Frequently Asked Questions
I want to ride with you, can I just turn up? +
Yes – although you are welcome to contact us in advance if you have questions – and we would encourage you to sign-up in advance so we know you are coming.
Rides are open to anyone, but for insurance reasons we will ask you to join the club after 3 rides.
A parental consent form is required for all riders under age 18. Under 16s to be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
How do I know what activities I can join in? +
Check out our “like to join” page, or read about our Ride and Race activities on this webpage.
I haven’t ridden with a club before, what do I need to know? +
Riding as a group
There’s lots of great tips on riding in a group in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93dprSqdL5s
The ride leaders will note how many riders they have in their group & check periodically to make sure everyone is accounted for, so please let the leader know if you decide to turn off & go home or if you switch group during the ride.
Please don’t ride off the front of the group as there is a risk that you might pass a junction where the ride leader planned to turn off. Hills are the exception to this rule as we all have our own approach to climbing. If the group fragments on a hill we will always regroup at the top.
If you stop for any reason, please tell the ride leader. If you can’t get to the ride leader, ask one of the other riders to pass the message on.
If you puncture or have any other problem, someone or the whole group will stay with you to help. Just make sure you let the group know that you have a problem.
The Sunday rides are not competitive. We endeavour to ride at a comfortable pace for everyone in the group. If you want something more challenging, move up a group or join us on the Saturday Paceline. During the Summer, there are also lots of opportunities to take part in Time Trials or Road Races.
If you have never been on a cycling club run before you may find that some of the loud exclamations you will hear rather confusing. Here are a few examples.
‘EASY’ ‘STOPPING” or ‘MECHANICAL’ In each case, riders will be slowing down. You may get little warning so it is essential that you react promptly to avoid a pile up.
‘CAR BACK’ means someone has noticed a car behind and is waiting, or about to overtake. ‘CAR FRONT!’ means a car is coming towards us.
Depending on how much room there is for the car to get past, it’s often sensible to go from two abreast to single file. You might then hear ‘SINGLE OUT!’ We normally remain in single file when there’s a lot of traffic.
‘ON THE RIGHT/LEFT!’ may be accompanied with a hand gesture to indicate a hazard on the road, e.g. a pothole, glass, or when passing a pedestrian, runner, or another obstacle. Sometimes, only the riders ahead will give the hand gesture.
One last thing, if you are on the receiving end of a motorist’s aggression, tempting as it may be, try not to retaliate either verbally or with a provocative gesture. This never results in a positive outcome and reflects poorly on the club, especially as many of the group will be wearing club kit.
This video illustrates some of the hand signals / shouts described above and more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prYMM7D2qF8
What should I bring on a club ride? +
- Crash helmet (very strongly recommended)
- Members should bring their membership card. If you haven’t joined yet, please carry your guest card (ask your ride leader on the 1st ride you join) or bring some ID with your name, address & contact details of next of kin. Some people store this on their mobile (here is a guide). This should also include any information that would be needed by a paramedic in case of emergency.
- Tools to fix a puncture – a spare inner-tube or 2, tyre levers, and a pump or air canister.
- A bottle of drink, particularly in the summer. A sports drink would be a good idea.
- Emergency food, e.g. a banana, energy bar or some other energy giving food.
- A payment method for coffee stops.
- A mobile phone. If you are carrying a mobile, make a note of the ride leader’s number.
- Padlock (for locking bikes outside the café) – optional, and perhaps just a small ‘cafe lock’ rather than anything more heavy duty.
- Mudguards are club etiquette after the clocks go back in October and in wet conditions in summer months. Here’s a handy GCN guide for those without mudguard mounts on their bike (how to fit SKS Raceblades or similar)
- Lights are also useful for the 2 tunnels path & essential for riding in poor riding conditions.
- Appropriate clothing. Please check the forecast in advance.
What if I have any medical conditions or need medication? +
If you have any medical conditions or take any medication which you would like to inform a paramedic about in the event of an emergency, please add the information to your membership application details on Rider HQ IMMEDIATELY so it is picked up & printed on your membership card. The cards you are issued with when you join is a ‘card for life’ Requests for duplicate cards with amended details cost £5.50
Do I need to wear club kit, lycra clothing? +
Wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. Many cyclists wear clothes tailored for the sport (tight fitting for comfort and aerodynamics). Many club members are proud of wearing their club kit. But it’s all about what you feel comfortable with.
