|You want to be fitter, right? You may not be an aspiring Chris Froome or Lizzie Armitstead but you have a road bike or a hybrid and can already ride on local roads for around an hour and cover 15 miles or more. Congratulations – you are ready to join an ERCC Level 1 group ride! As well learning to riding with like-minded cyclists, you will find that riding in a group is the easy way to ride further and faster.
Level 1 rides take place on the first Sunday of each month between November and February, and the first and third Sundays from March to October. Routes for Level 1 rides typically cover about 20 miles over quiet roads, avoid steep hills and always include a 20-30 minute stop at a café for a cuppa and cake, a chance to make new friends and share experiences. Average speed is around 12-14 mph, but don’t worry about being left behind or getting lost, the ride leader will adjust the group pace to suit the slowest rider and keep the group together.
Women riders are particularly welcome, and there is no upper age limit, but please note that we recommend a minimum age of 13 years to take part in these rides. It is preferable for anyone under the age of 16 to be accompanied with an adult. If this is not possible, then parental consent is required prior to taking part in any of our club rides.
What do you need to bring along? Your bike, obviously, though do check your bike is roadworthy – tyres are pumped up and gears are working, and bring at least one spare inner tube. Ride leaders will advise on setup if appropriate. A helmet is essential, and we also strongly recommend glasses and gloves for safety reasons but, honestly, you don’t need to be head-to-toe in Lycra for one of these rides. Please remember to bring along some money for the café stop and a bottle of water.
It won’t be long before you feel you can go faster and further still. When you do, check out the weekly Level 2 Social Ride. You can move up to this whenever you like.
Here’s our club Guide to Group Riding, it really is worth taking some time to read this.