March 2022 intro ride

Newcomers are warmly invited to join us on our next Introductory Ride.


Sunday 6 March 2022

Where and when does it start?

The car park of the Black Horse, Bristol Rd South, Northfield, B31 2QT. We’ll set off at 09:15, and we’ll meet ten or fifteen minutes before that to say hello and chat about the ride.

Where’s it going?

This month’s Intro Ride is going to the café at Rowberry’s Garden Centre, Chaddesley Corbett. Here’s a map of the route we plan to follow, which you can download to a GPS device:

We’ll cover roughly 48 kilometres (30 miles), mostly on quiet lanes. We’ll stop for refreshments at Rowberry’s Garden Centre, approximately half the way through the route.

Will it be hard?

You should be fine if you can already ride for an hour or two at an average of roughly 16-20kph (10-12mph). We’ll stick together and go at the pace of the slowest rider. We’ll ride for a total of about three hours, with a break at the café and maybe a breather at the top of one or two hills.

Who can join in?

Our Intro Rides are mainly for people new to club cycling and not yet confident about doing one of the main club runs. They’re ideal if you already cycle and fancy getting a bit more involved, or if you’re returning after a break. They provide a chance to get to know the club and decide whether it’s for you. If you’re very new to cycling, it’s probably best to do a few independent rides first, and join an Intro Ride once you’re comfortable riding for 90 minutes or so. Under-16s need an adult with them.

How do I join the ride?

At the moment, because of COVID restrictions, Intro Rides are limited to eight people, including the leader(s). Everyone needs to be signed up in advance. To put your name down, either mail or answer the post on our message board.

Do I need a fancy bike?

No. For an Intro Ride, the main thing is that your bike is comfortable and reliable. Of course, it must also be legal, which basically means having two working brakes. For safety reasons, we don’t allow use of tri-bars on group rides.

Do I need special cycling gear?

No. Proper cycling clothing is generally more comfortable, especially for people riding far and/or fast. But Intro Rides aren’t like that. It’s good to avoid things that flap about and you certainly don’t want anything that chafes. In winter, you obviously don’t want to be under-dressed. But be careful not to over-dress either: if you’re sweating heavily on the hills, your wet clothes will make you cold the rest of the time. Layering is good and, if it’s likely to be wet, windy or very cold, your outer layer should be a lightweight waterproof or wind-stopper. Make sure all your extremities are well protected, but be aware that keeping your hands and feet warm depends as much on keeping your core warm as on gloves and footwear.

What should I bring?

Bring a bottle of water and maybe something like an energy bar. You’ll also need a little money for refreshments. If there’s a chance of rain, have a lightweight waterproof in your pocket or bag. Most club cyclists carry a mobile phone and a credit/debit card in case of emergency.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes, you need to read our Club Run Guidelines. Also, while we’ll always do our best to help, it’s important to recognise a rescue service isn’t part of the deal. So have a think about how you’d manage if you were miles from home with a bike that won’t go. Could you phone home for a lift, for example?