|A Common Sense and Courtesy Guide for Hilly Hundred Riders|
Use the SMART stuff.
Have your bicycle prepared for the Hilly, and then keep it in good condition. Bring your road or all purpose bicycle to this event, as it will serve you much better than a mountain bike. Gearing depends upon your abilities and conditioning, which you should have a feel for as a result of the next paragraph.
Ride the Hilly in SMART condition.
Get yourself into good physical shape. The Hilly is a 100 mile ride over two days, including many hills, some of which are steep. You should be in good shape and capable of riding this distance and these hills before you come on the ride. A good way to get ready, and to gauge your fitness, is to join a local bicycling club and ride with others. This will also prepare you to ride in a group of bikes. Your fitness program will also teach you the proper techniques for eating and drinking before, during and after a strenuous ride. Never hesitate to ask more experienced riders for their advice.
Bring the SMART equipment.
Wear a protective helmet and wear it correctly. Most bicycling accidents involve injury to the face or head. Wear bright clothing. Be noticed. Expect cool or wet weather and bring appropriate clothing. We’ll all be happy if such clothing is unnecessary, but bring it anyway. Bring tire repair equipment and know how to use it.
Use SMART communications.
Signal all turns and stops. The law says that you must, but this point can’t be overemphasized. Most bike accidents involve two or more bicycles and most are the result of riders not letting others know of their intentions. Sound off when passing. Use phrases such as "on your left," or "on your right." Communicate the presence of motor vehicles to fellow bikers with "car up" and "car back." All bikes within earshot of such a verbal warning must immediately, smoothly and safely move to the right as far as feasible.
Practice SMART riding.
Stop off the road surface. First, let those behind you know of your plans. Then, make sure no bicycles or motor vehicles are immediately behind you as you prepare to stop. Stop at the right edge of the roadway and immediately move to the shoulder. Then, stay clear of the roadway. Stopping is especially dangerous at the crest of a hill or on a curve. When underway, ride in a straight line and don’t weave. Ride to the right, leaving as much room as possible for others to pass on your left. When passing, never cross the yellow line. Wait for those ahead of you to move to the right and then pass safely. If you must dismount and walk up any hills, first use the rules mentioned above, and then walk on the far right side of the road, single file. While pacelines are not forbidden, they are discouraged. Pacelines must ride at a speed consistent with the surrounding traffic. They must slow down in congested areas.
Observe the Laws of the Road.
Obey traffic laws. In Indiana, bicyclists enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. We are expected to stop at stop signs and lights, obey yield signs, not crossing double yellow lines, signaling for turns, not cutting corners. Above all, ride in a respectful manner.
Use a SMART frame of mind.
Use your brain and common sense when you ride. You must be constantly thinking ahead and alert to what’s going on around you. Pace yourself. The Hilly is not a race. Don’t try to keep up with someone who is stronger and better than you.
Does this really need to be said?
Do not drink alcohol or be under the influence of any medication that would tend to impair your physical or mental abilities. This is true of any bike ride, not just the Hilly.
Come to the Hilly prepared with a SMART attitude.
Be considerate of others. This applies to motor vehicles as well as fellow bikers. Remember that we are guests in this community. The bicycling skills of those participating in the Hilly cover the full range of the spectrum. Each rider must look out for someone else, as well as for himself. Be a predictable rider. Don’t make others guess about what your next move will be. Don't make other riders surprised about anything that you do. Be courteous to passing vehicles and other bicyclists. Instead of riding several abreast, go single file and let those behind you pass safely. Cooperate with Hilly officials, City, County and State law enforcement personnel at busy intersections and elsewhere.
Be SMART. Be Safe.
Keep your head up and your ears open. Never wear earphones or headphones when riding. Listen as well as look at happenings around you. Not only give immediate right-of-way to emergency vehicles, but pull over to the side of the road and stop. Watch for loose sand and gravel and other debris on the roadway. Take extra care on some of the Hilly’s poorly paved roads, watching for debris, chuck-holes, and cracks. Be very conscious of riders around you as you maneuver to negotiate any extremely rough road.