How Do We Ride
We try to schedule rides that appeal to riders with a range of abilities and interests. A successful ride begins by selecting one that is appropriate for your abilities and continues when you arrive at the start location with enough time to have your bike ready prior to 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. IF you don't know how to contact the specific ride leader, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helmets are required on all DGBC rides.
- Do: be on time and ready to ride by the posted ride start time.
- 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.
- Don't: forget your cycling shoes.
- Don't: wear headphones or earbuds.
- a bike in good working order with properly inflated tires;
- wallet with cash, ID, and 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 cream, bandaids.
- a working powered tail light (head light optional except for late rides)
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 9-12 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.
We are not a racing club but do frequently ride in groups. If you are new to group riding, consider staying off the front until you feel comfortable and ask questions of the others if you are unsure what to do. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are riding 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.
If you find yourself struggling to keep pace with the group, let the ride leader and/or the other riders know as soon as you can. They will gladly slow the pace to help you recover and be able to stay with the group. "It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg LeMond
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 - start with your favorite route!
- 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
- 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 (sweeps follow the group 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 in leading a ride? Questions? Send an email to email@example.com and our Ride Coordinator will get in touch. Thanks!