Are you looking for a group to cycle with ?
This section should help you to understand what we have to offer, and why we might be the right set of people to help you get into cycling and grow your capabilities if you are new to cycling, or assist you to get back into if you’ve been away or not well, or to have fun, maintain your fitness and explore new places if you are an experienced cyclist.
Why might CTC Coventry be the right club for me ?
What CTC Coventry have to offer you as a cyclist is probably different style of club and cycling to the majority of other cycling groups out there.
We offer a chance to ride in a supportive, encouraging and sociable group on quiet roads in beautiful countryside over a range of distances and speeds that suit your, and your bikes, capabilities, and that you can feel comfortable with and not intimidated by. At one end of the range we do have cyclists who can keep up a fast pace for a long distance, and on the other hand we also have people who feel more comfortable doing a shorter distance at a slower pace ….. and we cater for this range in a relaxed and informal manner. And by the way we suggest you wear clothing that you can also feel relaxed in !
Can I try before I join ?
Anyone can join up to three CTC Coventry rides as a guest even if you aren’t a member of Cycling UK.
How much does it costs ?
Current membership rates (2018) are
- Adult £45 or £3.75 a month
- Senior (over 65) £28.50 or £2.38 a month
- Young Person (under 18) £21.50 or £1.80 a month
- Student £21.50 or £1.80 a month
- Unwaged £28.50 or £2.38 a month
- Disabled/Carer £28.50 or £2.38 a month
I have commitments at the weekend and don’t want to be away all day ?
This is completely understandable. We have many members who have the time, desire and ability to be out doing long distances at a reasonable pace for all day – and we encourage and support that. On the other hand we do acknowledge that for many people their love and enjoyment of cycling has to be fitted into a limited amount of time, and we have two options to help with that –
– For a relaxed ride out there is the option to join the Short ride. At less than 30 miles and an average of around 10mph you can be back in Coventry for midday
– For more experienced cyclists there is the option to start on the Longer, faster pace route to the Morning Break and then join the people who return back to Coventry from there (rather than go on the lunch stop), and once again you should be back around midday.
How fit do I need the be ?
This is always a difficult question to answer. Potentially the base level is probably that you are able to comfortably cycle at least an hour and a half travel around 15 miles in one go before you have to stop for a refreshment break. At this point you are probably at a level where you could join a Sunday Short ride, or having made contact with the club join with another member to cycle to the morning break of a Tuesday ride.
Once you are on a ride we will never leave you on your own. If you are struggling then we will slow the group down to your pace, stop more frequently at junctions, or designate a buddy to ride with you and encourage and support you to complete the ride.
We want you to succeed, to get better and to enjoy yourself. We love cycling and want you to love it as well !
I am returning from an illness or operation can I still join ?
It is pretty well acknowledged how helpful cycling can be if you are recovering from illness or injury.
- Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that promotes blood flow so it can be particularly helpful for people recovering from leg, knee and hip operations
- Moderate exercise – such as cycling – is often prescribed for those recovering from strokes
- Cycling requires you to concentrate on the road so can support mindfulness therapies for those suffering mood or anxiety disorders
We are not, however, medically-trained. We are not in a position to assess what is suitable for you, and what is not. If you are recovering from illness or injury we therefore ask that you seek specific medical guidance and discuss what you have been told with us. We will then do our best to help. Note that if you turn up for a ride without warning and we are concerned about your ability, the ride leader might ask you not to join the ride.
Are there any restrictions on who can join ?
We endeavour to be as open and inclusive as we can as long as you can satisfy our basic criteria, which are
- The ability to ride unaided
- A certain level of fitness – see above
- Confidence to ride in traffic
- Knowledge and understanding of the highway code and our ride guidelines
If any of the above are an issue for you please make contact and in strict confidence we will get back to you to find ways we can address any issues. We have a lot of experience of coming up with solution and if we can’t then we will have contacts in other specialist groups who undoubtedly we will be able to assisted you get or return to cycling.
What sort of bike do I need ?
We have no limitations or restrictions on the bike you rides with us. It is almost exclusively road cycling with just the occasional section of easy pathway or track . If you feel comfortable on it, if it is well maintained and roadworthy and if you can keep to the ride pace on it then it’s good enough.
We have people turning up on tandems, tricycles, and recumbents as well as road bikes, hybrids, tourers and mountain bikes. Have a chat with us before you join a ride and we can advise you.
I would like to use an electric bike ?
The club acknowledge the benefits that electrically assisted bikes can bring to opening up cycling, to enabling people to keep cycling for longer in life, and to enable more challenging rides to be undertaken.
You are welcome to join rides on your electric bike, all we ask is that you have independent contingency plans to cope with failure of the motor or the powerpack being drained while you are on the ride.
What equipment should I bring on my first ride ?
Assuming you have a serviceable bike you should not need any specialist equipment before joining a ride. You will be riding with experienced cyclists who carry tools. However it is vital that you carry one or two inner tubes that are matched to tyres…. and a pump suitable for inflating those tubes.
You don’t need special cycle clothing as long as you are protected from the elements.
You should consider bringing the following in case you need them:
- A map or maps covering the general area of the ride. Even a page taken out of a motoring map can be useful should you get detached from a ride (although we try hard to prevent that happening).
- Money. Most rides stop for elevenses. Others stop for lunch, and yet others stop for tea. The ride description will indicate where we intend to stop. You should therefore bring money for a drink and a bite at coffee/tea stops. Some riders take packed lunches, others find a café or pub for lunch. In any case you should bring some cash and/or cards in case of emergencies.
- A mobile phone could be very useful, if you have one.
- Please carry details of an emergency contact with you – in your wallet or purse, for example.
- Water is particularly important during hot summer months – you need to be able to take a drink from time to time to avoid dehydration.
- Some food with plenty of calories can help you replenish energy on long or fast rides.
Why do I join Cycling UK rather than CTC Coventry ?
We are just one of several hundred groups which form UK Cycling, the national cyclists’ organisation with a membership of over 70,000. Formerly known as the Cyclists’ Touring Club, the UK Cycling works nationally to promote cycling and protect cyclists. Each local group, such as CTC Coventry, is free to manage itself and operate in a way benefit its members under the overall umbrella of Cycling UK.
You join Cycling UK and receive lots of nationally provided benefits and support, then you are handed on to a local group, such as ourselves, to give you opportunities for riding, touring, and socialising.