Quite simply, the sweetest five words you could say to a cyclist. Add a few more people to this and it becomes a party well worth celebrating. Welcome to a ride with the Baroudeurs! Please note, the rides are currently only for Road Cycling.
Like all good parties, there are some basic ground rules for group riding – a common human courtesy – etiquette, if you will, that can help make a simple group ride become an uplifting adventure forever etched in your memory.
If you’re looking to get the most out of a group ride, then the British Cycling guide is a good starting point. Our members have a wealth of experience they’d be happy to share with you – just ask. A few of which we have listed here:
Look after yourself – A quick check of: wheels, tyres, pedals, cranks, stem and seat post, ensures that your bike is not just roadworthy, but smooth and effortless, allowing you to enjoy every moment. A nifty video by GCN runs you through your pre-ride check:
Good taste is always appreciated, and so too is dressing appropriately. Weather conditions dictate what you should wear, so it is essential that you dress for both the ride and post-ride. Regularly check the weather updates, especially on the morning of your journey. We recommend a good pair of cycling shorts/tights with a pad, an upper-body layer or two for post-ride stops, as everyone’s body temperature varies. A good pair of cycling shoes are the footwear choice of the day; as espadrilles may look cool, but won’t be doing you any favours in transferring power when you need it.
You’ll need to take along the necessary repair kit too: at least one spare inner tube, patches, levers, pump, multi-tool, and other items that will aid you if you get into difficulty. Wearing a cycling helmet is non-negotiable. You must wear one (yep, on your head and the right way round).
We also recommend bringing the following:
– A fully charged mobile phone
– Bidon(s) – water bottles with suitable liquid hydration
– Cake-cash and/or card for refuelling
– Oyster card
– Banana and nibbles (flapjack, Snickers, or a good sandwich) This is where jersey-pockets or tool bags/bottles come in handy
You will NOT need:
– Laptops or a cuddly toy
We ride as a team, so if you see or suspect someone is in difficulty, please don’t wait to be asked, help as much as you can. After all, you may be the one who makes all the difference on what could be their debut ride. if you’re feeling unwell, or having any mechanical problems, be sure to tell one of the more senior members (they’ll be in club kit).
The Ride-Leader for the day will give a brief introduction, and will assess if it is a safe day to ride. However, based on adverse weather conditions, as well as good access to the route, this may be altered, or altogether cancelled. We like riding in all conditions, but everyone’s safety is paramount, and if conditions worsen, we will call off a ride. Please check-in regularly if in doubt.
We all want it, so it’s only fair that we show some respect ourselves
We follow the highway-code at all times. This includes stopping at red-lights and riding no more than two-abreast. Where appropriate and safe to do so, allow drivers to pass you on narrow roads. We respect all road users including: drivers, pedestrians, runners, dog-walkers, horse-riders and fellow cyclists. We say “Hello!” or give a friendly-nod to cyclists we meet, we thank considerate drivers as well as taking the opportunity to talk amongst ourselves. This is one of the best things about riding in a group.
In terms of time-keeping, kindly get to rides on time, as we like to welcome everyone before rolling out.
How to do it in practice? Check out some expert tips with GCN:
In many ways cycling isn’t that difficult; all you need to do is jump on your bike. Riding with the Baroudeurs, or any cycling group for that matter, requires earning trust and respect. Therefore, riding etiquette is vital out on a ride.
If you decide riding with the London Baroudeurs is for you, there are lots of opportunities to take your cycling as far as your dreams (and legs) will carry you. Ask us about circuit racing, fast –pace training rides, sportive , winter base-mile training, or even riding abroad. From the Americas to the Pyrenees, there’s a Baroudeur that’s done it!
Yes, in the beginning you will feel apprehensive, there’s a lot of new things to take in, but when you feel how quickly your skills and fitness are improving, group riding will become a hugely rewarding activity. Cycling need no longer be a solo event, but rather a team effort – it’s vital for everyone to communicate, encourage, and trust each other – our safety is in each other’s hands. You’ll find that this trust becomes one of the best things about belonging to a club like the London Baroudeurs.
Join us in Regents Park for a cheeky-quick-ride during the week – 6am on a Thursday. Get in touch for full details, and hope to see you there!
* All cyclists under the age of 18 are welcome, and must be accompanied with a parent or guardian. We suggest that you are both familiar with basic road-cycling skills and have cycled a similar distance to the one organised for the day.
** The London Baroudeurs is a cycling club affiliated with British Cycling