We want everybody to enjoy our club rides for the wonderful countryside we live near, for the healthy exercise and for the sociable camaraderie they offer.

It is fairly obvious that there will always be some differences in riding ability, both in speed and comfortable distance capability between any group of riders due to age, fitness and now, the availability of e-bikes. We try to accommodate this by offering Short, Medium and/or Long rides but this still cannot entirely solve the problem.

Dealing with different levels of ability in terms of distance / speed

Compared to riding alone when you can choose yourself how far and fast you want to go and stop when you want to, riding in a group is almost always a compromise which we have to accept in order to get the benefits of group riding ie sociability, variety of routes etc.

The wider the range of ability/preferences of any given group the more compromise it is necessary to make.  We generally deal with this by having different rides for different ability levels but sometimes  even this cannot overcome the problem, e.g. When during winter we only have one ride on Sunday or when a large number of people ride in a particular group.

Generally, goodwill and common sense can cope with some of these issues but some specific pointers are :

  • The broad statements of definition in terms of distance and average speed of the types of ride we do – Long, medium, short, extra short and midweek rides are shown on our website.  These definitions reflect what the average self propelled rider could be expected to do as part of any given group
  • We will gently remind riders that in taking on a particular ride they are confident they can complete the ride and are able to find their way home if they decide they’re not up to doing the full ride.
  • Where new riders join a particular group the leading riders in the group should ‘look after’ this person.  In certain circumstances it might be necessary to advise a new rider that they may be better suited to a different (slower or faster?) group.

At the start of a ride

  • Check on participants level of ability/preferences
  • Decide whether to split into separate groups
  • Decide route/mileage/speed for each group
  • For each group one person should be the informal leader – responsible for the route and keeping everyone together
  • Check on lunch arrangements - café stops, sandwiches, ringing ahead to check opening/booking tables if necessary
  • Allow 10 minutes ‘grace’ for late comers then set off

During the Ride

  • Encourage riders to inform someone if they are leaving the ride – either going off the front or dropping off the back
  • Encourage riders unsure of the route not to ‘jump off the front’ of the ride
  • If the group gets strung out wait near the top of hills or junctions to regroup and give the last rider time to recover
  • When waiting to regroup wait in a safe place – not in middle of road or at places with poor visibility for other road users

Road Etiquette

  • Single out on busy/narrow roads
  • If riding in a large group (say 6+) consider splitting into smaller groups with gaps to allow cars to overtake
  • Thank other road users when they show patience/courtesy
  • When riding in a group warn others in the group if you’re stopping suddenly, shout out or point to (if safe) potholes and other road surface issues
  • If riding two abreast allow the person alongside you room to avoid hazards