To ensure the safety of all cyclists and good functioning of a bunch. NWSCC requires all members and non-members that join our club rides to adhere to our bunch riding guide.

Bunch Formation

On most occasions, our bunches will ride two abreast (2x2 formations). Riders should ride evenly with their partner, handlebar to handlebar. Don’t sit directly on the wheel of the rider in front. Aim to keep approximately a wheel length off the rear wheel of the rider in front. Instead of focusing on the rear wheel of the rider in front, focus on the person in front and look through the line.

Do not half wheel or overlap wheels as this may result in wheels clipping caused by any sideways movement or sudden braking.

If you are about to get out of the saddle, make sure you are past the top of the pedal stroke and have downward pressure to maintain momentum and speed and not slow up.

Position on The Road

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as all other motorists. However, not all motorists are fully aware of the rights of cyclists. As a cyclist, we should ensure all movements that are made are clear, noticeable and predictable.

  • In slow moving traffic, the bunch is not to ride between lanes to move past vehicles. The bunch should hold the lane and stay behind the vehicle in front.
  • When approaching slow moving rider or bunch, always overtake on the right and call “rider’s right”.
  • Ride two abreast when safe to do so and go single file to provide cars the opportunity to pass i.e. single lane roads with traffic and up steep climbs.
  • There many road hazards such as pot holes, glass, rocks, car doors etc. Try and avoid riding to close to the gutter.

Lead Riders

The lead riders take the responsibility for the bunch. They set the pace, make the calls for hazards, and warn of forthcoming traffic changes. When on the front, it’s not time for a social chat.

  • The lead riders should scan the road ahead for obstacles and potentials risks.
  • Make clear and consistent calls (refer to table below).
  • When changing lanes, the lead rider should raise his hands up high and signal the direction of the lane change. The rear rider on the right must check for cars and call either “wait” or “over”.
  • Lead riders are responsible for calling singe file when it’s no longer safe to ride two abreast.
  • Ensure the pace of the group is consistent and within the group’s ability.
  • Lead riders should stay on the front for short intervals to reduce fatigue.


Bunch Calls

CallHand SignalDescription
“left”, “right”, “middle”Pointing towards the obstacleAs a minimum, all riders should call the position of the obstacle, while not required name the name obstacle i.e. “glass left”. If safe to do so also point to the object.
“turning left or right”Left/right arm outIndicates to the bunch and traffic the direction the bunch is going to turn.
“call”Arm straight up towards the sky.Used by the lead rider to indicate the need to change lanes. Last rider on the right, should check for traffic and call “wait” or “over”.
“wait”Alerts the bunch to NOT change lanes. Call should be made by the last rider on the right and passed forward.
“over”It’s safe for the bunch to change lanes. Call should be made by the last rider on the right and passed forward.
“clear left”, “clear right”When it is safe to proceed through a roundabout or intersection.
“hold the lane”The bunch should stay in the lane they are in. Particularly important when approaching a round-about or intersection to prevent cars from overtaking.
“single”Raised open hand above the helmetIndicates to the bunch to go from two abreast to single file.
“pair up”Bunch to go from single file to two abreast.
“stopping”Arm down with palm facing back.The bunch needs to come to a stop.
“slowing”The speed of the bunch is slowing down i.e. bottom of a climb.
“rolling”When it’s safe to proceed through traffic lights.
“car up”There is an oncoming car coming towards the bunch. The bunch should stay tight and towards the left.
“car back”There is car behind the bunch or overtaking the bunch. The bunch should stay tight and keep left.
“ease up”The bunch should ease the pace to allow the bunch to regroup.
“all on?”Lead riders checking to make sure the group is together. Riders from the back should respond “all on” and pass down the line.
“mechanical”Rider has a mechanical and the bunch should pull over in safe a location.
“rotate”Called by the lead riders – bunch to rotate in an anti-clockwise direction.
Hand behind your backHazard approaching - move across behind the rider in front.