There are A, B, and C ride options.
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 or a mechanical, the ride usually stops until the problem is solved. The B and C rides are 'no-drop rides' (i.e. nobody will be left behind).
The A and B groups will ride thru Uplands via Terrace Road then left on Cadboro Bay Road to ride the 'Box' (south on Cadboro Bay Road, right onto Landsdowne Road, right onto Henderson Road, and right onto Cedar Hill Cross Road). Repeat four times. There is a sprint on laps two and four.
The C group will ride the UVIC Ring Road, usually in a pace-line keeping everyone together with a sprint on the last lap. The C ride is always at the pace of the slowest rider, making this a great ride for an introduction to group riding.
Following the last lap of the Box, the A and B groups go left on Cadboro Bay Road and hard right onto Beach Drive through the Uplands gates. Carry on along the waterfront to Beacon Hill Park where, depending on the group, several laps are completed of Circle Drive with a sprint on the final lap. The A group does 5 laps of Circle Drive at full speed, the B group does 4 laps, and the C group does 2 laps.
New riders should always make sure the rider next to them points out all turns. Identify any new riders in your group and keep them informed of upcoming turns and hazards.
Form a single file line on Landsdowne Road to facilitate a tight right turn onto Henderson Road. Swing wide before your turn so you come out on the right side of Henderson Road, as the turn is blind, and cars can appear suddenly coming down Henderson Road.
Lead riders turning onto Henderson Road should not drop back until after the yield sign where Foul Bay Road and Henderson Road merge. Lower Henderson Road is very narrow and oncoming traffic or cyclists passing from behind need room to maneuver.
Be prepared to yield on short notice at the corner of Henderson Road and Cedar Hill Cross Road. Proceed with great caution if busses are in the right lane of Henderson Road waiting for the light as they block views of oncoming traffic.
The stop sign at Cedar Hill Cross Road and Cadboro Bay Road must be treated as a foot down full stop for the front riders in all groups on all laps of the box. Riders behind them can follow the front riders when a 'clear' signal is given. If you’re in a chasing group, your lead riders must also make a foot-down stop before proceeding through this intersection.
At the intersection of Cadboro Bay Road and Lansdowne Road, be prepared to yield on short notice for left turners onto Lansdowne Road and for through traffic on Lansdowne Road. Watch the light and anticipate.
If sprinting makes you nervous, sit out the sprint by simply holding your line (i.e. don’t swerve) and letting other riders move around you to contest the sprint. If you maintain your pre-sprint pace, you will catch the sprinters as they slow down and regroup after the sprint.