Club Runs - Frequently Asked Questions
Written by Paul Christon
Monday, 23 April 2012 21:48
We’d like anyone to feel comfortable coming on a Club Run, young or old, male or female. We’re getting quite a few enquiries about the Club Run at the moment, particularly from riders new to cycling. I’m quite happy to respond to any emails but I have noticed that most people are asking me similar questions so I thought it might be useful to put my typical responses on the website and our Facebook page. If you are not sure about anything please feel free to email me as well if you want to as I really don’t mind.
- How fast do you go?
How far do you go?
- When I look at my computer at the end of the ride the average is normally somewhere between 16 and 18 mph depending on the route and conditions. Remember though that you will ride faster in a group as you will get the benefit of the draft. This could be as much as 1-2 mph for the same effort so if you ride at 15 mph average on your own for an undulating 2 hour route then you should be okay.
When and where do you meet?
- We start and normally swing back by Great Ayton car park and a route will probably be between 40-50 miles. If you’re riding up then you will need to add on your miles to and from. Many new riders struggle with the distance rather than speed so you do need to take this into account. If you’re worried about the distance or you’re restricted for time you could drive up to the car park or you could branch off at some point on the route (several people do this). Let me or whoever else is leading the ride that you intend to do this though. We now also have an easier paced group going out so if you’re unsure it might be advisable to start with them and then progress onto the longer quicker ride when you feel ready.
Can I just turn up?
- 10am every Sunday at the free car park in Great Ayton near the small Tourist Information Office, which is close to the shops.
I haven’t ridden in a group before, is that a problem?
- You can as long as you have read the information and come adequately prepared for a 2-3 hour ride. Also check our Facebook site to familiarise yourself with the intended route and introduce yourself at the start to one of the regular riders.
What if I can’t keep up?
- No. Advice would be to avoid sudden changes of direction and hard braking and watch for other riders pointing out hazards. Experienced riders sometimes seem to ride very close to the wheel of the rider in front but this is normal to get the benefit of the draft and is quite safe, don’t overlap wheels with the rider in front though. To start with just ride at a distance that you feel comfortable with. Also take care when descending, give other riders space, pick your lines carefully and don’t take undue risks as you could bring another rider off.
What if I have a mechanical problem?
- You do have to be realistic about how fast and far you can ride, even riding at 1 or 2 mph above your comfortable pace is very difficult to sustain and if we advise you to consider a slower group please don’t take offence, it is important to ride at a speed that you are comfortable with. That said rides invariably get strung out and we do wait and regroup or slow the pace, especially on hilly rides, so let us know if you are struggling. We’ve all been there at some point and even experienced cyclists have bad days.
Can I come if I’m not a member of the club?
- We would stop and fix it if we can. This is one of the advantages of riding in a group, along with the safety of the bunch and the banter. We would expect you to come equipped as if you are going out for a ride on your own though. We would advise a minimum of: 2 tubes, pump, tyre levers, multi tool, food, 1 litre of drink. Other things to consider carrying are: chain tool, glueless patches/puncture repair kit, cable ties. Sometimes though something happens that can’t be repaired or you might be ill and can’t continue riding so it is always wise to have a means of getting home if possible no matter what happens. So carrying a mobile and some cash is advised. The best way to think about the Club Run is a supportive ride – riders generally help one another if they can, rather than a supported ride – taking complete responsibility for your ride.
Is there a charge?
Will I need to take my turn at the front?
- Yes, in fact we would encourage that. Quite a few people have joined the club after doing the club runs and we’ve enjoyed the company of a few people who are members of other clubs and from people on holiday who are staying in the area. The more the merrier!
How many riders come out?
- Not unless you want to or are a strong rider, then we might put you on front for the whole route – only joking!
Do you do hilly rides?
- Numbers have increased significantly of late and 12-20 is now typical, more on some occasions. This does vary according to the route chosen, time of year, weather, what else is on etc
Do you stop at cafes?
- We live near some of the best cycling terrain in the country so it would be a shame not to take advantage of it, but we do mix it up and we take the weather into account. We tend to do more hilly routes in the spring and summer. Hills are a great way to improve your cycling too but you do need to take the terrain into account when deciding whether or not you want to ride. Normally we decide the route in advance and put it on the club Facebook a couple of days before and I also email round, so if you want to be added to the email group just contact me at
- Usually when we get back to Great Ayton (this is optional) but we may stop elsewhere if people have the time, especially if it’s good weather and we’re doing a slightly longer route. We’d always advise you to bring drinks, an energy bar or similar and some money, just in case.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 10:48