Rush to Crush Cancer


A ride, not a race.

We all need to keep safety in mind while participating in Rush to Crush Cancer.  Having the knowledge and skills of basic bike safety will keep yourself and your fellow participants safe. Rush to Crush Cancer is a ride, not a race and our goal is everyone has a safe and fun experience.  

Rules of the Road

As part of the registration process, all riders have agreed to follow the event rules at all times during ride weekend:

  • PNC Presents Rush to Crush Cancer Benefitting UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is not a race; it is a ride
  • The 30- and 60-mile rides are conducted on open roads where motor vehicle traffic will be present; be aware of what's going on around you at all times
  • Communicate with your fellow riders using proper cycling terms (see below)
  • Do not cross the yellow center line regardless of passing zone
  • Endangering the safety of your fellow riders is strictly prohibited
  • Headphones and radios are not permitted while riding
  • Helmets must be worn at all times while riding
  • Make left turns from the center of the road or left turn lane
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Obey instructions from event directors and pay attention to information posted to event road signage
  • Pass on the left side only
  • Ride as far to the right of the road as is safely possible (except to pass)
  • Ride in control of your bike at all times (in other words, you should be able to stop within a reasonable distance)
  • Use proper hand signals when turning (see below)


During both your training rides and day of the event please remember to carry the following:

  • Identification
  • Emergency contact information
  • Insurance card
  • Any other important health information/equipment


To ensure the safety of all participants, we strongly encourage you to have your bike inspected prior to the ride.

Our partners from Pro Bike+Run are offering FREE bike inspections to Rush to Crush Cancer participants at their Strip District and North Park locations. They will also be on-site in the UPMC Health Plan Riders Village on the evening of Saturday, May 18.

Please note: There will be no on-site inspections on Sunday, May 19 (event day).

An inspection is checking every nut and bolt on the bike to make sure it is safe to ride. This includes (but is not limited to) checking the torque on the handlebar and stem, wheels, pedals, and seat; checking the brakes and shifting; and making sure the tires are inflated to the proper pressure.


You are responsible for making sure your equipment is working properly, every time you go out for a ride. Before you head out do this really useful “ABC Quick Check” to ensure a safe ride.

"A" = Air

Check the sidewall of the tire and inflate tires to the rated pressure as indicated on the sidewall. Use a pressure gauge to ensure proper tire pressure. Check if there’s any damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace tire if worn.

"B" = Brakes

Look at your brakes, check the brakes and cables to make sure they are not worn down. Make sure you are able to reach the brake levers comfortably, then squeeze them for cable tightness and push forwards. If the wheel turns you will need to get your brakes fixed prior to going out for a ride.

"C" = Chain

Always check the chain is clean and lubricated. A rusty chain drags, changes gear poorly and could snap. While you are checking the chain, spin your pedals and check that the cranks don’t wiggle from side to side and that there are no grinding noises from the bottom bracket. You will also want to make sure your derailleur, the device that moves the chain between gears, is straight and clears the spokes properly.


Check your quick release skewers on your wheels. They should be clamped securely to ensure the wheels stay on during the ride.


Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly. Make sure your saddle is the correct height and the bolt is tight.


All Participants must wear a helmet while riding in Rush to Crush Cancer. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent. To ensure your helmet fits properly follow the tips below:

  • When the chin strap is buckled, a bicycle helmet should have a snug but comfortable fit. You should not be able to move the helmet from side to side or up and down.
  • A helmet should sit level on the head (not tilted back) and rest low on the forehead.
  • The bottom edge of the helmet should be 1 to 2 finger widths above the eyebrow.
  • Another technique to check proper positioning: your eyes should be able to see the very edge of the helmet when looking upward.
  • The straps of the helmet need to be even and should form a "Y" that comes together right at the bottom of the earlobe. The straps should be snug against the head.
  • The buckled chin strap should leave only enough room to allow one finger to be inserted between the buckle and chin. When opening your mouth, you should be able to feel the helmet pull down on your head.

Rules of the Road

Share the roads and ride responsibly! Cyclists are to follow the same rules as cars on the road. You must know and obey all the traffic laws, signs, and lights. Do not weave in and out of traffic and be aware of the cars around you. The more predictably you ride, the safer you are. 

