FAQS

Q?When and where do you meet?
A.

Most of our rides start at Hart Leisure Centre, Hitches Lane, Fleet, GU51 5HS. Occasionally we have an “away day” and might start at a remote location. All this can be seen in our Calendar pages. We meet for our medium paced “Club” weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Also pedal2gether easy paced Family Rides on Saturdays and Sundays several times a month – see our “Our Rides Calendar” or look at “About Our Rides“.

Q?What sort of bike do I need?
A.

Well it depends on what rides you want to do. For our pedal2gether Family Rides any serviceable bike will be fine but make sure it is road worthy or get our ride leader to check it over before the ride. Sometimes we cycle along the canal towpath and some hard tracks so a bike with thicker urban tyres (typically 28 mm or 35 mm) rather than the thin road tyres on “racing bikes” (typically 23 mm or 25 mm). If you want to do our Club 3* rides then a lightweight sports bike would be preferable although some of our members use a mountain bike particularly in the winter when the roads are in a poorer condition.

Q?Do I have to buy a new bike?
A.

No any well maintained road worthy bike is fine – see the answer above.

Q?Do I need mudguards? Is this compulsory?
A.

It is not compulsory but it is polite to have mudguards in the winter or on rainy summer days to keep the spray off of you and your fellow riders. Most of us do not like cycling behind a bike without mudguards in the wet. On fine days, when the roads are dry most members will cycle with bikes without mudguards.

Q?I only have a mountain bike/hybrid. Is it OK to ride on one of these types of bikes?
A.

It is fine for our 1* and 2* Saturday and Sunday pedal2gether Family Rides, especially our monthly pedal2gether off-road ride – 2nd Saturday of the month from Hart Leisure Centre starting at 2.00 pm. On our 3* Club rides it is more difficult to keep up on a mountain bike although very good fitness training!

Q?Besides my bike what else should I bring on the ride?
A.

You should have suitable clothes especially a waterproof top, a water bottle, a snack, such as energy bars, a pump, tyre levers, at least one spare inner tube and a puncture repair kit. You want to bring some money to buy a drink and cake as we usually stop for a break at a cafe.

Q?Do I need a puncture repair kit?
A.

Yes, definitely, you should also have a pump, tyre levers and at least one spare inner tube. Don’t worry if you cannot change an inner tube there is always lots of help on-hand. We will show you how to change your inner tube and repair a puncture if all this is new to you.

Q?What happens if my bike breaks down – I am not mechanically minded?
A.

Sometime or other every cyclist has a breakdown. Usually it is not too serious and there are riders on-hand who know how to effect a temporary repair. We will never leave you in the countryside on your own. One way or another we will get you home.

Q?Do you provide third party insurance on your rides?
A.

If you are a Guest Rider then the CTC third party insurance will extend to you in the event that another rider makes a claim against you, but that insurance would not extend to other third parties. We expect our regular riders to join the CTC national organisation which provides third party insurance worldwide except in Canada and the USA. Full CTC membership also provides legal help for you to make a claim against a third party who you believe to be at fault.

Q?Why should I cycle with CTC and not a British Cycling affiliated group?
A.

It is personal choice and really depends whether your local club is a affiliated to British Cycling or CTC. Both offer similar insurance although British Cycling are more aligned to competitive events (racing and time trials) where as the CTC (the Cyclists Touring Club) is more about enjoying cycling for the freedom it brings, enjoyment of the countryside and just messing about on bikes.

Q?What should I eat before riding?
A.

It is really important to have a good breakfast, such as, low glycemic index (GI) porridge – it stays with you and sticks to your ribs! You need food that releases energy slowly during your ride. A low GI Diet will also aid permanent weight loss, which is especially good for those hills, but also your long term health and fitness. Have a look at “The GI Diet” by Rick Gallop, ISBN 07535 09180, if you want to explore lots of recommendations and recipes.

Q?Do you stop for snacks/lunch as I feel that the break and refueling would help my progress?
A.

We always stop for a break, usually at a cafe or garden centre, to enjoy a coffee, tea and a cake (CTC). It is also a good time to chat to friends.

Q?I am a bit wary of busy roads and traffic, will I let the group down?
A.

You will not let the group down as you are right be wary of traffic. We avoid the Classified “A” and “B” roads other than to cross them or to cycle a short distance to traverse between minor roads. We try, whenever possible, to cycle on the minor roads (unofficially the “C”), and unclassified roads. The latter comprising 60% of the UK road network. Cycling is safer and more enjoyable on these roads.

Q?Will I have to buy special cycle clothes?
A.

