Code of Conduct for BayWest BUG Members


This Code of Conduct outlines the proper practices for all BUG ride participants (“riders”), be they BUG members or visitors.  It is a set of conventional principles and expectations that are binding on each rider in order to pursue the principal aims of the BUG, namely: to undertake safe and enjoyable rides at minimum inconvenience to others and to uphold the Group’s good reputation.  Annually, each member will be required to certify that they have read and understood this Code (which incorporates the two associated bicycle law documents) and, further, accepts the terms and conditions related to participation in BUG arranged events.

Legal Responsibility

BUG rides may use a combination of public roads, bicycle lanes, and combined bicycle/pedestrian paths and tracks.  There are specific rules, many enforceable by law, for the conduct of safer cycling and these must be understood and complied with by all riders. It is necessary that annually members refresh their knowledge of the Code of Conduct and  the following two documents:

Ride Preparation

It is the sole responsibility of riders to consider individual preparedness for each ride.  This requires consideration of the following:

  • Fit for the ride: physically capable of undertaking the ride, aware of the possible side effects of medication, alcohol and/ or drugs.
  • Equipped for the ride: wearing and taking appropriate clothing for the anticipated conditions and satisfying legal requirements, carrying sufficient water, snacks, sunglasses and sunscreen and dressed and equipped to ensure high visibility to other road users.
  • Bicycle serviceability: riders must ensure that the bicycle satisfies all legal requirements, be in sound condition and that a spare tube, and puncture repair kit be carried.
  • BUG Insurance: There is no BUG insurance cover included in membership.  Financial incentive (through return of annual membership fee) is offered to members on proof that, as a minimum,  they have cover against third party liability when cycling.  Members may consider other aspects such as; personal accident, ambulance and bicycle related insurance cover.
  • ID: riders are encouraged to carry some form of identification and a mobile phone number of person(s) to be notified in the event of an accident and a MYKI card should it prove necessary to return using public transport.
  • Ride pull-out: in the event of having to withdraw from a ride, riders must make every attempt to inform the Lead Rider beforehand.
  • Ride ban: at the Lead Rider’s discretion and reluctantly, participants may be denied permission to take part in the ride should there be reasonable doubt regarding the preparedness of the rider and/or equipment.

During the Ride

The Code of Conduct presumes that riders will comply with the Bike Law guide and that common sense and good etiquette will prevail at all times on the ride.  The more detailed aspects for riders in groups to follow are:

  • Be predictable with all your actions.
  • Comply with the recognised bicycle signalling code
  • Hold your line – no wobbling or weaving from side to side.
  • Generally, ride in single file and, when safe to do so, never more than two abreast.
  • Brake carefully and indicate to others when you are braking by voice or hand signal (most accidents occur in group riding from braking).
  • Ride clear of other bikes – at least two wheel diameters space from others.
  • Look ahead – watch the shoulders of the riders in front and, if possible, look ahead of them (avoid looking down at the rear wheel of the rider ahead, risking missing hand signals).
  • Stay alert – have an avoidance strategy.
  • Remain between the Lead Rider and Tail Rider.  In the event that this is not possible explain the issue with the Lead or Tail Rider.
  • On shared trails pedestrians have priority over cyclists.  Give due consideration to pedestrians (especially children, dog walkers and those wearing headphones) by always giving advance warning  and leaving plenty of room.  Similarly, take due care with approaching cyclists who may be at speed or other cyclists who may have children under supervision (or not!).

Communications within the group

  • Advise other riders of your intentions – use hand signals and/ or a voice warning where possible (remember that for various reasons it may be hard for people to hear voices, especially in a strong wind.
  • Pass the signals on as they are intended for all in the group, so pass the warning up or down the group as appropriate.
  • Overtake a rider to their right – advising the rider of your intention and having received acknowledgement.
  • Whenever possible indicate any hazards for those behind to avoid.
  • Inform the Lead or Tail Rider prior to leaving the ride prematurely.
  • Inform the Lead Rider of any untoward/unplanned incident that might affect the ride.

