Group Ride Basics

Group Ride Basics in Fort McMurray

Riding in groups is a lot of fun – and there all kinds of reasons people choose to ride with others. It’s a great way to socialize and meet other people who also like to ride bikes. In many ways, riding our bikes together is the strongest and purest form of bike advocacy in Fort McMurray. Club Membership.

Another advantage to a group ride is that riding with others keeps you working harder. If fitness is your goal, if you’re working on weight loss, or if you just want to ride faster and farther – perhaps to ride a century – then group rides in Fort McMurray are great for making sure you get a healthy dose of encouragement and even friendly competition to keep you charging toward your goals.

So, what is group riding?

While it’s not very complicated, there’s a little more to group riding than just hopping on a bike and pedaling off with 5-10 others. Even when you’re on a slow-paced social ride where the focus is on chatting, the scenery, and making new friends, it can help to know some of the things that make group riding safe and rewarding. If you’re on a group ride geared toward developing your riding skills, you’ll definitely want to know what you can expect and what will be expected of you.

Group Ride Paces

Get to know exactly what group ride paces mean and what to expect during those rides. What you need to bring with you, and what tools you should have to support yourself.

Group Ride Paces

If you decide to go on a group ride sponsored by a local bike shop, here’s what you can expect from the ride, as well as what will be expected of you. The key is having fun while you improve your fitness!

The table below is based on WBCC’s Road Riding Guide. Hats off to Fort McMurray’s cycling community for putting together such a great road ride guide!

Pace Typical Average Riding Speed Description Group Dynamics Rest Stops Riders Must Have Repairs
A+ 20+ mph Very strenuous Strict paceline riding with frequent rotations, minimal regrouping, leader rides anywhere within group, riders who fall off the paceline will be dropped At leader’s discretion Experienced paceline skills, basic bike repair skills Riders fix their own bikes
A 18 up to 20 mph Strenuous Frequent paceline riding with frequent rotations, limited regrouping, leader rides anywhere within group, riders who fall off the paceline will be dropped At leader’s discretion Experienced paceline skills, basic bike repair skills Riders fix their own bikes
B+ 16 up to 18 mph Fast social with emphasis on riding Frequent paceline riding, occasional regrouping, leader rides anywhere within group, riders who fall off the paceline and slower riders may be dropped About every 20-30 miles Experienced group riding skills, paceline skills, basic bike repair skills Riders fix their own bikes, leaders may assist
B 14 up to 16 mph Moderate social with emphasis on riding Limited paceline riding, occasional regrouping, leader rides anywhere within group, riders who fall off the paceline and slower riders may be dropped About every 15-20 miles Experienced group riding skills, basic understanding of paceline skills, basic bike repair skills Riders fix their own bikes, leaders may assist
C 12 up to 14 mph Brisk social Riders usually stay together as a group, frequent regrouping, leader rides anywhere within group, slower riders rarely dropped About every 10 miles and at major intersections Knowledge of group riding skills and road hand signals Leader assists or finds assistance
D 8 up to 12 mph Relaxed social with emphasis on safety; perfect for new riders; no steep hills Riders always stay together as a group, leader rides at the rear of the group, no rider will be dropped About every 5 miles and at most intersections Basic understanding of bike operation including shifting and braking Leader assists or finds assistance

Things to Remember

  • All riders must have water, helmet, and photo ID. It is recommended each rider also have a spare tube and/or patch kit, a pump or CO2 cartridge to fix flat tires.
  • New riders are always welcome but remember that, if you can’t keep up at the slowest advertised ride pace, then you might be dropped. If you’re not sure whether you can sustain a pace for the length of the entire trip, or if you’re just really new to road rides, you should probably join a slower paced ride at first.
  • The speeds are listed in a range and are what the group typically averages over a distance. This means that, sometimes, when you’re up against a headwind, the ride might be slower than advertised; conversely, when there’s a tailwind, you might ride faster than advertised.