ride information

We try to schedule rides that appeal to riders with a range of abilities and interests. A successful ride begins by selecting a ride that is appropriate for your abilities and continues when you arrive at the start location with enough time to have your bike ready at the scheduled start time.

First time riders are encouraged to contact the ride leader prior the ride. Minors welcome if accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Helmets are required.

Tips

  • Do: choose a ride consistent with your abilities.
  • Do: remember that the Illinois Vehicle Code also applies to bicycles.
  • Do: inform the ride leader if you must leave before the end of the ride.
  • Do: thank the ride leader if you enjoyed the ride.
  • Don't: forget your cycling shoes.
  • Don't: wear headphones or earbuds.

Recommendations

  • a bike in good working order with properly inflated tires;
  • wallet with cash, ID & Medical Alert information if necessary;
  • flat tire repair items: tube, pump, tire lever, patch kit & tire boot;
  • hydration & nutrition: e.g. water bottle, energy bar, gel;
  • phone (fully charged) and
  • non-essentials: sunscreen, multitool, chamois butt'r, bandaids.

Ride Ratings

The club attempts to schedule rides for all abilities to encourage an active membership. What’s your ride style?

  • A Group: Averaging 17+ miles per hour on flat, windless terrain and rolling +3 mph to +5 mph faster. This is a fast pace for the fittest riders with competitive riding as the focus. These are generally no-drop, gather at crossings - exceptions will be published by the ride leader well in advance.
  • B+ Group: Averaging 15-17 miles per hour on flat, windless terrain and rolling +3 mph to +5 mph faster. These are generally no-drop, gather at crossings - exceptions will be published by the ride leader well in advance.
  • B Group: Averaging 12-15 miles per hour on flat, windless terrain and rolling +3 mph to +5 mph faster. This is a moderate pace for fit riders with fitness as the focus. These are generally no-drop, gather at crossings - exceptions will be published by the ride leader well in advance.
  • C Group: Averaging 10-12 miles per hour on flat, windless terrain and rolling +3 mph to +5 mph faster. This is an easy pace that focuses on conversation and exploration rather than fitness. These are always no-drop rides.

Some rides will have both an A group and B groups riding. If you’re in doubt, contact the ride leader.  Don’t know how fast you can ride over a distance?  Start out with one of our no-drop rides and you can measure your speed and fitness against other riders.  Please do not start with an A group if you’re unsure of your fitness level.

Group Riding

We are not a racing club but do frequently ride in groups. If you are new to group riding there are a few things to keep in mind when you are in the vicinity of others:
  • ride predictably without sudden braking or weaving;
  • signal and/or call out any hazards;
  • pass the signal on if a rider in front of you points out a hazard;
  • signal and give warning if you need to move out of a group;
  • pass only on the left; and
  • don't overlap wheels or follow the rider in front of you too closely.

Common group ride calls and hand signals.

CategoryCall Meaning Action Hand Signal
 Vehicle car(s) back
vehicle(s) approaching from the rear with apparent intention of passing
move right or single up to allow vehicle(s) to pass
 
  car up
vehicle(s) approaching from the front that may require action
observe vehicle and move right if necessary
 
  passingvehicle(s) overtaking the groupmaintain position on right side of road 
 
  clear back
no vehicles seen approaching from the rear
  
Intersection
 car right/left
vehicle approaching on a cross street that is likely to pose a hazard
begin slowing, observe vehicle position and prepare to stop
 
 car far right/left
vehicle approaching on a cross street that may not pose a hazard
verify vehicle position and continue only if clear
 
  clearno approaching vehicles seen at cross street
verify vehicle status and continue only if clear
 
 Hazard dog right/lefta dog is approaching the group
maintain position, shout, squirt, and stop if necessary 
extend arm & point at dog
 gravel/sand/glass, or other debris
group is approaching road debris
if possible, move away from debris with group. if not, maintain relaxed upright position and prepare to ride through debris
extend arm & point at hazard with palm down, open fingers & wave hand
 hole, or other named obstacle or hazard
group is approaching an obstacle or road hazard move away from hazard with group
extend arm & point index finger at hazard
  tracksgroup is approaching train tracksslow with group and cross tracks at right angleextend arm, point with two fingers and move them in a  sweeping  horizontal motion
 overtaking
group is overtaking a person or parked vehicle move left with group and maintain alertness place hand behind back with index finger pointing left
 General on the leftgroup is being overtaken by a faster bike rider(s)
move right if necessary to allow rider(s) to pass
 
  rollingthe group is starting to ride
maintain position and accelerate with group
 
  single up
group should ride single fileinside riders should slow to create spaces for outer riders to move right raise arm & extend index finger
  slowing
the group is slowing, usually for an intersection
maintain position and slow with group
extend right arm with palm down, move hand up and down
  stoppingthe group is stopping, usually for a stop sign or lightmaintain position and stop with group
arm out, forearm down at 90-degrees with palm facing rear
  flat/mechanicala rider has a mechanical problem and is unable to continue
maintain position, stop with group & render assistanceaffected rider should raise hand above head

What’s it like to lead a bicycle ride?

Plenty of people are nervous about leading a ride! But leading can be fun and rewarding, especially when you share the task with a co-leader. Being a leader involves:

  • Choosing an appropriate route for the skill level of the riders
  • Adjusting your pace so riders are not left behind
  • Sharing a few simple ride rules with the group before departure
  • Keeping an eye on how everyone in the group is faring while they’re riding
  • Understanding emergency procedures in the case of an accident
  • Making safe choices about riding in traffic that consider all abilities in your group

The benefits?

  • Undying gratitude from your riders and the opportunity to be a true advocate for cycling
  • Decision control over where you stop for snacks
  • Looks good on your resume
  • Advocating something you really love to do

We are always looking for ride leaders and ride sweeps (following the group and making sure no one gets lost).  It’s not hard and any one of our regular leaders would be thrilled to co-lead with you so you can get your feet wet.  Our goal as a club is to encourage as many of our members as possible to volunteer to help with ride leadership during the season.

Interested? Send an email to ride@aol@dgbikeclub.ru.org and our Ride Coordinator will get in touch. Thanks!