CTC ride question

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LondonBikeCommuter
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CTC ride question

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 18 May 2014, 7:03pm

Was looking at the local CTC website and noticed that there are a number of rides going out at weekends that I'd be interested in doing.
Firstly do you have to be a member to go on one? Also would love for the rides in question to be shown on Google maps or similar but there are only very basic details and a contact mobile phone number or am I missing something?

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jezer
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby jezer » 18 May 2014, 7:18pm

Not sure, but I would recommend joining a local cycling club first. With many clubs you can attend a club ride to see if it's for you. We have many first time attendees, many come again, some don't. That the beauty of club riding.
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gaz
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby gaz » 18 May 2014, 8:28pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Was looking at the local CTC website and noticed that there are a number of rides going out at weekends that I'd be interested in doing.
Firstly do you have to be a member to go on one?

Non-members should be welcomed, typically you can "try it out" on up to five rides: http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/fil ... y-2013.pdf

IIRC there is a limit on the number of non-members who can attend the same ride but I can't find a link at the moment.

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Also would love for the rides in question to be shown on Google maps or similar but there are only very basic details and a contact mobile phone number or am I missing something?

Many CTC member groups pre-date the internet age. Routes have been handed down from generation to generation :wink: .

Seriously, CTC member group ride leaders are volunteers, some may know how to put maps on-line and enjoy doing that; others keep it all in their heads.


It would be wise to ring up and let the leader or other club contact know that you plan to come along, especially if you would like to know more about possible hills, off-road stretches, food stops, etc.
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tatanab
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby tatanab » 19 May 2014, 7:46am

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Also would love for the rides in question to be shown on Google maps or similar but there are only very basic details and a contact mobile phone number or am I missing something?
Route details can often be made up on the day. I have never (in 45 years of CTC membership) been on a normal club ride that had a route predetermined, only the destination or location of tea stops etc.

Psamathe
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby Psamathe » 19 May 2014, 12:15pm

I've not done any CTC rides yet ('cos I'm quite happy riding around the lanes by myself at the moment).

But, CTC's around me vary in terms of speed and distance. One group has rides on two set days of the week, one day is longer rides (50 miles 'ish), other day is shorter rides (30 miles 'ish). Of the two groups I am close to, one group has a "reputation" for going "harder and longer" than the other group (but I have ridden with neither so am only repeating what others have informally commented).

Anyway, my point is, check with your CTC group what sort of rides they do and if this matches with your own requirements (no point in going if you run out of energy at 10 miles and they are all going 50; or if you are looking for 60+ mile training rides and they do a flat circular 10 mile ride).

Ian

profpointy
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby profpointy » 19 May 2014, 12:34pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Was looking at the local CTC website and noticed that there are a number of rides going out at weekends that I'd be interested in doing.
Firstly do you have to be a member to go on one? Also would love for the rides in question to be shown on Google maps or similar but there are only very basic details and a contact mobile phone number or am I missing something?


Give em a ring - you'll be welcome I'm sure.

I went out with my local (Bristol) group, having been a member of the national organisation for many years (to support cycling rather than for joining in per se). I chose a "moderate" to "easy" ride - there were various grades being run - and it was rather slow it must be said. But, and this is the important thing, there were people on that ride who could have done 4 times the distance in half the time - but didn't because this was targeted as a slow ride and they wanted to ensure everyone had a good time and could keep up OK. No one was dropped, nor even made to feel they were struggling, and a nicer bunch of people you couldn't meet. Although I've not yet been back, that's no reflection on the great bunch on the ride. The group ran various rides at various paces and distances - but I was very much made to feel welcome, and I'm sure the quicker rides would stick to the planned pace too - though I guess the balls-out-fast group might be more sporty .

If this group anything to go by, you'll have a great time

The Mechanic
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby The Mechanic » 19 May 2014, 3:28pm

jezer wrote:Not sure, but I would recommend joining a local cycling club first. With many clubs you can attend a club ride to see if it's for you. We have many first time attendees, many come again, some don't. That the beauty of club riding.


