Ride Leader Manual

Ride Leader Guidelines – Santa Fe Seniors on Bikes

Questions – Edwin Crosswhite ecrosswhite at cybermesa dot com

Adapted from Ride Leader Guidelines Copyright © 1997-2002 Cascade Bicycle Club. Printed November 17, 2002. You may reproduce part or this entire booklet without permission. Please give credit to the Cascade Bicycle Club Ride Leader Guidelines Seattle, Washington, and the Santa Fe Seniors on Bicycles, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Accident reports:  Our insurance company would like us to use their forms to report incidents.  Ride leaders should have access to those forms in order to figure out what information to collect in the case of an incident.  Lynn P or one of the club directors, if she is not available should be the one signing the form. The insurance packet can be found at http://www.americanspecialty.com/lab/packet.pdf. The reporting form for bodily injury is on page 4.


Why lead a ride?

What kind of ride do you want to lead?

Selecting or designing a safe route


Making maps and cue sheets

No-discrimination policy

Commercial activities, Fielding phone calls

What to bring to the ride, recommendations

Pre-ride announcement

Leading the ride from front or back, Corner people, Sweeps

Pace lines, After the ride

Accidents, Road rash, Riding in rain, Avoid lighting, Hypothermia, Heat    exhaustion,

Heat stroke, First Aid Kit

Dangerous drivers, Dangerous riders in your group, Mechanical problems

Where is the fun?

Safe riding

Ride Leader Day-of-ride checklist

Bicycle Ordinances

First Aid – Bleeding, Head trauma, Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke,   Sunburn,

Hyperventilation, Stings, Bites, Frostbite, Hypothermia


Why lead a ride?

It is fun. You get to share your favorite destinations and routes, ride at your preferred pace, and bring a lot of people to your favorite eateries.

You meet new people who share one of your interests. Expanding your pool of riding partners and friends.

You share your other interests, knowledge, or talents with people by leading theme rides. Leaders have led railroad history rides, antiquing rides, yard sale rides, kid rides, camping rides, moonlight rides, and bakery rides.

You inspire, motivate, and create excitement about bicycling. Ride leaders who lead regularly have countless tales of novices who can barely shift gears on their first ride but who blossom into avid cyclists by the end of a season.

You exercise your creativity in finding a route, writing the ride description, designing the map or cue sheet, and creating the event.

You contribute your leadership to the community.

Leading a ride makes you ride yourself adding to your fitness and overall well-being.

From time to time, the club offers snazzy rewards to regular ride leaders, jerseys, sweatshirts, windbreakers, and assorted other cycling garb.

Not everything about leading rides is intuitively obvious. This manual is intended to give you a good introduction. Look through these guidelines for ideas on how to make your rides safer and more fun, and as a refresher on ride leading basics.

You will find information on selecting a route, what to do before, during, and after the ride, how to handle problems and accidents, and how to make a ride more fun.

Not all guidelines apply to every ride and these will focus on the most common ride types, social rides at a slow or moderate pace with regular rest stops. Adapt the guidelines accordingly if you lead faster rides with few or no stops.

Ride Leader day-of-ride checklist offering a quick item summary of what you may want to bring.

Never led a ride? What kind of ride do you want to lead?

We recommend that you co-lead a ride with an experienced ride leader. Ask any club ride leader if you can help with their next ride, or ask if they will help you plan a ride of your own. Volunteer to sweep, which means that you ride at the back and help the slower riders. You can also contact the Rides Committee Chairperson and ask for the name of someone who could give you a hand getting started.

Sweet-talk a friend who has never led rides into jumping in with you. Explain that it’s easy, a great way for exercise, and the best way to meet the person of your wildest dreams.

Issues to consider as a prospective ride leader. Do you want to ride with fast riders who rarely stop, or average riders, who slow down when riding up hills and stop for a great view or a snack.

Choose a pace that you can comfortably maintain for the ride duration. If you are at the edge of your abilities and you drop back to check on your riders, you may have trouble catching the front.

As with the pace, tailor the appropriate distance to the people you want to ride with. Only a fraction of club members can comfortably ride 50 or 80 miles in a day.

Consider the season, particularly with respect to probable weather and amount of available daylight. Most folks do not think riding in a cold, dark rain as being all that much fun.

Selecting a safe route

Just draw lines on a map and make a bunch of copies? Well, close, but there are some important things you should consider.

Regardless how you choose a route, you should pre-ride or pre-drive it so you know about road conditions, mileage, water, lunch, and restroom stops. If you’re using a route that you’ve never ridden or that you’re designing on your own, it is important that you travel it before the ride, preferably on a bicycle. Many of us have painful memories of hills on a route that the ride leader chose from behind the wheel of a car.

Choose a starting point that people can find easily and has ample parking. The starting point should also have nearby restrooms. Everyone needs to eat and drink, and some bladders are weaker than others. If you’re planning to stop for a lunch break, there’s a psychological advantage stopping after the midpoint rather than before. The riders who are feeling a bit tired can take solace in the knowledge that they are over half way. If you’re planning a restaurant stop, choose somewhere that serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The vegephobes among us can have a tough time making a meal of the offerings at a vegan restaurant.

Respect private property, and ride only in places where bicycles are welcome.

Better route choices are often ones that you have ridden and enjoyed. Ride leaders rarely mind if someone repeats their rides. Feel free to add your own variations. Your neighborhood bike shop, book store, or map store carries several books of bike routes and individual cycling maps. If you photocopy a copyrighted map, scratch a note somewhere on the map that indicates the source and author, so riders who like the route or the map know which book or map to look for. Include the total distance and a brief description of the terrain, for example, “hilly” or “flat.”

If you decide to design your own route, adjust accordingly for slow rides with inexperienced riders versus faster, more-experienced riders.


SAFETY is the deciding factor for all route-related decisions. If you can’t find a safe way to get somewhere, don’t go there. Keep in mind that riding with a group is much different from riding by yourself.

Avoid streets that are too narrow for cars to pass unless it is for a short distance. Some streets with medians or traffic diverters have only enough room for one lane of traffic, period.

Avoid crossing busy streets except at controlled intersections stop signs or stoplights.

Avoid heavily traveled, multi-lane roads whenever possible. If you find yourself with no good alternatives, try to avoid making left turns. Even with the best of riders, getting a group safely across two lanes of traffic so they can make the turn is a dicey proposition. And it is frightening for inexperienced riders.

In general, avoid taking a group on sidewalks. On occasion, a short stretch of sidewalk is clearly the safest, best way to get from point A to point B. However, if we are to be taken seriously as operators of vehicles, we cannot spend a lot of time on the sidewalk.

Unless you’re leading a mountain-bike ride, avoid difficult riding surfaces, rough or rutted roads, cobblestones, bridges with metal decks, railroad tracks, dirt, gravel, grass, stairs, and so on. HOWEVER, don’t miss out on a stunning overlook or a ride to a unique area just because of a stretch of gravel. Simply suggest that people walk if they’d rather.

Avoid surprises. Suppose you choose a route with a steep hill just after a turn. If you don’t remember to warn riders in advance, they will be trying to find the correct climbing gear, which will distract them from watching out for one another or keeping aware of traffic. Some inexperienced riders will simply stop with no thought to anyone behind. Warn everyone during the ride, possibly at a stop before you get to that location.

