ride faq

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Q Who can ride with your club?

Everyone is welcome to join us, you do not have to be a member however we encourage new riders to join us after they have tried a few rides. Contents

Q Do you offer trail and mountain bike rides?

We're primarily a road bike club but do offer some trail and mountain bike rides on the weekends. Contents

Q When are the rides?

There are usually several weekday and weekend rides scheduled throughout our riding season. It's not uncommon for ad hoc rides to be posted to our email list. Contents

Q: I don't drive, is there another way to get to Downers Grove?

Yes, METRA offers Bikes on Trains service to Downers Grove on the BNSF line. A maximum of 10 bikes can usually be accommodated on evening and non-blackout weekend trains. Contents

Q Can I ride any kind of bike?

We don't have any requirements but it's more likely that you'll enjoy yourself if you're on a bike that's suitable for the type of terrain you'll encounter. Whatever type of bike you choose, we strongly encourage you to insure that it's in good working order. Contents

Q What else do I need for a club ride?

You will probably want to carry a spare tube, patch kit, tire lever, pump, water bottles, snacks, identification, a phone and some cash. Contents

Q Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes, it makes our insurance representative happy. Contents

Q How fast does the group ride?

We have several ride categories that roughly correspond to the average speed: A category rides can average 18-22 mph; B+ rides can average 16-18 mph; B rides can average 14-16 mph; B- rides can average 13-14 mph; and No-drop rides can average 10-12 mph.  Unless you are sure of what your relative speed is, it is best if you start out with an easier ride and gradually move up to faster and/or longer rides. If you are not having fun, you should try a shorter ride or a slower group.  Contents

Q Are there "No Drop" rides, where everyone stays together for the entire ride?

Yes, the Monday Night Social ride and the Sunday Slow Ride are no drop rides. Most evening and weekend rides tend to split and regroup. Contents

Q I've never ridden with a group before, any suggestions?

We were all novices. If you're a novice rider we recommend starting with one of our 'no-drop' rides. It will also be helpful if you inform the ride leader. Contents

Q Where do the rides start?

Most of our weekend rides start at the Downers Grove Public Library parking lot. Several of our week-day rides start at Fishel Park on Grove St. and the McCollum Park McCollum Park water tower. Contents

Q: It's raining. Is the ride canceled?

If you're unsure, it's always best to either contact the ride leader or look for a ride status update on our Google Group. In general, we don't start rides if it's raining however the ride start time can be delayed if rain appears to be clearing. Contents

Q Are maps or directions available?

We have links to Google Maps of some of our most popular rides in the Ride Directory section of this site. On occasion, ride leaders will have printed maps. Contents

Q What are the route directions?

The ride description often has the ride destination and/or several of the roads we'll be riding on. Contents

Q: Do you provide GPS files?

We're hoping to make GPS files available for some of our longer rides. Contents

Q Where do you ride to?

Most rides travel to a coffee shop, bakery, or convenience store near the halfway point. Contents

Q Can you describe a club ride?

Rides usually start at a modest pace as the group winds its way out of town. Eventually, riders start progressing at their own pace and smaller groups are formed - often regrouping at major intersections. These ad hoc groups usually dissolve and reform throughout the ride. There will usually be a stop near the halfway point at a convenience store, market, or coffee shop with restroom facilities. Additional stops may be made depending on distance and weather. Contents

Q: Are these races?

No, we are recreational bike club. It's not uncommon for A group riders to increase their pace to the top of a climb or on the way into a rest stop however. Contents

Q; Do I need to know how to ride in a paceline?

'A group' riders should be comfortable riding in a paceline and we ask everyone to ride responsibly and predictably. You can find a copy of our Guidelines to Safe Group Riding (pdf file) on our forms page or at this link. Contents

Q: Can I use aero bars?

Yes, however for safety reasons we ask that you refrain from using them in a paceline. Contents

Q Who makes the ride schedule?

The Ride Coordinator compiles the monthly rides. Please contact them with any questions or to list a ride on our calendar. Contents

Q Is there anything else I should know before riding with the club?

If you haven't already done so, please refer to our Ride Information page for additional details and don't hesitate to contact the ride leader with ride-specific questions.  Contents

Q Can I communicate with a real person?

We're happy to hear from you, please refer to the Officers & Managers page for contact information. Contents