- Wear a piece of high visibility in the case of weather conditions (ie: fog)
- Have a red flashing reflective light on the back of your bike
- A small bike tool and repair kit in case you run into technical issues along your ride
- WEAR A HELMET AT ALL TIMES
- Follow the Rules — Cyclists must follow all traffic laws an automobile driver would observe which include - but are not limited to - stopping at red lights, stop signs & roundabouts as well as and yielding to pedestrians. In some cases, a police officer patrolling an intersection will give Riders the right away — in this case, it is OK to proceed with caution. Even at T intersections, you must stop at a Red traffic light.
- Radio Devices — Headphones, cell phones, radios and other similar devices are NOT permitted while riding.
- Be Predictable — Smooth, consistent riding is the key to ensuring everyone riding the route feels comfortable and that cyclists are not a hazard to themselves or anyone else
- Know your Limitations and Use the Course Support Provided — The Ride routes can be difficult with unpredictable weather. There will be Pit Stops with food and hydration, along with mechanical and medical support roughly every 20 - 25kms. There will also be numerous SAG (Support and Gear) vehicles along the course that will assist with each Rider’s journey.
- Call Out Any Change — Cyclists are encouraged to call out “Slowing,” “On Your Left,” “On Your Right,” “Car Up,” “Car Back,” etc. Also, call out approaching hazards for those behind you such as “pot hole,” “tree limb,” etc.
- Do NOT Overlap Wheels — Be cognizant of those around you and pay attention to the position of your front wheel vs. their back wheel. This causes the majority of accidents.
- Ride Single File or Two Abreast — The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer® is by definition a ‘rules of the road’ ride meaning the roads are open to traffic. Please do not endanger yourself and others by riding more than two abreast or in some cases single file and inconveniencing the local citizens who allow us to come through their community.
- Signal — Signal with your hands and/or voice so that everyone knows your intentions.
- Stay to the Left — Ride as far to the left as is practical, unless making a right hand turn or avoiding hazards in the road. If you must stop, do your best to move off the road when you stop.
- Leave No Man/Woman — If you are riding in a group and get separated at an intersection, as a matter of courtesy, you should soft pedal until the rest have re-joined.
- Use Caution on Descents — Watch for signage indicating dangerous descents and be ready to slowly apply the brakes if necessary. When descending and turning, make sure your inside leg is at the “12 o’clock” position, not “6 o’clock”.
- Follow Course Signage — The signage we place on all courses is there for your safety, follow the directions of these signs. For example, a “CAUTION” sign means slow down and focus on your surroundings.
- Say “Thank You” — The Ride could not exist without the support of the many Volunteers and Crew on-course. Please take the time as you ride by to thank them for dedicating their time to the event.
If your bike fits you correctly and is adequately maintained, it should not contribute to injuries. Likewise, if you train wisely and consistently, and don’t overdo it, injuries can be prevented. Stretching regularly will avert injuries caused by poor flexibility.
In addition to proper training, keep the following in mind: Take the time you need when riding to get off your bike, stretch, rest from time to time, and most of all, enjoy yourself! This is not a competitive event. It’s a ride, not a race. By having an “I can do it” attitude, a good level of fitness, and the willingness to accept a few aches and pains, you’ll do just fine.
Health issues from exposure occur when it’s either too hot or too chilly outside. Special attire, built of fabrics that vent perspiration and cool you, help to keep heat stroke at bay in hot weather. Here again, adequate intake of fluids is essential. Also, protecting your skin and eyes from overexposure to the sun is crucial when cycling during warmer months.
Make sure during your cooler-weather training that your cycling attire keeps you warm and dry on the inside. Layering to keep warm is especially important for cycling, as it minimizes the effects of wind chill. The expense of the proper attire for cool weather cycling is well worth it.
Avoiding "Hitting The Wall"
Adequate intake of calories and fluids is essential for safe cycling. Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. “Hitting the wall” occurs when you have completely depleted the glycogen stored in your muscles, and thus your body runs out of fuel. When this happens, disorientation, headaches, and loss of body and bike control set in. This can be a very serious situation. If it happens to you, get off your bike and start eating and drinking to replenish your fuel stores immediately.
The same holds true for adequate hydration. Dehydration is a common problem among cyclists, especially in warm weather, and can lead to serious problems. To prevent this you must drink plenty of fluids while you ride. Do not wait until you’re thirsty to drink. A good rule of thumb is to drink every 15 minutes, consuming at least 750mLs fluid per hour.
Some of the warning signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard are fatigue, problems sleeping, low-grade fever, moodiness and irritability, joint and muscle pain, decreased appetite and increased resting heart rate. In other words, if you feel lousy but still push yourself unmercifully to maintain a training schedule, it’s going to do you more harm than good. If this happens, stop and take some time off so that your body can recover. You’ll find that you won’t lose ground. You’ll actually return to your training with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
YOUR BICYCLE & HELMET
In nearly every sport, having and using the proper equipment adds to the enjoyment of the activity. Cycling is no exception. Moreover, having the right equipment when you ride increases your comfort tremendously. If you need a new bike or have questions about cycling gear, call The Ride office and your Ride Guides can help.
The most important thing for The Ride is a good bicycle that runs well and fits you properly. Poor bicycle fit leads to enormous discomfort over long rides and can cause injuries in the knees, upper and lower back, neck, and arms. It is definitely worth the time, effort and money to take your bike to a reputable bike shop - such as one of our Retail Partners - for a proper fit. If your bike isn’t the right size, there are parts that can be altered. If you’re not sure, one of our Retail Partners will be happy to help.
Once you know your bicycle fits you well, it’s important to be certain that it is in good working order. Here again, it’s worth it to maintain your bicycle so that it serves you well and doesn’t break down during The Ride. If you haven’t ridden it in a while, take it to your local bike shop for a tune-up.
A good helmet is essential for all cyclists. All Riders are required to wear a helmet while on The Ride and all Training Rides prior to the event. Cyclists who don’t wear helmets are roughly seven times more likely to suffer head injuries in a crash and a cyclist who sustains a head injury is 20 times more likely to die than a cyclist who suffers other injuries. Helmets are mandatory on The Ride.
Choose a helmet that fits securely on your head, that’s well ventilated, and that is approved. All Ride participants must wear an approved bicycle helmet.