Study maps in search of promising back roads. Be sure you pre-ride these roads before the ride, so you don’t run into a washed-out bridge or 20 miles of rough gravel.

Explore. The best way to find spectacular views, pedestrian over and underpasses, wooden bridges, unusual houses, beautiful gardens, or anything else that won’t show up on a map is by traipsing around.

Making maps and cue sheets

Giving riders a map or cue sheet is a good idea unless the route is short and simple. Someone on your ride has never been on some of the route you’ve chosen and could easily get lost if separated from the group. Even if you lead a ride over the same route week after week, you should have a map or cue sheet for riders who have never been on your ride before.

Choosing between maps and cue sheets is a matter of personal preference. With a map, riders who somehow miss a turn can find their way back to the route or back to the starting point. On the other hand, the details of a map are more difficult to grasp while you’re moving. It is easier to glance at a cue sheet and see that the next turn is a left onto Madrona. With a cue sheet, you can also describe quirks of the route that won’t be obvious from a map ,“at the pedestrian crosswalk, turn right onto the wooden footbridge”.

The simplest and most common way to make a map of your route is to get a map of the area, photocopy the relevant portion, mark your route on the copy, and then photocopy the marked copy. Do not run the route right up to the edge of the map. Riders are less likely to ride off the map if they happen to miss a turn.

If you highlight the route with a yellow highlighter, map details will show through when you make photocopies. You may want to experiment to make sure.

Include directional arrows, so riders know which direction they’re supposed to be riding. This is even more important if the route crosses itself at some point as in a city ride.

Mark total distance on the map and include a brief description of the terrain, for example, “hilly” or “flat.”

Play with the density setting on the copier until you get good results. Some ride leaders augment a cue sheet with a quick, hand-drawn map. You don’t need to show every turn, just include enough to give folks a rough idea where you’re headed. If you choose this alternative, be sure the relative proportions are at least a vague approximation of reality, and be sure that north, south, east, and west don’t meander unduly.

Cue Sheet

A cue sheet is a set of written instructions on how to follow a route. It includes the distance from one place to the next “1.8 miles” or “2 blocks” to “Madrona Avenue”, what you do when you get there “turn left”, and maybe the total distance up to that point. Following is a short fictional example. If the route is long or circuitous, not everything suggested here will fit.
Starting point —parking lot at Magnuson Park
0 0 L Onto Baker Avenue
0.1 0.1 R Onto 15th Avenue
0.3 0.4 Warning! Big pothole at 103rd Street
1.6 2.0 L Onto Madrona Way (bottom of the hill).
Heavy traffic. Ride single file.
0.3 2.3 R At the pedestrian crosswalk, cross the wooden pedestrian bridge. Ride slowly and yield to pedestrians.
0.1 2.4 L At the far end of the wooden bridge
0.2 2.6 L At the next intersection (no street sign)
0.4 3.0 Stop Carkeek Park. Rest stop, restrooms, water fountains.

Be sure there are clear instructions for your riders. For example, at a five-way intersection, there may be two left turns. Make it clear whether folks should make a hard left or a soft left.

Mileage: Include the distance between landmarks and the total distance as of each landmark. If you forgot to note a distance as you were pre-riding the route, you can always estimate from a map.

Important things in life include restrooms, water fountains, regrouping points, rest stops, etc.

Road hazards: Point out blind curves, dangerous intersections, narrow roads, and similar potential problems. Make recommendations for safe riding as appropriate “ride single-file”, “here they be dragons.”

Points of interest: Mention scenic overlooks, eagles’ nests, note worthy art or architecture, a great brownie bakery, the place where your mom and dad first met.

Frequent landmarks: If you travel a long distance on the same road, include landmarks every few miles or so, just so folks know they’re still heading in the right direction. Tired riders who don’t have a bike computer will have a tough time telling the difference between 15 miles and 20 miles.

Readily visible landmarks: Wherever possible, use big, obvious landmarks, especially when it’s a long distance between landmarks. Riders become apprehensive riding miles wondering if they have already passed the mailbox that looks like a little barn.

Unchanging landmarks: If you plan to use the same cue sheet again some day, try to use landmarks that are unlikely to change. For example, don’t tell riders to turn left at the big white house. Someone is sure to repaint it pink. Watch out when specifying business names, a number of stop lights or stop signs, and alterable natural features. “Left at the third light” has a new meaning if the city adds another light, and big trees can be cut down. Cue sheet suggestions:

Change the size of the font, make the text BIG. Folks will be reading your cue sheet at 15 miles an hour. Don’t make it hard for them. 14-point type is a good size.

Make important stuff stand out: Change font to bold, italics, or both to make it stand out. Just don’t overdo it, or nothing will stand out.

Use standard abbreviations: Instead of spelling out everything, “L” left, “R” right, and “S” straight, to indicate directions. Some folks also use “BL” and “BR” bear left and bear right, but to new riders it could be obscure.

Lay out the cue sheet for easy folding: Divide the cue sheet in half or in quarters, label the parts, and try to avoid putting instructions on the folds.

If your ride includes climbing three mountain passes in the same day, warn people in the ride description so you don’t get riders who aren’t up to it.

If you are planning to spend three hours at an antique fair in the middle of a 15-mile ride, mention this so potential riders know that the ride isn’t just a quick loop.

If a route is shy of amenities like restaurants and restrooms, caution people so they can bring their own food and toilet paper.

If you’re leading a ride that starts in a remote location, encourage carpooling. Specify a carpooling place, time, and either arrange for someone to drive by that location or pass by yourself on the way to the starting point.

Non-cycling activities as part of a ride should be optional. Riders must be able to choose between participating in extra activities and waiting for the ride to resume.

Anything hazardous including activities that involve alcohol, winery, and brewery stops must be optional as well as special training or skill activities, rock climbing, kayaking, and so on.

No-discrimination policy

Rides are open to everyone who is able and willing to participate safely and cooperatively. In your ride description, you can specify who a ride is primarily intended for, but you cannot specify whom the ride is NOT for. Example, you can specify that your ride is a Norwegians ride, but you can NOT specify that it’s a Norwegians-only ride or that it is a no-Swedes ride.

This no-discrimination policy does NOT prevent you from asking a rider to leave a ride based on the rider’s abilities, equipment, or actions on that ride or previous rides.

Commercial activities

Rides are non-commercial, so you cannot try to sell anything on your ride. Violators will be banished to the Land of Perpetual Headwinds. However, you may start the ride from your place of business especially if you own a bakery, or choose a theme or optional activity related to your business. Example, if you are a real estate agent, you can lead riders on a tour of houses that are currently for sale, but you can not require riders to look inside those houses, and you can not give any sales pitches.

Fielding phone calls from prospective riders

Typically, callers will want to know whether they can handle your ride. How you answer this question depends on the difficulty of the ride and on your preference as a ride leader. If the ride is difficult, you obviously want to be clear with callers about the distance, the speed, the number and size of hills, and so on. One tough maybe not so friendly ride leader, who regularly leads fast rides of up to 100 miles in the foothills, starts by saying, “If you had to call, you can’t handle it.” He’s willing to be convinced otherwise, but he’s rightly extremely cautious about encouraging riders who aren’t in top condition.

