HomeClub Rules

Code of Conduct

1. Introduction
High Wycombe Cycling Club (HWCC) has a Code of Conduct to help create a culture amongst all cyclists to be more responsible and take ownership of their conduct when using the roads as part of Club activities. This Code will support and enhance the reputation of the Club and importantly assist in making the roads a safer place for all road users.
As the number of bikes and cars on our roads increases, cyclists have an important role to play in assuring the safety of all road users. We all have the right to use the road but to ensure safety and mutual respect with car drivers, responsible cycling is mandatory to maintain good relationships on the road, and preserve the reputation of the Club. We also have a duty to behave responsibly, courteously and safely in the presence of other road users, for example horse riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

The purpose of the Code of Conduct (Code) is to outline the type of behaviours which members of HWCC are expected to follow as members of the Club when engaged in Club activities. It also applies to members who are not engaged in Club activities but are wearing Club Kit and are hence representing the Club. It is not an exhaustive description but summarises the core principles that members should adopt so long as they remain a part of the Club. The Club Committee will ultimately be accountable for the behaviours it wishes and does not wish to see in the Club.
The Code applies to:

  • All members of the Club
  •  Persons acting on behalf of HWCC, for examples officials and other support personnel assisting or conducting HWCC Events
  • Non members participating in Club Events.

2. Key Elements of the Code
The Code is designed to ensure the safety and well being of all Club members and to both protect and enhance the reputation of the Club in the wider community. All persons who are bound by this Code shall:

  • Act in a manner that is in the interest of the Club and does not harm its reputation;
  • Follow the policies, rules, procedures and guidelines as defined in the Club Handbook;
  • Accord all members of the Club, the public and fellow road users the appropriate courtesy, respect and regard for their rights and obligations.

2.1 Road Safety All members of HWCC when participating in Club Events should follow the Highway Code as it applies to cycling. For example:

  • Cyclists must stop at red lights. It’s the law!
  • Keep to the left on the road to allow clear passage for passing traffic;
  • Wear brightly coloured (if not Club) kit and have lights on the bike if conditions demand it.
  • Be predictable and always indicate your intentions;
  • If riding two abreast, be courteous if the road narrows;
  • Signal and/or call your intentions and hazards to ensure your safety and the safety of those near you
  • At traffic lights and intersections depending on the conditions, stay in position behind queued vehicles rather than rolling up the side of stopped traffic.
  • Be especially cautious around lorries, buses, farm vehicles and horses. These can be unpredictable particularly if they are unaware of your presence.

HWCC strongly recommends the wearing of approved helmets on all Club activities. Helmets are compulsory for Junior members of the Club.

2.2 Behaviour on Club Events

HWCC expects its members to behave in a way that demonstrates respect for other members, external
stakeholders and their property, including the general public. It also wishes to operate in an environment that is free from harassment or discrimination. In this context, harassment is defined as any action directed at an individual or group that creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment. Discrimination is defined as not respecting the rights and dignity of every member of the Club equally, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation or religion. Ultimately it not easy to provide a comprehensive definition of what is unacceptable behaviour but a starting point would be to judge the behaviour in the context of the following questions:

  • Will the behaviour have a negative impact on the reputation of the Club?
  • Does the behaviour create significant tension, disharmony or disunity within the Club?
  • Could the behaviour be considered to be discrimination or harassment as defined above?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, the behaviour is likely to be unacceptable.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

  • Denigration or intimidation of other individuals, riders or otherwise, in the Club or outside, especially during organised events.
  • Repeated use of foul language or insulting behaviour on Club rides;
  • Any form of harassment whether physical, mental or sexual;
  • Any form of discrimination;
  • Damaging Club or another person’s property;
  • Theft of Club or a member’s property;
  • The use or encouragement of the use of banned substances (as outlined in the UCI anti-doping policy);
  • Any behaviour that would harm the long term reputation of the Club – especially when out on an organised cycle event. For example, difficult encounters with inconsiderate drivers and other road users are a frequent occurrence. These must be handled with tact and sensitivity, even if the other road user is in the wrong.

2.3 Gross Misconduct

The following are considered as gross misconduct:

  • Any act of violence, intimidation or harassment against another Club member;
  • Any act that is deemed to be illegal whilst participating in a Club organised activity or whilst wearing Club clothing;
  • Riding in a Club activity whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Theft of another member’s or of the Club’s property.

3. Grievance and Disciplinary Process
An example of non-compliance with the Code would normally be reported to a Committee member through a variety of routes, depending on the incident and sequence of events that have led to the breach. For example, the Club regularly receives feedback on its website or directly to committee members about the conduct of its members on Club rides. Most of these are of a trivial nature and do not require in depth investigation. If some action is required, it will probably be to ask the member(s) involved to address the issue and if appropriate take action to stop the incident happening again. Any action required to address these trivial incidents would probably be determined by the Leader of the Club Ride, the organiser of the Event and/or the Club Captain.

For more serious issues, especially involving safety, and/or engagements with members of the public, the member or members involved in the breach would normally be asked to explain what had happened to an Investigation Team, appointed by the Committee. This team would be comprised of three non-Committee members, and would have the power to investigate what happened and make recommendations. These would be presented and discussed at the forthcoming Club Committee meeting, or if urgent at a specially convened Committee meeting. Any proposed actions would have to be approved by the Committee.

Any Club member who was involved in this disciplinary process would have the right to bring as much
evidence to the Investigation Team, (including witnesses) as they felt necessary to support their position in the case of a dispute. The Investigation Team would also be able to consult widely and gather as much evidence as was necessary to understand and resolve the issue. Finally, the Team would review the evidence with all those involved in the incident and agree its conclusions and recommendations. Once these had been agreed by the Committee, they would be communicated back to the members involved. In the case of a dispute, the members could appeal to a second Arbitration Team of three different Club members (again not Committee members) and if still not resolved to the Club Committee itself. The Committee’s decision would be final.
Normally if the breach was the first of its kind and of a relatively minor nature, the individuals concerned would be requested to take the appropriate remedial action and would suffer no further consequences. A repeat of the breach, or a more serious incident might trigger the issuing of a written warning to those who were deemed to be responsible for the breach. Gross Misconduct would result in expulsion from the Club and, if necessary, involvement of the Police.
As an example, in September 2015 the Club had a very serious example of a breach of the Code of Conduct. A Club member in Club kit riding independently decided to ride on a section of highway that had been closed off for the Kop Hill Climb – a local charity motoring event held annually. Despite requests from stewards, the rider proceeded and the event had to be halted until he had been removed from the course. The Club was contacted and the local press became involved. A thorough investigation of the events was completed and the disciplinary process started, but in anticipation of the outcome, the member resigned from the Club. The incident represented a very clear example of why the Code of Conduct is needed. It was also used to manage the very difficult situation that had arisen with the event organisers and the press.
HWCC Committee December 2015