We are getting to the time where we need to think about planning our summer rides. We voted at the last AGM to have volunteers to plan and lead the club rides. We’ve done this to some extent during the later part of last season and this winter. It’s worked well we’ve had some great adventures.
Having had a discussion with the elected committee members and with the views of members expressed at the last meeting we will go for a summer rotation of volunteers to pull routes together and lead the rides for this coming season. Note leading the ride doesn’t mean riding at the front for hours! More though it’s simply about designing and publishing a route on the FB page and, and this is important, making sure there is a decent café stop! On the day the ride leader will be expected to simply talk through the route and make executive decisions regarding any needed alterations (no arguing now over the quickest and flattest way home.
Our membership has grown significantly recently, which is fantastic and it’s testament to the efforts that people are putting into the club to develop the sport. To that end we must consider splitting our rides so that our varying abilities, or choice of how people want to ride on a given day, can be accommodated for.
The club is working on a “welcome pack” for members so that we can explain what we are about, how people can get involved, when we ride and etiquette around group riding etc.. We have lots of people joining in on group rides, which is great, and new club riders need to know some basics about the club as it can be daunting at first as we all know.
Having had discussions we will follow the broad format we naturally fell into last summer. That is there will be two planned and published routes for a Sunday – a generally hilly/longer route of around 70 miles and an intermediate route which will be shorter and probably flatter, usually 30-50 miles. We did this last year and it worked well. There was lots of positive feedback.
As our groups are growing we have found that on a given ride we tend to naturally split into groups. For those wanting to ride at a faster or slower pace (same route) on a Sunday this can be sorted out when we start off. Our club rides are “none drop” i.e. everyone gets waited for. If a faster group is entered at the beginning of a ride and the pace is too much and the re-grouping becomes too frequent then falling back to the approaching group is a great option. We just need to communicate with each other so we don’t go searching. As we have been doing recently the café stop can be the meeting point for the ride as a whole. It seems to have been working well and people can swap and change pace (groups) as they have been doing post coffee and cake.
Firstly though we need to get our summer ride leader rotations in place. We need as many people as possible to get involved. Please don’t be shy in coming forward. The more the merrier and we get different types of rides as a result. Ride leaders will be expected to do the following:

  1. Plan a route using one of the many free web based ride mapping tools on the Internet. (Photos of OS maps and highlighter pens are permitted if they can be translated to 21st century tech later on).
  2. Publish the said route on the VC Melyd FB page as an “Event” and then a post on the main FB page with links to the event and route so that it can be downloaded (gpx). You don’t have to invite people to the ride within the FB event as this generates lots of unnecessary messages back! (If you want to though it’s your call) Hopefully the event can be linked to the VCM web site proper by Anthony. I will explore that.
  3. For the Sunday routes getting an event on with the route plan by the Wednesday before the ride would be great. This allows people to see the routes and make a decision on riding and which route/pace the fancy. For a Tuesday evening ride a route up and published on Sunday evening would be needed.
  4. This is the most important one. The café! Did I mention the café for a Sunday ride? As we are getting so many riders out it is important that we get a decent café stop.

We need volunteers then for the following for the Summer season. April 2015 through to Sept 2015. (inc.)

  • Sunday – club ride – longer ride;
  • Sunday – club ride – intermediate ride;
  • Tuesday – club ride.

We can also split into groups where necessary on a Tuesday – dependant upon numbers etc. – as we did last year – Rob did a great job with our Tuesday routes and splitting up on the night when appropriate worked well.
As you know we also do training rides on a Saturday morning – this will run as it is now with all clubs chipping in – so no rota needed.
For new members reading this – Tuesday rides leave Saints Health and Fitness at 6:30pm and are usually around 35 -40 miles. The Sunday rides leave the same location at 9am. If people see the routes and want to join in at another location that is great – just jump on the back as it goes through. We only plan one starting point and rides generally won’t stop to pick people up so just pedal as we come past. The Saturday training rides, which include the separate Saturday ladies ride, leave Rhuddlan Nature Reserve at 10am. People come from many clubs to ride these though people will generally publish a route etc.. The rides, routes and pace depend on who is out and what is happening that week.
Can you please let me know which rota(s) you want to be on. Note if you are not available on a particular date then all we ask is that you arrange cover/swap with someone else. You can do this once the rota is published save giving me dates to avoid please.
Hopefully with a good number of people getting involved in planning and leading the rides we will see lots of variation in routes. We agreed to have an away day every month – ride leaders can discuss this on FB with the group and come up with some ideas and routes. Our very own (FREE) sportive rides!
I know the above is lengthy, but it answers a lot of the questions being asked by the many new members around our rides and routes.
Don’t be shy! Give me your name and let me know which Sunday rota you want to be on and if you can do a Tuesday Eve too.