Most friendly ride leaders have more discretion for less strenuous rides. For a slow, short, social ride, you may want to encourage anyone who isn’t wheezing into the phone to come along. After all, everyone needs to start somewhere. If you take this approach, you must be prepared to wait patiently at the top of every hill for the sightseers. Your reward is the chance to meet delightful people who currently don’t happen to be great cyclists, but they may be willing to become stronger, more enthusiastic cyclists with your help.

If you are not prepared to wait for everyone who needs help, by all means make that clear to callers. Telling them they can handle your ride and then leaving them in the dust is a great way to discourage them from ever joining a ride again and a pretty good way to make them drop their membership.

From time to time, you may get a phone call from a parent who wants to bring one or more children along. The club doesn’t forbid children on rides, but a parent or guardian must accompany anyone under age 18. Be cautious about encouraging parents to bring children along on a ride. Parents don’t always have a realistic perception of how far or how fast their children are able to ride, or how safely the children are able to ride in a group.

What to bring to the ride, recommendations

Show up 30 minutes early with a friendly, helpful attitude. Look for new riders, introduce yourself, answer questions, and be helpful.
Bike and helmet
Map or cue sheet copies
Food and full water bottles
Basic tools, you can probably leave the truing stand at home,
Pump, tire gauge, extra tube, patch kit, tire levers
Rudimentary first-aid kit See “What to carry in a first-aid kit”
Bike lock. Cables can lock several bikes together
Bike computer to monitor your pace
Cell phone
Extra helmet, if you have one
Rags, Wet Wipes, or similar for cleaning up after repairs
Toilet paper or tissues if ride will not include amenities
Name tags and a felt marker
Money, change for phone calls
Check on helmets and get a count
Important! A parent or legal guardian must accompany any rider under 18 years old. If you have doubts about whether the child will be able to safely complete the ride without holding up the group, you should discuss it with the parent. You may refuse to allow a child on the ride if you believe the child’s participation would be unsafe or disruptive.

The club requires all riders to wear helmets on all rides. If someone arrives without a helmet, ask if any of the other riders has a spare. Important! If someone insists on riding without a helmet, make it clear to other riders that the uncooperative rider is not part of the group. Thankfully, this problem rarely occurs.

Pre-ride announcements

Count the riders in your group so you can determine if you have everyone at regrouping points and when leaving rest stops.

Adapt different suggestions to maintain a short, three minutes, pre-ride announcement. If you chatter on for too long, people will stop listening, so do not turn it into a lecture. However, particularly for slow rides that attract more beginners, there are topics that bear repeating.

Introduce yourself, and identify your sweep and co-leader. If the ride will be breaking into two or more groups, explain who will be leading each group. If you don’t already have someone to ride sweep, ask for a volunteer.

If the group is small, you can ask the riders to introduce themselves.

Ask if there are any riders who have never been on a Senior’s ride. Welcome them to the group. Encourage the regular riders to check in with the newcomers during the ride and ensure that they are doing all right. In a group that rides together regularly, a new rider, shy or not, may not feel welcome if the regulars spend the entire ride talking among themselves.

Announce the pace and explain what it means. If you don’t intend to wait for slow riders more than five minutes, you should announce this. Indicate whether the ride will stick together, regroup at the top of hills, or regroup at a specified point.

Briefly describe the ride, including food and rest stops, difficult hills, unusual or dangerous conditions, the first regrouping point, known hazards and tricky turns before that point.

Remind riders that each person is responsible for his or her own safety. Say it in an amusing or vivid way that they do not forget. You might emphasize that riding like lemmings is not a good idea. Just because the rider ahead of you made it through an intersection without being run over doesn’t mean you can, too. Remember cars kill cyclists one at a time. You get the idea.

You can’t teach safe cycling in the three minutes you have before people stop listening, so vary your safety announcement to fit the hazards of the ride. If you lead rides regularly, rotate topics from time to time. Point out safety tips.

Remind riders that bicycle riders are expected to obey traffic regulations.

Ask riders to be courteous. Drivers who are impressed with the courtesy of a group of cyclists will be more inclined to treat other cyclists with respect.

For the benefit of new riders, mention group riding techniques, riding single-file in traffic, riders are NOT to block traffic by riding two or more abreast. If riding on trails, remind riders to stay on the right half of the trail and to be considerate of other trail users.

Use hand signals for turning or stopping. Point out road hazards.

Give riders a quick overview of voice signals: “Car up, back, left, right,” “On your left” to indicate that you’re passing another rider or a pedestrian, “Glass, pothole, etc.” Emphasize that “Car back” means a car is coming from behind, so riders should start riding single file.

Discourage riders from calling out “Clear” at intersections to indicate that no cars are coming. “Clear” is a subjective and temporary condition, so riders should always look for themselves.

Remind riders to watch out for one another. On a group ride, they’re much more likely to have an accident with one another than they are with a car.

Caution riders not to run stoplights or stop signs out of fear of being left behind. A good ride leader will not strand riders.

Ask riders to pass the word if someone leaves or breaks down, and to notify you if they’re planning to leave the ride before the end.

If you aren’t carrying a cell phone yourself, ask if anyone has one.

Ask if anyone has a first-aid kit or first-aid training.

If you’re going somewhere after the ride for a meal or a snack, tell everyone where you are going at the beginning of the ride. You probably won’t get a chance after the ride because everyone will scatter.

Ask if there are questions.

Leading the ride from front or back, Corner people, Sweeps

Every ride is different, so it’s impossible to anticipate everything encountered on a ride.

Set a good example: Ride safely, be kind to strangers, pet dogs, kiss babies, and remember that you represent our club.

Courtesy: Anticipate situations where your group may inconvenience others. Example, when you stop to regroup, be sure your riders aren’t blocking the road or the sidewalk. When you re-enter the roadway, wait until there’s a break in traffic, so drivers aren’t forced to slow down for your group. If you’re taking the group on a trail, especially a busy, in-city trail, ask everyone to stay on the right half of the trail, regardless of how wide the trail is. This may mean that everyone must ride single-file, which will make socializing more difficult. However, having to shout to one another is better by far than forcing other trail users off the trail and leaving them with an indelible bad impression of group rides.

Unsafe riders endanger everyone around them, ruin the experience for others on the ride, and give cyclists a bad image. If you’re uncomfortable with a rider’s actions, quietly and politely explain your concern. If the situation doesn’t improve, ask the rider to leave the group.

Check in with each of the new riders periodically to ensure that they’re getting along all right and that they feel welcome.

Ride at or near the front to lead and set pace at advertised speed. Make sure riders know that, if they get ahead, they are on their own. Your responsibility is to lead the ride advertised and to keep track of the people who are doing the same.

At the first regrouping point, if some riders are clearly too fast or too slow for the group, consider splitting into more than one group. Ask the fast or slow riders if they would prefer to break off from the group or return to the starting point. If they choose to leave the group, ensure that they have a map or cue sheet. The first regrouping point should be relatively close to the starting point, so riders can find their way back if necessary.

Assess how the back riders are doing, and adjust the ride as appropriate. Do not to lose your riders. You are not obligated to go back and look for anyone unless you have a soft spot.

How often you stop to count heads and make sure everyone is fine depends on a plethora of factors. If you have slower riders who are consistently falling behind, but you don’t want to ask them to leave the group, or you are leading one of those meandering in-city rides, you will need to regroup regularly. If riding on the same road for the next 20 miles with a bunch of self-sufficient peddlers, you may not need to regroup at all. Base your decision on the comfort of the slowest riders, not on testosterone levels.

