The Tripleshot board has voted to change the Tripleshot Code of Conduct by removing the following bullets under Personal Integrity:
Tripleshot members: ...
Obey the rules of the road.
Don’t ride in places where cycling is not permitted.
And replacing them with the following:
Tripleshot members: …
Do not ride roads or trails in ways that endanger themselves or other users.
Are responsible for knowing legislation, rules, and regulations that apply to where and how they cycle, including where cycling may be prohibited.
Are responsible for mitigating the impact of their rides on both other road/trail users and on road/trail conditions.
Why are we doing this?
For over 15 years, Tripleshot has broken the law on nearly every one of its road rides. Some examples? We ride two abreast, we ride in the middle of the lane, we sometimes roll through stop signs (often as if we were one vehicle), and we sometimes exceed the speed limit – all violations of the Motor Vehicle Act. More recently, nearly every one of our trail rides makes use of cut-throughs, connectors, trails, and property (like all unpaved school grounds) where cycling is restricted.
Despite these formal violations of our Code of Conduct, the club has had very few complaints from either the general public or law enforcement. Why? Because most of our activities and most of our ride leaders apply various principles to mitigate the impacts of our rides. For example, this includes riding early in the morning on much emptier roads and trails when the potential for conflict with other road/trail users is considerably lower. In the case of trails, we also don’t ride certain trails at certain times of year when surfaces can be damaged and we cut our speed and use warning bells on corners to help avoid conflict with other trail users.
The Code provisions we’re replacing offered unhelpful, prescriptive edicts and no guidance to members of the club’s actual expectations of them. The board has also been hamstrung in taking any action under a Code that gets broken on nearly every Tripleshot ride. By instead setting out the principles by which the club expects members to abide, we hope to both (1) continue the club’s excellent record of responsible cycling, and (2) put the board in a more legitimate position to enforce our Code, should the need arise.
Specific Reminders to Trail Ride Leaders
Our trail ride program depends on leaders who not only find good routes and keep disparate riders together but who also ensure Tripleshot trail rides enhance the general public’s respect for our club. We can do this by practicing good trail etiquette:
Ride in a way that avoids dropping riders. Communicate your intended speed and turns in advance. Stop at turns and after segments to count and regroup.
Manage your speed in such a way that you can always respond defensively to unexpected hazards like fallen tree limbs, washouts, wildlife, and other users.
When riding in the dark, always use bright headlamps that reveal unexpected hazards and alert other users to your presence.
When you approach blind corners, ring your bell and reduce your speed so you are able to stop in time if another user appears.
When you approach other trail users (especially from behind), ring your bell and offer a friendly greeting and a group-count as you pass.
When you approach other users on single track, step off the trail and let them pass, offering a friendly greeting.
Don’t ride trails at times of day or year when there is a substantial risk of disrupting or endangering other users.
Don’t ride trails if your bike could cause permanent damage to trail surfaces – e.g. when the ground is saturated and the risk of erosion is higher.
Most members are aware of those times when our road rides break the law (e.g. riding two abreast and rolling stop signs.) But when following a trail ride leader in the dark, it’s not always obvious where one shouldn’t cycle at other times of the day or year. Leaders should try to avoid restricted trails and clearly communicate to members of their group when their routes pass through restricted areas.
If you ride trails, please familiarize yourself with this map of cycling-restricted trails maintained by the club. There are links to relevant local bylaws in the legend but here are areas specifically mentioned in those bylaws.
On every school ground in School District 61, cycling is prohibited on all unpaved surfaces.
In Oak Bay, cycling is specifically prohibited in:
Anderson Hill Park,
the Henderson Park chip trail and golf course,
the Willows Beach path between Esplanade and Bowker, and
In Saanich, cycling is specifically prohibited on the unpaved portions of:
Mount Douglas Park (PKOLS),
Knockan Hill Park,
Mount Tolmie Park,
Rithet’s Bog Nature Sanctuary,
Glencoe Cove Park, and
Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.
Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Langford, and Colwood make no specific park mentions in their bylaws regarding cycling but, like Camosun and UVic, instead rely on posted signs.