Learn to Group Ride
The Bare Essentials
What is it? Group Riding Instruction for those new to Group Riding and those new to the club.
What’s it about? If you’re not an experienced group rider this is a mandatory to attend.
Where do we meet: Calvary Baptist Church, 454 Arkell Road
When: Learn to Group Ride will be offered weekly on Tuesdays starting April 19th through May 31, then the the first and third Tuesdays of June and July. Rides in April begin at 6:00PM and from May on at 6:30PM. But please check the website calendar and the ride postings for any changes to these dates and times.
Parking: At the Calvary Baptist Church, 454 Arkell Road
How it will work: Club members requiring instruction will gather at the Calvary Baptist Church and identify themselves to the Ride Leader of Group R6, the 24-26 kph speed group. Please arrive here and be ready to pedal 15 minutes prior to the start of the ride. After a brief chat and instruction, riders will follow the Ride Leader on a predetermined route and receive more en route instruction.
Who: You MUST be an GCC member to attend.
You must sign-up for the ride in advance. Links to the signup sheets will be posted no later than the day before the ride.
Are you new to Group Riding?
If you are, then you must attend the GCC Learn to Group Ride Clinic before riding any of the club sanctioned rides. It’s also highly recommended if you just need to brush up on a few skills.
Are you new to the club?
All clubs have slightly different ways of doing things. Attending this clinic is a great way to learn the riding culture of GCC.
Not sure if you need this?
If you are at all in doubt, then do it. If you’re an experienced rider with a good understanding of the basics, then you will be group riding the same evening with everyone else once our instructors get a chance to see your skills.
Where does this happen?
Instruction will take place on a pre-determined route that will be available on the GCC web-site.
Who can attend?
These sessions are open to all current GCC members.
What is the format?
The Learn to Group Ride clinics are offered in a relaxed, no-stress atmosphere. We will focus on group riding basics, safety, communication, formations, rotations, technique and bike handling skills. There will be discussion, demonstration and practice followed by open road riding working towards riding as a cohesive group.
Things to know ahead of time:
How fit do I need to be?
This is NOT an intense workout or a difficult ride – but we ask that you have enough experience capable of a 24km/h pace for 1.5 to 2 hours, solo.
What do I need?
You need a road bicycle that is in good working order. Drop bars are preferred. Gravel and Cyclocross bikes are also fine. Tri bikes with ‘Aero’ bars can be used on group rides but a rider must not utilize the ‘Aero’ bars during the ride. And a good quality helmet must be worn at all times. You should have appropriate clothing for the temperature and weather conditions, enough water to complete the ride and tools and spares to fix a flat. Lights are always suggested for the way home after an evening ride and tail lights are becoming more common during the daytime as well.
Why Group ride?
Riding in a group is social, healthy, fun, more efficient and often safer than solo riding – enjoy the camaraderie and feeling of effortless speed that comes with a finely tuned group ride. Drafting reduces effort by 25 to 40% (or more depending on study) over a rider “in the wind”. The rider(s) at the front work hard for a short time, “pulling” the riders behind, then “rotate” down through the paceline for reduced effort. Also, a clean, disciplined paceline contributes to safer riding. And a good paceline contributes to driver respect for cyclists and makes passing easier and more predictable. It also gives everyone in the paceline a good workout – hard effort, then recovery, repeated, is the fastest way to increased fitness.