Stop for red lights, stop signs, and pedestrian crosswalks. Not stopping endangers your riders, opens you to liability in the event of an accident, and gives onlookers the impression that cyclists are a bunch of scofflaws.

Don’t stop too close to the intersection to wait for the group to catch up. Drivers have enough to cope with at intersections without having to worry about a gaggle of cyclists.

At a stop sign or stoplight, join the line of cars. Don’t pass cars on the right and make your way up to the intersection. This makes cars have to pass you again after the intersection, and this really makes some drivers mad.

Unforeseen problems: If you run into unforeseen problems new construction, bad weather, unusually heavy traffic, a closed bakery, be creative. Change the route, take shelter, ford a stream, and choose a different rest stop. Consider SAFETY above all else, and don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions from your riders. They may know the area better than you. However, you’re in charge, so don’t let yourself be railroaded into something that you think is unwise.

At each regrouping point, announce the next regrouping spot. If necessary re-emphasize SAFETY, especially related to upcoming conditions.

When you stop somewhere with your group, encourage your riders to be considerate of the non-riders around you. If you happen to inconvenience someone, apologize profusely and do your best to rectify the situation immediately.

When it’s time to start riding again, announce your departure five minutes in advance, so everyone has time to stash their extra cookies, get their helmets and gloves, and untangle their bikes from all of the other bikes leaning against the same tree. Be alert for riders who have wandered off or are in the restroom.

Make sure you and your riders clean up after yourselves. Don’t make your mark on the world with banana peels, energy bar wrappers, and dead inner tubes.

Ask for volunteers to fix flat tires, pump air into tires, give shifting lessons, or be CORNER people, riders who wait at corners and direct riders in the right direction until everyone has passed.

Smile, wave, and call out thanks whenever anyone especially a driver is even unintentionally helpful to your group.

If you’re riding after dark, slow down and keep the group together. A group of cyclists, each one properly lit with a headlight and taillight, is much more visible after dark than an individual rider.

Have a good time yourself. Some rides are a joy to lead, while others are unadulterated drudgery. If you aren’t having a good time yourself, think about what you could do differently next time. If you aren’t having fun, some of your riders probably aren’t either. Be bold and ask them how you could make the ride more enjoyable.

You don’t necessarily need to lead a ride from the front. If you have provided a map or cue sheet, you may be able to serve your riders as well by leading from the back. Some ride leaders spend the ride making their way back and forth between the front and the back, checking to see that everyone is doing all right. Other ride leaders choose to spend the entire ride at the back. This ensures that they’ll eventually come upon anyone who has stopped for any reason.

If you choose not to lead from the front remind everyone what the pace is and ask them to maintain that pace. If you want riders to stop in a particular location, be sure everyone understands that location. Remind riders to watch the map or cue sheet carefully and stop if they have any doubts about which direction they should be going.

If you lead from the front, you may want to have someone ride SWEEP, meaning a helper who stays at the back of the group. The chief advantage of having a sweep is that the leader knows when everyone has arrived at a regrouping point assuming no one in the middle missed a turn. If you have unusually slow riders, mechanical problems, or an accident on your ride, a good sweep can be invaluable, serving as cheerleader, mechanic, or nurse, as required. If your sweep will be delayed for more than five or ten minutes with a problem, have him call you.

If you’re leading a short, slow ride, which will attract a disproportionate number of inexperienced riders, having any sweep is better than having no sweep. You should try to find someone who can successfully change a tire, who doesn’t pass out at the sight of blood, and who will happily slow down and encourage the riders who are having a tough time on the hills.

You may want to use corner people. At the beginning of the ride, explain to your riders whenever you turn a corner, you will ask the person closest to you to be the corner person. This person then stays at the corner and directs riders in the proper direction until the sweep comes by. Be sure everyone knows who is the corner person. If you don’t have a sweep, you can count the riders before you start the ride, which is a good idea
Regardless, then you can tell each corner person how many riders to wait for.

Try to spread the duty around a little bit, so no one starts to feel put upon. Rather than designating corner people, you might also want to call out “Any volunteers for corner person?” Almost always, someone will call back “I’ll take it.” If you designate a corner person, make sure that person hears you and stops.

Even though you have corner people pointing the way, stop from time to time and regroup. Otherwise, you may end up with corner people peppered all over town waiting for the sweep, who is helping someone fix a flat.

If you’re leading a slow ride and only part of your group gets across at a stoplight or stop sign, leave a corner person behind so the riders who were caught know they haven’t been abandoned.

If you’re leading a large number of riders, you may want to ask a corner person to limit the number of riders who leave a stop sign at one time. If you don’t have someone stay at the intersection and say “Next five riders,” everyone will probably cross at once annoying the drivers who are forced to wait.

If you’re leading a ride in the country, where groups spread out, some riders will resent being asked to wait for the five minutes that it may take for the last rider to pass. In this case, you can use a rotating corner person. The corner person only waits until the next rider comes along, then the new arrival becomes the corner person.

Don’t use corner people under unfavorable conditions. If you try to designate a corner person in a cold rain, you’ll be courting mutiny.

Pace Lines

In general, the club doesn’t encourage pace lines because they can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced riders and for rides on public streets, regardless of the riders’ experience. If you’re going to allow pace lines on your ride, stop at stop signs. Even at high speeds, the last person in a pace line is a second or two behind the leader, which is a danger for rear riders being broadsided by a fast-moving truck. Call out stops, hazards, and changes in direction loudly, clearly, and early. Don’t allow riders to lead a pace line if they don’t know the course particularly on descents. Don’t allow riders to ride in a pace line if they’re using handlebars that keep their hands far from the brake levers. In a pace line, the ability to stop quickly is paramount. Be extra careful if you have single bicycles and tandems in the same pace line. A tandem with two riders weighs a lot more than a single bike and rider, so it isn’t as maneuverable in an emergency. Limit pace lines to a reasonable length, preferably five or fewer. Recommend that riders check the quick-release levers on their wheels to ensure that the levers aren’t sticking out. If riders overlap wheels and one gets a quick-release lever in the spokes, at least two people will be stopping faster than they prefer. If you’re riding in the rain, discourage riders who don’t have fenders on their bikes from joining the pace line. Being in the middle of a pace line at 20 miles an hour and being blinded by spray is a good way to become road pizza.

After the ride

Immediately after the ride, you should thank riders for coming along and ask for comments or suggestions. Did riders enjoy the ride? Did they like the route? Is there anything you could have done differently?

When you get home, you should call any rider who was injured or lost during the ride. If you get home too late in the evening to call, be sure you call the next day.

While fresh in your mind jot down a brief summary and your thoughts of accidents, troublesome riders, threats from passing motorists, and births. This information may help legally protect you and the bike club if later issues arise.

If a rider calls you to ask for the phone number of someone else on the ride, do not give out that information. Instead, take the name and number of the person making the inquiry, call the other rider, and pass on the inquirer’s name and number.


Important! If a rider has an accident and lands on his or her head, neck, or shoulders, you must consider the possibility of a neck or back injury.