How do I buy club kit? +
Check the Kit page here!
What about my bike? +
As long as your bike is safe (for you and those you ride with), you can bring it on a club ride.
In winter all bikes should be equipped with effective mudguards. Not only does this keep your own chamois dry but it also avoids other riders being sprayed with your muddy water.
Most club riders will ride ‘road bikes’ which have drop handlebars, narrow wheels and are generally built for speed. If you have a bigger, heavier bike think about the speed you can maintain and select your group accordingly.
We welcome E-Bikes on our rides. You can read the full policy here. The purpose of this policy is to enable as many people who want the opportunity to ride with the Club. We ask that e-bike riders consider the following:
- Select a group that is riding at a pace that you will feel comfortable maintaining on the flat without the motor. E-Bikes will not assist you in maintaining the kind of speeds that our faster club rides achieve on flat open roads.
- Please ride at a consistent speed with the other cyclists in a group. E-Bikes offer the greatest advantage on hill climbs, but it’s not very sociable to use that advantage to ride off ahead of the group.
- Bear in mind that E-Bikes are unlikely to be able to go fast enough to be used in training-oriented rides such as our Saturday Pace-lines – but this is open to discussion depending on individual circumstances with ride organisers.
The Club uses RideWithGPS for Routes (one or two rides are without GPS route). Do I need to pay for Ride with GPS? What type of membership do I need? +
You do NOT need Premium or Basic membership RideWithGPS. The club account gives us most of the benefits of premium membership. However, to get benefits such as the mobile app, access to private club routes or events, or if you are going to get involved in organising events, you need to sign up with Ride with GPS and join the club (instructions here).
- “Starter” is the free tier. This is enough.
- “Basic” and “Premium” are paid tiers. You do not need these. (Of course, if you want those premium features you can choose to pay for them but many of the ‘basic’ benefits are inherent in the club membership)
If you would like to create routes for the club, you will need to given access. Reach out to Richard Jacques.
How can I get the most out of Ride With GPS +
There’s a guide on Ride with GPS here which covers getting access to the club features.
How do I find what rides are available? +
You can see events that are scheduled on Bath CC Rides App
Does membership give me a discount at any bike shops? +
Yes on production of your membership card, you will be given 10% discount from ;
- Cadence (around the corner from where our Saturday paceline & Saturday social rides meet) http://cadencebikeshop.com. Will & his team offer a great service & advice.
- 73° in Keynsham (owned by club member Jim Cartridge) https://www.73degreesbicycleshop.com
- Avon Valley Cyclery (great for folding & utility bikes) http://www.avonvalleycyclery.co.uk
- Green Park Bike Station http://www.greenparkbikestation.info/
- Total Fitness Bath https://totalfitnessbath.co.uk/
- TT Bikes (Bradford on Avon) https://www.ttcycles.co.uk/
Other discounts – British Cycling membership +
If you are thinking about joining British Cycling & you haven’t been a member in the last 2 years, you can obtain a discount by using our club discount code NEWCMRA (NWECMRD for Ride membership) which gives free Fan membership or £24 off any other membership. You need ‘Commute’ membership if you want the 3rd party insurance & legal support (£37 pa). If you are a Cycling UK member (formerly Cyclist Touring Club) you will already have the insurance cover through them.
Do I need a licence to race? +
If you only intend to take part in time trials, you do not need a licence. If you want to take part in mass start races, you will need to join British Cycling and buy a license. http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership. A minimum of ‘Commute membership’ is required if you want 3rd party insurance. If you want to take part in road racing, you will need to add a full license. If you’re new to racing, you only need a 4th Cat license. The classification system is explained on the BC website. http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership/article/race-licence Bath CC members joining British Cycling for the first time will receive a £25 discount on 1st year membership (see discount section below).
Where can I find a list of Time Trial races & entry requirements? +
The Time Trial calendar is published in late January each year & can be ordered through the CTT website. https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/
You can also search for events on their website & filter by distance, region, date etc. Our region (West DC) code is U. Local event including club confined events are at http://www.westdc.co.uk/Calendar.html
Does the club do Virtual Racing (Zwift, etc)? +
In the winter months there are races on Zwift. Please ask the Vice-Chairman if you are interested in participating and visit our Zwift page here.