What To Expect
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 attend a Longbridge Cycling Club ride, you should meet the group at least 5 minutes before the ride departure time. The ride leader may be contacted by phone during the morning prior to a 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 help avoid any unnessesary uncertainty. Please read the 'What Do I Need' page so that you can be at least 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 per month, up the 1st April, it will then be £12 per annum.
Arrive by rail to Longbridge train station although I would advise that anyone wanting to ride on a Sunday checks the rail timetable before making plans as the service is limited.
Car Parking is ample locally but fee's and restrictions vary greatly throughout the centre so please check the individual car park. Alternate parking without cost may be found on side roads nearby but again check for any restrictions.
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
I can 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 reponsibility 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. Any necessary cancellations or amendments will be made on the rides page of the website 90 minutes prior to the start of a ride. It is important that you check the website, call or text 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 enthusiasum to make the jump from the shortist of rides to the longer distances, I am 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 riders 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.