If the person is conscious ask if the person has neck or back pain, weakness, or loss of limb function or sensation. If so, you should suspect spinal cord injury and have the person stay very still. If the person is unconscious you have no way to know what injury the person may have suffered, so do NOT move an unconscious person.

If the person regains consciousness before help arrives, keep the person as still and quiet as possible. You may need to be firm. Someone who is in shock or suffering a concussion isn’t the best judge of what to do at the moment. Be sympathetic but firm. If someone may have a neck or back injury, you should never move the person. You could cause irreparable damage to the spinal cord, possibly resulting in permanent paralysis.

If the injured person is in a roadway, divert or stop traffic rather than move the person, and wait for help to arrive.

In the rare case where you must move the injured rider, get help from as many people as possible. Make every effort to maintain the current position of the person’s back and neck. Do not try to straighten someone out.

1. Stay calm: You’re no help to the others if you’re frantic. Pause, take a deep breath, and survey the situation before you act.
2. Divert or stop traffic: If the injured rider is in the roadway, have other riders divert or stop traffic until you can determine if the person has a possible neck or back injury. Get all other riders and their bicycles off the road. Important! If you determine that the person has a possible neck or back injury, continue to divert or hold up traffic until help arrives. Do not move the person.

3. Determine if the person is injured seriously enough to require medical attention: The injured rider should get medical attention if he or she:
-Is bleeding heavily.
-Has a head injury and lost consciousness even briefly.
-Can’t remember what happened.
-Has obvious pain when moving an injured limb.
-Has trouble opening his or her jaw.

If you don’t know first aid yourself, ask if anyone in your group does. If the person has no obvious injuries, pay careful attention to determine if the person is confused or disoriented, which could also indicate a head injury.

4. Send someone for help. If there is any question if professional medical attention is necessary, call 911 immediately. If no one has a cell phone send someone to call and make sure the person has change for a pay phone and can accurately describe where you are. Send two riders: one to direct the ambulance to your location and another who can return to the group when 911 has been reached, so you and the others know that help is on the way.

If you have an emergency and you aren’t near a phone, remember that bus and cab drivers, utility crews, and construction crews all have radios. They can use to call for help. In addition, practically every passerby is likely to be carrying a cell phone.

5. Care for and reassure the injured rider until help arrives. Be as helpful as possible given the situation and the available materials. In particular, keep the person as warm and dry as possible. Regardless of the rider’s condition, act calmly, speak in reassuring tones, and be sure that everyone around you does the same. Ask everyone who isn’t helping to stand well back, so the injured rider isn’t looking up into a mob of worried or horrified faces. Also, caution the others not to discuss the rider’s injuries. No one who is injured wants to hear the words “Wow! Look at all that blood!”

6. Make sure the person’s contact information and helmet get into the ambulance. If an injured rider is taken away in an ambulance, be sure the rider’s contact information and helmet go along. Someone at the hospital will want to examine the helmet to determine the likelihood of head injuries. Ideally, you’ll get the ambulance crew to take the rider’s bike, so you don’t need to worry about it. Important! Be sure you know the rider’s name and contact information, so you can call later to check on his or her condition, send a get-well card, return the rider’s bike, and file a report if asked by authorities.

In addition to taking care of the injured rider, you need to be concerned about the other riders and about the injured rider’s bike and gear. In some cases, you may need to continue the ride before the injured rider has recovered enough to start riding again or before the ambulance has arrived. Example, if it’s evening and you’re running out of daylight, you will need to get the other riders safely back to the starting point.

You should NOT leave the injured rider alone. If the other riders can find their way back to the starting point, you and someone who knows first aid should stay with the injured rider. Otherwise, you should ask for volunteers to stay including someone who knows first aid.

If you need to leave the rider’s bike where it is, lock it up and take all of the removable gear with you. Return for the bike as soon as possible before nightfall, and let other club riders or officers know that you have it. You may be able to leave the bike at a nearby fire station or at the home of one of the local residents.

In the event of an accident if an injured rider is taken to the hospital unconscious, contact the emergency number immediately and calmly explain what happened. If the rider is conscious, he or she can decide whom to contact.

If someone was seriously injured, call one of the club directors as soon as possible. If no one was seriously injured, you can wait until the next business day to e-mail or call to report an accident. In addition, you may want to ask any witnesses to tell you what they saw.

Road rash

If one of your riders falls and leaves some skin on the pavement, the person should clean the wound thoroughly, apply some antiseptic cream or ointment, and cover it with clean gauze. If there isn’t a nearby source of clean water, using water from water bottles is better than not cleaning the wound at all. If the edges of a deep cut won’t fit back together or if the wound is in a place where motion will prevent it from healing, the rider should get medical attention as soon as possible. For open cuts or abrasions, the rider should seek medical care if he or she hasn’t had a tetanus immunization in the last five years

Riding in the rain

In a light rain, you can probably keep riding, but you need to be especially careful on hills, wet leaves, railroad tracks, and metal bridge decks. In a rain that’s heavy enough to affect visibility, you should consider stopping off the road until the rain slows. However, standing around somewhere while you’re wet and cold is a good way to get hypothermia, so you need to weigh the odds of getting run over against the odds of freezing to death. In heavy rain, you’re probably best off finding a nice, warm bakery where you can glut on chocolate until the weather improves. Be careful not to inconvenience other customers, and all your riders should buy something. Recognize that the weather may not improve before sunset, and that you may have to set off in the rain again.

If you happen to encounter lightning, use the “Flash-To-Bang” method of measuring lightning distance. This is the amount of time that elapses between when you see the flash and when you hear the thunder. For each five-second count, lightning is one mile away, so at 25 seconds the lightening is five miles away. At a count of 15 seconds, three miles, take immediate defensive action. Where possible, find shelter in a building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck, or van with the windows closed. Avoid water. Avoid metal objects such as bicycles, electric wires, fences, machinery, railroad tracks, tent poles, and so on. Don’t stop beneath small open-sided rain shelters or isolated trees. Avoid hilltops, open spaces, ditches, and depressions. Important! If you need to take shelter, make every effort to keep your riders calm. You don’t want folks crashing into one another in a mad rush to get away from the lightning.

If your hair is standing up, you have a tingling sensation, the count between flash and bang is less than five seconds, or lightning is striking nearby, Remove all metal objects. Crouch down, and put your feet together and your hands on your knees. Avoid direct contact with other people.


If you’re riding in cold or wet weather, keep an eye on all of your riders to ensure that no one is suffering from hypothermia characterized by shivering, which can be treated by getting the person out of the cold and into dry clothes. If there’s nowhere to get out of the cold, try sharing body heat. More severe cases are characterized by confusion and lack of coordination. In this case you need to get the person to medical care promptly.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be caused by riding in hot weather or by dressing inappropriately when riding in cooler weather. As a cyclist, you need to dress so you can dissipate heat and perspiration. In addition, you need to drink plenty of fluids, so you do not become dehydrated. Heat exhaustion is characterized by pale, clammy skin, profuse perspiration, and extreme tiredness or weakness. The person may have a headache and may vomit. With heat exhaustion, the person’s body temperature is approximately normal.

The treatment for heat exhaustion is rest. If the person is alert, offer oral fluids, preferably water or sports drinks. Do not give the person coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages.

