Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Group riding

Our re-launched Saturday club runs have been a great success with more people participating than ever before. In October we started categorising our rides into three types: 'Social', 'Active' and 'Training' so riders could choose a group that suits their level of fitness.

Before you come on a ride, read the ride guidelines and descriptions for each type of club run so you know what to expect. While on the ride, keep to the ride descriptions appropriate for your group, so the club runs remain consistent from week to week.

Riding in a group is very different to cycling on your own, you have to alter your riding style to accommodate other riders and think of how your actions will affect the group as a whole.

• Keep your pace steady, don't accelerate uphill or sprint - a group can easily lose its cohesiveness.
• Communicate your intentions to your fellow riders and other road users
• Warn of any hazards like pot holes or debris
• It is important to be consistent, if the group is riding single file, ride single file, if the group is riding two-up then ride two up.
• Fit mudguards
• Never ride more than two abreast

Our second Group Skills Workshop is at 3pm this Sunday at the Mill Road Industrial Estate, Linlithgow Bridge. All the details here
Come along and improve your confidence and acquire valuable skills for Sportives and road races.

1. 'Social' rides
This ride is ideal for people coming out with the club for the first time. The pace is steady and the average speed is about 13-15mph over mixed terrain. No one will get abandoned but riders can get dropped on climbs, if this happens the group will wait and regroup. If you find the pace too high please SPEAK UP so the speed can be slowed or the route altered to get you home safely. Riders are assumed to be self supporting and, while the group might have a café stop, this is not guaranteed, and riders should carry adequate food and drink. If you don't feel up to this level of riding we can put you in contact with the local Cyclists Touring Club.

2. 'Active' rides

This ride is aimed at people who want to improve their fitness. The pace is steady with an average speed of about 16-19mph so you need to be fit to participate. The pace is kept up over climbs and there is sometimes a sprint at the end. Rides tend to be between 30-40 miles and don't wander too far from the start. The group will aim to accommodate a reasonable range of abilities but those significantly slower than the general pace of the group should be prepared to navigate their own way home. The Social ride will roughly follow the same route so you can drop back and ride home at a more leisurely pace.

3. 'Training' rides
These rides are for people preparing for road racing, sportives and time trials. They normally follow a circuit and ride as a chaingang at an average speed of 20+mph and begin when the clocks change for British Summer Time. The group will not wait if you get dropped off the back.

All the club run details on the website: www.westlothianclarion.co.uk/clubruns.html

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