Calls and hand signals

  • ‘Car up’ (voice) if car (or ‘runner’, ‘walker’, ‘bike’, ‘dog’, etc.) for a hazard coming towards the group.
  • ‘Car back’ (voice) if car (or ‘bike’, ‘truck’, ‘bus’, etc.) for hazard coming from behind – usually called from the back of the group.
  • ‘Slowing’ or ‘stopping’ (voice).
    Hand signal: arm 45 degs from body, open hand reversed.
  • ‘Turning left/right’ (voice) – at an intersection also use a hand signal:
  • ‘Car left/right’ (voice) at an intersection to warn others, especially when you are making the crossing and others may follow without looking.
  • For safety reasons, do not advise other riders that an intersection is clear for them to cross.  Each rider must make their own decision based on the circumstances at the time.

Lead Rider’s Responsibilities

The Lead Rider is the principal member of the ride and is responsible for route selection, administration (before and on the ride), informing riders of any alterations (including cancellation) and issuing the pre-ride briefing.  The Lead Rider, by definition, will lead the ride along the designated route and will control the pace.

The Lead Rider will, as far as is practical, ensure the safety of the ride and will take all reasonable precautions to minimise risks to the riders; however, is unable to control the individual safety for each of the riders behind.  Individual safety is the responsibility of each rider.

The Lead Rider will be the principal point of contact and decision maker in the event of an untoward incident.  This includes the authority to deny an attendee permission to participate should there be reasonable cause and, in the unlikely event, to counsel a member attending a ride should it become necessary. 

In greater detail, the above mentioned responsibilities involve the following:

  • Ensure that the ride is advertised well in advance on both the BUG’s Facebook Event and web pages and that the details are correct regarding the meeting point, start time, route, distance and the Lead Rider’s mobile phone number.
  • Inform BUG riders of late changes to the advertised ride by posting on the BUG’s Facebook page and informing confirmed riders by text message.
  • Be fully aware of the planned route, consider completing a route check and if in doubt consult VicRoads, PTV, and Bicycle Network for potential disruptions.
  • Select refreshment stops as necessary.
  • Complete the verbal pre-ride brief (as per the MICE briefing format) informing riders and ensuring their compliance to participate on the ride.
  • Ride at a speed comfortable for the conditions and the fitness levels of riders, comply with the Bike Law handbook, minimise risk and display good manners and consideration of other road and path users at all times.
  • Follow the standard bicycle signalling procedures to warn the riders, pedestrians and other road users, as necessary.
  • Take the lead in response to any untoward/unplanned event.

Tail Rider’s Responsibilities

The Tail Rider fulfils the advisory duty covering the Lead Rider’s blind spot behind.  The key role is to inform the Lead Rider of any untoward event occurring among the riders that the Lead Rider will be unaware of but has to act upon and to advise on the pace of the ride. Secondly, the Tail Rider initiates warnings to riders ahead of an approaching hazard from behind.

In greater detail, the above mentioned responsibilities involve the following:

  • Remain at the back of the group throughout the ride unless there is a sound reason for doing otherwise.
  • Warn the Lead Rider of any relevant concern by passing a message up the line or by a mobile phone call (to include the pace of the ride).
  • Warn the riders ahead, using the standard calls, of any approaching hazard from behind.
  • Carry a mobile phone, switched on and with Lead Rider’s contact number entered.
  • Illuminate a hazard tail light.

Terms and Conditions of Participation

This is an important document which affects your legal rights and obligations. Please read this section carefully in full and ensure that you understand and agree to each of the terms. If you have any questions about the meaning or effect of this document, ask a BWBUG committee member or obtain your own legal advice.

