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COME PREPARED, LEAVE SMILING

SOCIAL RIDE TIPS & FAQS

So, you’re thinking of joining your very first club ride. Before you read any further, stop over-thinking it and just come out! It can be intimidating–we know. But everyone is welcome, whether you’re new to riding, are shy and struggle meeting people, or if you’re simply visiting from out of town and are looking for a group who knows the trails. Check out the ride schedule, and keep reading for more tips on what you should know before your first ride. 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

1. COME PREPARED

Although you’re riding with a group of people, you should always come to every group ride fully self-sufficient. Everyone is friendly and willing to help out their fellow rider, but it’s just a good practice to always carry the following with you at all times:

  • A spare tube 
  • Multi-tool
  • Water & snacks
  • A small first-aid kit
  • A whistle 
  • A patch kit
  • Hand pump and/or co2 cartridges
  • Tire levers

2. HAVE SOME BASIC BIKE HANDLING SKILLS

In the summer months, Jessie from Beyond Biking leads beginner-specific rides to help those new to mountain biking build confidence on their bikes by starting out nice and easy. If you’re new to mountain biking and aren’t sure which group ride is best for you, we recommend riding with the beginner group at least once to see where your skills are at. You can also take lessons through Beyond Biking to hammer out some of the basic bike handling skills you’ll need to progress to the next levels.

3. B.Y.O.B

Bring your own beverages! These are social rides after all, so bring a chair and some beverages of your choosing for a little apres-ride. The groups generally like to stick around after the ride to share a few laughs before heading home. (Granted, this is weather permitting). 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO JOIN A GROUP RIDE?

Not for your first ride, but after the first three or so rides it is required. A portion of each membership goes towards insurance, which is required in order to run organized rides and manage the network in partnership with the land-owner. The best way to annually support mountain biking in the region is to have an active membership. 

DO YOU HAVE RIDES FOR BEGINNERS?

Yes, but not all year long. We’ve found that the best time for beginners to learn is during the late-Spring and into the fall months when there is plenty of daylight and a lot less moisture. 

If you’re looking to get into biking in the shoulder season, we highly recommend reaching out to Beyond Biking to sign up for one (or a few) of their skills clinics. 

DO YOU HAVE LADIES RIDES OR RIDES FOR KIDS?

The NMBC currently doesn’t host ladies or youth rides, for a few different reasons. There are currently two options for women in the region who are looking for ladies-only rides, these are offered through Arrowsmith Bikes and Coal City Cycles on Monday and Thursday evenings respectively. 

Youth rides are a little more of a challenge for our organization. It’s an extreme amount of responsibility and our organization is currently doesn’t have the capacity to make these rides happen. However, youth are always welcome to ride with a parent at a group ride, as long as they’re able to keep up with the group. Arrowsmith Bikes and Airhouse have apparently offered youth rides in the past and would be worth getting in touch with. 

HOW FIT DO I HAVE TO BE TO JOIN A GROUP RIDE?

This depends which level of ride you’re hoping to join. Beginner rides typically go between 5 – 8 km, intermediate rides will go 8 – 13 km, and advanced rides are usually 13 – 20 km in a two to two-and-a-half hour time frame. A great way to start is to come to an all-levels ride on a Sunday to find out which group suits you best.  

No matter what, no one is EVER left behind. If you’re having a hard time, just stay cool and don’t stress. Usually a fairly confident rider will always ride in the back to make sure no one gets lost or left behind. 

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