Choosing The Right Ride Session
Our rides are open to all members whether on road during the warmer months, indoor at Pedalhouse from November to April, or joining online turbo sessions during the winter.
No one will be left behind, we will always sit up to regroup when required, but please ensure that you choose the ride which is suitable for your ability. Depending on numbers we may split into groups by ability, a slower group that typically rides at sub 18 miles an hour and a faster group. Otherwise we ride as a bunch and the ride leader ensures no one gets left behind.
Generally, our riders use road bikes on club rides, and not time trial bikes, other types of bike are slower, such as hybrids and MTBs, and if used on a club ride you may find you struggle to keep up. Your bike should be roadworthy and well maintained.
We often run a Saturday morning session, and depending on numbers we may split into groups by ability, otherwise we ride as a bunch and the ride leader ensures no one gets left behind. The ride leaves from the Dalkeith High School front entrance and typically takes 2 – 2.5 hours.
The club also runs coached rides around Arthur’s Seat or nearby over the summer. What’s more, as the club is a British Cycling member, our ET membership can take part in cycling events TT’s organised by other clubs too.
Group Ride Etiquette
When joining our club rides please use common sense and obey the rules of the road. You are responsible for your own safety and can help make the rides enjoyable and safe for everyone!
Please follow the rules of the road. At traffic lights red, amber and red/amber all mean stop. Stop signs at junctions – Don’t have a quick glance then sprint across, this endangers riders and drivers and the chances are the rest of the group will have to stop and you will only end up waiting for them.
Group structure and size:
No more than two abreast and single file on busy on narrow roads. Usually ride in pairs in line with the pair in front but single out when necessary. To maintain safety please do not spread across the road as this can cause issues for both cyclists and motorists trying to overtake
Good communication throughout the group is essential, learn the shouts and use them loud and clear and pass them on through the group. “Tail” car approaching from the rear, “nose” car approaching from the front. These are warnings not instructions to single out. Placing the left arm behind the back pointing away from the obstacle signals an obstacle on the left e.g. parked car, pedestrian, overtaking another cyclist who is outside of the group etc. “Hole” warning of a hole in the road, the call is accompanied by Pointing to an obstacle signals a hole. Moving your hand up and down signals slowing down. “Stopping” which is self-explanatory – provide plenty of notice to avoid sudden braking and bunching up. Use the same hand signal as slow down. Changing direction let other riders know verbally and with hand signal. Individual riders should signal as well, in particular if the group splits up. “Clear”- When turning at a T junction, ’clear’ is an indication that the road is completely clear in both directions, BUT PLEASE CHECK yourself – it is every rider’s responsibility to ensure the road is clear for them.
Members should have a clear and well understood method of singling out. Riders on the inside should slightly adjust their pace to create gaps to allow riders on the outside to slip into the line. When it is safe to do so call “clear” so that the rider on the outside knows it is clear to pull in front of you. The group leader should call, “single out” to start the move. Once it’s safe the group leader can call “double up“.
Going to the front:
In a group of similar ability riders, it seems only fair that all members of the group should take a turn at the front, particularly when the group is riding into a strong wind etc. However, in groups with less able riders, or riders experiencing problems, it is totally acceptable for them to opt out of a turn on the front and for stronger riders to work for the good of the group on the front.
For more information about riding in a group, riding safely on the road, how to corner, how to descend and much more check out British Cycling’s ‘Ridesmart’ series of videos.
Check tyre pressures before each ride. Check tyres for damage and wear after each ride (replace if necessary), being miles from home with an unrepairable flat doesn’t make for an enjoyable ride for you or other riders. Check brake blocks regularly, remove any grit as it will damage your rims and replace pads when worn. Get even slightly buckled wheels looked at by a bike mechanic or they will quickly deteriorate. Saddles are designed to be horizontal, poorly adjusted saddles are bad news on a long ride. Please do not use tri-bars on club rides. Ideally, for wet rides, bikes should be fitted with mudguards to prevent spraying other riders with dirty, gritty water.
What you should bring with you:
Spare cash and a bank card with you for emergencies / A spare tube (two preferably), tyre levers, puncture repair kit, pump (a mini pump is fine) and suitable size allen keys.
Fluids for hydration / A snack or two / A compact rain jacket
Helmets are mandatory and clothing specific to road cycling will be the most comfortable. For winter riding you will need a good wind and water-proof jacket. In cold weather, you may want to use long cycling tights, 3/4 length tights, or leg warmers (whichever you prefer to keep your knees warm). It is advised to always wear something on your hands, be they winter gloves or mitts. This will protect your hands from gravel if you come off your bike.
Turbo Sessions – What to bring with you:
Cycling kit: Shorts and vest/t-shirt are usually a good plan as it will get hot. Don’t forget the shoes you ride in. An old towel that will soak up any sweat and stop your bike from corroding. Please be prepared to use the towel at the end of the session to wipe the floor beneath and around your bike. Nutrition/hydration: Please take responsibility for your own energy and hydration levels. You are likely to sweat a lot, so bring a drink along as you would do on a ride.