Club Rides

Overview

Club rides take place every Saturday from Oakley Junior School Car Park. Meeting at 08:50am with an intended roll out by 09:00am. There are three different ride levels to choose from with the metrics shown below;

Foundation: 40 miles @ 14mph average speed
Intermediate: 50 miles @ 15mph average speed
Advanced: 60+ miles @ 16.5+mpg average

During the summer months we also run additional ride levels and distances may vary when special events or away days are scheduled. To keep up to date with these you should regularly check our events listings

On Road Rides

Family & Leisure Rides (Currently Suspended Feb 2017)

The family rides are designed to introduce the next generation of riders to cycling. The rides are often a way for adult riders to get back in the saddle after having to juggle the commitments of raising young children while still spending quality time with the family. Family rides have no set speed directive and no designated mileage. There is no stipulation on the type of bike required for this ride, only that it is in good condition and maintained to a safe standard. Children must be able to ride their own bikes competently without stabilisers. Parents may also bring smaller children on the ride in a bike seat or a tag along. The routes stay close to the village on cycle tracks or very quiet lanes and ride leads will be sympathetic to the ability of the group on the day.

Leisure rides are the next step within the ride structure. Children over 12 years of age and parents will find this ride enjoyable as generally the routes venture a little further from the village, while remaining on quiet lanes. The pace is a little faster while still steady enough to enjoy the local country side and be able to have a sociable conversation.

Due to the rides being on public highways a preferred ratio of adults to children is 2 to 1. Very basic on road bike maintenance skills are required. Minimal spares should be carried, especially puncture repair.

Foundation Ride

approx. 40 miles at an average 14mph

The Foundation rides can be first steps in to road cycling for complete novices or a reintroduction to cycling after a period of no activity. Some riders use the foundation rides as recuperation from injuries and others as recovery from a tougher block of training.

The idea behind the foundation level is to introduce new road cyclists to the basic skills required to ride on public highways in a group. There can be a wide range of riding experience in this group so tips and advice for new riders are in good supply.

Ride leaders are required to adhere to a strict average speed policy of 14mph over the 40 mile route. The ride should provide a challenge but not test the riders too much, the main objective of the Foundation level is to bring back all the riders you leave the village with. Due to the local terrain, routes will invariably encounter a hill or two. It is common practice for ride leaders to hold the group at the top of ascents to confirm all members of the group are accounted for and this is an ideal time for riders to take on fuel for the remainder of the ride.

During the ride there will be plenty of time for chatting and socialising. Indeed part of the appeal of cycling is that you can be exercising while staying up to date with the latest soap news or football transfers!

Cyclists at this level are required to be reasonably competent at roadside cycle repairs, especially fixing punctures although there is usually experience close by to lend a hand. Drinks, food, tools and spares should be carried by the cyclist. A small amount of cash, a mobile phone and a form of identification should be taken on all rides.

Intermediate Ride

approx. 50 miles at an average 15mph

The Intermediate ride is usually the busiest ride of the weekend as it covers a good mileage and the average speed is seen as a good standard for a social cyclist. The group riding skills learnt in the Foundation level are essential in this group as the increased mileage will often require navigation of roads that require more confidence and bike handling skills.

Riders will be encouraged to ride closer together and be introduced to the concept of drafting. This is not necessarily in an effort to speed riders up but to assist in riding efficiency. If you are using less energy on the flats then you will have more in the tank for the climbs. As the Intermediate rides are longer than the Foundation it should be expected that several hills could be included within the route. Occasionally a challenging climb will be included within a route but this will be clearly publicised in the route summary.

Cyclists participating at Intermediate level should have a reasonable level of fitness, be able to retain a steady cruising speed and be comfortable riding in reasonably close proximity to other cyclists on public highways.

An Intermediate level cyclist should be competent at roadside repairs and be comfortable in assisting others if required. A reasonable knowledge of local geography is not required but is an advantage as sometimes route amendments may be required during the ride. As usual drinks, food, spares, tools, communication and identification essentials should be carried at all times.

Advanced Ride

60+ miles at an average of 16.5+mph

The Advanced level rides are the Oakley Pedalers highest level ride and as the name suggests is for experienced road cyclists. The experience may have been gained by passing through the other club ride levels but this is not a requirement, experience of group riding is essential though. For the most part refuelling is completed on the move so the cyclist should have the confidence and bike handling skills to ride and extract items from jersey pockets.

