Make sure your bicycle is in good working order by doing the "ABC quick check"
A is for Air.
-- Make sure your tires are inflated to the pressure listed on the side of the tires
-- Make sure that your tires still have plenty of tread, and are free from cuts or bald spots
"B" is for brakes.
--Inspect pads for wear; replace if there is less than ¼" of pad left
--Check pad adjustment; make sure the pads do not rub the tire
--Look to see that you can fit your thumb between the brake lever and the handlebar when the brakes are squeezed all the way
"C" is for cranks and chain.
--Pull your cranks away from the bike – if they are loose, tighten the bolt
--Make sure your chain is clean and lubricated.
"Quick" is for quick releases
--Make sure your quick releases are all closed
--They should all be pointing to the back of the bike, so that they don’t get caught on anything
"Check" is for "Check it over"
--Take a quick ride around the parking lot to make sure your bike is working properly
Make sure you have your helmet. All riders on HBC Rides must wear a helmet
Dress appropriately for the weather. Have a look at the forecast, and wear clothes that will keep you comfortable while you are riding. If your bike has "clipless pedals", make sure you bring shoes with the proper cleats.
Choose a ride that is appropriate for your riding level.
Check the location of the ride, and leave home so that you have plenty of time to arrive at the starting location 20-30 minutes before the ride time. If a ride is advertised as starting at 09:00 AM, that means you should be ready to start riding before 09:00! Do not expect your fellow riders to wait for you when you arrive at the ride just as people are leaving, while you pump up your tires, apply sunscreen, look for your sunglasses, etc.
Make sure your car is locked and all valuables are out of sight.
Be courteous to others at all times. This includes motorists, other cyclists, people at rest stops etc. Don't block entrances or exits at rest stops.
Be extra cautious when riding on trails. Children, dogs, "pathaletes" and others may behave unpredictably. Be especially careful when passing other trail users.
The use of Ipods, earphones or any other device that distracts a rider from paying complete attention to the ride or that tends to prevent communication with other riders is strongly discouraged.
Rider communication is extremely important on group rides. Call out obstacles and holes ("hole right"), car locations ("car up" or car back"). Use hand signals and call out turns. Let other riders know if you are passing them by saying "on your left". If you are stopping, announce it verbally and/or with hand signals.
Remember that your actions on a ride are like a ripple in a pond and affect everyone around you. Be predictable when you ride and never do anything that might surprise those around you.
Ride in a straight line. Be sure to look over your shoulder before moving to the right or left in case other riders are coming up from behind you.
Be aware of other riders and traffic. This is especially true when making left turns. Do not assume that just because others are drifting into the traffic lane as preparation for their left turn that it is safe for you do that.
Experienced riders should always set a good riding example. They should welcome new riders, mentor them, and offer polite and constructive criticism when necessary.
Riders who are new to the ride should "sit in, watch and learn." If you have a skill weakness or cycling etiquette question, ask the ride leaders for advice. Be prepared to accept constructive criticism. It is not intended personally. Remember that one person's mistake affects the safety and well being of everyone on the ride.
Don't crowd the wheel of other riders, especially if you don't know them, or aren't sure if they are comfortable riding with you. Be careful not to overlap wheels with the rider in front of you.
If you are leaving the ride before the finish, tell the ride leader ahead of time so they don't wonder what happened to you. Make sure that other riders know you are leaving the ride so they don't follow you by mistake.
After the Ride
Thank the ride leader for the ride. Ride Leaders put a lot of effort into finding a route, creating a map, etc. A simple "thank you" means a lot to them.