Weekend club rides meet at Brookside (see meeting points) at 9:00am on both Saturday and Sunday. We split the rides into groups of about 10 maximum, but this can vary across the term – sign up to the mailing list and WhatsApp group chats (links provided in every email on the mailing list) to stay updated. For more details, see the Club Handbook on the club policies page.
Every rider must:
- wear a crash helmet
- wear appropriate clothing: a warm top, leggings, gloves, over shoes, hat/ear warmer, etc
- carry a card with their name and two emergency contact numbers (e.g. home and a parent’s mobile)
- carry medicines you may require (inhalers, epipen, etc) and that the ride leader knows you have a condition and what to do should you need help
- carry a charged mobile phone (with credit)
- carry at least two new inner-tubes, two tyre levers, pump. A basic mutlitool with chainbreaker and a quicklink is highly recommended too.
- carry a rain cape
- have at least one water bottle and two items of food (bananas, cereal bars, energy gels etc)
- have some money (about £5)
- have a bike that works!
All of the above are essential. Think: it’s towards the end of the ride, it’s pouring with rain, I’m starving and can’t wait to get to the cafe and I puncture, twice! For more details, see the Club Handbook on the club policies page.
Blue Ride (Steady Pace)-
This is our entry level group ride. This ride is aimed at those people who may not have been on a bike for some time, but would like to start cycling more frequently and for those people who are working towards riding with Red group. It is a very friendly and sociable ride and aimed at encouraging anyone and everyone to take up this sport. No experience of group riding is required before hand, but we expect everyone to at least have watched THIS VIDEO beforehand. Runs with this group will equip riders with the skills required to move to Red group, but more miles may be needed to improve fitness, strength and speed before moving into that group.
Red Ride (16.5-18mph / 26.5-29km/h)-
This ride is a medium pace ride but is intended to be sociable and includes a cafe stop. It is expected that riders will be able to cover at least 50 miles, in approximately 3 hours riding time, to equip riders with the skills to move to the black ride if desired. The group will stop regularly to re-group, particularly after hills.
Black Ride (18-20.5 mph / 29-33km/h)-
The rides are “social” with a cafe stop, but will require a decent level of fitness and bike ability. We ride in “tight twos” and sometimes “through and off” the group only tends to break up on the bigger hills. This creates a smoother and faster ride for us all, but does take some discipline from the whole group. Don’t worry if you have not done this before many of our new riders have not, other group members will help you. However, if you are not comfortable trying to ride in this style the Black Group is not for you.
Intended for the racers within CUCC, this is a selected group that is not necessarily faster, but rides in a more boring way. The aim is to keep group sizes smaller and more manageable, so people can spend more time on the front (at least 50% of the ride time). Riders in this group should be prepared to fend entirely for yourself. In addition to the above carry a multi-tool, quick link, puncture repair kit, etc. Of course, riders in the group will always endeavour to help one another, but you should be able to sort out your own problems. You should also be aware of the routes used and how to get home, to the cafe, etc from any point. This is usually a serious training group and whilst they will slow down to allow others to catch up after a climb, etc they will not want to keep stopping and ruin their own training!
Some general advice:
- Make sure your bike is well serviced and in a fit state for a 3 hour ride in the country. Your tyres should be pumped up correctly, both brakes fully functional, your gears working. Some of the hills that the rides cover are either steep and/or long: you will need to be able to reach your low gears and you’ll need to be able to slow down on the other side. If you have a serious mechanical problem, you may be faced with either a long wait or a long walk.
- Dress appropriately. Remember that you can take off an extra jersey or gloves, but you can’t put them on if you don’t have them. Err on the side of overdressing. It is unlikely during the winter rides that it will ever be appropriate to ride in just shorts or without gloves. Consider, extra layers, overshoes, good gloves, under-helmet hat.
- Don’t rely on others to have the tools or spares to mend your bike. Make sure your spare tubes are the correct size with the correct valve for the wheels you are using. Try to bring a multi-tool, quick link, puncture repair kit, something to mend your tyre if you cut it (ie a bit of tooth paste tube!), etc.
- Carry your tools and spares in a small bag under your saddle it is better than trying to cram it all in your pockets and you are less likely to forget things.
- Have working front and back lights; it can get rainy, foggy, misty, etc. These should be on your winter training bike anyway!
- Mudguards in winter will keep both you, and the person behind you dryer and more comfortable.
- Don’t ride if you feel ill or are injured. Even a cold can affect your endurance badly. You won’t benefit from a long, cold training ride if you are unwell.
- You are representing CUCC when on these rides, even if you chose not to ride in CUCC colours. Your behaviour should reflect well on CUCC: no swearing, no littering and abide by the Highway Code. Riders are not always extended the same courtesy by other road users, but returning abuse does nothing to help this.