If you are new to long distance cycling or to cycling in a group, please attend the intro club ride. Cycling is, like any activity, potentially dangerous. One of the principal dangers is that we cycle close together in a group thereby making crashes a risk. We aim to reduce this danger by asking people who are not confident or inexperienced cycling in a group to attend these sessions so that you can gain confidence and experience in the more controlled environment of Richmond Park. Through attending these sessions, you will then be able to attend the longer Saturday rides and get the most out of cycling with the club.
The best routes if you are new to long distance cycling are Windsor 1, Surrey 4 and Brighton. Surrey 1, 2 and 6 should also be manageable but the others aren't recommended for a first long ride.
Before you come to a Novice Session, please read the guide to group riding and calls and hand signals on the website. Please also ensure that you bike is in good working order (tyres pumped up to the correct pressure (this will be written on the side of the tyre- your local bike shop will let you use a pump if you don’t have one) and brakes/gears working properly). It is recommended that you avoid having a rucksack but instead buy a cycling jersey with pockets in the back. When the weather is cold, please ensure that you dress appropriately- the best way to do this is by layering. You don't need to have cycling specific kit- running tights/baselayers will work just as well in the cold and a light windbreaker jacket is really good as well. Below is a suggested check list of things to bring to a Novice session (although this applies to all club cycling sessions):
· Cycle helmet (essential)
· Spare inner tubes
· Tyre levers
· Sandwich bag with mobile phone and money inside (essential)
· Padded cycling shorts
· Cycling jersey with pockets in the back
· Cycle computer/speedometer. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, but a basic speedo is a really helpful training tool and also helps you to keep a more consistent pace in group rides. Something like this is perfectly suitable.
· Water bottle in water bottle cage on bike, filled with water/energy/electrolyte drink (essential)
· Food (bananas, dates, energy/cereal bars) A really good video about on-the-bike nutrition can be found here- worth a quick watch.