VC Walcot group rides from Orange Grove, Bath
** LATEST COVID PRECAUTIONS 6th Nov 2020 ** During this latest 4-week lockdown period through to 4th December 2020 we are back to riding alone or with a household member or with one other rider from a different household and we’ve reverted to our Virtual Club Ride plan where we post a weekly ride route on for members. You can see a selection of the first few Virtual Club Rides here and a post about the first lockdown period March to August 2020 here.
** COVID PRECAUTIONS ** We are following British Cycling Covid-19 recommendations, which in brief amounts to groups of no more than six riders, and with the members documented for government Track & Trace purposes. This has unfortunately made our group rides in effect a members-only affair, as opposed to our usual ‘turn up and see how you get on’ policy, not least because the start times and locations will vary because we are not allowed to start more than six riders at the same time and place.
As a member you will have access to our Facebook Members Only group for planning and discussion as well as the online RideHub where rides, start times and locations are posted, along with route details and where the ride leaders and members book themselves on for rides. We encourage you to join up here if you want to get involved now, or wait until the current precautions are no longer needed before turning up on a casual basis. Thanks for your understanding and bear in mind that the start times and locations listed below will vary for now.
Under normal circumstances, we meet at 9am outside Brown’s Brasserie & Bar on Orange Grove BA1 1LP in the centre of Bath, opposite the Abbey. It’s a nice spot when the sun’s out.
If you are new to the club and especially if you are new to cycling in a group, please read this Ride Etiquette post here. If you aren’t sure about keeping pace with any of the groups, please consider the pace and distance estimates for the various groups below. We intend our rides to be enjoyable, not a public flogging. There’s nothing worse than being in the wrong group and constantly being tailed off the back. Always better to start one level below where you think you should be and then move up when ready.
The ride groups below have been set up to offer something to all types of rider as long as you have some basic fitness and are reasonably confident on your bike. And talking of bikes, there is no actual rule that potential members have to be riding a so-called ‘road’ bike with skinny tyres and dropped handlebars as plenty of fast members have started out with us on a ‘hybrid’-type bike with straight handlebars. Far more more important is that the bike is in tip-top roadworthy condition with good tyres that are properly inflated.
‘Saturday Social’ Meets on Saturdays at 9am. Casual ride with a varying pace of roughly 14-15mph on average depending on who turns up. According to the weather, this ride can be 20-40 miles or maybe more; the group decides on a route before leaving and may even break up into smaller groups if there is a clear disparity in potential pace, even before we start. As this is a ‘turn up and ride’ kind of session, some weekends in the high summer there may be lots of riders divided into two or more groups, on other occasions only a few.
Sunday Club Rides meet every Sunday for 9am
- This category has the largest number of riders and will usually split into 3 – named appropriately Clubriders 1, 2 and 3 – with an ideal maximum of 12 in each group. Speed and distance for the first group is usually 12-13mph for 30-45 miles, for the second group it’s 13-14mph for 45-55 miles and for the fastest it’s 14-16mph for 50-65 miles.
- Club riders especially in the second and third groups are pretty fit but still ride at a pace where you can chat and then catch up some more over coffee.
- If over the weeks you’ve worked your way through the three Clubriders groups and you’re first to the top of every climb, you’ll know you’re ready for the next Sportriders group.
Sportriders aimed at fit, fast and experienced cyclists, the Sportriders group ride is flexible, sociable and informal.
- The leader and suggested route (if not previously decided before the day) will be agreed at the start of the ride.
- Route planning is flexible, taking into account weather, group speed and time constraints.
- Any people new to the Sportrider group are encouraged to make this known to the ride leader at the start.
- The route length is between 50-80 miles depending on the weather and terrain. Usual time taken is 3 – 5 hours at a moderate to high tempo of 16-18mph and ridden as a close functioning group.
- Bring adequate water and food although there might be a short refuelling stop mid-ride.
- Riders are expected to bring spare innertubes/levers/pump etc
- If a rider feels that the pace is too high for them, then they should notify the leader or others members of the group.
- The Sportriders intention is to not to drop anybody from the group, we ride with each other and for each other.
- Not sure about this ride? Please take a look at our Clubriders groups or email the club using firstname.lastname@example.org for further info and guidance.
Raceriders training group. Meets Sundays 9am with the other groups but is aimed at those wishing to ride at a faster pace than the Sportriders group for race training.
- Expect 18mph+ average speed.
- No specific leader, the the group decides the route and distance.
- Those riding operate as a tight-knit group to keep the tempo high.
All rides meet outside Brown’s Restaurant on Orange Grove, Bath BA1 1LP
We always try to ride at a steady pace, ideal general training for a challenge ride, sportive or just for fun and a great way to experience group riding. Riding in a group is the best way to get acquainted with riding in close proximity to others and learn cycling group etiquette. You’ll never learn how to hold a wheel and realise how efficient cycling in a group can be by riding on your own. Above all it’s great way to spend a Sunday morning.
All ages from 15 upwards are welcome, under 18s to be accompanied by a responsible adult though, please, unless a parental declaration form has been submitted to the club in advance.
Our rides use varied rural routes with a chance for coffee, cake and chat either mid-ride or afterwards back in Bath. Please bring food and drink to suit the distance, spare tubes and tools etc. Dress for the weather and this is especially important in the winter. Hypothermia and hunger are definitely avoidable.
If you’re coming along for the first time and are unsure of the protocol the best thing is to look for somebody in club kit and ask their advice. We have a number of group ride leaders who will be happy to give you info about the planned ride and also assess how you will cope.
Note that if you’re a member you will have access to the club Facebook group where the various ride leaders will post their routes for Sunday rides in advance.
Anyway, enough of the waffle. Why not come join us for a spin?