Ride guide

There are rides to suit different styles, experience and fitness levels – choose a ride you'll enjoy. Note that the speeds quoted here are "moving averages" – they do not include time stopped. The shorter, easier rides will generally stop more frequently and for a longer time than the harder rides. Feel free to phone or email the ride leader about the distance and terrain to expect. And we do wait for the person at the back ...

* Easier and shorter rides – about 50km at 14-18 km/h (30 miles at 9-11 mph) – which are ideal if you are new to cycle touring or prefer a more leisurely ride. Accompanied older children welcome although it is advisable to contact the ride leader beforehand.
** Medium distance 55-85km at 17-22 km/h (35-55 miles at 11-14 mph) – steady pace yet time to enjoy lunch, etc.
*** Faster and generally longer (70-110km at 21-25 km/h, 45-75 miles at 13-16 mph) ) – often hillier – nearly always on-road ... suitable for a light touring or road bike.
**** Faster again, averaging 26-28km/h (16-18 mph) and approximately 90-100km (55-65 miles) with a brief cafe stop for lunch. These rides are for experienced Audax or Sportive riders training for their next event, or for those who just like it hard. Bring a summer road bike or, if the conditions are likely to be wet, a light winter bike with full mudguards and, preferably, a long rear mudflap. Be prepared to do your turn on the front.
Off-road Mainly on tracks or trails, perhaps muddy – not suitable for lightweight road bikes.
Audax Official Audax event – more info here – very popular with the more serious riders ... however most of those included in our list are the shorter (100-200km) ones enjoyable for medium paced riders.
Sportif Cylosportif event – more from www.cyclosport.org – timed events for the more serious rider. Not races, but no upper speed limit as on an audax, so many will ride as if racing. There may be support and feed stations. Entry fees vary – some events are cheap and spartan, others (often connected to a charity) are more expensive and elaborate. It's usually best to register in advance, but often it's possible to 'sign on the line'.
Zone6 Start & finish in travelcard/freedom pass area – low travel cost.

Essential information

cycling across the ford in Kersey

We'll stop at a pub (or occasionally a cafe) for lunch unless otherwise stated. There are often morning coffee and/or afternoon tea stops as well but carry some energy food just in case.

We return by train from the station we travel out to, unless otherwise stated in the listing. We return to central London by about 18.00, occasionally a bit later in summer.

Unless you have a specific question not answered here, it's not necessary to contact the leader before joining our rides, you can just turn up at the advertised meeting point.

However, sometimes rail lines close at short notice and we have to change the route, so do check the website for last minute changes, and if you are joining us after the first meeting point it may be best to email or phone the leader beforehand.

Our running expenses for the website, sending out the programme and supporting our parties are covered by contributions from riders. We ask for a contribution of 50p per person per ride (this does not apply to rides organised by other groups). You can see how this is spent in our annual accounts.

On the ride

Riding with a group is a safe and enjoyable way to enjoy the countryside or city. However in order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of themselves, the group and others who are sharing the road, we ask our riders to follow a few extra rules when on our rides.

Before setting out

Ensure your bike is roadworthy. Bring spare inner tube, pump and tyre levers. You should also bring suitable clothing. A shell top can help keep you dry and warm. Lights are essential from October through to March when we are likely to return after dark.

Keeping safe

  • When on narrow roads please help to ensure the group is aware of traffic: "car up" means a car is waiting to pass the group, "car down" that a car is approaching from the front. Please allow motor traffic (and faster cyclists) to overtake whenever safe and reasonable to do so.
  • Please signal potholes or other hazards to to other riders, and be aware of and act on the signals of others.
  • When slowing down or stopping please make sure you call "stopping" or signal, to avoid cyclists behind running into you. Once stopped please stay off, or to the side of, the roadway, keeping the road clear for others. Avoid stopping where you may not easily be seen, such as just after a bend or junction.
  • Please do not wear headphones – to ride safely in a group you need to be able to hear what's going on around you.

Keeping together

  • Please avoid riding ahead of the leader, unless invited to do so. If you do get ahead, please wait for the group at the next junction.
  • Where the group turns into a side road or at a T-junction, please ensure the rider(s) behind you have seen you turn. If no rider is visible, please wait at the turn until he or she arrives.
  • We usually appoint a backstop who will keep at the back of the ride to ensure no-one is left behind. If you decide to leave the ride before the end point, please let the backstop and/or the leader know.

Finally, please remember that you remain responsible for your own safety when riding with us and should always follow the Highway Code.

Cycling UK has produced a guide to cycling with groups like ours – read it here.

Use of cookies and logging on this site