If you’re a new rider considering coming out to give us a try, make sure you can maintain a solo riding speed (i.e. not drafting) of 24km/h over an hour on a moderately hilly course (like the Victoria waterfront). This will ensure that you can maintain the pace of a C ride. You can work up from there. Prior group riding experience is not required, but even faster riders should start with the C group to learn basic group-riding etiquette and technique. Identify yourself as a new rider at the start of the ride and to all members of the group you ride with. There will usually be several people happy to give you tips and answer questions.
There are A, B, and C level rides throughout the week.
The A ride is a no-holds-barred, go-as-fast-as-you-can general sufferfest. If you get dropped from this ride no one is going to slow down and wait for you. However, if someone gets a flat/mechanical, the ride usually stops until the problem is solved. There is sometimes an A1 and A2 ride. The A1 ride tends to be more race-like with breakaways and tactics; the A2 ride tends to be smoother but still fast.
The B ride is not as fast as the A ride, but you need to have good group riding skills and a reasonable level of fitness on this ride. This ride will regroup after hills or a sprint so that the group can stay together. Depending on the numbers, it is not uncommon for there to be two and sometimes three B rides so that the groups remain a manageable number. We ask that you self-seed within these groups with the stronger riders in the first group, those less strong in the second and so on.
The C ride is the place for anyone looking for a more relaxed pace on the day, as well as the place for those new to cycling or new to group riding. This ride goes at the pace of the slowest rider and ensures that the group stays together. That said, you should be able to maintain an average speed of 24km/h riding solo for an hour on a moderately hilly route before joining the C group. Otherwise, you risk holding them up excessively.
There is one ride where all groups can mix it up. The ‘Team Time Trial’ ride on Thursday morning is an increasingly popular ride for all levels, and you don’t have to know how to turn right! Groups of 6 riders of similar abilities leave at roughly 30 second intervals, doing 3 sets of 5 laps of the UVic Ring Road, with a gather-up of all groups between each set.
There are two rides offered for women, Tuesday evening (April to September) and Thursday at the regular 6am time. These rides are offered to all women riders and are specifically designed to continue the skills developed during the Women’s Clinic.
Finally, we offer year-round gravel rides up to four days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday). CX_1 is for those new to riding off-road and often includes skills training. CX_2 to CX_4 feature progressively increasing speed and technical terrain. Gravel rides feature unique routes chosen for every ride by various volunteer leaders.