New Rider’s Checklist – What to expect on a club ride

What do you need to know, and what do you need to bring, to join a club ride? Following is a guide for new riders. The information should apply to joining any riding group. It looks like a lot of stuff, but it’s basically just common sense. Please know that every effort is made to accommodate new riders and make them feel comfortable.

If you have not joined the club as a member before your first ride with us, please sign our Waiver of Liability prior to the ride.

Our goal is to have fun, experience the joy of working together and to keep it safe as possible.

What to Bring:

1. A helmet! 

2. ID and emergency contact number(s)

3. Water (either in water bottles or a hydration pack)

4. Food (energy bars, gels, any kind of high-carbohydrate snack)

5. At least one spare tube and a patch kit

6. A portable pump that can strap onto your bike frame, or a CO2 set

7. Tools: 2 tire levers, maybe a "multi-tool"

8. Money for the bakery stop

9. A bike in good condition (make sure you’ve checked it before leaving home). A road bike, as opposed to a mountain bike, is going to work best for keeping up on a club ride. While some folks occasionally join us on their mountain bikes, they must work very hard to keep up with the lighter and faster road bikes that most club riders use.

10. Appropriate clothing. Lycra shorts and jerseys with rear pockets are not mandatory, but you’ll soon learn why they are the most comfortable choice for several hours on a bicycle seat.

What Level of Fitness is Required?

For "A" Rides: You should expect to ride up to 20 miles. There will be few hills, and the group will pace itself to accommodate the slowest rider, so don’t be intimidated!

For "B" Rides: Most of these rides require an ability to ride at least 40 miles, with a break at around mile 20. There are frequent regroups, and no one is dropped.  If you have a bike computer, you should be able to see an average speed of at least 12–13 mph at the end of 40+ miles without significant climbing. This means you should be able to ride around 15–20 mph on flat roads, and not be completely intimidated by our local climbs (Wilson Hill, Marshall Wall, Spring Hill).

For "C" Rides: These rides are for experienced, self sufficient riders.

See Pace and Terrain Descriptions to confirm that you are riding in the best group for your ability.

Also: Be familiar with some basic rules of group riding. These can be found on the page Guidelines for Group Rides.

Petaluma Cycling Club: Cycling Safely since 1895

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