No, you can cycle in ordinary everyday clothes if you wish but you will be more comfortable on your bike if you are wearing some form of sports wear that is appropriate for the weather conditions. We nearly always carry a waterproof top in case it rains and it is good for keeping the wind at bay if you feel cold. You will see riders wearing the dreaded “Lycra” but to be honest many find the cycling clothing made in Lycra to be the most comfortable.

Q?I would like to buy Fleet Cycling clothing – how do I do that?
A.

You need to contact our Treasurer, Graham Ellicott, who looks after the club kit stock and orders new garments from our supplier, Prosport Distribution. We carry a small stock of short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts but other garments can be ordered although we need a minimum order quantity of five garments of the same type. There is more information on our club kit page.

Q?Do I need to buy club kit or can I wear my own stuff?
A.

No, you can wear your own stuff although we prefer members not to wear kit of other clubs on our rides. No problem for Guests though.

Q?What age group are the cyclists?
A.

On our Weekly Club rides, particularly mid-week, most of the riders are retired people. Less so at weekends and even less so with our pedal2gether Family Rides where we have teenagers and children less than 10 years old cycling. We are keen to encourage younger people (e.g. not yet retired!) to cycle with us and are always looking for ways to promote that.

Q?I am under 18 – do you have a junior group?
A.

We do not have a Junior Section but we do have teenagers doing their Duke of Edinburgh cycling with us on our pedal2gether Family rides on Saturdays and Sundays.

Q?What days of the week do you ride?
A.

We cycle on most days of the week. Our 1* pedal2gether Family Rides are on Saturday mornings and off-road on Saturday afternoons. The 2* pedal2gether longer, but easy paced, ride monthly on Sunday morning. Our 3* and 4* Weekly Club rides are held every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; the latter being a Ladies Only ride.

Q?Where do your rides go?
A.

We pride ourselves on having a wide range of routes, mostly within 20 miles or less of Fleet. The {hyperlink – rides calendar} shows the coffee stops and, where applicable, the lunch stops, but the route to the stop is planned by the leader to provide a variety of routes while making it as cycle-friendly as possible. We also have occasional rides, starting at other venues. The venue is always shown in the calendar entry.

Q?Do you enter any cycling events?
A.

We don’t formally enter as a club, but sometimes members post on our Facebook closed group to see if others would like to go to an external event, sharing transport and/or riding as a group.

Q?Are there any opportunities to go on longer rides/cycling holidays?
A.

Yes. These events are published on the Open events calendar, and publicised in our newsletters. Anyone can subscribe for free to our newsletters by just providing a name and email address on the left-hand side of our Home page.

Q?Do I have to race?
A.

No, there is absolutely no requirement to race. We don’t have organised races!

Q?I’ve never ridden in a group before, does that matter?
A.

No, that doesn’t matter. But if you are new to cycling in a group then please take a look at the CTC’s How to cycle in a group page.

The ride leader will help you and explain the important points. Also it is a good idea to contact the ride leader beforehand to let him/her know that you are thinking of joining the ride. The leader for each ride is shown in the Calendar entry.

Q?Is there anything I should know about cycling etiquette?
A.

The most important thing is to be aware of the riders around you, and avoid making sudden unexpected changes of direction or stops. If you have any questions on the ride, just ask!

Q?How long are the rides and what speed?
A.

See About our rides. The Calendar shows the approximate distance in each individual event. The star ratings of the events are explained in About our rides.

Q?How fit must I be – should I train in advance?
A.

If you are concerned about your fitness, start with a family (pedal2gether) ride and talk to the ride leader about the other rides. If your bike is in good condition and the tyres well pumped up, you’ll probably be surprised at how far you can ride in a social group. We’re not a racing club, and will happily wait for the slower riders. We never leave anyone behind unless they wish to leave the ride.

Q?How will I know I am fast enough for the group?
A.

Take a look at the advice under About our rides. We’re not a racing club, and will happily wait for the slower riders. We never leave anyone behind unless they wish to leave the ride.

Q?I am no longer a racer, but still get a buzz from occasionally turning up the speed a bit in a bunch. Are there any others like that?
A.

Some of us like to raise the pace at times and get a rhythm going. But you may have to wait at the next junction for directions from the leader, who has a responsibility to the slower and less confident riders. If one or several riders intend to leave the leader’s group, please tell the ride leader, to save time searching for you.

Q?What if I cannot keep up with group during the ride? I am especially worried about hills
A.

Take a look at the advice under About our rides. We’re not a racing club, and will happily wait for the slower riders. We never leave anyone behind unless they wish to leave the ride. If you are concerned about your fitness, start with a family (pedal2gether) ride and talk to the ride leader about the other rides.