Get ready for Cyclocross - new skill sessions this Autumn

FAQs

Rides

Are rides Covid safe?

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We follow the most updated British Cycling Guidelines for all our rides and ask that all our riders observe common sense social distancing to others in the group and users of the bridleways we are on.

Do I need to be really fit?

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We offer a range of rides to suit all levels of fitness, from novice to expert racer. You need to be moderately fit and able to ride a bike confidently. We've graded each ride in terms of length, required rider skill level and whether there are any hills. These details are included on every ride description.

What is off-road?

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Simply it's not riding on the road! So you'll be riding on anything from tarmac cycle routes, gravel paths or woodland tracks.

Our routes are graded according to the roughness of the trails. Green rides will be on well prepared paths (similar to riding on the road but without the cars), whereas our Expert Black rides will encounter a more challenging range of surfaces.

I've never ridden off-road, should I sign up?

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Yes ! Off-road cycling is different from the normal road riding but it's no more difficult than riding on the road with the added bonus of no cars and stinky fumes!

If you have never ridden off-road before, try one of the Green routes, they are designed with you in mind.

The ride leaders are experienced off-road riders and are on hand to give you hints and tips to get you going.

Are there rules for riding on bridleways?

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Yes, you will need to follow the Countryside Code.

It's a simple set of guidelines based on respect for other users and commonsense. The ride leader will talk you through it before setting off.

What happens if I can’t keep up?

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We don't want this to ever happen!

We offer rides tailored towards a broad range of fitness levels, form novice to expert, take a minute to check these in the details of each ride.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

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Yes, our rides are run under British Cycling guidelines which require helmets to be worn by all riders.

The ride leader will do a helmet check prior to setting off - this is useful as a poorly secured helmet is more dangerous than no helmet!

What if I have an accident on the ride?

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All the rider leaders are first aid trained and will be able to assist at the level required or call for support.

What happens if it’s raining heavily on the day?

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We want you to have a great time and frankly if it’s going to be tipping down during the ride, you won’t! We check the forecast daily - who doesn't? If the forecast is wet and horrible, we'll email you by 6 pm the evening before cancelling the ride and you can either reschedule or get a full refund.

Otherwise anticipate all systems go, even if it's drizzling lightly, and dress accordingly.

Will you wait for me if I’m late?

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Ideally, we’ll set off bang on time so no one is hanging around.  However, we allow 10 minutes leeway if someone is running late.

What do I need to bring?

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Please bring a water bottle, helmet, spare inner tube and suitable clothing for warm/cold, drizzly weather, don’t forget sunscreen in the summer.

Charlie's homemade fudge and flapjacks* are provided on Green and Blue rides, otherwise please bring your own snacks and most importantly for the long summer adventure's sufficent drink as places to refuel can be few and far between.

* If you have special dietary requirements, please bring your own snacks.

Do I have to wear Lycra?

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No.

As a general rule, lycra shorts are not really necessary for gentle rides up to about 3 hours long - so that covers all our green rides and most of the blue ones.

Anything longer, your behind will appreciate the extra comfort a pair of padded cycling shorts brings!

I have a medical condition - can I still come on the ride?

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You'll know better than us, if your Doctor allows then we are happy to have you on board.

However please inform us of your particular circumstances and details of anything the ride leader should know about when booking.

All our ride leaders are trained First Aiders and will be able to assist /call for help as required.

Can I bring my children?

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We're happy to allow children over 14 years old on our rides but they must be accompanied by a parent, carer or guardian who is responsible for them and their behaviour.

2 children per adult max please!

Why not bring the family? If you book 5 or more riders we can make that ride exclusive to you and tailor the day to suit your requirements.

Groups

Can I bring a group of friends along?

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Yes - and what's more if you bring along 5 friends/family (and up to 9 riders in total) we can make the ride exclusive to your group, designing a day out to suit your requirements. Contact us directly to find out more

Bikes

Is my bike suitable?

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All our rides include some degree of off-road cycling, we generally ride on a combination of quiet roads, bridleways and cycle paths so mud, lumps and bumps will be encountered!

That said, all mud is not equal and our rides are graded to suit rider and bike alike.

Green Rides:  these are easy rides and the off-road sections are on well-maintained cycle paths, suitable for all types of bike including hybrids, folding bikes, road bikes and of course mountain bikes/gravel/cyclocross bikes.

Blue Rides: slightly longer rides than the Green routes, encountering more ‘natural’ (read bumpy) off-road sections in the route. Suitable bikes include most hybrids, mountain, cyclocross and gravel bikes.

Red Rides: These rides are aimed at riders with reasonable fitness who want to improve their riding and stamina. The routes include longer sections of off-road riding suitable for most mountain, cyclocross and gravel bikes.  

Black Rides: Longer all day rides aimed at regular cyclists covering a wide range of off-road terrain. Suitable for well maintained mountain, cyclocross or gravel bikes.

Each ride covers different terrain and has slightly different recommendations - so do check the ride description carefully

What is a bike safety check?

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It's a basic check to ensure your bike is safe to use and unlikely to break down during the ride.

It takes the ride leader a few minutes to complete this with you, checking that your brakes, gears, drive chain and tyres are in working condition.

We strongly recommend you have your bike serviced prior to the ride, no one wants a bike to break down 5 miles from the nearest train station!

Here's a list of local bike shops we can recommend. Please plan ahead, they can be very busy.

What happens if my bike fails the safety check ?

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We carry out a safety check for your security and others, both in the group and en route. (It's also a British Cycling requirement).

If the issues are minor and easily fixed the ride leader will help you to sort things before setting off. However if the fault can't be rectified easily and the ride leader deems your bike unsafe, unfortunately, they will have to ask you to leave the ride.

Please, if you know your bike is in poor condition and critical parts like brakes and gears are not working properly, get your bike serviced by a reputable shop or mechanic as soon as you can.

Here's a list of recommended local bike shops.

What happens if my bike has a puncture or breaks during the ride

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It happens! Punctures and mechanicals are part of life.

The ride leader will be an experienced mechanic and will help you/will repair a puncture or the mechanical failure if possible during the ride.

Should it not be possible to get you up and running, we'll do our best to get you to a nearby railway station or make sure that there's a plan in place to rescue you!


Can you recommend a shop to service my bike?

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Yes - there's a list of recommended local bike shops here

Some are offering our riders a discount on services - check the page out!

Qualifications

Are the rides insured?

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The ride leaders are fully insured with British Cycling.

Are the Ride Leaders qualified?

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Yes, all our ride leaders are qualified British Cycling Level 1 Ride Leaders as a minimum and are frequently experienced qualified cycle coaches.

Health and safety

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We take your safety seriously. All our rides are orgainised and carried out following the latest guidance from British Cycling, the UK National Governing Body for the sport.

Our ride leaders, apart from being very experienced cyclists, are qualified to British Cycling Ride Leader Level 1 at the very least.

Cancellations

What is your cancellation policy?

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If you find you cannot come along for whatever reason, let us know 24 hours in advance and we will give you the option of re-booking your ride on another day or provide a full refund. 

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