What to Expect
We at Longbridge Cycling Club are predominantly road riders, but occasionally use tracks and trails should the route dictate, or should riders just feel a little adventurous. We enjoy day rides, be they short or long, as well as weekends away and cycle tours where riders can generally opt for B & B or camping overnights. We generally carry our own baggage, although are sometimes fortunate to have a support vehicle. The offer of an annual, spring, longer distance challenge, adds a bit of spice to the calendar, and endeavours to keep us riding during the winter. Riders are encouraged to take part in as much of any ride as they believe manageable, so long as logistics can be sorted.
A phone call or email will initially be required to express your interest and to confirm that we have something to offer you.
Once you have decided to join a Longbridge Cycling Club ride, you should meet the group at least 5 minutes before the ride departure time at the agreed pick up point.
The ride leader will be contactable by phone during the morning, prior to the ride, should there be any difficulties getting to, or finding the group. it is important that you confirm your intention to join a ride, and also to let us know if you should change your mind about riding as this will avoid any unnecessary uncertainty. Please read the What Do I Need page, so that you can at least be minimally prepared.
You will be invited to ride as a non member for the first 2 rides. Following this, should it appear that the club is right for you, you will receive an email with a membership pack. Membership costs are £1 month up to 1st April and then £12 per year, in advance.
Rides will be lead out at a steady pace, with regular checks made to make sure that everyone is keeping up. Depending on the capabilities of the group, the pace may increase/decrease accordingly. Should you struggle at any point, it is suggested that you slow down or drop back in order to indicate to the ride leader that the pace needs to be adjusted, please never try to hang on, it will get easier, I promise, and we have all been there.
For reasons of pacing, please note that no one should ride ahead of the ride leader unless invited to do so as in the instance of the leader feeling it more beneficial to drop back to help or encourage someone. Please also note that the destination of a ride is never set in stone and we are happy to detour to a closer tea stop or have an extra one should it be what someone greatly needs.
Your Own Personal Fitness
We truly understand the anxiety when faced with the fact that you might be a bit slow and hold the group up, or might not make it there and back, but with Longbridge Cycling Club, the emphasis is on creating an environment where riders can learn techniques that will eventually help everyone to develop their cycling confidence. The ability to go the distance or climb hills isn't always a matter of fitness. The correct use of gears, properly inflated tyres, pacing yourself, and a better bike set up, can often help massively and...it really doesn't matter if you should need to walk up that hill.
Whilst most of our riding will head out onto country lanes, there may be sections of a route where we need to use a main road. Although a ride leader will be present, we encourage all riders to take responsibility for their own decisions with regards to road safety, no one should ever just follow blindly.
Rides will go out in all but adverse weather conditions such as ice, snow, gales or torrential rain. Those having confirmed their intention to ride will be notified of necessary cancellations or amendments at least 90 minutes prior to the start of a ride by email and/or text. It is important that you check for such updates before starting out, should there be any doubt.
Most small mechanical troubles can be sorted on the spot if your bike is initially in good working order however, should anything more serious occur, arrangements will be made to get you to the nearest train station should we not be able to call a partner or friend to assist. No one will ever be abandoned and left to it.
Going The Distance
In order to encourage riders with lots of enthusiasm to make the jump from the shortest of rides to the longer distances, we are often more than happy to offer an alternative time and place for such riders to join the longer ride somewhere along the way. This allows for individuals to step outside of their comfort zone without feeling completely overwhelmed. There may be an alternative meeting point stated on the ride details otherwise it will be by a personal arrangement, just ask.
Holidays, Challenges and Social
Weekends away, holidays, challenge rides and social events will be added to the calendar throughout the year. Where possible, partners and families will be most welcome to join in for these extra curricular activities.