Ride in the right portion of the rightmost lane in the direction you are traveling. You are permitted to pass other cyclists on the left-hand side or if you are preparing to turn left. 

Look, signal, and look again.  Use hand signals to let drivers and other cyclists know where you are going. Always look behind you before changing lanes or making a turn. Look and make eye contact. Do not assume that a driver will stop or that they see you. Stay alert and keep a lookout for obstacles in your path.

You are permitted to ride no more than two abreast and make sure you are not blocking traffic. It is encouraged to ride single file as much as possible and you must pull off the road surface and stop, if necessary to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Please remember all routes are not closed to traffic, so please use caution.

Hand Signals

Cars are not the only ones with signals! It is just as important for a driver in a vehicle to be aware of these signs as it is for bikers to know and use them. Here are the proper ways to show a driver where you are going if you are on a bike:

Left Turn: Extend your left arm straight to point left.

Right Turn: Extend your left arm out with your forearm pointing up (your elbow joint should be creating a 90-degree angle) OR extend your right arm straight out and point right.

Stopping: Extend either arm and point your forearm down (your elbow joint should be creating a 90-degree angle.

“Slow Down”:  Sometimes it is necessary to gently remind drivers that you are on a bicycle and not in a vehicle. Instead of yelling, gently wave your hand by your side to sign that you would like them to slow down. To depict that you need more room, gently wave your hand up from your side.

Identifying Road Hazards: This can be done by pointing or waving in the direction of the road hazard. This will help give attention to an obstacle in the road and lower risk of an accident.

Cycling Language

It is important to communicate loud, and clearly so fellow participants can pass along important information while riding.

Stopping: This means a rider ahead of you will be coming to a complete stop. 

Slowing: This means the cyclist in front of you is slowing down.

Car Back: This means a car is approaching you from behind.  Riders are encouraged to move to the righthand side of the road and ride single file. 

On Your Left:  This means a rider is passing on your left side. Move as far right as possible and allow them to pass.

Flat: This is used when a rider experiences a flat tire, and is slowing down, making their way to the farthest right side of the road to dismount and wait for assistance.

Riding in a large group and sharing some roads with motor vehicles is far different than riding on your own on a trail. Follow these tips to have the safest experience possible.


When riding up hills or on narrow roads where you may be impeding traffic, you should leave a gap for cars between every 3-4 bikes. This will allow motorists to pass in shorter intervals and eventually move around the entire group.


Generally, slower traffic stays to the right so those moving faster can pass on the left. Say "On your left!" to warn cyclists ahead that you are passing. If you need to pass someone on the right, say "On your right!" clearly since this is an unusual maneuver.


When riding in a group, most cyclists do not have a good view of the road surface ahead, so it's important to announce holds, glass, gravel, grates, or other hazards. The leader should indicate hazards by pointing down to the left or right and by shouting "hole!" "bump!" etc.


When approaching intersections that require vehicles to yield of stop, the lead rider will say "slowing" or "stopping" to alert those behind to the change in speed. When passing through an intersection, some cyclists say "clear" if there is no cross traffic. Note that each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the road is indeed clear.


Warn cyclsts behind you well in advance to changes in your direction or speed. To notify the group of a chance in path, the lead rider should call out "left turn" or "right turn" in addition to giving the proper hand signal.


If you need to stop riding for any reason, move well off the road so you do not interfere with traffic. When you start riding again, each cyclist should look for and yield to traffic.


Since riders in the front cannot see traffic approaching from the rear, it is the responsibility of the riders in the back to inform the others by saying "car back." It is also helpful to warn riders of traffic approaching from the front with "car up."


Ride single file or two abreast as appropriate to the roadway, traffic conditions, and where allowed by law. Most state vehicle codes permit narrow vehicles such as bikes and motorcycles to ride two abreast within the lane. Even where riding double is legal, courtesy dictates that you single up when cars are trying to pass you.


Use hand and verbal signals to communicate with fellow cyclists and with traffic. Hand signals for turning and stopping are as follows:

  • Left arm straight out to signal a left turn
  • Left arm out and down with your palm to the rear to signal slowing or stopping
  • Right arm straight out or left arm out and up to signal a right turn