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 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 an intro ride, 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 and your local bike shop will let you use a pump if you don’t have one- and brakes/gears working properly). 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 also a good idea. 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
· Weather appropriate clothing (this can be running kit - but you will need more layers than when running)
· Sandwich bag with mobile phone and money inside (essential)
· Food (bananas, dates, energy/cereal bars) and water (essential). A good video about on-the-bike nutrition can be found here- worth a quick watch.
Things you will want to invest in once you realise how great cycling is:
· Cycling jersey with pockets in the back
· Padded cycling shorts (almost essential on long rides)
· Cycling shoes with cleats and corresponding pedals (they make a world of difference to how fast you can go)
· 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. Something which you can download a route onto will make life much easier (but is a more pricey investment)