Club rides take place on Saturday mornings with a ride briefing at 7:45 am and a “grand départ” (we leave!) at 8:00 am from Berkhamsted Cricket Club (Kitcheners Field, Castle Hill, Berkhamsted, HP4 1HE) in summer and Tesco car park (Water Lane, Berkhamsted HP4 3FG) in winter.
New riders are welcome to do a trial ride. Just make yourself known to the Ride Co-ordinator so we can look after you and make sure you go out in the appropriate Ride Group. We recommend you email the Ride Co-ordinator in advance, particularly if weather conditions are forecast to be 2 degrees or below or high winds/heavy rain, as the ride may be cancelled.
Club rides are social group rides (not races!). We ride in small groups (max 10) and don’t leave anyone behind. We encourage good group riding discipline both for our safety and out of consideration for other road users.
New to group riding? Take a look at Riding in a group – Top 10 tips (britishcycling.org.uk)
Groups are roughly based on average speed (mph) and distance covered. Whilst the speeds may seem conservative, remember the Chilterns are hilly!
- 12-14s – 20-25 miles
- 14-15s – 25-30 miles
- 15-16s – 30+ miles
- 16-17s – 35+ miles
- 17 -19s – 40+ miles (7:30 am depart from Tesco car park)
- “17 -19 long”- 40+ miles at lower pace (7:30 am depart from Tesco car park; summer months)
Rides typically take around 2 hours and we aim to meet back at the Cricket Club for coffee, cake and a chat. In winter months, we use The Meating Room in Berkhamsted High Street.
The Ride Co-ordinator will advise of any last minute route changes, hazards to be aware of, etc. plus club announcements such as upcoming events.
Which Ride Group? Have a chat with the Ride Co-ordinator who will help. Start conservatively and moving up is recommended.
What to bring
Your emergency contact details. Also consider adding ICE to your phone.
At least one spare inner tube, tyre levers, a multi-tool and a mini-pump or CO2 gas. Don’t worry if you can’t change a tyre yet, others will help.
Appropriate clothing for the weather – layers are good, arm/leg warmers, rain jacket. BCC kit if you can.
Lights are recommended – to be able to see when it’s dark and to be seen (small flashing ones) when its light.
Food & drink – e.g. bars, gels, bananas, water.
During winter months (October-March), mudguards are mandatory out of consideration for the riders behind you.
You’ll hear a number of calls during the ride. Don’t worry about memorising them all at the beginning.
- “Car up” or “Car back” – a vehicle is behind the group and waiting to pass.
- “Car down” – a vehicle is coming towards the group.
- “Single out” – move into single file. If riding on the outside, drop behind the rider to your left.
- “Hole”, “Gravel”– a pothole or bad road surface you should avoid/take care on.
- “Easy” or “Slowing” – slow down, prepare to stop. Usually given on the approach to a junction. Avoid heavy braking.
- “Clear left” or “Clear right” – at a junction, means there is no traffic coming and it’s safe to proceed, however NEVER rely solely on the instructions of others – always check yourself whether it is safe to proceed.
As well as Calls, you’ll see a number of hand signals.
- Pointing right or left – turn coming up.
- Downward point to the right or left – Pothole, manhole cover or broken road.
- Palm down hand shaking – gravel, broken or uneven surface.
- Point behind back – over-taking a stationary vehicle or obstacle in the road.
- Palm pushing back behind you – slow down.
- Hand up – stopping.