El Presidente

last update - 20th May 2019 (from 30th July 2017)

ride leader addendum

ride leaders should keep themselves aware of 'best practice' whilst leading a group. The following is what what Rugby append to their rides list and it makes good sense:


All participating riders must be members of the CTC.

A rear mud flap must be fitted to protect those riding behind.

When traffic conditions dictate, riders must single out without delay.

Where the group exceeds 12 at the start, two groups should leave, 5 minutes apart.

In addition to the basic procedures outlined above, the following suggestion has been made. This is only a suggestion, and riders may wish to consider whether or not it could be helpful:

The leader, if he or she has a mobile phone, should make a point of carrying it, and of switching it on, on the day of the ride, in case individual riders get separated from the main group."

This is plain common sense.

The leader puts their own pleasure as secondary to the safety and enjoyment of the group. A ride leader should warn the group when they are about to slow down and avoid any arm movements which could be misinterpreted as signals.

Attention should always be given to other road users even if, or especially if, they are badly driven vehicles! In particular riding two abreast should be done with heightened awareness and avoided when roads are narrow with frequent view-obscuring bends. Rural roads can be more dangerous than urban ones. Car and van drivers are particularly stressed when having to make a decision on when it's safe to pass a long, stretched line of cyclists - particularly if they have another, impatient driver behind them. Try and help the driver by indicating when they can safely pass or when they should hang back. HOWEVER if in doubt DON'T do this - you take a huge responsibility upon yourself by doing so. When possible the leader (and others!) should attempt to pick up the approach of cars towards and behind the group and warn other riders. Particular attention should be paid at junctions when stopping to join streams of traffic - especially when turning right. It is at these moments when individual have to take the initiative in judging when they should 'go' - no attempt should be made to keep up at the expense of safety - the results could be dire. Recently, leaders have been seen waiting for people to catch up IMMEDIATELY after turning on to another stream of traffic. If the leader has to wait for riders then this should be WELL AWAY from any junction and at a distance where riders catching up can be seen and where the waiting group will not restrict other traffic.

ride days

Currently there are two ride days - Thursdays and Saturdays . Thursday rides are our most 'subscribed' and are around 30 miles, cycled at a moderate pace (please note that this is an out and return distance with a break in-between). Participants meet at one of a number of starting points at 10:30 and have a 'cuppa' before starting out to travel around 11:00. The destination will be a pub for a meal - but eating is not obligatory ;-). Some people find cycling on a full stomach uncomfortable!

Saturday rides are the shortest and most leisurely. Riders meet outside Nuneaton library at 10:00 and cycle to various local cafes. Rides average a distance of 20 miles and rarely venture on to busy roads.

etiquette, protection & safety

All rides are led by an experienced leader who will be familiar with the route and take responsibility. Riders usually part ways on the return journey as we get near home, but an escort will always be provided back to the start if required.If you decide to leave the ride before the end, PLEASE tell the leader or someone else in the group.The absence of a rider is always concerning. Younger riders are welcome, but if you are under 16 years of age please bring a note from a parent or guardian, including a phone number in case there are any problems or delays on the ride. Of course if you own a mobile (and most of us do) bringing it along could come in handy if an unexpected situation arises. Please don't hare off in front of the ride leader too far and, conversely, if you find yourself getting left behind scream - ctc is about companionship NOT racing and leaders are responsible for ensuring that the ride doesn't turn into first past the post. Try not to react to the rare impatient motorists who sometimes blight our way.

bikes & equipment

Most riders use touring bikes, but mountain bikes, hybrids or sportivs are equally acceptable. Some rides may involve short off-road sections. Make sure (or have someone make sure) that your bike is roadworthy. Brake pads should be looked at for thickness of compound, brake cables should be clean, lubricated and rust-free - in one incident one of our comrades had TWO cables snap while travelling down a steep, long hill (by the way he survived undamaged but with a ruined right shoe and a warm foot). The bike saddle should be comfortable - not too high or low. Good guideline to either condition is as follows - get someone to look at your 'posterior' while you ride. If there's a definite rocking motion then the seat is probably too high. The movement should be at a minimum - reducing pressure on the perineum and hip movement. If, on the other hand the knee joint is forming an angle of more than an certain degree - undue wasted energy and pressure on the knee and ankle. Watch this Youtube video for an idea -

Wheels should spin without any eccentricity. Turn the bike upside down and look at the wheels movement using the brake pads as a guide. Tyres should have a good tread on them and dust protector caps should be on both valves. The chain, front mech and rear mech and cogs should be clean and well lubricated. You should always carry a basic tool-kit, a pump with the correct adaptor, spare tube and puncture repair kit! During winter months when dusk or dark overtakes, lights (and spare batteries) are necessary and obligatory. Glasses with appropriate lenses are particularly useful for keeping insects and rain out of your eyes. Helmets are not obligatory under law but the more protection, the better. Wearing a cyclists cloth cap under a helmet aids warmth and gives a peak to keep the sun out of ones eyes. Maps are an additional advantage. Try to carry a full water bottle (in French - 'un bidon') and replenish it when you can.

circumstances unforeseen!

Take note of weather reports and carry protective clothing appropriate to the conditions. If your bike is fitted with permanent mudguards then all is well for inclement weather. If you have a sportive/road race/atb bike then temporary quick fit mudguards are available. It's essential for both yourself and those travelling behind you - you don't get a sodden back and you're not spraying road water into someone's face. As the Rugby guidelines state a flexible flap attached to the bottom end of the mudguard is obligatory for their participants. Whatever type of bike one brings to the ride it should be kitted out appropriately - for one own comfort and safety and, equally important, for that of others - ones companions and other road users.

In these days of a thinning ozone layer use plenty of sun protection cream. It's not just sunny days that bode potential damage - UVA rays are present even on overcast days.