Generally the Advanced ride will be hilly, fast or long. Sometimes there is a mix of all three. Routes may require the use of busier roads so confidence around cars while on the public highway is required. Hiller routes will nearly always include local flagship climbs and when the ride is longer will often include a regionally recognised ascent. It is common for the group to stretch on climbs and while other ride levels will often wait at the top the advanced level cyclist will need to bridge the gap to the group, while the group ease off the pace in order to get all cyclists ‘back on’.

Advanced rides by their very nature can sometimes be faster than the advertised average speed. The group may ride in tight formation, often employing ‘roll overs’ in order for all riders to take a turn on the front. This builds on the basics of drafting learnt in the Intermediate ride. On occasions during the return leg of the ride it will be agreed within the group that some riders will cut loose inside the final 10 miles and up the pace in order to push themselves harder. The group will split in to two at this point with half staying at the advertised pace and the other half attempting to get their coffee on order first at Jolly Olly’s!

An Advanced level cyclist needs to be largely self-sufficient. The essential spares should always be carried along with enough food & drink (for higher than advertised mileage), some cash, identification and a mobile phone. A bank card may also be useful as quite often the rides will venture in to neighbouring counties so it can be quite a distance to navigate home in the event of a terminal failure.

Leading a Ride

We aim to provide a number of rides to suit the mixed abilities of attendees on our Saturday morning rides (and Thursday evening rides in the summertime). Our ride leaders are all volunteers, and it can be a rewarding experience leading a group of fellow riders through areas that they may not have previously ridden.

Sometimes due to no ride leader volunteering we may need to utilise our bank routes all of which are available on the website. We appreciate the efforts of those that do lead rides but need to spread the load further in order not to be a burden to a willing few. If you are unsure as to what is involved in leading a ride, nervous about how to plan a route or just want more information then please contact us at info@oakleypedalers.co.uk. We have a huge membership base and should be able to utilise this to fill the rota weeks in advance. Alternatively speak to one of the senior members out on the road, they will be more than happy to offer guidance on leading your own ride.

If you are able to assist, please visit the Planner and fill in your name against a ride that you will be able to lead (and also a link to a Garmin/Strava/Other route if possible).

Off Road Rides

Please click on link for our current and future events listings

What to Bring

Spares and Tools

The following items should always be carried while completing Oakley Pedalers road rides.

  • Spare inner tube (x2 for rides over 25 miles)

  • Puncture repair (instant patches)

  • Pump or CO2 (1 more CO2 than spare tubes carried) & valve adapter

  • Tyre levers

  • Multi tool (including chain link tool)

  • Spare Chain Link & Chain Pin

Additional items that will help to cover most roadside issues.

  • Tyre boots/ inserts (small sections of inner tube or tyre to line a damaged tyre)

  • Small bottle of chain lube (tester size is ideal)

  • Coiled up gear/ brake cable inner

  • Latex Gloves (for those dirty repairs)

  • Antiseptic wipe & plasters (in the event of cutting yourself)

  • A spare cleat

Food and Drink

Cyclists need to refuel on every ride and as such food needs to be carried on rides longer than 20 miles. What is carried is entirely up to the rider but enough for slightly more than the advertised distance of the ride is always a good idea. Energy gels are also recommended and can be used for an almost instant ‘hit’ of energy, gels should not be used as the single source of energy though.

The minimum of 1 bottle of drink should be carried on all rides extending to 2 bottles on rides of 45+ miles. The time of year will determine what drink you carry, in the winter a diluted squash or plain water is often enough while during the summer specialist sports/energy drinks should be preferred. Taking a single drinks capsule ready to drop in a water bottle is recommended this gives the cyclist an opportunity to top up if required.

Longer rides may include a café stop where refuelling with a light snack is possible. However this should not be relied upon and the cyclist should be carrying enough with them to complete a ride.

Other important information

Apart from a bike the other essential piece of equipment required to take part in an Oakley Pedalers ride is a helmet.

The club, due to insurance requirements, implements a NO HELMET NO RIDE policy.

Cyclists may also like to wear high viz jackets/ jerseys in certain weather conditions. It should be noted that the club colours are a striking bright green, so wearing the club jersey/ jacket on a ride will often be high viz enough.

A rear light should be attached to the bike during the winter months as sometimes the weather conditions require additional visibility. Weather conditions may also dictate that the cyclist carry a light waterproof jacket in the event of showers.

Turbo Training

Turbo training at St. Leonards

Turbo training at St. Leonards

During the winter, we run regular group turbo training sessions on a Wednesday night at the St. Leonards Centre on Rectory Road.

 

IMAG0573The club now owns a shared use turbo trainer, for club members new to turbo training to try out a session a few times before purchasing their own. Please send an email in advance to book it.

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