Ahead of all the other suggestions below always remember the Highway Code, rules, regulations and laws of the road apply. You're responsible for your own safety, so ensure your bike is road-worthy and you're confident riding on the open roads.
If you are under 18 and wish to ride you should discuss this with a club representative before attending.
Have fun: Above all, the club runs are fun. Even when it's snowing. There may be some rules here but the club run isn't a military drill, it's about enjoying getting out on the bike.
Food, Money & Phone: Fill your jersey pockets with a snack, some cash and a mobile phone; and bring a drink in your bottle cages. That means you can top up your energy levels on the move and also have some cash for the cafe stop. A phone is handy in an emergency or if you become separated from the group.
Highway Code: When riding, first and foremost you must at all time comply with the Highway Code and more than that, you must ride with courtesy and respect for other road users. You are responsible, not only for your own safety but for other riders around you. There will be a leader but their role is limited to choosing the route and, as far as possible, making sure the Group stays together and respects other road users. They are NOT responsible for your safety, you are. You are also responsible for the cohesion of the Group and helping keep it together. Experienced Club members may ask you to adjust your speed, road position or style. Please respect them, as they are only concerned for everybody's safety.
Ride together, it’s not a race: Keep the group together, it is a group ride. Everyone goes uphill at different rates and this is fine, but re-group at the top of hills and if necessary, at the bottom. The lead riders should make sure that all riders are back in the group before resuming them at normal pace. It is okay to keep moving but slowly, until everyone is back together. If the ride is not fast enough, move to the faster one next time. If you want to race there are all manner of competitive events and the club will support you in these.
When approaching a junction slow down a little to allow the riders behind to catch up and proceed as a group. Don't swarm around cars at traffic lights, filtering on the left and right but imagine the group as a large vehicle and keep the group together. Everyone takes time to set-off, clip-in and get settled back in the saddle. Keep the group together. Front riders should warn of hazards ahead and inform the rest of the group verbally and/or with hand signals. Rear riders should ensure that no-one is falling behind. If they are, then they should inform those in front and the Group should slow to allow it to be reformed.
Group riding etiquette: Aim to ride with less than one metre between you and the rider in front. Ride in pairs, NEVER more than two abreast and directly behind a rider in front and not diagonally. Single-out if a car is behind and when filing out would enable the car to pass, or if the road conditions make it sensible to do so. Be careful when braking suddenly.
Share the work: If you've been sitting on the front for a while, when it's safe to do so, tell the others and swap the lead. But if you're tiring and suddenly it's your turn to be on the front, tell the others as it's fine to take it easy.
Say hello: If you're new, please identify yourself to those leading the club run. Please listen to them, as they will explain how the run works and where it's going.
Join: We especially welcome new members on the club run and if you like the club run, please become a member. We're happy for you to try the ride a few times but after three or four rides you join if you want to ride with us.
Wear club kit: Members should wear the club kit if they can.
Route: This will but organised and discussed by the group leader before the ride starts. Hopefully there will also be a common meeting point (Café) for all groups to meet and chat. Note that we will encounter roads that are narrow and with hazards such as pot-holes and gravel; me may also ride on cycle paths and some off-road sections. be prepared for these hazards.
Mechanicals: If someone punctures or has a mechanical, everyone is expected to stop. So, in return for delaying everyone, make sure you start the ride with spares like an inner tube, tyre levers and that your bike is roadworthy.
Equipment: Make sure your machine is well serviced and roadworthy. No TT bikes or tri-bars (here is why) as this can be dangerous in groups and preferably mudguards (with a flap) through the winter months; as no-one wants to get their kit and faces covered with the various unpleasant substances that end up on country roads in the wet winter months. Riders should also bring with them spares tubes, tools and a pump to deal with any punctures and other mechanical issues they may experience during the ride.
Be seen: Riders are recommended to use front and rear lights and have reflective / high visibility clothing.
Clothing: Whilst on the ride we may experience extremes of weather; make sure you are suitably dressed and have additional clothing should the weather turn against you. Look at the forecast before you leave and carry a few extra items such as a rain jacket and arm warmers. It is also recommended that all riders wear an approved helmet and to wear gloves/track mitts.
Road Rage: Don't get involved ... regardless of provocation do not get involved with arguments with other road users. You are very identifiable as a Thanet RC member by your kit and any road rage incidents often get reported back to the club.