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Road cycling

Version control: Original 1986 / Updated 1999 / Updated 2003 / Updated 2014 / Updated 2016



The Specific sport safety guidelines for Road cycling are in place to support the delivery of Road cycling as a school sport participation program. The guidelines below demonstrate requirements of Road cycling programs.

It is important to note that under the traffic laws, bicycles are recognised as legal vehicles and as such:

  • Cyclists are required to obey the road rules.
  • Off-road cycle ways are legally classified as streets.
  • All vehicles including bicycles must always give way to pedestrians.

Student learning

The teacher-in-charge must involve students in a cycling safety education program prior to the activity. The program should provide instruction in road and traffic rules, signs and signals, road safety and, as appropriate, formation riding. Contact the Road Safety Education Officer in your Educational Services Team for more information.

Only those students who can demonstrate competent riding skills and a thorough knowledge of traffic regulations are to be selected as participants.


Parents must be informed of full details of the location, supervision to be provided and activities to be undertaken when seeking their written permission.


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Teacher/Instructor Qualifications and Experience

The teacher/instructor must have had personal experience in group road cycling and be an active bicycle rider.

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If an adult other than a teacher is engaged as a leader, a teacher must be present to take overall responsibility. A teacher must be present who has recognised current training in emergency care.

As a guide to principals and teachers-in-charge, it is recommended that the adult supervisor to student ratio not exceed 1:15. Principals and organising teachers should take into account such factors as ages, experience and maturity of the students, traffic and road conditions and other challenges likely to be encountered and experience of the adult supervisors. The teacher must cycle with the students and ensure that the group does not split up in that stragglers are left behind.

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Each student must have their own correctly sized bicycle and be aware of the NSW Road Rules relating to bicycles. The bicycle must be fitted with efficient and well maintained brakes, tyres, chain and gears if applicable. Bicycles for velodrome cycling must conform to NSW Cycling Federation specifications. Standard bicycles are unsuitable.

Repairs and adjustments required to bicycles are the responsibility of the parents/caregivers.

The teacher-in-charge should carry out a safety check of all bicycles prior to the commencement of the program in order to give parents time to adjust and correct faults should they be detected.

If any participating student's bicycle fails the pre-course bicycle check or if the parent/caregiver does not make the required repairs or adjustments, the bicycle is not to be used in the program until such time as the repairs or adjustments have been made.

A helmet meeting Standards Australia specification must be worn by students at all times.

Students should wear light coloured close fitting clothing e.g. shorts, aerobic pants or cycling ‘knicks’. Baggy clothing is unsuitable for this type of activity. 

For road cycling, all participants should carry a basic tool kit containing spanners/allen keys to suit their particular bicycle, a puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube and pump. Should a participant not have a kit, she or he should travel with another who does.

A mobile phone to be used in an emergency situation is desirable on all rides but teachers should allow for the fact that they may not operate in all locals.

A First Aid Kit that meets the DoE's First Aid checklist must be readily available

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Roads chosen for the course should have a smooth surface, light traffic flow and allow for ease of passing of riders by other road users. Longer trips should be divided into sections to allow frequent rest stops.

Shared bicycle/pedestrian paths are becoming more common. Many people who cycle on these paths consider they are safer than roads. However, both caution and courtesy are needed. The main danger is collision where the paths cross roads.

Some paths are rough, narrow and discontinuous. At times, they may be busy with pedestrians and other bicycles. Care is needed to avoid falls or collisions.

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Bicycle safety checks must occur before the program commences and at the beginning of each lesson. Students must be encouraged to perform the bicycle road worthiness check under the teacher's supervision.

Teachers are to instruct students to regularly maintain their bicycles particularly brakes, tyres, chains and gears.

The teacher-in-charge should check to ensure that each student is wearing an approved bicycle helmet and that the chin strap is securely fastened. The teacher must check that the students’ shoelaces are securely tied.

A rider who suddenly swerves, pushes or pulls another rider, interferes with the progress of a fellow rider, or removes his or her hands from the handlebars in a manner considered dangerous should be penalised and if a serious, persistent offender, disqualified from participation.

For road cycling, a following motor vehicle can be used as a “sag wagon” to transport food, spares and weary cyclists, a first aid kit, and to summon help quickly in an emergency.

Students are to be instructed to use adequate sun protection, e.g. an SPF50+, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen reapplied regularly.

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All programs and event schedules must be designed considering the age, experience and maturity of the participants. Students must demonstrate suitable cycling skills before being allowed to take part in track competitions.

Competitions must be carefully planned and structured to accommodate participant ability levels.

Where appropriate, the number of participants in competition events must be restricted to ensure the safety of all participants.

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