Our Road rides are split into groups to make it easier to keep everybody together and maximise the fun for all riders.
For group rides we try to keep the group together and when necessary stop at the top of hills and junctions to regroup. We do our absolute best to never leave anybody behind and if somebody is really struggling on a ride one of our experienced riders will always help out.
How fast are our rides?
For shorter rides (20-40 miles) you can expect
Mellow 12-14 mph average
Medium 14-16 mph average (16-18 mph on the flat)
Medium Quick 16-19 mph average (18-21 mph on the flat)
Quick 19-22 mph average (21-24+ mph on the flat)
For longer rides (40-100+ miles) the averages will be lower and dictated much more by how hilly the route is.
Our categories are designed to be broad and flexible depending on the route, weather and who turns up on the day. If you are new to freewheeling ask around (or post a question on www.facebook.com/groups/freewheelingforum/) and we'll try and help you work out which rides will suit you.
Please note that for the quick rides you are expected to be comfortable riding close wheel and experienced at this sort of pace.
For some great tips on how to be prepared, ride safely in a group and have fun have a read of www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/article/izn20121221-group-ride-0 .
Communication is key and we expect riders to shout out hazards, instructions and questions as we ride.
Common calls when riding with Freewheeling:
"Car up" = Car(s) approaching from behind / passing.
"Car passing" = Car(s) overtaking from behind.
"Car down" = Car(s) coming down towards us from in front.
"Bike down" = there is a cyclist coming towards us.
"Hole" = This will often accompany a hand signal with somebody pointing to a pothole / drain cover / crack in the road. Don't expect the group to slow down but look out for the hazard and be prepared for a sudden change of direction.
"Slowing" = Somebody is slowing, slow down be prepared to stop.
"Stopping" = Somebody is stopping slow down and stop (often this will be at junctions, lights etc).
"Puncture" = Somebody has got a puncture and is stopping. The group will stop and find somewhere safe to fix the puncture.
"Easy" or "Ease off" or "Gap" = slow down and regroup, we've got a gap or somebody hasn't made a junction.
"Horses" = There is a horse and rider on the road, slow right down, give the horse plenty of room and pass when it's safe.
"Walker" = There is a walker, look out and give them room.
"Runner" = There is a runner, look out and give them room.
"Stop stop stop" = everybody find somewhere safe to stop - not a common call but useful for a serious mechanical problem, if somebody has got lost or if the group has gone the wrong way.
NB "Car" will be used to apply to any motor vehicle
When heading out for a ride, make sure that you are sufficiently fuelled by eating enough before you come out. For the longer rides bring a drink and some food. It's always good to have some food available for when hunger strikes. You are earning it after all. Most people find that they can ride further than they think they can so long as they ride at a comfortable pace and eat plent.
It is a good idea to bring clothing for all weather conditions. Brightly coloured clothes will improve your visibility to other road users. It is essential that you ride with appropriate lights when not riding in full daylight.
Although rides are supported by a friendly group, you are responsible for ensuring that your bike is fit for purpose, that you ride safely and you follow the highway code. Be aware of your own safety, the safety of others in your group and other road users.
Everyone is welcome whatever your ability or experience (although we do ask that all riders be over 16 unless accompanied by a parent or guardian as ride leaders cannot take responsibility for children). Ride safe and have fun!