Why do people join cycling clubs? Meeting like-minded people, being involved in a community, getting fit and having access to great kit are all part of it but probably the main reason is the Club ride! Knowing that once a week you can join a bunch of friends for a great ride with mandatory coffee stop is a big part of why the club exists.
DVCC meets most Sundays (weather permitting) at 09:15 in front of 4Play Cycles, Market Place in Cockermouth (CA13 9NH). To join us on a ride ether email firstname.lastname@example.org (to check we are definitely meeting up) or just turn up and introduce yourself to anyone in club kit.
DVCC club rides vary each week depending on the weather, the season and who turns up! The distance and duration will also vary, ranging from 30 to 60 miles depending on the terrain and chosen route. Some longer rides may be planned in summer.
The over-riding principle is that no one is left behind; the stronger riders may have a burn up on a climb however at a convenient point everyone regroups. Similarly, if someone has a puncture, the group or a sub-group will wait until the puncture is repaired (see Recommended equipment below). Should anyone need to get back early or cut the ride short this will be catered for. From the above you can see that club rides are not training rides as such. The rides can certainly help to get you fit but this is not their main purpose!
Across Cumbria there are about 4,500 road miles, however not all are of the highest quality. The hills are steep and on occasions it has been known to rain. Good kit can help you cope with these challenges. The main recommendations for club rides other than a half-decent bike are as follows
Helmet – the author has already been saved once by a good helmet
Puncture proof tyres – Continental GP4000s or equivalent provide a balance of low rolling resistance and puncture protection. Going tubeless can improve puncture resistance further. Always carry a spare tube, pump and set of tyre levers. CO2 cartridges are quick but can only be used once.
Brakes – good ones are vital! Disk brakes or quality pads on metal rims are recommended. Carbon rims can be an issue on the hills.
Narrow section wheel rims with wider than average tyres (25mm – 28mm) – reduces road buzz and improves comfort
Decent cycling shorts with pad and a saddle that fits your anatomy – the club shorts/leggings from Bioracer have excellent padding. Chamois cream helps on long distance rides.
Gloves – for warmth and blister protection at all times of the year!
Waterproof – an essential piece of kit for anything other than a stable day in mid-summer. Even then, a late thunder storm can drop an inch of rain in an hour. You have been warned!