When and where
Weekend club runs take place most Sunday mornings with details posted on the Southborough facebook group page and schedule page. Weekend club runs are generally social group rides with coffee stop at end and may incorporate some group riding practice (e.g. chain-gangs) and occasional faster sections after which we will regroup. Please feel free to come long and join one of the group runs and split off if you don’t have the time or are worried about keeping the pace for the distance.
We meet at the The Velo House in Tunbridge Wells on Sundays to depart at 8am and aim to be back around 11 - 11:30am. However please do check our facebook page as times can vary with some 8:30 or 9am starts or ealier for occassional longer rides. There are usually 4 pace groups:
Grupetto A: 19mph / 30 kph (Race)
Grupetto B: 17mph / 27 kph (Gran Fondo)
Grupetto C: 15mph/ 24 kph (Sportive)
Grupetto D: 13 mph/ 21 kph
Beginner shorter rides at approx. 12-14mph (or pace of slowest rider) / 25-30 miles will be run on the last Sunday of the month at 9:30 at Velo House but again please check out facebook page as may not run on occassion if no ride leader available
The route of a Sunday club run will always be posted in advance usually by the Friday on our facebook page with details of group ride guidelines. In order for the rides to run smoothly try and make sure you ride with a group that you are comfortable with (i.e. not too slow or too fast for you) and load the route onto your GPS device if you have one. Note that rides may split on fast sections and up hills but will regroup. Whilst we do regroup and try to make sure we don't lose anyone please accept the risk that it may happen. If you don't know the route or area please flag with ride leader who will take special care to not lose you.
Riders attend club rides strictly at their own risk.
If you are able to ride mid-week some of our riders meet up on a Wednesday morning to meet up with the Kent Wednesday Wobblers. They usually ride out to a mid morning for coffee and then on to a pub for lunch. If interested please contact Ian Turner the club secretary and asked to be added to the email list.
Occasionally there are rides at other times such as on Saturday’s and mid-week Summer evenings. Details are normally posted on facebook by the ride leaders.
Finally in the event of bad weather (heavy rain, ice, snow etc), it is likely that rides will be cancelled at short notice.
Sunday club run rules:
- DOWNLOAD the route if you have a GPS (a ‘dummies guide’ on how to do this has been posted below). Riders to get into appropriate group in VH car park on arrival.
- Please try to avoid joining the groups en-route – as it causes problems with the groups on the road.
- Once a group has set off – please avoid changing groups. The ride leader has to keep his/ her group together. We cannot pass on responsibility to other groups on the road
- It is the responsibility of the every rider to get in the correct pace group, to know the route and carry appropriate drinks/ gels/ inner tubes/ pumps etc.
- NOTE: All new riders irrespective of ability – start with the Grupetto D (13 mph), and work their way through the groups at a later ride date when/ if appropriate. If the ride leader does not know them or their ability – it is not fair on the ride leader or others in that group
- All under new 18’s to ride in Grupetto D, unless agreed in advance with Ride Leader (this is with the exception of our established SDW Youth Riders)
- PLEASE wear club kit – with upwards of 40 riders each week, club members will not know everyone.
Club riding etiquette
The club’s strength is its reputation. Bad behaviour or poor riding etiquette can damage the club’s reputation. Please keep in mind the following etiquette rules when riding; especially when riding in club colours, or on a Club run.
- Riders should wear cycle helmets on our club runs.
- Always carry enough money if required for a café stop, refreshments or emergencies.
- Carry clothing appropriate for the day’s weather, take a rain jacket if rain is forecast.
- Ensure your bike is well maintained (gears, brakes, wheels, tyres etc).
- Club members are encouraged to wear Club Jerseys.
- Arrive on-time. Clubruns do leave promptly.
- Carry spares and tools (multi-tool recommended) including inner tubes, tyre levers and pump.
- A mobile phone is always useful.
- Observe all aspects of the Highway Code - red lights, stop signs, & no riding on pavements… etc.
- Be courteous and do not shout abuse at other road users or cyclists.
- Stronger riders should wait at the soonest opportunity if the group fragments to avoid missing a turning. Similarly, the group should wait or assist those who experience punctures or problems. It does not matter how near to home the ride maybe, it is discourteous to leave a fellow rider stranded.
- Communicate with your fellow riders of any road defects and hazards. If you are new to group riding you will soon get used to the signals and calls made by riders.
- Ride at a maximum of two abreast, but be prepared to single out where necessary, warn other riders of approaching traffic.
- Remember many of our rides are on country lanes at the weekend and in addition to motor traffic, expect to encounter walkers and horses so take great care in passing them.
- Ride in a manner that is predictable and safe.
- More experienced members should set an example to the new or younger riders.
- It is considerate to other riders to use mudguards in the winter and on rainy rides (they also protect you and your bike).
- Above all - enjoy yourself!
Club run leader guidelines
Thank you for volunteering, without leaders there would be no runs.
- Plan your route on our facebook page and club run schedule by the Friday. Plan routes for approx 3 - 3.5 hrs and provide shorter alternate routes for Grupetto C & D so that we all are riding for approx same time
- Post route details as event on facebook with link to course using www.ridewithgps or similar. This will help others if they need to cut off back. Please include copy of the club run rules above
- If you can’t lead a ride you have committed to please try and find a stand-in.
- If you need to cancel a run due to weather please post it with as much notice as possible.
- Arrive at the starting point in plenty of time and be on the lookout for new riders and welcome them.
- Up to 10 riders in a group for the safe running of the ride. If you have a large group appoint a second leader and separate the groups by a few mins. (you can always regroup at points if desired)
- Ask someone to act as a “rear gunner” to assist in ensuring people don’t get dropped or lost at the back
- Run at approx. guide pace unless group agrees to go slower/ faster. In particular if people are being dropped and the ride pace is higher than the target pace then slow the group so they are not continually on the limit
- Never leave a rider or group to find his or her own way at a junction. Always wait at every junction until everyone is with you.
- Pay special attention to new riders to ensure they are comfortable riding in the group. Educate on basic group riding skills and hand signals if necessary during the ride