MENU BIKE 50 Off Road(and Road!)Cycling

Each of our rides is led by an experienced ride leader. At the start of the ride the leader will explain the conditions (e.g. very muddy), if the ride has any technical sections (e.g a tricky downhill) and any other points to make sure that we ride as safely as possible. The leader will also remind us during the ride. A nominated back marker ensures that no one is left behind. If you have any problems during the ride then we'll ensure that you get back to base.


Please note the following guidelines:

  • Off road cycling can be dangerous. Please remember that you are taking part in these rides at your own risk.
  • We have a few incidents per year where riders have injured themselves including broken collar bones and arms.
  • Only go on rides where you know that you have the technical expertise and fitness to complete them.
  • If you have not done a level 3 ride before and plan to do one, get in touch with either the leader, if you have their contact details, or Gwyn and they will discuss it with you.
  • In a very few cases a leader may decide on the day that they consider a rider unsuited to the demands of the ride and will advise you accordingly. This is for your own safety.
  • If you are one of those unsung heroes or heroines – a volunteer back marker, please ensure that you have the leader’s mobile phone number and that they have yours before you set off on the ride.
  • During the ride, the ride leader will explain where sections can be technical and/ or difficult – always make sure that you listen carefully and understand.
  • On a ride, if you are uncomfortable or are losing confidence, tell the ride leader so that you can work out a strategy to avoid difficult sections or to get you back to the starting point safely.
  • Don’t overtake on technical sections or narrow paths. The person in front of you needs as much room as possible. If you are planning to overtake, ensure that the person in front knows that you are behind them and that you would like to come past.
  • If you are asked by the leader during the ride to mark a turning or junction, ensure that you have seen everyone, including the back marker and that they have seen you, before you continue on the ride.
  • If you are planning to try a level 3 ride for the first time after acquiring an e-bike to help you on the hills, please be aware that most level 3 and 3+ rides have other hazards which you will need to be able to deal with, including steep descents with uneven and rutted surfaces. Electric bikes may be able to get you up hills more easily, but they can be more difficult to control due to the extra weight. Because of their speed you could find yourself in an awkward situation.
  • Improve your skills by going on one of our off-road riding courses led by Toby or get tuition from any of the other mountain bike training groups in the local area.

Off road cycling has the pleasure of meeting very little road traffic (i.e. no cars) but has other things to think about. Thanks to Redhill Cycling for these notes.

Firstly we keep to bridleways. If for some reason we have to use footpaths then we get off our bikes and walk.

Other Bridleway Users

Other people also use the bridleways and we all want to enjoy ourselves without upsetting each other. There is a definite pecking order when on bridleways and cyclists are last:

  1. Horses It is less threatening for a horse if it can see any passing cyclists. A horse rider will often turn a horse to face the cyclists before they pass. Horses can be easily startled by sudden movements or loud noises. Some horse riders will ask cyclists to dismount. Gather on the same side of the track so the horse does not need to pass between cyclists. When overtaking a horse on a road, inform the horse rider of your presence and ask them if it is OK to overtake. Give the horse as wide a berth as possible.
  2. Walkers Many walkers will step to the side so cyclists can pass, remember to thank them. If you are travelling in the same direction as the walkers, they may not have seen you, so make a noise to alert them of your presence. Watch out for dogs as they are unpredictable and may want to join you. Depending on the situation, either outrun them, or slow down gently to a stop. This is usually accompanied by their owner frantically calling their name.
  3. Cyclists Watch out for other cyclists coming towards you. Try to keep to one side so you can both pass amicably.

Cycling on the Road

When riding on the road we need to ensure that we observe the Highway Code, riding as a group does not exempt us from the rules of the road. Riders should keep to the left of the central white line and not ride more than 2 abreast, on busy roads it should be single file. A large group should split into smaller groups so cars can overtake the cyclists in sections. Particular attention should be paid when we stop, check that all cyclists are off the road and there is clear access for cars to pass.

Medical Condition?

Please note that most of our ride leaders have been trained in basic first aid.

If you are concerned you have a medical conditions and if you carry any medicines that you think may help you in the event of you becoming unwell or in the event of  an injury then feel free to tell your ride leader . In the event of having to call a medical practioner this information will also assist in recieving a rapid response and appropriate treatment .