About Our Rides
We’re not a club that likes to have a lot of rules and regulations, as we’d like to keep our focus on good, challenging rides with great people that are accessible to as many people as possible. However, in the interests of everyone’s safety, there are a few things worth keeping in your mind before you come out on our rides. A large proportion of this is common sense, some of it is just sound advice for any ride and some of it is to ensure that we’ve outlined what you can/can’t expect from us. Most of all, just enjoy your cycling and be safe.
Safety & Our Recommendations
- A general rule for all cyclists, not just ones on our rides, is please always follow the rules of the road and familiarise your with the highway code. If you like to blast through red lights or break laws then maybe we are not the club for you.
- While we all look out for each other, everyone is responsible for their own safety. This involves everything from riding safely, following the rules of the road and being comfortable with the bike you are riding and the roads you are riding them on. If you don’t feel comfortable then you don’t have to complete the route with us. Allez Prestwich will always do our best to provide routes that are safe as possible but everyone has to assess their own comfort levels and take part at their own risk.
- Whether you’re commuting, going out on a lung busting sportive or attending one of our rides, accidents can happen, so we recommend that you have some kind of cycling insurance in place to protect you. CTC and British Cycling both offer good options but there are plenty of options out there and a few of our riders are British Cycling members which, as well as 3rd party insurance/protection, offers various other benefits. Have a chat with us if you want more information. Again, this is a recommendation but not a mandatory requirement. The risk is owned by you.
- We would strongly recommend that people wear helmets while out riding. Again, as this is not a law, this is not mandatory to attend the ride. It is just something we would strongly recommend but again it’s each individuals choice.
- General health: while you certainly don’t need to be a super hero to come on our rides, you should be moderately fit, as any form of exercise can be strenuous if you have any underlying medical conditions. Know your limits, don’t smash yourself to pieces and look after yourself. The most important thing is that we all have fun and get around the course safely.
Roads & Routes
- While out on rides some the road surfaces can leave a lot to be desired. Please point out any hazards in the road to your ride companions, especially things like huge potholes and large obstacles in the road (I hit a full brick once!).
- We’d recommend that you familiarise yourself with the route. We always provide links to the routes we are going to ride so you can download them to your GPS Cycle Computers but you can also have a look. Having the route on you, or checking it out before hand, has various benefits:
- You’ve got a rough idea of what kind of ride lies ahead of you.
- You can familiarise yourself with potential exit routes home if you aren’t feeling too good or you need to leave the route early.
- You can help direct other people who do not have the route.
- We try to give a rough idea of how long our rides will take but this can be difficult as it depends who turns up on the day (see the next point). We can’t be held responsible if you’re late back and miss your Grandma’s 90th birthday dinner. See the bullets in point 2 about having alternative routes home if you do need to leave early.
- We always wait for people at the top of climbs, major turns or other agreed points along the way (“Hey Everyone, let’s meet at the bottom of this descent” etc.) .
- If you do need to leave the ride early, please tell one of the club members, preferably a ride leader, so that we know not to wait and that we have one less rider on the route.
- We’re not bike snobs here at Allez P HQ but please try and ensure that you’ve got a working bike (a road bike would be highly recommended due to to the terrain we cycle over. A hybrid would be fine. The fat tyres of an MTB might not be the most suitable over the terrain) that can get you around whatever ride you are coming out on. Make sure you’re tyres are okay before coming out, check your brakes are working and it’s always nice to have gears that work properly (hills).
- Its also important to have the means to fix your bike if something goes wrong on a ride. A recommendation of a bare minimum for your saddle bag/pockets would be:
- a pump
- at least one spare innertube
- a puncture repair kit
- a multi-tool/allen keys
- For rides in Autumn, Winter and early Spring we’d recommend that you have both front and rear lights.
- It’s always good to have a fully charged mobile on you. It allows you to call someone if you have a mechancial issue and need to be picked up; consult maps if you get lost and to take nice pictures of your ride (assuming you have a camera phone). Try and put it in something waterproof though. We can’t take responsibility for anyone’s phone getting soaked and broken.
- If possible, try and have a little bit of money or some kind of payment card on you. We often go for coffees, lunch (on the big rides) or post ride drinks, so it’s always nice if you can join in. It’s also important to have the means to pay if you need to visit a local bike shop to fix a mechanical on route (this has already happened twice on our rides).
Any ride over 30 minutes or so is going to take something out of you. Please make sure you bring water and maybe something to snack on (everyone is different). It’s always a good idea to get a nice breakfast in before you leave. Here’s an example of what I’d take out on a standard monthly ride (30/40 miles):
- 1 bottle water
- 1 bottle of electrolyte/sports drink
- a banana
- Some kind of cereal bar/chocolate/fig rolls
Club Kit is not mandatory for the rides. However, if you do have club kit (thanks for buying it!) then we hope you’ll enjoy wearing it out for club rides but also when riding on your own rides. Just keep in mind that when we wear the kit we are a walking (Well, cycling) advertisement for our club, so let’s all promote a positive image about what our club is about (obey the rules of the road, nice people etc.).