- The Club Run leaves almost every Sunday at 8am (check the Facebook group) from Eaton Park Cafe (NR4 7AZ) to a café stop, arriving back in Norwich around lunchtime – around 50 miles in total. We also plan the occasional longer ride of 60-70 miles.
- There is at least one steady group which aims to be at the pace of the slowest rider. This will vary depending on required pace but would usually be around 16-17mph.
- In winter months we usually only have enough riders for a single group, but during the summer we almost always have an additional “sporting” group which will ride at around 19-20mph.
- The regular Sunday Club Run is not a family orientated ride. Strong teenage riders are welcome with signed parental consent (please contact us in advance if riding, for further details)
What we will do for you:
- Plan a route of around 50/60/70 miles.
- Where possible assist and support you on the road and endeavour to ensure you are never left out on your own.
- Hopefully offer you an enjoyable social ride with like minded people providing a relaxed introduction to group riding.
- We try to avoid A-roads where possible, using our local knowledge to ride the quieter (but still road-worthy) B-roads and C-roads of Norfolk.
What we expect of the riders:
- Be comfortable riding 50 miles at around 17mph with a break about halfway.
- Arrive on a road worthy cycle capable of 50 miles in a morning. Time trial bikes and aero extensions are not allowed!
- Know where you are going. Please check the route before hand, we use a small number of regular routes most weeks.
- Ride sensibly, no more than two-abreast singling out where appropriate to allow traffic to pass. NO UNDERTAKING.
- Take responsibility for your own welfare. We are not in a position to get you home if you have a major mechanical. We would expect people to assist you where possible but we have no “broom wagon” on call.
- Always wear a helmet on a club ride. Arrive without one and we will politely request that you do not ride with the group.
- Bring necessary road tools and spares i.e. tube, levers, pump etc. It is not fair to expect other riders to provide these for you (but there will be practical help on offer if you are unlucky enough to puncture).
- Bring some food/drink. If you are not confident or experienced it is worth having a snack with you in case you run low on energy and a drink is always wise.
- Speak up if you are in difficulty. This will give the ride leader an opportunity to slow the group if necessary.
- Bring some money for the café stop!
We endeavour to have a club run every Sunday. Information regarding routes is posted in advance of the ride on the Events page and on the members-only Facebook group. There will be weeks where other events prevent a club ride or we decide to offer an alternative option. In these situations notice will be given via the club’s Facebook group. For instance the club runs are usually cancelled on the weekends of the BHF rides and the Boudicca sportive. You are obviously welcome to organise yourselves and ride on these days; we will just not plan a route.
The number of groups (and indeed the feasibility of having a ride) will depend on having enough riders prepared to lead groups on the road. These leaders will assist navigating the route and generally marshal the group; they are not there to take responsibility for the riders or their actions.
The ride will start at 8am from the Eaton Park bandstand.
Provided adequate ride leaders are available and demand exists we hope to offer two, possibly three, groups on the road: a steady ride of around 50 miles which is expected to be at around 16-17mph and one or two faster groups. Keeping the groups together at a stated pace is not easy and not always practical, there is never an intention to drop anyone from a group and we do need riders to take responsibility and speak up if they are finding the pace too high. The idea is for both groups to come together at a café stop around or just past the halfway mark (varied pace and the possibility of a mechanical mean this is not always practical). Riders should feel free to swap from one group to another for the ride home if either the pace has been too high or maybe you are feeling good and want a test on the way back. The faster group will almost certainly ramp up in pace at some point on the return journey, there is no plan to this; it is just something that naturally happens on the road. Please be aware of this. Many people also split off from the groups on the last few miles back into Norwich simply to make a shorter trip home.
The steady group has been increasing in pace over the summer, this is not down to any decision within the club but simply due to the development of the riders who have been coming out with us throughout the year. If the slowest rider is comfortable at 15mph that will be the speed, equally if the slowest rider is at 17mph that will be the pace.
On the ride please adhere to any requests from the ride leaders, if you are asked to slow the pace please do so. Also we should operate on a one stop all stop principle for mechanical issues. This is not always practical and does rely on a loud enough shout that you are stopping.
Be sensible with your riding, no more than two abreast, do not weave into the road, respect other riders and road users, obey the highway code, do not treat the club run as a race. We have been specifically asked to highlight undertaking as a safety issue. We have recently had situations of passing other riders on the left. This should only be happening in a situation where organised “through and off” is taking place. If you need to pass to do so on the right, ensure nobody is coming up behind you and call to any riders you are passing.
If you are concerned or unsure of pace please go with the slower ride. It is better that you have an easier social ride than end up destroyed riding in a faster group. While we endeavour to be as inclusive as possible if you have never ridden close to 50 miles before it is probably not the best idea to start off with the Sunday club run. Also while we do not adhere to a minimum pace and will look to ride at the pace of the slowest rider you should feel comfortable at around 15-16mph over a 40/50 mile distance. If you can do this solo it will be easier in a group due to the aerodynamic benefits. Newer riders should try to keep in the pack on the steady ride and reasonable close to the rider in front for maximum benefit. If you sit at the back of the pack it will prove a much harder ride.
We welcome feedback from the rides, hopefully positive but please let us know if you feel something is not right. Also feel free to suggest routes for future rides and we will take them into consideration.
If anyone would like to offer assistance to lead rides please do not feel daunted by doing so. You are not expected to take responsibility or liability for club members. Just know the route and where possible keep the group together.
We will never be able to offer rides to please everybody but would hope that the majority of people will continue to enjoy the club run.