Code of Conduct
Wincanton Wheelers Code of Conduct is designed to create a culture of good practice and good conduct when riding.
Key Principles of the Code
As a member of Wincanton Wheelers, you represent Wincanton Wheelers.
Wincanton Wheelers expects its members to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for other members and other road users.
The Code is not an exhaustive list of do's and don'ts but summarises the core principles that members should adopt. The Code is designed to ensure the safety and well-being of all Club members and to both protect and enhance the reputation of the Club in the wider community.
Group Riding Etiquette & Safety
Wincanton Wheelers provides a varied programme of rides of varying pace. Distances, speeds and destinations of rides are generally shared on the club forums and are displayed on the club website.
For the safety and benefit of the club and its members, riders must adhere to the Highway Code and act in a respectful manner to fellow club members and all other cyclists and road users at all times.
Club rides are not races and members are expected to treat them appropriately.
When riding as a club we must:
- Always, ride safely, considerately and courteously (even when provoked by other people’s rude or dangerous behaviour);
- Wear club kit on club rides if possible and when representing the club at races and sportives;
- Always ride a well-maintained bike and preferably wear a helmet;
- Unless racing, always carry a spare inner tube, tyre levers, and a pump or gas;
- Learn and use all common hand signals and use verbal warnings when riding on the road or racing;
- Respect the ride leader's instructions;
- Ride no more than two abreast unless overtaking. On busy or narrow roads consider riding single file if appropriate and safe to do so;
- Anticipate traffic and allow enough time for the entire group to negotiate obstacles;
- Should the group be split, riders should slow down or find a safe place to stop and reform before proceeding;
- The group should stop and assist any of its riders suffering from mechanical or physical problems;
- Wait for the last rider, unless the rider has requested to be left, or an agreement made with everyone's consent, that the group will not wait for dropped riders; and
- No rider should leave the group without first notifying other riders, preferably the ride leader.
Behaviour of Club Members
Wincanton Wheelers expects its members to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for other members and the general public. It also wishes to operate in an environment that is free from harassment or discrimination. To this end, and as we are a club affiliated to British Cycling, Wincanton Wheelers members must read and comply with the British Cycling Equality, Diversity and Safeguarding policies.
In addition, the club will not tolerate:
- Damage to or theft of any person's property;
- The use or encouragement of the use of banned substances (as outlined in the UCI anti-doping policy);
- Any act of abuse, violence, intimidation, bullying or harassment against another club member, another rider or member of the public, including those in breach of the BC Equality and Diversity Policies;
- Any act that is deemed to be illegal whilst participating in a club organised activity;
- Riding in or to/from a club activity whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol and not being in proper control of the bike; and
- Ignoring the requests or instructions from officials such as the police.
Digital Messaging Apps
Your fellow members are a friendly and helpful group of people. Please remember, though, that people of all ages and backgrounds use our digital messaging apps, so stick to common sense conventions with regards to language
- Opinions can be expressed in diverse ways but please do not make personal attacks or engage in flame wars (long, abusive exchanges) as it inhibits debate and creates bad feeling. If in doubt, ask yourself: would I be comfortable saying this to their face? If the answer is no, do not hit the “post” button;
- Avoid swearing;
- Offensive posts will be immediately removed. For the avoidance of doubt; this includes any post that discriminates on the basis of race, gender, religion or disability; and
- A request for a post to be removed or edited simply because you disagree with what a member has said or the way it has been expressed is likely to be ignored. Dislike and offence are different. If in doubt, ask yourself if the basis for your complaint falls into any of the above categories.
Grievance and Disciplinary Process
The Committee shall be responsible for disciplinary hearings of members who infringe the Club’s constitution / code of conduct and for disciplining members following such hearings.
As to disciplinary hearings:
- All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be notified to the Welfare Officer in writing as soon as reasonably practicable. The member or members involved would normally be asked to explain what had happened to an investigation team, comprised of members of the Committee, to investigate what happened and make recommendations;
- The Committee will consider any complaints at the next committee meeting due to be held after notification of the complaint;
- The club occasionally receives feedback on its website, via social media or directly to Committee members about the conduct of its members on club rides. Most of these are of a minor nature and do not require in depth investigation. If some action is required, it will probably be to ask the member(s) involved to address the issue and if appropriate take action to stop the incident happening again;
- For more serious issues, especially involving safety and/or abuse violence, intimidation, bullying, harassment, or discrimination of any kind, the member or members involved would normally be asked to explain what had happened to an investigation team, appointed by the Committee, to investigate what happened and make recommendations. These would be discussed between the Committee members, if necessary, at a specially convened Committee meeting. Any proposed actions would have to be approved by the Committee. Any Club member who was involved in this disciplinary process would have the right to bring as much evidence to the investigation team, (including witnesses) as they felt necessary to support their position in the case of a dispute. The investigation team would also be able to consult widely and gather as much evidence as is necessary to understand and resolve the issue. The Committee's decision as to disposal of the complaint shall be notified in writing to the person who made the complaint and the person complained about within 7 days of such decision being taken;
Appeal against the decision of the Committee may be made to a panel consisting of three club members appointed by the Club Welfare Officer. Normally if the breach was the first of its kind and of a relatively minor nature, the individuals concerned would be requested to take the appropriate remedial action and would suffer no further consequences. A repeat of the breach, or a more serious incident might trigger the issuing of a verbal or written warning to those who were deemed to be responsible for the breach.
Very serious offences or a repeat of a more serious incident can result in suspension from some or all club activities for a period of time, expulsion from the Club and, if necessary, involvement of the Police; and
- The Club Welfare Officer shall be responsible for ensuring the fair conduct of disciplinary hearings and shall not have a vote.