SAFETY IS ESSENTIAL TO THE GRAN FONDO HINCAPIE EXPERIENCE.
14 support SAG wagons, team of experienced on-the-bike SAG riders, eight motorcycle marshals with experienced USA Cycling officials, team of police and EMT personnel, more than 200 volunteers … we’ve got you taken care of.
But, what can you do? First let’s start with the non-negotiables.
- PROTECT YOUR HEAD: Helmets with chin straps fastened must be worn at ALL TIMES while riding during the event. No exceptions. Helmets meeting US DOT or CPSC standards are required (no aero helmets).
As a rider, there are basic courtesies you can observe to protect yourself and those around you.
- KNOW WHO’S AROUND YOU: Be conscious of other cyclists around you. In a large group ride, riders behind you will not be prepared for you to stop or swerve suddenly, so if you have an emergency, be sure to pull safely off the road and out of the way of other cyclists before coming to a stop. When starting again, check carefully for traffic and yield slowly onto the road.
- USE SIGNALS: Use standard hand signals to indicate turning or stopping. Calling out your intended movements to other cyclists is also helpful. Left Turn: left arm straight out | Stop: left arm bent downward with elbow at 90-degree angle | Right Turn: left arm bent upward with elbow at 90-degree angle.
- LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF: You are responsible for getting yourself safely through an intersection, even if you are in a group. Especially in larger groups, traffic situations may change as the group continues to cross, so make a safe decision when you get to the intersection.
- COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS: Warn cyclists behind you of possible dangers in the road, including potholes, debris, glass, speed bumps, etc. Be alert for traffic coming behind you as well as in front. If you are in the front of a group, warn riders behind you of approaching cars by calling “Car up!” clearly behind you. If you are in the back of a group, warn the cyclists ahead of you of a car approaching from the rear by calling “Car back!”
- BE COURTEOUS: Slower cyclists should stay closest to the right edge of the road to allow room for faster cyclists to pass easily to the left. If you are trying to pass someone, politely call out “On your left!” before passing to make them aware. If you have a bell on your bike, this is helpful as well to notify cyclists ahead of you. When riding on narrow roads and up climbs, leave gaps in between cyclists for cars to pass safely.
AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT NUTRITION & HYDRATION!
Hydration is key, but chugging a gallon of water 30 minutes before the event is not the right way to hydrate! The morning of the event, drink water several hours before the start to give your body time to absorb it and flush out your system.
There will be food, water, and electrolyte replacement at each rest stop along the course, as well as at the start/finish area; however, you should still plan to bring your own bottles and nutrition.