It is not necessary nor recommended to "join " a local club first. Try before you buy is the watch word here. You are allowed to go out with a formal CTC group for 5 rides and after that you would be expected to join the CTC. Our local group, CTC Grampian, has full day rides on Saturdays and Sundays (different distances and speeds), morning rides, midweek pub rides and "Trycycling" for beginners every weekend. There is something for everyone so give it a go.

http://www.ctcgrampian.org.uk
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LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 20 May 2014, 10:25am

Sorry I think I may be confused as to the relationship between the CTC and its clubs.

Is the general CTC membership different from the local CTC club membership i.e. you have to have to join BOTH to go on club rides?
Does that question make sense?

thirdcrank
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby thirdcrank » 20 May 2014, 11:12am

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Sorry I think I may be confused as to the relationship between the CTC and its clubs.

Is the general CTC membership different from the local CTC club membership i.e. you have to have to join BOTH to go on club rides?
Does that question make sense?


The CTC is the national body and membership includes local membership. Once upon a time the CTC had a rigid hierarchical structure with a national Headquarters and Divisional Associations (DA's.) Briefly that's been changed although not everybody has changed with it. Since the local elements depend largely on volunteers, there's local variation.

Bear in mind that cycling clubs which don't include CTC in their name may well be affiliated to the CTC but they are quite separate.

If you have found a local CTC outfit that seems to meet your needs, I say try it as others have suggested, but make contact first, to make sure that you are going to try something broadly suitable for you.

TwoPlusTen
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby TwoPlusTen » 20 Jun 2014, 9:57pm

This may help as a starting point (my local CTC group, which I keep threatening to go out with one day but have not yet quite got round to doing so...)

http://www.readingctc.co.uk/new-riders/

Bicycler
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby Bicycler » 21 Jun 2014, 12:45am

It wouldn't be a good idea to join any group without giving it a try first. Any group should let you go on a few rides before asking you to join. If you don't like it then it can often be worth having a second go either with a different group or a different ride with the same group.

One thing I will say is that there seems to be little consistency in what the different ctc groups provide or expect. I proposed a common set of standards along with detailing my own (negative) experiences in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=87259&p=787548#p787548

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Slow Loris
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Re: CTC ride question

Postby Slow Loris » 21 Jun 2014, 12:40pm

LondonBikeCommuter – where are you based? I used to ride with the Central London CTC some years ago and remember them being a very welcoming group with a wide variety of rides on offer at weekends. I stopped due to changes of circumstances - nothing to do with the group. They generally take trains from central London out to Herts, Essex, Surrey, Bucks and Beds which may or may not be convenient for you. I always found the 15min ride home from Kings Cross station the hardest bit! They use a star grading system ranging from * slow rides to **** very fast and long. When I first checked them out I found the leaders very helpful in clarifying the distance/terrain. Their ** rides suited me best being around 40-50 miles at 10-12mph with a leisurely lunch and tea stop. I was impressed by how well everyone looked out for each other – no one was left to struggle at the back. You could also look at LCC groups (London Cycling Campaign). I now mainly ride solo but occasionally go with my local LCC group when I fancy being sociable – they are slow for me but are a nice bunch to be with.

Regarding publicising the routes in advance, I remember hearing that the Central London CTC stopped advertising the planned lunch stops on their website to avoid being targeted by professional bike thieves – I believe this had happened once :evil: .

If you try out a ride with a local group, I would recommend bringing your own copy of the OS map they are using - ask the leader in advance. It will help you in the unlikely event that you lose them, or if you need to leave the ride early. You should be able to find one in the library, but it may be worth buying if it's a local OS Landranger map that the group use regularly - always handy to have for greater flexibility, or just to go out exploring on your own :) .
Slow Loris
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