Latest Group Ride News

What Is A Group Ride?

A typical group ride can consist of any number of riders (I've been on some as small as three and as large as 150!), and usually lasts between two and four hours. The three factors determining the type of ride you have are: the experience level of the riders, the geography of your area and how many rest stops there will be along the route. These factors can combine to create remarkably different rides. In the club ride, it is usually not known who and how many riders will show up on any given day, and this creates a randomness and lack of focus that can be a challenge.

Races vs. Club Rides

First and foremost, it's important to understand that group rides are not races. There are no official categories. You can have many different levels—from professionals to Cat 5's—as well as a wide range of ages all riding together. Commonly, lower-level riders get pushed to their limits early in the ride and then are dropped from the group.

Opportunities

Club rides do offer lower category and masters racers an opportunity to see firsthand how a top-level cyclist performs on the bike and gives them a chance to learn from more experienced/stronger riders. It can also give you a direct experience with top-level riders that cannot be gotten merely from watching them race.

Group Ride Schedule

Performance & Tactics

To do well in a Group Ride, cyclists must:
  • Hold your line
  • The Slipstream
  • Control Your Speed
  • Keep Eyes & Ears Open
  • Anticipate Problems
  • Practice

Know Your Course

1. Have fun: Above all, the club runs are fun. Even when it’s snowing. There may be some rules here but the club run isn’t a military drill, it’s about enjoying getting out on the bike.

2. Say hello: If you’re new, please identify yourself to those leading the club run. Please listen to them, as they will explain how the run works and where it’s going.

3. Join: We especially welcome new members on the club run and if you like the club run, please become a member. We’re happy for you to try the ride a few times but after three or four rides you join if you want to ride with us.

4. Don’t race: You’ll get fit riding the club runs regularly. There are no trophies on offer and many who come out for a club run do so precisely because they don’t fancy racing. If you want a hard ride, go with a training group.

5. Keep together: It’s inevitable some will sprint up the hills and others will take their time. So if you ride up fast, you must wait at the top for the others and make sure the group reforms after any descent too.

6. Group size: Groups setting off together shouldn’t be more than 10-12 riders strong. There’s nothing illegal about large groups but collectively the group is like a long vehicle and the bigger the group, the harder it is to ride safely together.

7. Safety: Be responsible and ride safely. It’s not complicated. You’re responsible for your own safety but think of others. If you see an obstacle ahead like a pothole, then warn the others with a shout or hand signal. Likewise, if you’re on the back of the group and notice traffic building up, shout for the ride to fall into single file.

8. Change the lead: Every few minutes, the lead should change. So if you’ve been sitting on the front for a while, when it’s safe to do so, tell the others and swap the lead. But if you’re tiring and suddenly it’s your turn to be on the front, tell the others as it’s fine to take it easy.

9. Wear club kit: Members should wear the club kit if they can. MIVA clothing is pro-team quality and stylish, it’s a nice gesture to support our sponsors.

10. Mechanicals: If someone punctures or has a mechanical, everyone is expected to stop. So in return for delaying everyone, make sure you start the ride with spares like an inner tube, pump, tire levers, patch kit, and that your bike is roadworthy.

These rules aren’t set in stone, it’s all about being sensible and aware whilst riding on the road. Our club rides should attract lots of riders and so these rules set out what’s required. Remember, you are responsible for your safety and take part in activities at your own risk.

Group Ride FAQ

  • Do I have to be a member to come along for the Monday Development Ride?
    We welcome all potential new members, so please feel free to come along as it’s a good way to find out more about the Mid Island Velo Association. If you like it, sign up.
    Do I have to tell anyone or ask permission to join you?
    No, just turn up before 6:00pm and aim to introduce yourself to a member in club kit, they’ll explain more.
    Do you meet every Monday?
    Yes, whatever the weather, members have been known to go out. But check the news on this site, or our Facebook Page just in case there’s a change of plan.
    I’m not local and want to drive to the ride, where can I park?
    There is always parking in the area near the club ride start.
    What sort of distance and pace can I expect on your Monday Developmental club rides?
    The distance varies according to the weather and what people feel like doing but 30-35 kilometres is normal if more than ten people show, the group is usually split, with the faster riders in one group and the slower ones in a second. When you come along, introduce yourself to some club members and explain that this is your first ride with the club so we can make sure you don’t get dropped or too tired. If you can handle a 50 kilometre ride, you’ll be fine. Remember that riding with others is a lot easier than riding by yourself.
    Am I fit enough?
    It’s always a personal question but you should be comfortable with a 50 km ride at 20-25 kph. As a rough guide if you can do a steady one and a half hour ride, then you should be ok too.
  • What do I need to bring
    Bring some spares like an inner tube and pump and you should be capable of repairing a puncture. Also, bring some cash so if the ride stops at a cafe, you can get something to eat and drink.
    I want to get fit for racing and cyclosportives like the Gran fondo’s and Conquer Cancer rides.
    Then come along and start with our club runs. Over time, build up the distance and start joining the training group of the club run and you’ll be well on your way.
    Do I have to have a racing bike and all the kit?
    A road bike is highly recommended. Enthusiasm for cycling is the most important thing. Some members do have flashy bikes but the truth is they don’t help you ride that much faster, a roadworthy machine is the main thing. A road bike is preferable although a mountain bike or hybrid with slick tires should be ok too – but you need to be very confident about your fitness. You must ride with a helmet and bring at least a spare inner tube and pump in case of a puncture. Also, a rain jacket will keep you dry in wet weather.
    What about fenders?
    They will keep you dry and can be fitted to most bikes. But there’s no requirement to ride with them. However, if the weather’s bad, we strongly recommend fenders .
    What about insurance?
    You should accept responsibility for your own conduct and safety (including the safety of your bicycle and other equipment) during club activities. However, all MIVA members are covered by our insurance when participating in MIVA activities. If you are not a MIVA member,We strongly recommend that you take out appropriate third party insurance for your own sake. Membership of Cycling BC can offer you this form of cover and you’re supporting cycling in this country too.
    Is there a minimum age?
    If you’re under 16, you must drop us an email before you come so we can discuss how things work.

By the way, these rules apply to other club rides, whether or not they are organized by the club or by individual members.

Like A Pro

It's a way of de-stressing and it leaves you feeling good during and after the ride.

- Chris Froome 2013 Tour De France Winner