Heat stroke is far more dangerous. The body’s temperature control system has stopped working, so the person doesn’t sweat anymore. Body temperature may rise so far that brain damage may result. The symptoms of heat stroke include hot, red skin; no perspiration; extremely high body temperature; dizziness; nausea; headache; rapid pulse; and confusion, disorientation, or unconsciousness.

Get the person out of the heat immediately, and cool his or her body quickly. Soak the person in cool but not cold water, or pour water over the body. Stop and observe the person for ten minutes, then cool some more if the person’s body temperature is still above 102°. If the person is alert, offer oral fluids, preferably water or sports drinks. Do not give the person coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages. If heat stroke develops, the rider will need medical care, possibly including intravenous fluids. Again, get the person medical care promptly

First-aid kit suggestions

Large gauze squares for cleaning road rash or as protection from further harm
Roll of gauze for covering larger areas of rash
Non-adherent sterile pads
Antiseptic cream or ointment
Roll of tape to secure bandages
Band-Aids for small cuts and blisters
Second Skin for open blisters
Ibuprofen or Tylenol to minimize swelling or general minor pain
A triangular bandage
Antihistamine, in case someone has an allergic reaction
Latex gloves
If you have first-aid training, you may want to add other items to your first-aid kit.
Epinephrine®, which is good for severe asthma, as well as for bee stings or any other anaphylactic reaction. This depends on your level of knowledge and your willingness to carry the extra weight.

First-aid training is readily available. Occasionally first aid courses and CPR training are offered by fire departments or other community agencies such as the local Red Cross chapter. Some technical colleges also offer excellent first-aid courses, which are taught by experienced emergency medical technicians.

Dangerous drivers

If you have trouble with a dangerous driver, get everyone off the road, and wait until the driver goes away. Don’t antagonize in any way, get the vehicle license number, driver description, and contact the police. If you can’t describe the driver, the owner of the car can simply claim not to have been driving the car at time of the incident. Use your camera if you have one.

Dangerous riders in your group

If you have a careless rider in your group, and the person continues to be troublesome after you’ve spoken with him or her about being more careful, insist that the rider leave the group. Stop the group and wait until the rider leaves before you continue.

When riding with a group always, always keep at least one hand on your handlebars. If someone tries to ride no hands drop back far, far away. That person is careless and dangerous.

Mechanical problems

If there is a mechanical problem, check with your riders to see if anyone has the parts and the expertise to make the repair. Are you close to a bike shop, hardware store? Is it reasonable to take a detour, or suggest that the rider go alone for repair, and rejoin the group later? Suggest a call home or send someone back for a car. Some problems are not as severe as they might seem.

Broken spokes can be ridden if you don’t have too far to travel. Can you remove the spoke, tie or twist the broken spoke to an adjacent spokes? You may need to loosen the brake so the wobbly wheel rim does not rub. If the situation calls for humor, emphasize that the rider should avoid potholes for the rest of the ride.

Broken chains: A chain tool can simply remove the bad link and put the chain back together. Because the chain will then be shorter, the rider should avoid using the large chainring and cog combination.

Hole in a tire: Keep the inner tube from bulging out through the hole by slipping something inside the tire to cover the hole. A dollar bill works fine, but most riders now carry inexpensive tire boots for this purpose as a temporary fix. The tire needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Where is the fun?

Consider choosing a theme. Lead a ride that takes in several bakeries or candy shops, defunct streetcar lines, a tour of the ten oldest trees in the city, historical homes, and so forth. Key into special events. Ride to a street fair, community or music festival, a small-town event, a local apple orchard to purchase a pocket full of fruit. Have fun with the ride description. People will be more inclined to show up for a ride whose description captures their imagination.

Do something out of the ordinary. Ride through alleys, meander through parks, stop at yard sales, visit trolls.

Wave at everyone, talk with kids as you ride past, stop and talk with kids who seem unusually excited about what you’re doing, and pose for pictures with tourists.

Be playful. Attach playing cards to your fork, attach streamers to your handlebar ends. Attach a beanie propeller to the top of your helmet. Get a kids’ license plate with your name on it, and attach it to the back of your seat. Stop off at the grocery store on your way to the ride, and get a big bag of Tootsie Rolls to share.

Get name tags and pass them out before a ride. This makes it easier for riders to get to know one another, which is the main reason most people ride with groups.

Take pictures and submit them to the blog. Include names or maybe a brief paragraph with the photo.
Safe riding

Always wear an approved bicycle helmet. Helmets are required on all club rides.

Observe all traffic laws. Your bicycle is legally a vehicle, so you are subject to the same traffic laws as motorized vehicle drivers.

Use hand and voice signals when turning or stopping.

Ride with traffic. Motorists don’t look for bicycles going the “wrong way.”

Do not wear headphones while cycling. It is dangerous.

Night riding requires a white front headlamp and a red rear reflector, each visible from a distance of 500 feet.

Experienced and smart riders have a red taillight or blinker, wear reflective clothing, or safety vests to increase visibility. Flashing lights at night are not legal headlights, so change the headlight mode to steady beam.

Experienced cyclists have learned that a front flashing white or amber light in city traffic helps drivers recognize oncoming bicyclists at intersections.

Cross railroad tracks at a 90° angle. Look ahead for road hazards glass, potholes, wide cracks, metal grates, gravel, and point them out to other riders. This is extra important when the road is wet. Do not rely on someone else saying the road is clear. Check for traffic yourself. Is there a person in the parked car who might open their door without checking rearward? Bummers and pain when that happens. Use voice and hand signals to communicate with other riders, continually.

Courtesy: It is ok to take a full lane when safety dictates. If you are delaying vehicles, ride single file, or even pull off the road at the next turnout and allow them to pass. If you stop for any reason, move yourself and your bicycle completely off the road or trail.

On multi-use trails and sidewalks, yield to pedestrians. Slow down when other people are present, and slow to a walking pace if safety dictates.

Pass on the left and use a bell. Bells are a soothing warning and less surprising to alert others that you’re passing.

Less experienced riders tend to ride farther from the road shoulder for several reasons. They are not comfortable at the edge of the road, they are worried about edge detritus, which may cause flats, or they are oblivious. Do you cross the yellow line to pass on the left or carefully pass them on the right when there is obviously plenty of room? Be kind when communicating, and help them understand the safety reasons for riding closer to the road edge.

When there’s traffic behind you, ride single-file so cars can pass. Limit pace lines to five or fewer. It is easy and courteous to split into two or three lines rather than hog the road.

Ride Leader Day-of-ride checklist

___ Bike, shoes, helmet, extra helmet
___ Food, full water bottles
___ Map, cue sheets, pens
___ Tools, pump, tubes, patch kit, tire levers
___ Rudimentary first-aid kit
___ Lock
___ Bike computer pace monitor
___ Cell phone
___ Rags for cleaning after repairs
___ Toilet paper or tissues
___ Name tags, felt marker
___ Money, change for phone calls

Pre-ride announcement

___ Everybody sign in
___ Does everyone have a helmet?
___ How many riders?
___ Introductions
___ Sweep, co-leaders and their cell numbers
___ Welcome to new riders
___ Keep ride leader informed if leaving early
___ Anyone carrying a first-aid kit
___ Ride pace, route info
___ First regroup spot, lunch spot, after ride
___ Safe riding priority, obey traffic regulations
___ Courteous
___ Ride single-file in traffic
___ Ride on right half of trails
___ Use hand and voice signals
___ Cell phone
___ Questions?

