We have three basic levels of rides with variations of each based on ability. Riders at all levels must always employ safe group riding skills. 

If you are new to group riding, underestimate your ability until you have more experience riding with the club. It’s much better to choose a ride that is too easy rather than struggle through a ride that is too difficult. Ride Leaders will always do their best to keep average pace in line with the advertised ride level.

As the pace gets faster, more experience with group riding skills is required to ensure the ride remains safe. So, even if you are aerobically fit, but are new to group riding we recommend you join an easier ride to gain the skills needed to ride safely in a group. Ride Leaders will be happy to give you details about what to expect on a ride. Before the ride starts, please tell a Ride Leader if it is your first club ride or first ride at a given level.

The below information is a general overview of the three ride levels. Ride distances and difficulty evolve over the season. Detailed specifics for upcoming rides will be outlined in our Ride Calendar. Please be sure to consult the calendar prior to ride start.

* Pace indicated below refers to average perceived sustainable pace on the flats (not overall ride average).

CASUAL – Riders should have:

  • Above-average fitness.
  • Experience clipping in and out of clipless pedals (yes that’s a misnomer).
  • Sufficient ability to handle their bike safely (braking, avoiding obstacles) at a casual pace through the city.

The pace of CASUAL rides is 23-25 km/hour. Riders will learn and practice how to ride in a group: drafting other riders, hand signals, choosing appropriate gearing for the terrain, climbing hills efficiently. It’s about learning, practicing new skills and having fun on the bike. More advanced riders are also encouraged to join some casual rides. It’s a good opportunity for a change of pace and to share your knowledge with newer riders. CASUAL rides are no-drop (the group always waits for slower riders).

Ride distance: 30 km progressing to 80 km over the season
Ride speed: 23-30 km/h average sustained pace*

INTERMEDIATE – Riders should have:

  • More experience with faster rides and confidence riding any position in the group.
  • Very good bike handling skills.
  • Sufficient fitness to ride continuously for several hours at a solid pace.
  • Knowledge of the route and good navigational skills.
  • Ability to eat and drink while riding.

INTERMEDIATE rides can be any distance. Factors such as hills or pace may define the level.
Specifics of what the ride involves will be outlined in the Ride Calendar. INTERMEDIATE rides are no-drop (the group always waits for slower riders). However, if any riders are struggling, the ride may split into two groups. Examples:

INTERMEDIATE
Ride length: 30-120 km
Ride speed: 26-33 km/h average sustained pace*

INTERMEDIATE+
Ride length: 30-120 km
Ride speed: 30-35 km/h average sustained pace*

ADVANCED – Riders should have:

  • Extensive group riding experience.
  • Excellent fitness and bike handling skills.
  • Ability to ride continuously at a fast pace for five to six hours.
  • Knowledge of the route and good navigational skills.
  • Ability to eat and drink while riding fast.

ADVANCED rides can be any distance. Factors such as hills or pace may define the level.
Specifics of what the ride involves will be outlined in the Ride Calendar. ADVANCED rides are generally no-drop but there is an expectation that riders can keep up. Later in the season specific rides may be indicated as being a drop ride. It will be noted in the Ride Calendar and reiterated by the Ride Leader(s) at the ride start. ADVANCED riders should always know how to repair their bike in the field, know the route and how to get themselves home in the even they get dropped. Examples:

ADVANCED
Ride length: 30-180 km
Ride speed: 32-37 km/h average sustained pace* up to 100+km

ADVANCED+
Ride length: 30-180 km
Ride speed: 35-40 km/h average sustained pace* up to 100+km