How to take part in a group ride
How to take part in a group ride
Your fellow riders can also give you tips on fixing your bike, improve your fitness and riding style, provide moral support and even encourage you to try out a whole new style of riding. These guidelines will show you how to get the most of out of the experience.
Where do I find a ride near to me?
- Look at the list of Cycling UK groups
- You can also consult our UK Cycling Events guide
- Contact the local group to discuss the kind of rides they do – the chances are there will be a group locally that matches your requirements. If not, they may know of others nearby.
Note: Cycling UK members are free to ride with any Cycling UK Member Groups anywhere in the country so contact them if you are nearby. Affiliate groups may charge a fee to join or have other entry criteria.
- The group should have a ride or ‘runs’ list, either in print or on a website, with its upcoming rides. Some groups use social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
- It’s a good idea to contact the ride leader first to let them know you are thinking of coming along. Note that during the pandemic, you may have to pre-register as there could be a limit on numbers.
- If you are not a formal member of the group yet, you should be able to come along for up to three times before being asked to join.
What is it like on a group ride?
- You will have an experienced ride leader who will have a great route planned so relax and enjoy it
- If you are new to group riding, let them know – they will keep an eye on you, or assign someone to do so.
- You will be asked to complete a Guest Registration form or Signing On Sheet with your emergency contact details.
- Keep in mind they are a volunteer and listen carefully to any instructions. Let them lead!
- He or she should explain any jargon and hand signals they may use to keep control of the group, however you are responsible for your own safety.
- If you fall behind, don’t worry – your group should wait for you at the next junction or at the top of a climb.
- Abide by the Highway and Countryside Codes – never ride more than two abreast except when passing. Shout ‘Passing!’ if you do so.
- Drop into single file on narrow or busy roads, unless it would be unsafe to do so.
- Show courtesy to other road and trail users and be a good ambassador for cycling.
- Be alert to what other riders around you are doing and do not get too close to them.
- Shout ‘Slowing!’ or ‘Stopping!’ if necessary – smooth, gentle manoeuvres work best.
- Point out any road defects or other hazards to others.
- If you wish to leave the ride, let the ride leader know first.
What should I bring on a group ride?
- Any appropriate bike in good working order. If in doubt, have it checked over by a local bike shop or qualified mechanic.
- Carry at least a spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers.
- Dress for the weather and bring a spare layer.
- Bring a drink and energy bar plus a picnic or cash for lunch if out all day.
- During the pandemic, a face mask and hand sanitiser are a good idea for cafe, loo or pub stops.
- Good lights are essential if there is any chance of riding in the dark or poor visibility.
- Find your ride at cyclinguk.org
- Let the ride leader know if you are new to riding or the group
- Listen to all instructions carefully and try to be on time
- Abide by the Highway and Countryside Codes
- Have fun and come back for more!