Message From the President – Emergency Info: Why it’s necessary

By JW Haupt

To follow up last week’s post about the importance of completing the Ride Waivers before pushing off on a Club-led or event, I thought I would make sure that everyone knows why it is important for you, as a ride participant, to provide the information on the Ride Waiver.

From last week’s post…

The Ride Waiver establishes an understanding between the Club and a cyclist participating in a Club-sponsored ride.  The Ride Waiver covers a multitude of items affecting the Club and the cyclist during a ride, including:

  • outlining safety requirements and rules;
  • stating that the cyclist is riding of his or her own free will;
  • waiving Club liability for any loss, damage, accident, injury or inconvenience that may occur to the cyclist during the ride; and
  • reminding the cyclist that they can discontinue riding at any time if he/she believes conditions to be unsafe.  

 

But, why is the information that you provide so important?

The Ride Waiver is used to confirm that a cyclist participated in a ride.  This proof is needed should a cyclist be involved in an accident and, as a result of that accident, submits an insurance claim to help defray medical costs that were incurred.   A copy of the completed Ride Waiver is a requirement of our insurance carrier before they will consider such a claim.  If the cyclist did not sign the Ride Waiver then there is no proof that he or she was on the ride.  

Please keep in mind that our Club insurance is extended to Club members in good standing for any Club-led ride or event in which they participate.   In order to benefit from the Club insurance you must keep your membership current for if not you will not be covered.  Should you ever have a question as to whether your membership is current, please send an email to membership@whiteclaybicycleclub.organd the Club’s Membership Chair will review the list of current members and notify you one way or the other.  It is strongly recommended that you renew your membership in February before the start of the new year on March 1st. 

Our Club insurance also covers non-members who are (i) participating in one of our four major events, (ii) pay the event registration fee, and (iii) sign the Ride Waiver for the event.

Another – and possibly the most important – reason for the cyclist to fill out the Ride Waiver form is the emergency contact information.  The Ride Waiver has a block for the cyclist to post his or her cell phone number and a number for emergency contact.  The Ride Waiver provides the Ride Leader the information needed to contact someone on behalf of an injured cyclist in the event of an emergency.  It is important that, when completing the Ride Waiver, a cyclist prints all information clearly so the Ride Leader can understand the phone numbers listed. An emergency number is only usable when it is readable. 

A few cyclists have asked whether the Club would consider providing an annual Ride Waiver when renewing memberships, preventing the need complete one for each ride.  That may protect the Club from litigation, but it does not benefit the cyclist or the Ride Leader for the reasons discussed above.  There would be no proof of participation and the Ride Leader would not have a way of reaching out to an emergency contact should it be necessary.

For these reasons, it is very important for all cyclists who are participating in any Club-led activity – be it a weeknight ride or a major event – to review and sign a Ride Waiver and provide the information in legibly.  It may seem like a nuisance task, but it is a necessary part of being a ride participant.  

Please arrive early enough to sign the Ride Waiver before each and every ride – it is just as important for you as it is for the Club.

Should you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to reach out to me at president@whiteclaybicycleclub.org.

Respectfully,
JW Haupt
WCBC President