Introduction to the club
By Daniel - 18 July 2021
Thanks for joining the Waterloo Cycling Club!
To help get you familiar with the club, we thought it would be nice to send you this welcome letter.
Yes, we are a cycling club but there is so much more that goes into the club and organizing rides than grabbing your helmet and jumping on a bike.
- Before you Ride
- Discourse Forum
- Don’t I just show up and ride
- What to expect when you show up for your first ride
Firstly, we are a volunteer run club. Everything happens through members dedicating themselves to help run and improve the club.
The LEAD page on the website provides some volunteer and leadership examples. If you want to get involved in any part of the club, let us know by reaching out to an event organizer, contacting us on social media, or emailing email@example.com.
Here’s what you need to know to get out and ride with the club:
Please read the Ride Guide.
Helmets are mandatory for all club rides.
We have a lot of rides in all disciplines:
- Mountain Bike
COVID has impacted the number of rides in 2021.
Ride leaders publish ride details and updates on the forum under the Members Only section of the forum in the Ride Planning/Signup sub-category.
We use Ride with GPS to store our routes (your access link was included in the registration confirmation email from CCN).
We hope you don’t need it but as a member of the club you have insurance through the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA).
Our website has a lot of information about our club and rides. We think the following pages will be really helpful to read:
- Ride Culture for the descriptions of each group.
- RIDE with links to each discipline and the list of rides for that discipline.
- Policies Page - please review the club policies, they exist in the interest of our members.
We use the Discourse forum to organize rides, but we also like to chat when we are not riding. Feel free to share riding photos, stories from a ride, and talk about all things bikes and a few things not bikes … we have a good variety of categories.
If you have any questions or issues:
- Read the Forum user guide
- Post a message in the Site Feedback/Help Me category
Don’t I just show up and ride my bike?
Well…in a normal year, yes.
In 2021 you have to sign-up for rides due to COVID-19 return to sport requirements.
If you want to be prepared, choose your group wisely, and not show up when a ride is cancelled then here are some tips:
- Check the Discourse forum for ride details and updates before you head to the meeting point. Ride leader’s posts will include:
- Start Time & estimated duration
- Planned stops for breaks, butter tarts, or water
- Know which group suits your skill and fitness level
- We strongly recommend that you read the group descriptions. Some groups will drop slower riders, other groups will wait.
- Post a question on the forum
- Ask members at the start of a ride … before you start riding.
- Attend the Learn to Group Ride course in spring.
- Come to a Wednesday night ride first. These are a good introduction for people new to group riding.
Now that we’ve filled you in on the pre-ride information, let’s talk about your first ride with the club …
What to expect on the first night of a road group ride
Joining a new club is great but the first time you show up to a group ride can be a bit confusing. Rest assured your fellow club members are friendly and willing to help new members. We were all new once.
The most popular regular ride is the Thursday Threshold ride starting at RIM Park. On average we have 70 riders come out for Thursday Threshold rides. Here’s what to expect and do if you are joining a ride for the first time (I’ve used the Thursday Threshold ride as an example here):
Before the ride:
- Read the website group descriptions and choose which group suits you best.
- Check the discourse forum for ride updates.
- Sign-up for the ride - use the form in the forum post (COVID-19 requirement).
- Download the route from Ride with GPS (if you want).
- Arrive 5-10 min before the start time, with enough time to set up your bike and socialize.
- Look for the cyclists in the NE corner of the RIM Park parking lot.
- Introduce yourself to anyone and say you’re a new member. Tell them which group you want to join. They will either point out the ride leader or someone in the group you want to ride with.
Ready for the ride:
A few minutes before we roll off, we make announcements: share recent race results, reminders about club events, fundraisers, and volunteering opportunities.
Ride leaders announce where they are riding.
This is your chance to go over to the ride leader and let them know you are a new member.
If you don’t see who the ride leader is at this point, listen for your group to be called to ride off and let the people in the group know you are new. We are in a double pace line to start, so chat with the person next to you.
The last thing is for each group to be called up and the roll off. The order of departure is:
- Fast - This group will depart in waves, as needed.
For group descriptions read the Ride Culture page on our website.