The Essex Roads Club Rides are just what is says on the label – ‘For Training!’ If you already partake in Intermediate Rides then this will push your abilities to the ultimate level. These rides are not easy and adopt a race-like pace where the aim is to go as fast as possible within the capabilities of the group. It is likely that your average speed will be around 18-20 miles per hour over 40-50 miles, however the group speed will naturally fall as fatigue sets in. The group may split with some riders extending to 70-80 miles. It is not uncommon for riders at this level to ‘hit the wall’ where they have naturally reached the end of their endurance and might need to ‘pack’ (give up and turn for home) due to the speed and distance involved. Don’t be embarrassed by this experience, as it’s quite normal. You may also find that others find themselves in a similar situation as we all have.
If you already do time-trialling or road racing then these rides will assist you greatly in establishing your goals.
Riders will need to spend time at the front on these rides to give others a rest as the pack charges through the terrain. You are likely to learn a lot about pacing yourself and how to recover quickly. You will also need to have good bike-craft given your proximity to other riders and the high speeds involved particularly during cornering followed by mass acceleration afterwards.
With training rides it is quite normal that riders may sprint ahead to be swallowed up by the group later on. These bursts of speed are what make up ‘interval training’. These sessions actually help you get stronger and faster. Groups of riders often sprint for signs up ahead just for the satisfaction of racing and passing others. The stronger riders usually win!
Given that you may be trying quite hard to stay with the group during a training ride it is not at all common to be ‘spat out the back’ when your ability to keep up is spent. Although this is a training ride, others will wait for you, after which the pace is likely to slow. Don’t be embarrassed by this experience, as it’s quite normal. You may also find that others find themselves in a similar situation as we all have.
These rides do not always stop for a break so please ensure that you eat and drink during these hard rides.
All our Club & Training Rides start and finish at the Council Car Park on the western side of the High Street, Billericay at 9:00. The Car Park is reached by proceeding along the High Street from Sun Corner and turning left just past the Iceland store. See below. From there, we take a variety of routes along quiet country roads that you’ve probably never been down before. We are usually back in Billericay about midday, or you can turn off earlier if it’s easier for you to get home.
Where and when?
Here’s our club Guide to Group Riding, it really is worth taking the time to read this.