Cycle club Ashwell (CCA) organises weekly club runs all year round with a variety of different routes. The club run days are Sunday, Saturday and Wednesday mornings. All club runs are organised on the CCA forum and identify the start / end point, targeted distance / speed and any other planned breaks during the ride.
- Ensure you are dressed correctly for the conditions
- Ensure your bike is in good working order
- Ensure that you are self-sufficient:
- Food / drink suitable for the distance
- Pump and puncture kit
- Spare inner tube
- Small multi-tool (allen-key(s) / screwdriver) for minor repair if needed
- Don’t overlap wheels with the rider in front
- Ride steady and hold your line — and no sudden braking
- Follow a wheel
- Communicate hazards
- Follow the rules of the road
- Stay relaxed
For a full and comprehensive set of club ride guidelines designed to improved safety read: Club Ride Guidelines.
Mudguards during the winter are strongly recommended as they keep you, the bike and others dry. The bike may not look so cool and not look as aesthetically pleasing but it will reduce spraying fellow rider’s clothes and faces with dirty water (aka Belgium toothpaste as it is referred to in the club).
On particularly wet days, if you have a bike without mudguards then the only way to stop spraying fellow rider’s faces is to sit at the back and view the ride from the back row.
There are two categories of mudguards: those that fix directly to the bike frame and those that clip-on. The price is comparable between the two different types, however, bike frames designed for mudguards which take the type that fix directly are longer and usually more effective in poor conditions.
Below is a selection of widely available mudguards that you can fit to your bike:
- SKS Bluemels Stingray mudguards: £41.99
- Kinesis Fend-Off mudguards: £50
- SKS Raceblade Long mudguards: £54.99
- M:Part Primoplastics mudguards: £29.99 – BEST FIXED MUDGUARD
- Crud Roadracer Mk3 mudguards: £34.99 – BEST CLIP-ON MUDGUARD
Read reviews, prices, pictures and marks out of 10 from Cycling Weekly.
Fixed wheel bikes (or fixies) have recently become popular again and there are riders within the club that use them throughout the winter months. Fixies are allowed in the club on group rides and they are favoured by club members for a number of reasons:
- They are simple to fix as they have no gears
- They are easier to clean
- You can train harder on them for the same distance compared to a normal road bike
- The bike and the parts can be considerable cheaper
- You can often fit wider tyres to fixed wheel bikes to make the ride more compliant
- Fixie road bikes often have eyelets for mudguards unlike most more expensive carbon road bikes
The key point about using fixies on a club run in a group of riders with gears is to be far more alert. Greater skill and attention is required as it is harder to stop a fixie and fast flat / downhill riding is restricted by the ability for the rider to spin their legs. The rider has to judge their effort more wisely to keep up with the group over varying terrain.
Another challenge is the ability to clip in. Fixies have no freewheel capability and are therefore direct drive, the rider must clip in whilst the cranks and pedals are revolving.
Finally, choose your one and only gear wisely!
As a rule of thumb start with a 70 inch gear (or as close to 70 inch as possible) for club riding around Hertfordshire. If this gear is too difficult to keep up with the group reduce to 68 inch or less. Alternatively, if 70 inch seems relatively easier, increase to 72+ inch.
For reviews, prices, pictures and marks out of 10 from Cycling Weekly.
Leader or first responder – takes control and instruct others to:
S: Secure the scene for safety
- Stop traffic
- Set traffic controllers
- Get non-casualties off the road
- Turn off engines
C: Casualty management
- Don't move unless OK
- Ask: name, assess condition, medical history, contacts
- CPR / recovery position if necessary
- Check VCC tag for medical conditions
- Shock and cold can kill – prevent
A: A&E / 999 Support services
- Will they come in time: consider alternatives
- Identify location (e.g. Garmin location, google maps)
- Check 112 / 999 has key info (e.g. head injury / unconscious)
R: Relatives / ICE
Most smart phones have the capability to store and show the ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) contact without the need of unlocking the phone. Check the phone to find a relative, friend or next of kin to contact.
Photos, Witness(es) and Police details.
M: Monitoring / management (ongoing)
- Casualty's care and others (e.g. cold, shock)
- Traffic management / broken bikes
MEMO: Have you got
- ICE on your locked phone screen (Google it!)
- First aid / space blanket
- Emergency numbers, for example if abroad