In a period of just over 12 months, there have been 8 serious accidents within our club, with 10 riders injured badly enough to be out of action for lengthy periods. This represents a substantial increase on the previous year.
Of these accidents, one was an incident with a car and another involved a mechanical failure. The other six involved rider error in one way or another, five during races and one on a group training ride.
There is a pretty consistent pattern here, suggesting that the biggest safety risk we face is group riding at speed.
While we can never hope to eliminate accidents completely, we should definitely have the attitude that we can prevent them. With the benefit of hindsight, most of the accidents in the last 12 months certainly could have been avoided.
There is no obvious solution to this issue – despite our best intentions another accident could happen at any time – but perhaps the first step is to make sure our group riding skills are up to scratch, that we show consideration for other riders, and ride according to the conditions.
With this in mind I have put together a new page on rider etiquette based on material from two other clubs (