms such as “On your left,” “Car back,” etc.
- Use proper hand signals when turning.
- Make left turns from center of road or left turn lane.
- Cross railroad tracks at right angles to avoid dropping wheels into space between the rails and road.
- Do not cross the yellow centerline regardless of passing zone.
- Obey instructions from the Pelotonia road crew and pay attention to information posted on Pelotonia road signs.
- Each rider is expected to speak out when observing a violation. When spoken to, the response should be in appreciation of the concern expressed.
Tips for Safe Riding
Group riding requires even more attention to predictability than riding alone. Other riders expect you to continue straight ahead at a constant speed unless you indicate differently.
Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with fellow cyclists and with other traffic. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows: left arm straight out to signal a left turn; left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping; and for a right turn, put your right arm straight out or put your left arm out and up.
Warn cyclists behind you well in advance of changes in your direction or speed. To notify the group of a change in path, the lead rider should call out “left turn” or “right turn” in addition to giving a hand signal.
Change Positions Correctly
Generally, slower traffic stays right so you should pass others on their left. Say “on your left” to warn the cyclist ahead of you that you are passing. If you need to pass someone on the right, say “on your right” clearly since this is an unusual maneuver.
When riding in a group, most of the cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead, so it is important to announce holes, glass, sand, grates, and other hazards. The leader should indicate hazards by pointing down to the left or right, and by shouting “hole,” “bump,” etc. where required for safety.
Watch for Traffic Coming From the Rear
Because those in front cannot see traffic approaching from the rear, it is the responsibility of the riders in back to inform the others by saying “car back” when rounding curves, on narrow roads, or when riding double. It is also helpful to warn of traffic approaching from the front with “car up.”
Watch Out at Intersections
When approaching intersections that require vehicles to yield or stop, the lead rider will say “slowing” or “stopping” to alert those behind to the change in speed. When passing through an intersection, some cyclists say “clear” if there is no cross traffic. Note that each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the way is indeed clear.
Leave a Gap for Cars
When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you are impeding faster traffic, leave a gap for cars between every three or four bikes. That way a motorist can take advantage of shorter passing intervals and eventually move around the entire group.
Move Off the Road When You Stop
Whether you are stopping because of mechanical problems or to regroup with your companions, move well off the road so you don’t interfere with traffic. When you start up again, each cyclist should look for, and yield to, traffic.
Ride One or Two Across
Ride single file or two abreast as appropriate to the roadway and traffic conditions and where allowed by law. Most state vehicle codes permit narrow vehicles such as bikes and motorcycles to ride two abreast within the lane. Even where riding double is legal, courtesy dictates that you single up when cars are trying to pass you.
Gearing up for Pelotonia
The following is a suggested packing list for Pelotonia weekend. Each Rider is permitted one duffle bag, which cannot exceed 20 pounds. Please bring only those items essential to the weekend.
- Tuned-up bike with hand pump and at least two CO2 cartridges + nozzle
- Saddle bag with tire levers, patch kit, two spare inner tubes and a cycling multi-tool
- Cycling shoes, cycling shorts and/or tights, cycling shirt or jersey, socks, gloves
- Extra water bottle
- Lip balm
- Cell phone for emergency use only (in a zip lock bag, carry with you)
- Identification, money/credit card (carry with you)
- Prescription medications and car/home key (carry with you – do not pack them in your luggage)
- Fanny pack (for additional clothing while riding)
- Casual clothes
- Sleeping clothes
- Rain gear
- Sweatshirt or fleece
- Plastic trash bag(s) – to protect dry clothing in case of rain and to pack wet items
- Pillow and pillowcase
- Sleeping bag or bed linens
- Toiletry kit
Heat and Hydration
Please remember to keep yourself well hydrated before, during and after the ride (regardless of weather). It is critically important to avoid dehydration by drinking water and sports drinks on a schedule throughout the ride (roughly one liter per hour, starting with water and switching to sports drinks after the first hour or two). Do not rely on thirst – thirst only kicks in when you are already on the road to becoming dehydrated. It is also important, however, not to over-consume water. Over-hydration with straight water lacking the sodium found in sports drinks may result in hyponatremia, sometimes referred to as water toxicity.
Click here for a quick guide for tips on staying cool and hydrated during your ride.