Got questions? We’ve got answers…
There are two components to our Membership. The first is to read, agree to and submit our liability waiver. The second is to become a member of Meetup.com and, while logged into your Meetup account, request to join our Meetup group. Be sure to finish the first step first, before requesting to join via Meetup. For more info,click here.
Existing members can make a annual donation in support of the club and receive a Premium Membership. To complete the required form and make your payment via credit card or PayPal, click here. This will also automatically update your liability waiver submission.
Click here to complete the required form and make your payment via credit card or PayPal. This will also automatically update your liability waiver, too. And thanks for your support!
We get this question all the time and it is very difficult to convey the importance of learning the basics of Group Riding before getting in over your head. We have become much more blunt because most people think, “I can ride a bike. I’ve got a good level of fitness. I don’t need to get into the ‘beginner’ group.” Our Gruppetto Group is not intended for beginning cyclists. In fact, we request that you be very comfortable riding your bike, and that you fully understand how to use it (especially switching gears and breaking).
Our Gruppetto Group provides an introduction and overview of skills that are required for safe and enjoyable Group Riding (i.e., in pace lines with as little as a few inches between your front tire and the back tire in front of you). While there is no way to avoid all crashes and accidents, we attempt to mitigate these dangers by following a common set of group riding skills and protocol. Instruction, practice and experience compounds the value of these protocols—exponentially. Group cycling is about predictability. The best rides happen when everyone knows what to do and what others will most likely do in various situations. We expose people to these group riding protocol and skills during our Gruppetto series. In fact, our club has become much, much safer over the past few years as a result of new members completing the Gruppetto Series of rides.
It’s pretty easy for our more experienced riders to see others who aren’t aware of group cycling skills and etiquette. Improve your chances of safety, and improve the chances that you won’t be a danger to others you ride with. Learn the basics. Invest the time. You’ll get a lot more respect from our members during rides.
Don’t think we’re serious about the need to learn how to ride safely in a group?
This year, we have had 3 members in ICU with broken ribs, and punctured lungs. Another was airlifted after crashing on a decent last year. Others have had crashes with less life-threatening injuries like broken pelvises or hips, broken wrists, or broken collar bones. Most of these accidents did not happen during our rides, they happened when riding in other groups or alone. But a couple have. We won’t even mention all the “smaller” crashes that result in road rash and busted bikes. CYCLING IS A DANGEROUS SPORT! GROUP CYCLING IS EVEN MORE DANGEROUS! If you haven’t done it already, check out our video library to see how our Peloton and Performance level riders ride. This isn’t a Sunday stroll. For your sake, and for the safety of our other members, please place a lot of weight on the need to learn group riding skills.
If you make the decision to join the Gruppetto Series (or not), let our Ride Leaders and experienced members know you’re new to group riding. Most of us are happy to give tips and guide you in the right direction. It benefits us all in terms of safety. Also be sure to check out some of our favorite instructional videos that we found on the web.
As Cycle Folsom was formed during its inception, the club’s founders consciously chose to keep the club narrowly focused and dedicated to providing an environment for road cyclists to improve their skills, performance, and fitness through training. There are many other cycling clubs in this region that cater to a variety of skills and styles. We will be adding a “Links” library to our site eventually, but for now, visit our previous site and click on “Links” in the side bar for links to other clubs. You can also search for other clubs on Meetup.com.
“Recreational pace” is a relative term. Similar to the answer for the previous question, Cycle Folsom is narrowly focused and dedicated to providing an environment for road cyclists to improve their skills, performance, and fitness through training. Generally speaking, our members all share a common goal of wanting to improve skills, get faster, and get stronger. If nothing else, they want to maintain a reasonably high level of fitness. While we do have a Gruppetto group within Cycle Folsom that rides at a slower pace, the underlying goal for our Gruppetto group is to help them progress into more advanced levels, such as Peloton Intro or Peloton. We also have “All Club Social Rides” that are billed as a “More Recreational Pace” (for special events and holidays), the “more recreational pace” description might be a little misleading for someone who doesn’t ride with us regularly. The pace of these rides would likely be faster than most people’s typical recreational pace. For recreational ride group options, consider searching on Meetup.com. There are a host of cycling and outdoor activity groups in the area.
