Q. Why should I come out with Sheffield CTC?
A. Because you will enjoy it. Riding in a group is a very sociable way to see the fantastic countryside around us. Having a range of ride leaders and ride types means that you will discover routes that could take you many years to find on your own.
Q. Do you have to be a CTC member to come on a ride?
A. No….but we think you will want to join once you have been out with us a few times.
Q. How do I become a CTC member?
A. You can join the National CTC Organisation, now known as Cycling UK, here. A full price adult membership is £43/yr (as at Dec 2016). There’s no additional ‘local’ subscription – once you are a national member, you are also a Sheffield CTC member. But as above, there’s no need to join if all you want to do is ride with us a couple of times to see if it’s for you.
Q. I’ve not ridden for ages, will I be able to keep up? I don’t want to hold everyone up.
A. The key is choosing the right ride to start with. We ride at a moderate pace and you will be surprised at the distance you can ride. We stop to re-group regularly and we never leave anyone behind. It is best to start out with a beginner, easy or moderate ride. We do not recommend the hard rides for first-timers.
Q. How fast do you ride? What does ‘a moderate pace’ mean?
A. It is very difficult to be precise as the speed will vary, but generally it is between 10 and 12 mph. But we do not try to maintain a specific average speed, we ride at the pace of the slowest rider.
Q. I’ve not ridden in a group before, what do I need to know?
A. We are a sociable club and riding with us isn’t like joining a ‘chain gang’. In a group you will be able ride further than on your own because you can shelter from the wind. The main thing is to be aware of, is what is going on around you and to communicate what you are doing – for example, saying clearly, ‘Stopping!’ if you want to stop and there is someone behind you. Overtaking on the inside is best avoided.
Q. What rides and events are available?
- The club has a ride every Sunday of between 30 and 80-90 miles, shorter in the winter and longer in the summer, with most rides being around 45 or 50 miles.
- There are evening rides on Wednesdays during most of BST, these are 15-20 miles long.
- There are easy rides on many Saturday mornings, even in winter, details appear in the calendar.
- Usually 2 weekends away a year – riding somewhere on Friday, a ride on Saturday and then back on Sunday. Riders can clock up 200 – 250 miles over the three days, which isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds! In the recent past we’ve been to Wales and North Yorkshire, and on the ferry across to Belgium.
- Audaxes, where riders must complete a circuit of 100, 150, 200 (or more!) km in a given time, with checkpoints and food laid on at the end. These events attract riders from all over the county, some of whom accumulate an impressive number of points.
- Social evenings, cycling themed – generally, but not always, video, pix & commentary of tours undertaken by our members.
Q. What’s a typical day ride like?
A- There will often be a cafe stop mid-morning and always a cafe stop for lunch. Usually 10-15 riders, sometimes up to 25. Very sociable, it is not a ‘chain gang’
Q. Do I have to stay with the ride all day?
A – No, you could just come to the morning stop and make your own way home. This is usually about half the distance. People often do this, the only thing we ask is that you tell the ride leader before you peel off.
Q. What’s a typical evening ride ride like?
A. Usually a circular ride out to a pub and then back to the start
Q. Do I need a special bike?
A. Not for the easy rides. For the some of the moderate and all of the hard rides, a road bike/tourer is recommended.
Q. Do I need any special clothes or other equipment?
A. Not much – other riders will tend to help you if you get into technical difficulties. But there are some basic recommendations here.
Q. Am I required to wear a helmet?
A. No, helmet wearing is not compulsory on road rides. On our road rides some members wear helmets while others choose not to. For mountain bike rides you are expected to wear gloves and a helmet.
Q. What about wearing headphones while riding?
A. Sheffield CTC discourages the wearing of headphones as they limit your ability to hear what is going on around you. This is particularly important when you are riding in a group.
Q. What is the insurance position for non-CTC members?
A. You are covered if a non-CTC member on your ride/event causes injury or damage leading to a claim against you or your member group. Non CTC members on CTC rides/events are also covered for the duration of the ride only against claims made against them by a CTC member on the ride. This benefit is paid for by CTC members. A CTC guideline is therefore that there should not be more than 10 non-members on any one ride, nor should a non-member participate in a CTC ride more than 3 times.
Q: Who is on the local CTC committee?
A: As of the AGM on 20th October 2016 the committee is:
Secretary: Angela Walker
Treasurer: Tony Gore
Registrar: Jeremy Abrahams
Welfare Officer: David Wall
Campaigns: Paul Walton
Email co-ordinator: Jenny Adcock
Webmaster: David Bishop
Social secretary: Barry Raynor
Rides Co-ordinator: Jenny Adcock
Q. What is this ‘chain gang’ you keep referring to?
A. It’s what we don’t do! Riders in a chain gang ride as fast and as close to each other as they can. The one at the front has to work the hardest because of wind resistance, so they will do it for a short time and then hand over to another rider. It is a very effective way to cover large distances as quickly as possible. However it requires massive concentration and discipline. After a while, riders in a chain gang lose the power of speech and their eyeballs bulge. They become acutely conscious of who is not taking their turn at the front and start to despise them. They will try and lose this person by accelerating like crazy. Eventually wheels will make contact and everyone ends up on the floor with ‘road rash’. It’s great fun – but we don’t do it. We ride in a group and talk to each other, usually about what we are going to eat next time we stop.