Bicycle Ordinances


Bicycle Laws – New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA)

§ 66-3-701. Bicycles; effect of regulations
A. It is a misdemeanor for any person to do any act forbidden, or fail to perform any act required by Sections 66-3-701 through 66-3-707 NMSA 1978.
B. The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code.
C. These regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles subject to those exceptions stated herein.

§ 66-3-702. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles
Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to the special regulations within Sections 66-3-701 through 66-3-707 NMSA 1978.

§ 66-3-703. Riding on bicycles
A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

§ 66-3-704. Clinging to vehicles
No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

§ 66-3-705. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths
A. Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
B. Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
C. Notwithstanding any provision of this section, no bicycle shall be operated on any roadway in a manner that would create a public safety hazard.

§ 66-3-706. Carrying articles
No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebar.

§ 66-3-707. Lamps and other equipment on bicycles
A. Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the division which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.
B. No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.
C. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the brake wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Santa Fe Ordinances


Bicycle Santa Fe Uniform Traffic Ordinances

F. When approaching or passing a bicyclist, every person operating a motor vehicle shall proceed with caution and shall pass such bicyclist at a reasonable speed and keep a safe distance from him. In no event shall a distance of less than five feet be considered a safe distance within the meaning of this Section. To comply with the requirements of this paragraph, a person operating a motor vehicle may be required to drive at a slower rate of speed. When a bicyclist is traveling in the center of a lane, the bicyclist should move right when it is safe to do so. (Ord. #2011-23, §2)

No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle upon or across a bicycle path or lane except to cross such path or lane when turning as permitted in Section 12.6-5.11, to park such motor vehicle, or to leave a parking space. No person shall drive upon or across a bicycle lane or path as permitted by this Section until the right-of-way is provided to all bicycles within the lane or path. (Ord. 2011-23, §3)
Whenever a motorist is turning across a bicycle lane or path, such motorist shall maintain a proper lookout for bicyclists and shall yield the right-of-way to any bicyclist traveling in a bicycle lane or path. (Ord. #2011-23, §4)

A. Any person who drives any vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others and without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property is guilty of reckless driving.
B. A person operating a motor vehicle shall not endanger a bicyclist.
C. Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be punished: (1) Upon a first conviction by imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than ninety days, or by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), or both; and (2) On a second or subsequent conviction by imprisonment for not less than ten days nor more than ninety days, or by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than three hundred dollars ($300.00), or both. (66-8-113 NMSA, 1978) (Ord. #2011-23, §5)

12-6-13.8 IMPROPER OPENING OF DOORS. A person shall not: A. open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic including bicycle traffic; or B. leave a door of a vehicle open on the side of the vehicle near moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. (66-7-367 NMSA 1978) (Ord. 2011-23, §6)


A. Operators of bicycles have the same rights as operators of motor vehicles in the use of streets, highways and roadways within the city, except as otherwise specifically provided herein.
B. Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway, street or highway shall be subject to all the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, except as otherwise expressly provided in this Traffic Ordinance and except as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no applications; and each such person shall be subject to the same provisions and sections of this Traffic Ordinance to which a motorist is subject within Sections 12-8-1 through 12-8-21. (66-3-702 NMSA 1978) (Ord. #2011-23, §8)

A. A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
B. No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. (66-3-703 NMSA 1978) (Ord. #2011-23, §9)

12-8-4 CLINGING TO VEHICLES. No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a street. (66-3-704 NMSA 1978)

12-8-5  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §10)

12-8-6  CARRYING ARTICLES. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any
package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebar. (66-3-706 NMSA 1978)

A. Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. A lamp or light emitting white light and attached to the helmet of the bicyclist may also be used in lieu of a light attached to the bicycle.
B. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or other means which will enable the operator to bring the bicycle promptly to a stop on dry, level, clean pavement. (66-3-707 NMSA 1978) (Ord. #2011-23, §11)

A. Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic-control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or unless a less stringent requirement specifically applicable to bicycle applies.
. B. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left or U- turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle to make any such turn, in which event the person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians. (Ord. #2011-28, §12)

12-8-9 PARKING OF BICYCLE. A bicycle may be parked in a manner that does not impede movement of pedestrians or other traffic. (Ord. #2011-23, §13)

12-8-10 SPEED. No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

12-8-11 RIDING ON PROHIBITED STREETS OR CONTROLLED ACCESS. No person shall ride a bicycle either on any street or path where signs have been erected by the city, which prohibit the use of the street or path to bicycles. (Ord. #2011-23, §§14, 15)

A. Where the lane designated by markings on the pavement for the exclusive use of bicyclists provides a minimum of four feet of rideable space, a bicyclist having entered such a lane shall endeavor to maintain the lane, except:
(1)  At intersections; or
(2)  To pass a slower bicyclist, or to avoid parked cars or obstacles.
B. A bicyclist may leave the bicycle lane between intersections in order to make a U-turn, or left hand turn where such a turn is permissible for vehicular traffic, or to turn into driveways. (Ord. #2011-23, §§16, 17)

12-8-13 DIRECTION OF TRAVEL IN BICYCLE LANE. No person shall ride or operate a bicycle within a bicycle lane or on the roadway in any direction except that permitted of vehicular traffic traveling on the same side of the roadway; provided, that bicycles may proceed either way along a lane where two-way bicycle traffic is so designated. (Ord. #2011-23, §18, 19)

A. If a right vehicle lane available for traffic is wide enough to be safely shared with overtaking vehicles and a bike lane is not present, a bicycle shall be ridden far enough to the right in said lane to facilitate such overtaking movements unless other conditions make it unsafe to do so.
B. Exceptions to driving bicycles on the right vehicle lane:
(1) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, bicycles,
pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards.
(2)  To overtake vehicles making right-hand turns at intersections.
(3)  A bicyclist may move out of their lane to overtake and pass
another vehicle or bicycle.
(4) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection, when making a U-turn or turning into a private road or driveway.
(5) Upon a one-way road with two or more marked traffic lanes the bicyclist may ride in the center of the most left hand lane for a reasonable distance to complete a left hand turn.
(6) If the right vehicle lane available for traffic is not wide enough to be safely shared with overtaking vehicles or if passing is otherwise unsafe, a bicycle may be ridden far enough to the left to temporarily control the lane. Bicyclist must move to the right to allow vehicles to overtake at the earliest and safest location. At no point is a bicyclist required to ride less than three feet from any objects or curb on the right.
(7) If a roadway is marked with a sharrow, a bicycle can travel in the center of the lane and should move right when it is safe to do so.
(8) During organized bicycling races. see (Ord. #2011-23, §§20, 21)

A No person shall ride a bicycle on any sidewalk when signs are posted prohibiting the riding of bicycles on the sidewalk.
B When signs are posted requiring bicycles to use sidewalks or paths adjacent to a street, no person shall ride a bicycle on the street adjacent to the sidewalks or paths.
C. If a bicyclist dismounts, the bicyclist is subject to the laws that apply to pedestrians.
D. Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, the person shall yield the right way to any pedestrian. (Ord. #2011-23, §§22, 23)

