Guidance for club rides

 This guidance is for VBCC official club rides. It includes what a club ride is intended for, important guidance for designing a club ride route, and how and where to post routes. These guidelines must be followed for VBCC official club rides.

 Club rides

Official club rides are at the same time and day of the week, with the only variation being during the season and the off-season.

Club rides are for all members to get together and enjoy a group ride with other members. Club rides have a strict non-drop policy – no one gets left behind!

Club rides are intended to be two to three hours worth of cycling, maybe with a social coffee/cake or pub stop thrown in during or afterwards. Depending on how fast you ride will determine how many miles that is. For the quicker riders that could be around the 60 mile mark in total.

If you are looking to do anything more than a social, non-drop, couple of hours on the bike, please post a separate ride to the official club ride.

Club rides are not “led”, there are no ride leaders, and each person is responsible for his/her own safety and ultimately decides which ride he/she will go on.

Juniors may attend club rides. This is nothing to worry about and there are advice and guidance notes provided by the VBCC with regard to juniors being on the rides.

Our club rides are also used as an opportunity for non members to ride with the VBCC before making a decision as to whether they want to join the club. All members must make non members feel welcome and help them figure out which ride is best for them.

Club rides will meet up, chat, then split into groups based on ability. To help ensure everyone has an enjoyable club ride, it is important to know your ability at the time, and plan which group to go with based on the intention/route of that group. You will be able to plan this by looking at the suggested routes on the club ride event on facebook.

Speaking of the routes: if there aren’t any routes posted, feel free to post one up for your ability group (more on that below). The first step is the hardest, but once someone takes the initiative and posts something, others will join.

 Route design and posting

Routes should avoid dangerous roads (motorways, high speed dual carriageways such as the A1 and A46). They should, where possible, stick to the minor roads which are much quieter and generally safer for cyclists.

Routes should be planned to avoid any other roads which are known to be in a dangerous condition at the time and pose a risk to cyclists.

Riders should constantly assess the conditions and be prepared, on the day of the club ride, to alter the route should any roads become too unsafe for cycling. Each individual rider is responsible for their own safety and will make their own decision on what is safe or unsafe for them.

Only VBCC members should design and post routes for club rides. Any member can post a route, however it would be preferable to have one route per category to avoid confusion. Please share the responsibility of posting routes amongst the members.

When designing a route, distance and types of roads should not be the only considerations; also bear in mind elevation, wind direction and weather forecasts.

Our ride/speed categories are as follows:

• STEADY - <14mph

• INTERMEDIATE – 14-16mph

• ADVANCED – 16-18mph

• FAST – 18-20mph

• RACE TRAINING  – 21+mph

Once you have designed your route taking into account the above guidance, please post it to the club ride event, which will be set up by a member of the VBCC Management Committee. To do so you will need to copy and paste the file for the route to the event. Then everyone will be able to see the route, and then load it onto a device should they be able to.

All that is left to do is meet up (please be slightly early when possible), and set off (on time or slightly later – but not early!)

 
Other club ride attendees

You are all more than welcome. Please tick you are going on the Facebook event, and feel free to comment on the relevant ride category.

Meet at the designated starting point before the advertised departure time and make sure you find your group. If you are running slightly late and would like the group to wait a couple of minutes, try to contact someone to avoid frustration.

Group sizes should be kept to a sensible amount. No hard and fast rule is provided, but groups should not be unmanageably large, especially during the hours of darkness.

 During club rides

Look after yourselves and those around you. Offer advice to anyone who is inexperienced at riding in a group, it will make them better and the group safer.

Communicate amongst the group, pointing out hazards as they appear, and work to keep the whole group together – remember the non drop policy (especially with a mechanical, accident, injury, etc).

Know who to contact in the event of an emergency whilst out on a club ride.

 Further information

We would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to the following guidelines which should be observed on ALL rides that you take part in:

Please ensure that your bike is in a roadworthy condition and bring at least two inner tubes, a pump, drink, food and suitable clothing for the weather conditions.
A reliable, fully-charged set of lights during the autumn/winter months are also pre-requisites for any ride. You may also wish to consider carrying a suitable spare pair of lights as a back-up.
Money and a mobile phone should ideally always be carried.
All riders should wear a suitably-sized and adjusted helmet.
It is strongly recommended that all riders carry emergency contact details with them (with details of any medical conditions / allergies etc, if appropriate).
 All riders must observe the Highway Code at all times when riding with Vale of Belvoir Cycling Club. This includes riding no more than two abreast and riding in single file to allow traffic to pass on narrow roads, obeying traffic lights and signs and not abusing other road users.
Please acknowledge any courtesy shown to you by other road users and stop at pedestrian crossings where necessary.
Riders often encounter horses on rides. When passing from behind slow down (making sure your fellow riders are aware of this) and alert the rider (and horse) that a group of cyclists is about to pass. When approaching from the front, slow down and be prepared to stop if the horse appears agitated.
VBCC Members are strongly urged to become members of British Cycling (either Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level membership) in order to obtain their own individual personal liability insurance cover.
 PLEASE NOTE: Individual VBCC members are NOT covered by VBCC’s Public Liability Insurance Policy, which only covers the Club against claims brought by non-members and invitees; officials of the Club acting on the Club’s specific instructions during their term of office and invited newcomers taking part in Club activities.
 RIDERS ATTEND CLUB RIDES STRICTLY AT THEIR OWN RISK.

 

In addition, we strongly advise each of you to read the British Cycling Best Practice Guidelines (in particular those guidelines relating to Club/Group Rides on the public highway). These can be accessed via the link below, with a copy also being contained in the Files section of the VBCC Facebook Open Forum and Rides/Events pages: