Currently there are three ride days - Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thursday rides are our most subscribed and are around 30 miles, cycled at a moderate pace (please note that this is an out and return distance with a break in-between). Participants meet at one of a number of starting points at 10:30 and have a 'cuppa' before starting out to travel around 11:00. The destination will be a pub for a meal - but eating is not obligatory. Some people find cycling on a full stomach uncomfortable!
Saturday rides are the shortest and most leisurely. Riders meet outside Nuneaton library at 10:00 and cycle to various local cafes. Rides average a distance of 20 miles and rarely venture on to busy roads.
Sunday rides have become oriented to the serious distance rider. According to the season start times can vary between 08:30 and 09:30 due to the distances involved, which can vary between 60 and 90 miles.Riders meet at a number of outlying start points dotted around Nuneaton. Obviously certain level of fitness is required for what are essentially days out. There are three stops built into the runs, though. We are contemplating a shorter, half-day Sunday ride for those who haven't the stamina or time to devote to a whole day out.
etiquette, protection & safety
All rides are led by an experienced leader who will be familiar with the route and take responsibility. Riders usually part ways on the return journey as we get near home, but an escort will always be provided back to the start if required. If you decide to leave the ride before the end, PLEASE tell the leader or someone else in the group. The absence of a rider is always concerning.Younger riders are welcome, but if you are under 16 years of age please bring a note from a parent or guardian, including a phone number in case there are any problems or delays on the ride. Of course if you own a mobile (and most of us do) bringing it along could come in handy if an unexpected situation arises. Please don't hare off in front of the ride leader too far and, conversely, if you find yourself getting left behind scream - ctc is about companionship NOT racing and leaders are responsible for ensuring that the ride doesn't turn into first past the post. Try not to react to the rare impatient motorists who sometimes blight our way.
bikes & equipment
Most riders use touring bikes, but mountain bikes, hybrids or sportivs are equally acceptable. Some rides may involve short off-road sections. Make sure (or have someone make sure) that your bike is roadworthy. Brake pads should be looked at for thickness of compound, brake cables should be clean, lubricated and rust-free - in one incident one of our comrades had TWO cables snap while travelling down a steep, long hill. The bike saddle should be comfortable - not too high or low. Wheels should spin without any eccentricity. Turn the bike upside down and look at the wheels movement using the brake pads as a guide. Tyres should have a good tread on them and dust protector caps should be on both valves. The chain, front mech and rear mech and cogs should be clean and well lubricated. You should always carry a basic tool-kit, a pump with the correct adaptor, spare tube and puncture repair kit! During winter months when dusk or dark overtakes, lights (and spare batteries) are necessary and obligatory. Glasses with appropriate lenses are particularly useful for keeping insects and rain out of your eyes. Helmets are not obligatory under law but the more protection, the better. Wearing a cyclists cloth cap under a helmet aids warmth and gives a peak to keep the sun out of ones eyes. Maps are an additional advantage. Try to carry a full water bottle a(un 'bidon' - au Francais) and replenish when you can.
Take note of weather reports and carry protective clothing appropriate to the conditions. A bike with mudguards (if you have one) is a good idea for both yourself and those travelling behind you - you don't get a sodden back and you're not spraying road water into someone's face. Even better is a flap attached to the bottom end of the mudguard. In these days of a thinning ozone layer use plenty of sun protection cream.