Last Sunday we had a great turnout, which is lovely to see. The spirit of cycling together is alive and strong in 2022. Some new faces were very welcome, we even had our youngest ever “rider” who managed the 10.30 route in a bike drawn chariot!
The weather and road conditions last week were colder and more slippery than expected. our groups managed to get round without any major slips, taking it steady was certainly the best way forward. The forecast for this week is currently cloudy and 6 degrees at 9am, so hopefully frost free. If anything changes drastically please use our social media connections to rearrange times or styles of riding.
Once again we have three rides to choose from including a 10.30 beginners/joiners ride led by Dave Bembridge. All rides welcome new riders if you are confident to be able to do distance and expected pace (not too quick for us!). The 10.30 beginners ride will be ridden at the pace of the slowest rider. Rides are 9am: 48 miles past Harpenden and back via Dunstable, 10am: 30 miles Whitchurch whip, 10.30am: 21 miles steady pace.
9am route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38338548
10am route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38346297
10.30 route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38346311
We are a group of friends who ride together rather than a club so we don’t have any hard and fast rules, preferring to enjoy the journey rather than worry about our sock length. There are no fees to ride with us, we just ask for some considerations to be made so everyone can stay as safe as possible and have a good ride experience.
If you get out and ride it will encourage others to continue, if you sit at home on a turbo trainer, or in front of the TV there may not be anyone to ride with when you want company in the future!
Ivinghoe Velos rides are routes suggestions based on local knowledge built up over years of riding. Suitable for road bikes and often using quiet road options. Occasionally we need to re-route due to road closures and mapping errors. As a group please solve these problems as safely as possible. Anyone is welcome to provide a ridewithgps course for us to follow in future weeks.
Those who lead out a group, the route planners, those who send the postings out each week in no way make any assurances as to the safety of any rides organised under the ‘ivinghoe Velos’ banner. Each participant is wholly responsible for their own safety, road worthiness of their steed, legal requirements to abide by the highway code and any insurances each individual feels are necessary.
Rides are usually between 14mph and 17mph depending on elevation. When rider numbers allow we split into groups based on pace. Generally our motto is ” we leave no one behind” but riders need to be realistic when joining a group with an expected pace, it’s no fun for anyone if one riders pace is considerably slower than all the other riders. Equally if a couple of riders push the pace beyond what is expected, the rest of the group might not be having fun. We will sometime advertise beginners or social rides (In JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2022 we will have a ride leader to help new riders join onto the 10.30am ride) which will moderate the pace to the slowest rider. Over time newer riders will build their pace and endurance, we have all started or re-started, so understand it takes some time to get faster.
When riding in a group the main benefit is the draft effect, saving around 25% effort when tucked in behind other riders. We expect riders to take a turn on the front when they able to do so and “hold the wheel” of riders in front on flat sections and shallow climbs. Looking over your shoulder and moderating your pace to ensure riders behind are still attached to the group is important wherever you are within your group and communicating if it looks like a riders has become detached (why not drag them back to the group rather than pushing on yourself?). On the flat the group should be close together so everyone benefits from the draft, work as a team, if there is a few bike lengths between riders you are not doing it right! On hills we wait at an appropriate safe spot to allow slower climbers to rejoin, you might want to make sure you are past the strava segment end!
Occasionally we have ridden in large groups with rider numbers in double figures. It’s important to remember we are quite a big obstacle to overtake, splitting into two small groups on main roads allows vehicles to overtake in stages. If you are mid-group take responsibility to manufacture this split- that’s you riding in position 7 in a group of 12. If a rider has manufactured a gap for this reason, don’t overtake and close the gap.
We have a stylish Ivinghoe Velos team kit which allows the public to identify us. Please be considerate, courteous and respect our reputation when riding in our groups. Shouting at motorists is unlikely to achieve anything other than a raise in your blood pressure. Smile and wave at other cyclists, even those too pro to wave back.
Occasionally due to traffic or mechanicals there can be splits in groups and we lose visibility of parts of the group. For this reason and for your time you spend on the front it’s important that every rider has a full understanding of the planned route.
Please arrive before the expected start time of our rides. We currently meet by the bus shelter outside Ivinghoe church. There is usually a poll on our facebook rear hub to establish who is out and riding which route.
Mudguards are much appreciated on winter rides, without them the rider behind you might as well be riding in the rain.
As we ride in a group, pointing out hazards is vital, riders within the group wont get much notice of dangerous pot holes, gravel and other slip hazards and maneuvers away from the usual line, please give visual and audible signals and also let other riders know if cars are unexpectedly close by.
Stay safe, have fun and enjoy the journey.