BayWest BUG Declaration: Terms and Conditions of Participation   NOTE TO ALL PARTICIPANTS: Following are the terms and conditions required by members to read and agree to if  wishing to participate in a BayWest BUG (BWBUG) event. A BWBUG event includes, but is not limited to rides, excursions and social events. I accept, understand and acknowledge the following, each as a condition of participation in a BWBUG event and in consideration for being able to participate in the event. Participation in a BWBUG event requires me to:comply with all state and federal traffic laws; comply with directions issued by police; andcomply with directions issued by the BWBUG from time to time.Participating in a BWBUG event carries with it inherent or obvious risk of bodily injury including minor physical injury (such as muscular injury skeletal injury, bruises, scrapes, abrasions, breaks, dislocation and mental or psychological harm), major physical injury (including paralysis or death) and loss or damage including property damage or loss. This potential harm, damage or loss may arise from occurrences including, but not limited to:traffic conditions including vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, changing or broken traffic lights, crowding of participants, unexpected changes in traffic;weather conditions including extremes or sudden and unexpected change;impact with motorised and non-motorised forms of transport to include impact with another BWBUG member, pedestrians, animals and any inanimate hazard found along the way;physical exertion for which I may not be prepared;remoteness to normal medical services;error on behalf of agents of BWBUG or other participants; or the failure of organisers or people associated with the BWBUG event to ensure the safety of persons or property at the event.I agree that I am solely responsible for my own safety while I am participating in the BWBUG event. I agree that I will take all reasonable steps to ensure my own safety, including by wearing appropriate safety gear such as a helmet, and by keeping myself appropriately hydrated. I understand a helmet is necessary for me to wear but that it does not eliminate all risk of injury.I certify that I am physically fit and able to participate in the Activity and I have not been advised to not participate in the Activity by a qualified medical professional.I am aware of the dangers associated with the consumption of alcohol, drugs or other substances which may impair my judgment or physical ability or capacity to safely participate in the BWBUG event. I warrant and certify that before and during the event I will not consume any alcohol, drug or other substance which may impair my judgement, physical ability or capacity to safely participate in the BWBUG event.I am participating in this event at my own risk and release BWBUG and its respective directors, officers, servants, volunteers, representatives and agents or other participants in a BWBUG event (collectively, the Associated Entities) from any liability for my death, bodily injury, loss, or damage (including property damage or loss) howsoever caused (including by negligence) which may be sustained or incurred by me as a result of my participation in a BWBUG event, except in regard to any liability which may not be excluded under Australian Law;BWBUG and the Associated Entities do not make any implied or express warranty that any services provided by BWBUG in connection with a BWBUG event will be rendered with due care and skill or that the services and any materials provided in connection with those services will be fit for the purpose for which they are supplied, with the exception of any warranty that cannot be excluded under Australian Law. I indemnify and hold harmless BWBUG and the Associated Entities against any liability, claims, actions, loss or damage sustained by one or more of them arising out of or in connection with my participation in a BWBUG event.   WARNING UNDER THE AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW AND FAIR TRADING ACT 2012 Under the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria), several statutory guarantees apply to the supply of certain goods and services. These guarantees mean that the supplier named on this form is required to ensure that the recreational services it supplies to you — are rendered with due care and skill; andare reasonably fit for any purpose which you, either expressly or by implication, make known to the supplier; andmight reasonably be expected to achieve any result you have made known to the supplier. Under section 22 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, the supplier is entitled to ask you to agree that these statutory guarantees do not apply to you.  If you sign this form, you will be agreeing that your rights to sue the supplier under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 if you are killed or injured because the services provided were not in accordance with these guarantees, are excluded, restricted or modified in the way set out in this form. NOTE: The change to your rights, as set out in this form, does not apply if your death or injury is due to gross negligence on the supplier’s part. Gross negligence, in relation to an act or omission, means doing the act or omitting to do an act with reckless disregard, with or without consciousness, for the consequences of the act or omission.  See regulation 5 of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Regulations 2012 and section 22(3)(b) of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.