Club Runs

Published
04 Mar 2016

Sherwood Cycling Club - Our Club Runs

Weekend club runs plus one run during the week are held throughout the year meeting at Lowdham War Memorial.

Return is normally around 1.30 p.m. You will need a reliable, light bike and some experience to enjoy the longer runs. If you are unsure of your ability, start with an Easy Saturday Run. Carry a basic tool kit, a phone if you have one, money, rain jacket, a drink and a little food. In the winter it is good etiquette to have mudguards, preferably extended at the rear to protect fellow riders from spray.

The Club Captain, Ed Ward, can be contacted on 0115 9615477 or by email for further information.

On all these rides each rider is responsible for his or her own safety and should obey all the rules of the road. If conditions are potentially hazardous (because of weather or traffic conditions etc it is up to the individual to decide whether to proceed). It is recommended that an approved safety standards hard shell helmet be worn.

In addition to these regular Club Runs various ad hoc rides are arranged by members through the Club Forum.

Saturday Club Runs

There is a regular ride on Saturday mornings from Lowdham Village Green by the War Memorial at 10.00 a.m. normally leaving promptly. (Don’t be put off by another faster run starting a little earlier from the same place!)

These are friendly, sociable rides covering 20-30 miles from and back to Lowdham. You can park nearby if you come by car. A café stop is included about halfway usually at the Portland Fishing Lakes cafe near Sibthorpe.

Depending on numbers we split into 2 or 3 groups catering for riders of differing abilities. The slowest group averages about 14 mph and is suitable for beginners and those who want an easy ride. We all meet up and the cafe and riders are welcome to switch to another group for the return journey.

Any riders under 14 years old should be accompanied by a responsible adult. Just turn up and join us.

Sunday Club Runs

Sunday runs also meet at Lowdham.

These are to various destinations including a cafe stop and at a speed of 15-18 mph depending on conditions.

Distances depend on the weather but are usually about 50 miles and a bit more during summer months depending on the group. Less fit riders often split off for a slightly shorter ride.

In the months of November to March the meeting time is 9.45 a.m. and during April to October 9.15 a.m.

Wednesday Club Runs

Wednesday runs meet at Lowdham at 9.15 a.m. These are similar to Sunday runs but, if there are enough riders we split into 2 groups to allow an easier ride if desired.

Club Run routes are normally decided on the day to take into account the weather, number of riders and the distance favoured.

Club Run Etiquette

All riders are expected to ride in a safe manner and obey the rules of the road and each person is responsible for his/her own safety. If you don’t think it is safe to proceed then don’t. It is recommended that you wear a helmet at all times but don't assume that makes you invulnerable!

Club Runs are essentially social rides where we go out and ride together in company for pleasure. They are not training runs or competitions, but that doesn’t mean riders can’t have a bit of fun racing up a hill or trying to get to the cafe first – so long as nobody is left alone not knowing where to go! One bit of advice is not to break away off the front if you don’t know which way to go! Any group will always be of mixed ability and we try to cater for this with different groups.

Stronger riders can use some of their excess energy riding on the front to give weaker riders an easier ride. Keep the pace steady so the group keeps together. We normally ride two abreast (road conditions permitting), so if you are on the front ride with the other person and relax, don’t start trying to go faster and putting your wheel in front (“half-wheeling”). After crossing any junction or negotiating a hazard, any group will stretch out so those on the front need to ease off slightly to let the group get back into close formation.

It is normal to stop and wait if anyone has a problem like a puncture. If you have a problem, or see someone with a problem, shout out and let the others know. Everyone punctures or has a mechanical at some point, but try and keep your bike in good order. Carry the essentials – pump spare tube, levers etc don’t rely on others. Delays can be minimised if those with a problem are helped by others – even if it is just passing them a pump or holding a bike. If the group is stopped, make sure the road is kept as clear as possible – don’t stand in the middle of the road chatting!

When riding in the group don’t make erratic movements, hold your line, ride smoothly and don’t get too close to the wheel in front or overlap it. Keep looking in front of the group and scanning around for possible hazards. Shout and point out warnings about pot holes, mud, ice, glass, hedge cuttings, other vehicles, junctions and anything that may affect the group. Only point to hazards if it is safe to take a hand off the bars.

If you take a drink from your bottle, do it when there are no hazards to negotiate make sure you maintain your line and the same pace. Keep looking where you are going.

Putting rain jackets on is best done by stopping and letting others know. Many carry these in a seat bag so it is not easy to put them on without stopping in a safe place. We don’t want to pressurise inexperienced riders by expecting them to cape up whilst still riding.

If you decide to leave the group (you may have to be back early and return home) make it known, otherwise the group may end up unnecessarily waiting for you.

Remember these are intended to be friendly sociable rides. You can talk to whoever you are riding with. If it is someone you don’t know, ask their name and tell them yours – much better than saying “That new bloke on the red bike”. Above all just enjoy the ride and be considerate.

Typical Routes

Samples of club run routes can be seen on these links with mileages shown from and back to Lowdham:

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