Club Runs Information for New Riders

Club Runs Information for New Riders

Club Runs – Information for new riders

Club runs are casual ‘unorganised’ rides which, although they are planned and published in advance, do not have any specific entry or rider requirements.

They are open to everyone, and are led by a designated rider, who will follow the route and generally keep the ride together, but who will have no specific responsibility for riders (except when under 18 year olds are on the ride).

Ludlow Cycling Club welcomes all riders, novice and experienced. Everyone on a ride is at a different level of fitness, experience, expertise and motivation. It is important therefore that all riders understand their ability, and how to ride in a group. These notes have been put together to help everyone get the most from club runs, and whilst it is aimed principally at new riders, it is of interest to all riders.

Frequently asked questions

How fit do I need to be? / What_if_I_can’t_keep_up?
How far do you go? / Do I have to have all the gear?
Can use my mountain bike? / Do you keep away from traffic?
Are there any club run rules? / I am under 18, can I join in?
Do I need to be a club member to join in? / If I join will I have to race?
What is the difference between time trials and road racing?
So what else does the club do?
I’m interested in joining in. What do I do next?
Where can I get more information on what you do?

How fit do I need to be?

You need to have a reasonable level of fitness to join in a club run. We ride at the pace of the slowest rider but expect that new riders are able to keep up. If you can ride a little over30 miles or so in under 2 hours you are fit enough to try a club run or even a 10 mile time trial. < top

What if I can't keep up?

The club runs are not fast. They are not training rides, and as long as you have the basic fitness level given above, you will get a benefit from them. It is also easier to ride in a group, as you will ride in the slipstream of other riders. The ride leader will always make sure that all riders get back! If you really don't think you can keep up email us and we will give you the details of other groups that you could ride with, or suggestions of how to get your fitness levels up! < top

How far do you go?

Generally we go out for a regular club run on Sunday mornings, starting at 9.00 am from Ludlow Leisure Centre. These are about 40 - 50 miles with a café stop. We publish the ride in advance, so you can join and leave the ride at any point and do more or less if you like. Other less regular rides are arranged during the year, which may vary in distance from the Sunday rides. < top

Do I have to have all the gear?

You don’t need an expensive bike to take part. A road bike with a reasonable spread of gears to help you up some of the Shropshire hills will be good enough. This will be more comfortable on a long ride than a ‘commuter’ style bike. < top

We do ask that your bike has mudguards fitted when roads are wet – this is not only courteous to the rider that is riding ‘in your wheel’, but will help protect you and your bike from getting excessively mucky!

You will need to make sure that your clothing is appropriate for the weather that you are riding in – it is important on a long ride that you are able to keep warm and dry. We have our own team strip that you can buy if you want to join the club or plan to race.

Club members will be happy to advise and guide you on any bike or kit queries– or ask at any of the good bike shops that there are locally < top

I only have a mountain bike and I want to go out on the road rides. Is this ok?

If you are a new rider and not very cycle fit, you may struggle to keep up. Mountain bikes are much slower than road bikes, and a lot more work. Putting on some road tyres and a set of pedals that you 'click' in to would help. < top

Cars scare me. Do you go anywhere quiet?

Most of the club runs are mapped to keep off of main and busy roads, and are usually on rider friendly lanes. < top

Are there any club run rules?

We want the rides to be enjoyed by everyone, and to keep rules to a minimum. Everyone needs to understand that they are responsible for their own actions, but that these actions might impact on others in the group. The following basic guidance will help ensure that rides are safe, minimise stops to fix unnecessary ‘mechanicals’, and help cope with unexpected emergencies:-

  • make sure your bike is operational, cables are sound and brakes working with brake blocks that are not over worn, and that it has a fitted mudguard in wet conditions.
  • check your tyres have enough thickness to cope with country lanes with rough road surfaces
  • behave responsibly and accept and follow instruction from the ride leader
  • ensure that you know the published route, and have the following:-

 mobile phone

 water and nutrition (e.g. gels)

 2 spare inner tubes, tyre levers, puncture repair kit and pump

 ‘multi tool’ kit (advised, but not essential)

 appropriate kit and accessories – especially for cold weather

 emergency money

  • enter your emergency contact details into your phone under ‘ICE’< top

I am under 18, can I join in?

If you are riding with your parent/carer, then provide you are fit enough, you can join as they will be responsible for you on the ride. If you would like to ride with us, but unaccompanied, your parent/carer will need to sign a consent form (see LCC Under 18s Policy and Guidance notes). < top

Do I need to be a club member to join in?

You do not need to be a member to join in the club runs. You may have to join if you intend to race, and to participate in the full range of other bike and social activities that we enjoy. Membership is cheap (£7.00 per year). < top

If I join will I have to race?

Not at all. You can choose to join us just on club runs – many riders do. Or you may enter one or two of our time trial races, and find that it is infectious, especially time trials. These are done entirely at your own speed. In a time trial you cannot come last as you are racing against your previous personal best times always trying to better them. < top

What is the difference between time trials and road racing?

Road racing is you against 60 or more other people riding in a big bunch (just like the Tour). Currently the only racing that the club gets involved in are Time Trials. These involve a field of riders who go off individually at 1 minute intervals over a set distance. The one who covers it in the quickest time is the winner. There are all sorts of abilities in time trials but the person you are racing against is yourself. If you are interested in Time Trialling, there is a separate set of guidance notes to help you. < top

So what else does the club do?

We meet every week from the late spring and to late summer for Tuesday evening (friendly) time trials. We go out for a pint, have BBQs, we go away for weekends when there is something special, ride at Newport Velodrome and enter a wide range of other biking events – fun and serious! < top

I’m interested in joining in. What do I do next?

Just email us. You will be put on the email mailing list and be sent the details of each club run, as well as information on other cycling events and information of what’s going on locally. < top

Where can I get more information of what you do?

You can visit our web site at, our Facebook page, or see our tweets on twitter.< top