Preparation

We want your experience with us to be both enjoyable and safe.  If you do a bit of preparation before you come out with us we know that you will be giving yourself every chance to really enjoy the experience.  Here are a few tips to help you out with your preparations.  We recommend that if you have not ridden in a group before that you come out on our beginners’ ride to learn the ropes and gain confidence.

In respect of yourself we recommend that you do the following:

  • You don’t have to be super fit for our beginners’ ride, just strong enough to ride 20 odd miles at between 10 and 12 miles an hour.  If you need reassurance consult your Doctor, this will give you the confidence to commit.  If you are committing to one of our other rides please be confident that you can cope with the guideline distances and speeds.
  • Have a quick look at our guidelines on riding in a group to familiarise yourself with the hand signals and shouted instructions you are likely to see and hear.  These instructions will help keep you safe on the route.
  • Familiarise yourself with the route.
  • Make sure you have a decent breakfast before riding this will keep your energy levels up and help you stay alert.
  • Fit a bottle cage to your bike and bring some drink so you can keep well hydrated.
  • Bring a couple of snack bars.  This will help get you home if you start flagging.

In respect of your bike and other equipment we recommend that you do the following:

  • Check your tyre pressures against the manufacturer’s guidelines.  Let a bit of pressure out for wet conditions.  This will help keep you safe.
  • Replace heavily worn or cut tyres, this will improve cornering and puncture protection.
  • It is important that you have at least one correct spare tube for your wheels as these vary in size considerably and although the ride leader will also be carrying a selection of equipment they won’t be able to have a tube for every type of wheel. A small under-saddle bag is a good means of storing tubes, tyre levers and pre-glued patches as well as any other small items you take with you. Carry a small pump too and you are then well equipped for punctures.
  • Carry a phone to call the ride leader if you get lost.  We will get you home.
  • Make sure you have sufficient wear left on your brake pads for secure braking.
  • Clean your wheel rims for the same reason.  Try a damp cloth with vinegar, this works really well.
  • Make sure all the nuts and bolts on your bike are properly tightened.
  • Consider having your bike serviced before you come out with us, especially if it’s been a while since the last one.
  • To make your ride as safe as possible make sure your crash helmet is in good condition and don’t forget to wear it.
  • To help you control the bike check for excessive wear on the moving parts of the bike such as the chain.  If you are not sure about this check with your local cycle shop.

When you are out on the ride we recommend that you do the following:

  • Follow the rules of the road and abide by the Highway Code: it’s safer.
  • Be considerate of other road users, it makes the ride more enjoyable and it’s safer.
  • Listen to the instructions of other riders and familiarise yourself with the hand signals at the bottom of this page it makes for a safer ride.
  • Adapt your riding to the conditions, be careful and moderate your speed in wet conditions.

Inform the ride leader if you are tired and need a rest, when you are alert and can concentrate you will ride better.