How are the rides organised?
The basic idea of all Cyclesolihull's rides is that a group of people meet up and agree to cycle a fixed route at a particular time. A volunteer leader who knows the route will be at the start point and leads the way. A 'backmarker' ensures nobody gets left behind. The rides takes place on the basis that all the riders accept responsibility for their own safety and any children they have brought with them. It is very similar to a group of friends or family going out for a ride together. It is as simple as that and we try and keep the 'organisation' to an absolute minimum.
To keep track of who is coming on the rides we ask you to provide your name and postcode. if you want to receive our newsletter you may also provide your email address.
Is Cyclesolihull a Cycling Club?
No, well not in the traditional sense. We see it as a volunteer-led community initiative which you can become part of simply by coming on a ride. However for practical reasons Cyclesolihull is a membership organisation but membership is free and automatic for anyone who comes on 5 or more rides in a calendar year. Membership brings with it some formal rights such as being able to vote at the AGM. Membership lasts until the end of the next calendar year but you certainly do not need to be a member to come on the rides. in fact coming on the rides is the only way to become a member!
Who comes on the rides?
Anybody who decides to turn up! There have been self-pedalling riders as young as seven and the oldest - well we were too polite to ask! Some people join the rides on a regular basis whilst others come along once or twice. This doesn't matter just come along when you want to!
I am a new cyclist - will I be too slow? The overall pace is set by the slowest rider. Everybody can cycle at their own pace and we stop from time to time for everyone to catch up. However you do need to have a roadworthy bike (but any kind of bike is fine) and be comfortable cycling on quiet roads. Saturday Stretcher Rides are longer and a faster pace so try some of the shorter Sunday and Evening rides first.
Can I ride an E-bike?
Yes! We have a number of regular riders using an E-bike.
Can I bring my children?
Yes but please consider their abilities in terms of the ride distance and thier ability to ride on quiet roads. For more details see our Riding with Children page
What about breakdowns?
It is common sense to make sure your bike is roadworthy before the ride - if in doubt take it to a bike shop. If somebody has a breakdown or puncture there is normally someone on the ride with tools or knowledge to help fix it. However the nature of the rides means there is no formal back up available so it is always handy to have a mobile phone and if possible someone to call for help just in case. However, in keeping with the community spirit of the rides, the leader and riders will try and help sort out any problems so everyone has a good time. It really helps if you carry a spare inner tube for your bike. They are cheap and if you have one with you it means that a punctured inner tube can be quickly changed.
Is there a refreshment stop?
Yes, This is 20 to 30 minutes at a cafe or pub so it is useful to bring some money. However as people often choose to stay outside (all venues have open air seating) having your own drink is not a problem and there is no obligation to spend any money! It makes sense to bring a lock if you are going inside.
How long do the rides take?
With a refreshment stop the "S"and Taster rides take about 2 hours, the "M" rides about 2.5 hours, the L rides about 3.5 hours and the XL rides 4 hours, but this can vary depending on the number, age and experience of the riders.
Saturday Stretcher Rides at a faster pace take about 4 hours.
Can't the rides be longer/shorter?
We provide a range of ride distances which seem to suit most people. Many people choose to cycle to start points some distance away which increases the distance. Cycling Clubs usually concentrate on much longer rides.