A. While riding a bicycle in traffic, the bicyclist shall make sure that his movement can be made safely and shall give a signal by hand in the same manner as hand signals are given by motorists to indicate the direction in which he intends to proceed, except that when signaling to make a right turn, a bicyclist may do so by extending the right arm.
B. A signal by hand and arm need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.
(Ord. #2011-23, §§24, 25)

A. No person shall alter, obliterate or change the serial number imprinted on the frame of any bicycle.
B. No person shall sell or rent a bicycle on which the serial number imprinted on the frame has been altered, obliterated or changed.
C. This Section shall not prohibit the restoration by an owner of an original serial number or mark. (Ord. #2011-23, §§26, 27)

12-8-18  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §28)
12-8-19  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §29)
12-8-20  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §30)
12-8-21  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §31)
12-8-22  Reserved. (Ord. #2011-23, §32)

12-8-23  PENALTIES. Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of
Sections 12-8-1 through 12-8-23 shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00). (Ord. #2011-23, §33)

End – Operation of Bicycles Santa Fe Bicycle Ordinances

FIRST AID Cycling Injuries

Based on Boy Scouts of America Cycling Merit Badge


Cuts: From a sharp edge such as a blade or broken glass. Laceration: A rough tear by a sharp blow or ripping force. Puncture: A jab or stab with a nail or needle. Bruise: A blunt blow that ruptures capillaries below the skin causing bruising. Blister: A collection of fluid underneath the skin caused by burn or friction of some sort.

Other cycling conditions, Dehydration, Heat exhaustion, Heatstroke, Sunburn, Hyperventilation, Insect stings, Tick bites, Snake bite, Frostbite, Hypothermia

MINOR BLEEDING This type of bleeding is like an oozing, occurring at the site of all wounds.  Although this type of bleeding may be brisk at first, blood loss is generally negligible.

MAJOR BLEEDING This type of bleeding spurts or gushes out and may be bright or dark red in color. It is critical to control the bleeding. THE FIRST AIDER SHOULD Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure and elevating the site if possible. Prevent shock by having the injured lie down head lower than legs. Levitate legs and wrap warm blankets or clothing around injured. Make sure injured is conscious and breathing. Minimize risk of infection. Arrange transport to hospital. PROTECTING YOURSELF If you have any sores or open wounds, make sure that they are covered with a protective adhesive dressing. Use disposable gloves whenever possible and wash your hands thoroughly in soap and water before and after treatment.

The scalp has a rich blood supply and when it is damaged, the skin splits, producing a gaping wound. Bleeding may be profuse, and will often make the injury appear more alarming. However, a scalp wound may be part of a skull fracture, so care in examining and treating are required. FIRST AIDER SHOULD Apply a wrapped bandage on a scalp wound, as adhesive tape will not adhere to a hairy scalp. When applying first aid, lay the injured down with their head and shoulders slightly raised. If he becomes unconscious, lay the injured on their side. BLEEDING FROM EAR This can indicate a potentially serious injury. FIRST AIDER SHOULD help the injured to a semi sitting position with the head inclined to the injured side to let the blood drain.

Bones may be broken, dislocated, or both.  Dislocation is usually caused by a wrenching force and often tears the joint’s ligaments.  Muscles and the tendons, which attach them to bones, may also be strained or torn. It can be difficult for the First Aider to distinguish between the various types of muscular skeletal injury. THE FIRST AIDER SHOULD Steady and support the injured part with you hands. Find more permanent support for the injured part. Soft tissue injuries will benefit from padding and firm bandaging, while fractures and dislocations may need splinting. If possible immobilize and support the injured limb carefully against the body. If a broken bone lies within a large bulk of tissue, example the thigh, treat the casualty for shock. Obtain medical attention promptly. Hospital treatment will be required for all but the most minor injuries.

A condition in which a persons’ water and electrolyte content has fallen to a dangerously low level. Severe thirst, dry lips and tongue, increased heart rate and breathing, dizziness and confusion. TREATMENT Fluid, salt, and other electrolyte replacement is required quickly, EG. Energy drink. PREVENTION Drink enough water to produce urine that is consistently pale. This often means drinking water slightly but not overly beyond thirst.

This condition usually develops gradually, and is caused by loss of salt, minerals, and water from the body through excessive sweating. Headache, dizziness and confusion, Loss of appetite, nausea, Sweating, with pale, clammy skin, Cramps in the limb or abdomen, Rapid weak pulse and breathing. TREATMENT Move person to cool surroundings. Replace lost fluid, salt, and electrolytes.

This is a more serious condition that occurs suddenly and can cause unconsciousness in minutes. In addition to signs of dehydration, restlessness, hot, flushed, dry skin, Full bounding pulse, Decreased level of response, Body temperature above 40 C or 104 F
TREATMENT Arrange immediate transport to hospital. Move to cool location. Remove excess or outer clothing. Wrap in wet sheet and keep wet, until temp. 100 F or 38 C

Inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to the sun. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight destroy cells in the outer layer of the skin and damage tiny blood vessels underneath. TREATMENT Best treatment is prevention. Use sunscreen often with SPF 35 or higher. Use a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves. Consult doctor for severe cases.

Rapid breathing commonly associated with panic or hysteria. May experience dizziness, faintness, trembling or marked tingling in the hands, and cramps in the hands and feet.
THE FIRST AIDER SHOULD Try to remove injured from cause of the distress and help regain control of breathing.

Stinging insects can lead to swelling and soreness. Some people are allergic to these poisons and can develop a serious condition. If the bee stinger is in the skin, remove the stinger with tweezers, grasp stinger below the poison sac and pluck firmly. If bitten by a scorpion or black widow, transport to hospital. FIRST AIDER SHOULD Wash the bite with soap and water to help prevent infection. Keep injured calm and still. DO NOT ELEVATE BITTEN AREA.

Ticks burrow into the skin and suck blood from their host. They carry disease and cause infection, and should be removed as soon as possible. REMOVING A TICK Using tweezers, grasp the ticks’ head as close to the persons’ skin as possible. Use a slight to-and-fro action to loosen the tick and remove. Avoid breaking the tick and leaving the head behind. FIRST AIDER SHOULD Clean area with soap and water. Seek medical attention.

Snakebites may not often be a serious injury; however, they can be very frightening. Reassurance is vital, and staying calm and still will delay the spread of venom. Keep the snake or record it’s appearance so that if necessary the right anti-venom can be given.
FIRST AIDER SHOULD Reassure the casualty and keep calm. Arrange transport to hospital or medical facility. DO NOT apply a tourniquet, slash at the wound with a knife or attempt to suck out the venom. Do NOT elevate bitten area.

TISSUES OF THE EXTREMITIES FREEZE, CAUSING DAMAGE, WHICH MAY BE SUPERFICIAL OR DEEP. At first,” pins and needles”, and the affected part becomes pale
Area becomes numb. Skin may turn hard and white, then mottled, blue and eventually black. TREATMENT Warm the affected area slowly to prevent further damage. Seek medical attention.

Shivering, Body feels “as cold as marble”, Confusion, irrational, Lethargy, Failing consciousness, Slow and shallow breathing, Slow, weak pulse. TREATMENT DO NOT PLACE HEAT SOURCES NEXT TO SKIN, EG. NO HOT WATER BOTTLE Prevent the loss of more body heat-cover with extra clothing. Warm the person. Give hot, high energy drinks. Check consciousness level. Seek medical attention if needed.