Sean Kelly Three Counties Cycle


Before setting off on the Three Counties Cycle each cyclist (from experienced to novice) should go through the following basic checklist – this should make your cycle safe, enjoyable and easier:

  • Have at least one spare tube
  • Carry a hand pump
  • Check the brakes work!!
  • Check the pedals and seat adjustments – are they correct and tightened properly??
  • Check the tyre pressure and condition. Preventing a puncture is better than mending one at the side of the road….
  • Bring at least one full drinker and a small snack – in event of unforeseen problems. People can get lost – and hungry.
  • Tri Bars should not be used – they can cause injury in the event of an accident / fall, and lack of control when on tri bars can cause an accident.

Have a look at this excellent guide to Sportive Etiquette:


This is NOT a race. The Three Counties Cycle is a sportive on open roads. Please respect all users of the road.

  • No helmet no cycle.
  • No headphones.
  • No tri bars.
  • Adhere to the rules of the road – They are there to protect you and others.
  • NO cycling more than 2 abreast.
  • Do NOT break red lights.
  • Use hand signals (where possible & if you feel safe to do so) to warn traffic of any oncoming manoeuvres.
  • Be visible – wear bright clothing if possible at all times and use lights on your bike


  • Vehicles: If you are at the front of the group and a vehicle is coming towards you on a narrow road, you shout ‘car front or car down or car on‘. This message should then be passed down the group so that everybody in the groups hears it.
  • If you are at the back of the group and a vehicle is coming up behind the group you on a narrow road, you shout ‘car back or car up‘. This message should then be passed up the group so that everybody in the groups hears it. Always repeat the call. This is for everyone’s safety.
  • If the group needs to ‘single out’, which is a command from either the front or back of the bunch, due to the passing of a vehicle, then the rider on the front right will cycle in front of the rider on his left and then pull in to the left in front of the rider. This will be the same the whole way down the bunch.
  • Puncture: If you puncture, put your hand in the air. This is the universal sign that something is wrong and that you are going to stop. Wait till everybody goes past you before coming to a stop on the extreme left hand side of the road. If for some reason, you get a front wheel puncture on a fast downhill section, shout loudly ‘puncture’ so that as many people as possible hear you before coming to a stop on the left of the road.
  • Downhill: If you are on the front of a bunch, going downhill, do not freewheel, but keep turning the gear and often put it in the big ring. The reason for this is that the riders behind you in your slip stream will be travelling faster than you and hence have to keep braking, which disturbs the natural rhythm of the bunch.
  • Turning: When turning right or left and you are heading the bunch, shout ‘turning left or turning right’ and put out your hand to signal. The others behind you should do the same all the way down the bunch, in order to let traffic behind the group, know of the groups intentions.
  • Exiting Junctions: when pulling out of a junction it is the responsibility of the riders at the front of the group, to shout ‘clear or stop‘. Never proceed to cross unless you are sure that the whole group will make it across.
  • Passing: When passing an obstacle, like a runner, a slower cyclist, a stationary car, shout to the person behind you, and or, point your arm behind you and away from the obstacle. You will see this being done by more experienced riders.