You MUST wear a helmet whenever you are on your bike. This includes in the parking lot at the starts and finishes. We suggest that whenever you are touching you bike you have your helmet on your head .

Any rider or volunteer who is found to be using illegal drugs at any time during the tour, or who is found to be abusing alcohol during the tour, will be dismissed from the tour and sent home immediately. Also, firearms are not permitted on the ride, except for active law enforcement officers / agents.

This IS a TOUR, not a race. You should ride at a comfortable pace. No awards will be given for speed. And you'll miss some the fine scenery along the route and the camaraderie of your fellow riders.

Carry your personal ID, Emergency Contact Information, Insurance Card and Important Health Diagnosis at all times.

Obey all traffic rules and regulations: Ride on the right hand side of the roadway. Obey all road signs, stop signs and traffic signals. Use proper hand signals when slowing, stopping and turning.

Ride within voice contact of your buddy/ride group.

Each rider must be at the ride start meeting each morning. Safety, route updates/changes and other features of the day's ride will be covered.

Organize your morning activities to allow us to start on time each morning.

Respect the communities we ride through. Use rest stop or public restrooms, not the road side or someone's yard. Put any trash in trash bags or bins. This includes flatted inner tubes, energy bar wrappers and plastic bottles. Leave the roadside as clean as you found it (if not cleaner).

Ride no more than two abreast when there is traffic around. On roads without a safe shoulder to ride on, ride single file. Do not impede vehicles unless safe bike operation necessitates it.

Pace lines are a good way to share the riding load. Just be careful, especially if new riders join your line.

Keep paceline groups to 12 riders or less. Communication in larger groups becomes difficult.

When two pacelines meet, the overtaking group should pass promptly. The slower group should NOT speed up. Each group should communicate their status clearly during the entire pass.

Do not use aero bars when riding close to other riders, especially in a pace line.

You are free to stop anywhere along the route. Just keep your average speed above 15 mph.

Riders are expected to average at least 15 mph. If a rider cannot maintain this pace and falls behind, he/she will be SAGged up to the next rest stop that puts them in contact with other Tour riders. We cannot safely support riders spread over 30 or more miles.

We will ride only during daylight hours. If we are delayed and darkness falls, riders will be asked to stop riding and wait to be SAGged to the day's finish.

In the event of hazardous weather (such as lightning), the Ride Management will require riders to seek shelter. All riders must stop riding immediately and seek shelter. An "All clear" will be issued when the danger has passed. Do not ride until the All clear is given. If the weather is deemed severe enough for an extended period of time, the Ride Management may SAG all riders to a safe location up to and including the finish location for that day.

We recommend that you inspect or have your bicycle inspected for safety and possible problems a month before the tour.

If you have bike lights, make sure they have fresh batteries in them.

Maintain your personal space as you ride.

Protect your front wheel at all times.

Look back whenever you are going to move left or right. Know what is going on behind you at all times.

Communicate your intentions before you execute them.

  • Turning right/left, stopping, slowing, etc.
  • Let other riders know where you are - passing left, on your wheel
  • Call out and point at road hazards for the riders behind you - pot hole left, glass right, etc

Be courteous to all other vehicles. Your actions affect drivers' attitudes towards all cyclists.

It's a good idea to carry some cash with you. There will be stores along the route. You never know if you might need something to eat or drink.

Although temperatures may be cooler (or not) be sure to hydrate. A bottle every 20 miles is a good place to start.

You will be on the bike a lot more than usual burning a lot of calories. You will need to eat more than you usually do. The tour will have some scales. We suggest you use them. If you are losing weight you will lose endurance. Eat more.

You will be given a route map and cue sheet each day. Please ride the route. It's safest.

If you get lost or way off route, stop and call for help

Bring clothing for hot and cold, and wet and dry conditions. Weather in May can change quickly if a rain storm or cold front passes through. Be prepared.

Most of The Tour du Rouge will be ridden on smaller back roads where space is limited. We discourage riders from having their own follow / support vehicles. We strongly recommend that riders make arrangements to have friends and family (F&F) meet you at the motel for each day's ride, and not along the daily route. For special circumstances, with prior approval of the Ride Director, F&F may accompany the rider.

If you do have F&F following you to New Orleans, we ask that they follow these guidelines for everyone's safety.

  • Follow all applicable traffic laws at all times.
  • If there is an accident in the Tour, please stay out of the way.
  • Do not impede the normal flow of traffic. That is, do not drive behind the rider as he/she rides. While you may want to protect your loved one as he/she rides, it's not a good idea. Slow moving vehicles blocking the roadway actually increase the accident potential. Other drivers get frustrated at the slow pace and take unnecessary risks to pass. Cars approaching from the rear may not see the rider. After passing they may cut back into the lane quickly, hitting or forcing the rider off the road.
  • If you stop to wait for your rider, pull completely off the rideable road surface. If you just park on the paved shoulder, you force the riders to merge into the traffic lanes. This increases their exposure to an accident.
  • Before the ride each day, setup meeting places for the car to park and wait for the rider. A safe place is a location where both the rider and vehicle can pull completely out of traffic, off the road. Parking lots, service stations, convenience stores and side streets are good examples.
  • Some rest stops will have adequate room for visitors but not all. Please check with the rest stop personnel before parking. We also ask that you keep the road leading to the rest stop entrance and exit clear.
  • F&F will have to arrange for their own lodging and meals. Also, rest stop food and drink is for the riders. You'll need to provide your own snacks and drinks.
  • Plan on leaving the hotel no earlier than 30 minutes after the riders start. This will give the riders time to spread out and establish their position.
  • When passing riders, give them at least 3 feet of safety space as you pass, 5 feet is better.
  • If you pick up a rider for any reason, either the rider or you should contact a ride official so we know where that rider/s is and not spend time searching. Also notify a ride official when the rider resumes riding.
  • Cheer the riders as you drive past them and they ride past you. Both of you will feel good.

Thank you for your cooperation.