Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does it cost anything to join?

A: No. If in future we decide that the club should be affiliated to national organisations, then a small fee - probably a fiver or something - will be needed to cover costs.


Q: How fast do I have to be?

A: That depends. Each ride will have an estimated distance and pace in km/hr. If you want to join a ride that is going to cover 100km and go at 25km/hr, you should be confident you can keep up that distance, at that speed. There's nothing worse than feeling knackered halfway through a ride, and no-one wants to hold others up. Many rides can include shorter options for those with less time, recovering from injury or simply not wanting to go as far. This is a well-established part of club rides, and is at the heart of a friendly inclusive club.

As a rule most rides will be at what we call a 'chatty' pace - that is, around 20kph/12mph average. Don't worry, you will never, ever be left behind, or be left feeling you are holding people up.

If you want to join a ride but are not too sure if you are able to cover the distance or speed, please get in touch - we can always plan a separate group to cater for you. Remember, every cyclist started out a beginner, and every cyclist has someone out there who can ride them into the ground - even the guys on shiny fast bikes! Cycling would be pretty lonely if people only ever rode with those of exactly the same ability or experience.


Q: Do I have to wear a helmet?

A: That's entirely up to you. See cyclehelmets.org for the bias-free truth on the matter.


Q: How old do I have to be?

A: This is a tricky one. Some 11-year-olds are very experienced cyclists with thousands of miles racked up on lightweight bikes with all the kit, some 15-year-olds have never ridden outside the town and only have heavy bikes not suited to long rides. It's up to the parents to decide as they know their child's ability. As a rule a child should be accompanied if under 15. The club is not a babysitting service, and all riders should be self-sufficient in the event of breakdown. The ride leader reserves the right to decline participation if they feel an unaccompanied child is not capable of completing the ride. At all times parents should be aware that while help will always be freely given, no-one accepts responsibility for their child or their bike.


Q: What happens if I go out on a ride but can't keep up?

A: We all have bad days or fall ill at some stage. The ride leader will do everything possible to manage the group needs, that includes splitting a group so a flagging rider can be helped back home. However riders should always respect others and their enjoyment of the chosen ride. Choosing to do rides beyond your physical ability is not only hard on you, it's hard on others who then have to slow down or stop to assist you. No-one wants that, so understanding your own ability and choosing rides to suit is the key. 


Q: What should I take with me?

A: Everything you need for the ride. Suitable clothes, water, food, spares and tools, and at night or dusk, good lights. Blagging an inner tube off a fellow rider is only acceptable if you suffer a spectacularly unlucky succession of flats that no-one could have foreseen. Don't think that just because it's cold you don't need as much water - you should drink just as much in the cold as in the heat, as colder air is drier and dehydrates you faster than warm, humid air.


Q: Do I need a flash bike and all the kit?

A: No. Some members ride bikes that cost £70 on eBay, wearing kit that they brought in the dim distant reaches of time and could be construed a fashion crime. Others ride bikes that cost a mortgage repayment, wearing the latest go-fast bling looking like a model. We don't judge. But we do frown on people who don't maintain their bikes and hold others up due to preventable mechanical problems, so please keep your bike well-maintained. If you aren't sure how to keep your gears in tune or your brakes adjusted, local shop North Hants Bikes offer full bike servicing. The club will look to hold regular sessions to teach basic and not-so-basic bike maintenance, sharing ideas and tips around how to keep you rolling.


Q: Do you only ride locally?

A: No! We plan regular trips away to different locations near and far, and will travel to events if there's interest. Part of being in a club is meeting likeminded folks who also want to get out there and try new things in new places.


Q: OK, I'm interested. What should I bring / buy when starting out?

A: This warrants a whole page of its own: see here.


Q: What's the answer?

A: 42.
Comments