Helmets are REQUIRED on all ABC rides. YOU WILL NOT RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET ON PROPERLY. Smart riders have working lights on the front and rear of their bicycle. All rides should emphasize safe group riding and respect for motorists and other bicyclists.
Speak up if a rider is not riding safely and take them to the back of the ride and show them how to ride properly or ask them to stop and get instruction.
DO NOT HALF-WHEEL or overlap wheels with other riders, ever. This has caused very bad accidents and will not be tolerated. Stop riding if you do and seek out bike handling training and ride solo until then.
Look before you turn. Then look again to be sure.
Members are highly encouraged to list an emergency point of contact and telephone number in their membership profile. Including your photo in the profile is a good idea to help locate a rider who may be lost or injured.
Have identification and insurance information on you when on the ride, including emergency contact. Tell your family where you are going, who you will be with and their phone numbers, and the route before you leave home so they can locate you.
While riders are responsible for their ride, all riders on the ride will call out and signal any perils on the ride, such as holes, glass, animals, etc. so they can be avoided for everyone's benefit and assistance.
Use verbal and non-verbal bicycling communications when you are slowing down, stopping, turning, or changing position in the group.
VERBALIZE the presence other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians to the rear, sides, or up front. VERBALIZE how you are overtaking or passing them and each other.
Do not touch another rider or bicycle while moving.
Consider having personal insurance policies for medical, emergencies, hospital indemnity, etc, that one would need following a bad accident. Accidents are hard on the body, can take a long time to heal, and can be very expensive. Check with your agent to make sure you have what you need.
Consult your physician if you have medical concerns before riding.
League of American Bicyclists and Bike Maryland
ABC is a member of the LAB which has a range of safety related materials for rider education: https://www.bikeleague.org/ridesmart
Many other safety related articles and videos are available on-line and in print media. Take advantage of them and keep up to date and refreshed with safe riding practices. Bike Maryland has safe riding information here https://www.bikemaryland.org/resources/safety/
ABC has created the Safety Manager and is being led by Paul Garza.
Ride Incident Protocols
Incidents can happen. If an incident occurs, take all the time that's needed to help those affected. These are examples of what to do:
1. Calmly assess physical injury: it may take a while for a downed rider to collect themselves. Check their helmet and bike for damage.
2. Continue riding if the rider, bike, and helmet, are OK: otherwise go to #3.
3. Call 911 when immediate medical assistance is needed. Absolutely call if there is major helmet damage, bleeding, breaks, dizziness, or swelling. The first responders are the best professionals to decide what to do next. Seriously injured riders may decline assistance or emergency services due to shock, confusion, dizziness, or modesty. Call anyway and stay with them until the emergency responders depart. Never leave an injured rider alone.
4. Call the riders emergency contact on the website or in the smartphone app under the riders contact information.
5. If a motor vehicle is involved call the police.
6. Get drivers insurance information, address, phone number, and plate number.
7. Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
8. Preferably take photos of the scene, rider’s injuries, bike and all other involved vehicles.
9. Seek the necessary medical treatment for non-emergency injuries.
10. Encourage the involved rider to have the bike thoroughly inspected by a bike shop to ensure it is safe to use.
11. Notify the President, Safety Manager, and Ride Coordinator so we can understand the riders needs and learn from the experience.
12. Complete an incident report.
13. Rider and President complete an expense claim form with the insurance carrier if a claim is desired.
Incident Report Form
If an accident occurs on an ABC posted ride, an Incident Report Form must be completed by the ride leader or effected rider and then transmitted to the President and Safety Manager.
ABC Insurance Policies
Details about our member General Liability Coverage and Participant Accident Coverage and insurance Certificate of Liability Insurance can be found here and the Officers & Directors policy is here.
Medical Claim Form
If an effected member would like to submit a claim for expenses with our insurance provider, this claim form needs to be completed by the rider and president and submitted to the insurance carrier.
State Bicycle Laws
The League of American Bicyclists has state bicycle laws at this weblink: https://www.bikeleague.org/StateBikeLaws Know the Maryland laws and of where our ride takes place.