When we use the term “average speed,” this means over the course of the entire ride, which means hills, flats, everything. As an example, on a recent ride, we indicated a projected average speed of 15-17 mph. I was a ride leader on that ride and looked at my stats after the ride and had a “15.1 mph avg. speed.” This was a Gruppetto Graduate series ride that ultimately broke up into two groups because of disparity of rider fitness level. I suspect those who were in the front group came in at around 16 to 16.5mph. For reference, if you normally ride flats and see that your typical average speed is 15 to 16mph, you can anticipate that your average would drop by at least 2 to 4 mph if you added significant hills to the route.
“Elevation” is the estimated total, cumulative climbing that will occur during a ride. We try to list the estimated elevation for every ride we post, as well as a link to a ride route which will show an elevation profile, so you’ll know where and when the hills will happen, and how severe they are. We sometime also post the “Feet/Mile.” To get Feet/Mile, take the estimated elevation and divide it by the mileage. A ride with 50ft/mile of climbing is considered to be a reasonably challenging ride—and very challenging for new cyclists. 75ft/mile is a tough ride for just about anyone, even the stronger ones (the stronger ones just recover more quickly). 100 ft/mile is a really tough ride. If you consider the Ft/Mile together with the distance, you’ll get a sense of how tough that ride will be. For reference, the ride yesterday was posted as 42 miles and 3000 ft of climbing. That’s 71.4 ft/mile of climbing over the course of the ride.
You should meet the minimum requirements listed on our “Ride Series” page. It’s VERY important that you review the basic topics and skills we cover before our first few rides, and then practice during our rides. Click to download an overview of Weeks 1-4. It’s also important to understand that we tack on about 5 to 10 miles to the Gruppetto routes every 2 weeks, and add in what we consider “beginner or introductory” hills during the last 2 or 3 weeks.
The Gruppetto Group is an excellent place to learn how to ride in groups, and gain skills and confidence. It’s important to note that those who do join any of our rides should already be comfortable and confident when riding on their their bike alone, and they should meet the minimum requirements listed on our “Ride Series” page. Furthermore it’s important to understand that we tack on about 5 to 10 miles to the Gruppetto route every 2 weeks, and add in what we consider “beginner or introductory” hills during the last 2 or 3 weeks. To see an overview of the topics and skills we cover before our first few rides, and then practice during our rides, click here.
If you come out any time after the first 2 weeks, you should be aware that others have already begun working on their skills and fitness, which is likely to improve. For the first couple weeks we target a pace of approximately 16 mph on the flats. After that, we may bump the target pace to 17 or 18 mph, depending on overall group fitness and ability. Most every ride is pretty easy to navigate. If the pace or distance is too much, it’s generally easy to drop back if required and shorten the ride. Ride leaders will likely encourage you you to keep you going, and work with you to overcome any challenge you’re having, but they’ll also be more than happy to ensure that you know your way back to the ride start. You can also let the ride leader know at the beginning of the ride that you only intend to finish a portion of the ride. It is VERY important to let the ride leader know if you’ll be dropping off the ride, as Gruppetto Rides are generally “No Drop” rides.
No. Due to the effort required to process liability waivers and provide necessary communication and support to any new member, we have implemented a one-time $5 registration fee. This better ensures that visitors will carefully consider whether this is the right club for them, and allows our club to offset the overhead costs related to running the club.
Registered Cycle Folsom members may bring guests to participate in rides free of charge, however, guests must:
Those who submit guest forms will not be granted access to Cycle Folsom’s Meetup site. They must submit the standard member application in Step 2 in order to gain access to our Meetup site (Step 3).
Hmmm. I’m not sure. Depending on who shows up, the age range can run anywhere from 16 years old to 75. And believe it or not, the 16 year old and the 75 year old are probably pretty close to even in terms of speed and strength.
Seriously, I’d have a tough time guessing the average. I suspect it would be around 35? Maybe 38? I’m 50, so me and a few others throw off the average, but we’re pretty young at heart. Generally speaking, in spite of a pretty disparate age range in our Peloton Group, we all get along well and have fun on rides.
P.S. If you’re wondering whether we’re a bunch of retirees, the answer would be no. Well, I guess some are, but most of us are not. Still, as often as some of us ride, you might think we are!