Club Rides

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Sunday morning

Sunday morning club rides start out from 'Physiques' in Brackla. The fast group starts at 9am and does about 50-60 miles, the 'amblers' meet at 10am and cover 25 - 30 miles or so. Often, the two groups then meet up at midday for coffee/ cakes/ fry-up at a suitable cafe.

As you'll be able to work out, that means pace for the fast group is around 17 - 18mph, the amblers around 14 - 15mph. Although the emphasis is on socialising , and you won't be 'dropped, the sentences in the fast group are sometimes shorter and less frequent if everyone's in a training frame of mind'. Depending on turn-out and enthusiasm levels, the 9am groups may split into a fast fast and a slower fast group, but it's all informal and low pressure, and nobody is ever obliged to go faster or further than they want to.

Captain's message re fast group Sunday Runs

Start Times

Throughout December and January only, I propose we start 0930. Two reasons for this:
(i) during these months you need lights to get to Brackla by 9am if you live more than a few miles away (that's not ideal)
(ii) it gives a chance for ice to clear or at least be seen following a typical frosty night in S Wales (obviously does nothing for the exceptional weather we had last year). I know this won't suit all, but I figure the mileage hungry and early birds can always get some quality miles in before Brackla if they wish.

Ability

I think you should be able to hold an average speed of at least 17mph on your own (normal conditions and rolling terrain) to ride with the 9am group. I don't want to discourage anyone, it is a social ride but it's also the only opportunity many get to ride, so it seems fair to consider the needs of all and not just the slowest. Hills are another matter - we can always wait at the top/ bottom. Average speed of the 9am ride today was about 17mph and it was far from rolling terrain, so this guidance doesn't affect any of that group. I don't plan on saying anything to people except in exceptional circumstances but it would be useful if it was part of 'the message' about the 9am club run. I'm conscious there is a gap between the pace of the 9am group and the 10am group. There possibly is a case for a third group but I'm not convinced we have the numbers to support this. I'll speak with Bowen about this. Any ideas or proposals to lead such a group would be welcome.

Routes

This is definitely something we get right. I urge as many people as possible to continue to post 50-60 mile routes using mapmyride or similar (Brackla to Brackla). I'll choose a route and confirm this by Friday evening (after checking the weather forecast). Those routes put forward with a good cafe stop, joining points, drop off points and/ or something different will likely be selected.

Cafe stops

As hinted above, I'm in favour of these during winter months at least – we need to build up a network of good pit stops. They give us a chance to have a chat about things like Majorca and also to replenish supplies/ warm up. Sometimes also enables us to join up with the 10am group and/ or a 3rd group or split in the 9am group. Those who don't like to stop can simply crack on.

My absence

This is likely quite often, especially during the racing season. I'll ask someone else to lead the ride and normally whoever proposed the selected route. And just because I am captain I reserve the right to continue to be lazy and join the group somewhere convenient when it heads east.

Mudguards

Contentious one this - I sit in the middle. I think the winter rule on mudguards though well intentioned is not enforceable on the 9am club run........and to be honest who cares whether people have mudguards attached when conditions are dry! I would simply ask that people get themselves a rear clip on guard to use when we are clearly starting in wet conditions. I'm not going to try to enforce this in any way but please consider it does make a difference to the people riding behind so is good manners....and a big difference to the state of your own backside.



Cheers and thanks for reading

Rob J

 

There are other rides arranged on a more informal basis through the week - check the message board for these. The serious racers often meet midweek in the industrial estate for a bit of fast-paced training.

cafe

The cafe stop is a not infrequent part of the club ride

Saturday morning

Often a faster ride, more of a training session, this folows a set route, starting at 9.45am at the bus stop on the Ogmore Road at Ewenny.

Midweek rides

These tend to happen on an ad hoc basis, but the usual form is to post a message on the board when planning a run to see if anyone wants to join you.