Everyone knows there are certain risks associated with using the public road system. We should all do our best to avoid obvious traffic hazards, ride our bikes in a safe manner and keep them in a good state of repair. We encourage participants to ride within their abilities. In spite of this, a cyclist may still be injured on an OCC ride.

The tips that follow come from the OCC Ride Leader Handbook.  If something happens on a group ride, it is important to:
  • Stay calm. 
  • Try to identify the mechanism of injury (road hazard, collision, mechanical failure, exhaustion, etc.) and then act to minimize danger of further injury. 
  • Ensure that traffic is stopped or redirected to prevent further injury. 
  • Don’t move the injured person. Consider the possibility of a cerebrospinal injury. Ask the injured person for his or her permission to help. Do not provide help if the injured person refuses your offer – remain nearby and offer again after a minute or two; he/she will likely consent if the injuries are severe. Note that if the injured person is or becomes unconscious this permission is deemed to have been given. 
  • Sending for help is often a judgment call. Is there profuse blood loss? Are they in obvious pain? Did they lose consciousness, even briefly? Are they having trouble breathing? If in doubt call 911. 
  • Administer first aid to the extent of your ability. 
  • Even if the injured person pops up off the road and insists there is nothing wrong, look for signs of confusion and disorientation. They may have sustained a head injury 
  • While waiting for help to arrive get the injured person’s personal information (name, address, emergency contact, telephone) and medical history (allergies, medic alert, recent illnesses & operations) and write it down. Make sure a copy of this information finds its way onto the ambulance. 
  • Comfort the injured person. -When you get home notify the Recreational Ride Chair or President with details of the incident and the injured person’s name(s).
None of us want to be in this situation, but things can on occasion go wrong very quickly out there.  Even when everybody is riding safely and doing everything right, unavoidable things can happen.