Cycling is of course a social activity and all our club rides have a level of conviviality. Conversely, cycling is also a challenging activity and all our club rides involve a degree of physical exertion. Two of our regular weekly group rides would be described by most participants as sociable club runs:
- Riding is in a group
- Largely on quiet roads
- Refuel in a cafe half way
- Different route each week
- New starters welcome
- Get to know your club mates
- Improve your fitness
- Discover new horizons
- Get advice
Clifton Saturday Social Rides
The Saturday Social rides have become increasingly popular and there are now 3 distinct group rides leaving Exhibition Square.
The 'K' Group: 10am suitable for relative newcomers to cycle sport, regular participation in this group should lead to improved fitness, better bike handling skills and more confident group riding technique. Rides are tailored to meet the aspirations/abilities of all the riders and rides may be altered en route, as required, to accommodate individual fitness levels.
A cafe stop for lunch is always taken approximately midway and rides are typically of 50-65 miles ridden at an average speed of 15mph.
As a guide, if you are capable of riding a solo 50 miles, on flat terrain in good weather at an average speed of about 14mph then you should be comfortable with the pace of this group.
The Intermediate Group: 10am Suitable for riders who are comfortable riding 70 miles or so on mixed terrain, and are perhaps thinking of undertaking some Challenge, Sportive and Audax rides in the near future. Ride distance is approx 70-85 miles with a cafe stop. Ave speed 16mph.
The 'H' Group: 9am suitable for experienced and relatively fit road cyclists who enjoy a long ride over challenging terrain. In summer, rides regularly exceed 100 miles, though always with a cafe stop. Ave speed approx 18mph+
- A key element of all three rides is to find a suitable café which provides a warm welcome and good grub.
- The 'K' ride in particular endeavours to give newcomers an insight into club cycling.
- All groups meet every Saturday at Exhibition Square (outside the Art Gallery. Free toilet facilities across the road).
- Social Rides Contact/Co-ordinator: Kevin - Telephone Number: (01904) 709535
- Please note that there is another, unrelated ride that leaves Exhibition Square at the same time on a Saturday - please make sure you get the right group!
The Sunday Clubrun is a traditional club ride of 60-80 miles at 14-16 mph (discounting stops). The rides can be challenging and include some big hills, but everyone is looked after and nobody is left behind. You're ready for this run if the Saturday Social Ride is comfortable or you have done some 40-50 mile solo rides and can handle 15 mph for good sections of these. Sometimes, in lieu of the usual clubrun, we may enter a one-off event such as an Audax or local Sportif as a group and this is always publicised in advanced; these rides are often somewhat more challenging, but good fun.
The following advice is for those new to club riding
- Make sure your bike fits and the brakes and gears work
- The rides described here are designed for road bikes, but an MTB with slick tyres will do the job
- Pump your tyres up as hard as they will go with a hand pump. If you use a workshop pump with a gauge then 100psi or 6 Bar is fine for most narrow tyres. Look on the side on the tyre for a 'Maximum Inflation' value and inflate to that if less
- Oil your chain, leave the oid to soak in for 30 mins (or more), then wipe the chain with a rag to remove the surface oil (which doesn't help lubricate but does attract dirt!)
- Bring some money for the cafe, spare tube, tyre levers, multi tool, waterproof, a bottle of water/juice, a bite to eat (eg banana)
- Leave behind the U-lock, flask of coffee, Tupperware of sandwiches, cam-corder and anything heavy
- Wear close fitting clothes including tights/tracksters if the temperature is below about 15C (beware of wind-chill)
- Wear a helmet (but make sure it fits!) if you wish. Many club members wear helmets at all times, but it is not compulsory for club runs