What to expect on your first Club ride.
We’re aware that going on a ride with a club can be an intimidating experience for new or returning riders. Imagine arriving, finding an unfriendly bunch of hardcore bike nuts who barely acknowledge your presence, snigger at your bike and then pedal off into the distance within three minutes of starting. Then there’s the possibility that the route will be some sort of downhill epic involving a drop-off a cliff (“don’t worry, the bike will jump it for you if you just let it…”).
With all this in mind we run regular ‘novice friendly’ rides. This means that the route will be suitable for riders who wish to build up their confidence and that the pace will be adjusted to match the slowest rider. There will be plenty of support and advice, and you’ll be under no pressure to do anything you’re not happy with. We pride ourselves on being friendly and having fun, and that part is identical to the regular rides.
It’s hard to predict what ability range we’ll have on every ride. If anyone struggles on a ride and does not wish to continue then we will accompany them back to the start at their own pace.
You should be comfortable with riding off road for 2-3 hours including rest stops. This might include walking up steep hills. In that time you might travel between 10 and 20 miles depending on the conditions. Be aware that off-road cycling is a lot more demanding than on road. If you have any doubts then please contact us.
The more you ride, the more fit and confident you will become. We all remember starting out riding. Most sane people are apprehensive about falling off and the best way to change that is to keep riding and build up your skills and confidence.
All our events are listed on the events page, the novice friendly ones have an ‘n‘ symbol next to them. The distances/type of terrain are always made clear on the event listing and you can ask any questions or discuss the ride either on the event listing or on facebook.
In the lighter months (May-September), a great place to start is on our Wednesday night rides. In the darker months (October – April) our midweek rides are in and around Swindon itself, though our weekend rides still head out into the countryside.
Read a first timer’s description of a novice friendly ride.
Having said all this, our mainstream rides aren’t generally taken at race pace, so if you’re reasonably confident you could give those a go. If you have any doubts then ask on our Facebook group or contact us.