Archive for September 28, 2014

Development Rides: A reminder on their structure.

Just a gentle reminder of a few things raised in the Dev Ride Debrief from today’s ride:

On the whole we have managed to get the composition and management of these rides into a much smoother and well delivered package of late, but there is a few issues still outstanding and a few little reminders we feel it is right to just reaffirm to all that join the development rides.

You MUST: listen to ride leaders on these rides. They will take control of the ride and keep the pace, and the groups on the right track. non-inclusively this could be making sure we remain riding in 2’s at the most, assisting on crossing junctions, making sure traffic can see us, and that there is a safe passage for any vehicles. If you are not confident riding with others in close proximity ask a ride leader about this, it’s pretty daunting at first, but then again, didn’t you think clip-less pedals were when you first got them?

White Lines: As nice as the white lines may look on the road, do stay away from them, that’s the middle of the road, and we really don’t want to be there if we can. by no means do we suggest riding in he gutter but we want to keep at a reasonable distance from oncoming traffic (also cats eyes or missing road studs can be pretty dangerous to ride over!)

Calling it: When someone warns the group of a hazard, listen and look, don’t brake if you don’t have to, quite often people grind to a halt, and with a large group behind you that can start to cause problems.

Going Up: on climbs we have noticed a few people ‘boxing in’ others. if you are struggling keep to the left a little, this allows anyone who may need to get past, to do so. The person behind you might be in the wrong gear for the slower speed and need to get past if safe to do so.

Communication Is key: If you do have to stop. make sure just as you would in a car your intentions are clear. above all this, if you take one part away from this blog. it’s that communication is vital. We need to know what you are doing and what you are about to do and vice versa. Clear calls or hand signals form a big part of communication on the road. If you are unsure about what these are please ask one of us. Also please remember on the development rides when things are shouted they are shouted so that are clear and ultimate we want to get everyone around the course as safely and efficiently as possible.

Speed: Development rides are for those who are averaging 12-14.5 mph on the rides after many outings with them we have took the average speeds of the front and back and found this to be a fairly fair placing for the rides. if you can achieve this with ease we suggest coming along to the club rides as development rides may not be graded towards your ability! By all means join us but we ask you to keep to the group speed and avoid ‘pushing the pace’ and using your experience and skills to help newer riders. Development rides were brought in to bridge a gap many other clubs seem to forget about, those who are in the middle, that we think is why they get such a good turnout, that and our great sense in picking great cafes!

As always any questions please do comment below. One of the Development Ride crew will be to help out. Comments can be made on our facebook post that this will generate or the blog here using Disqus.

BCC: A year down the line… Our 1st ‘Birthday’ Ride.

As many of you know, a few weeks ago the club (BCC) turned one. It’s been a year of discovery, change, and growth (with a few mistakes being made along the way! but it’s all a learning curve!)

So Just after a year (a year and a bit) we had our anniversary ride. A 50 odd mile ride with a few little hills in suitable for all. We expected our usual turn out, but when I rolled into the taverna (late as usual, yes (09:04 to be exact)) I was greeted with 40 people and subsequently 40 bikes (ish… I never actually counted) these were nicely split into 3 groups and we all merged into one towards the end. We probably left the cafe with the tills bursting at the seams too.. Apart from the one incident we had, everyone got back fine, and we made sure everyone was safe. That I think shows the club in a good light.

All I can say is thanks to anyone who has supported us or turned up for our rides, we have a fantastic membership base and a great bunch of regulars, we’re getting noticed, new people are loving the way we conduct our rides. it’s all great feedback. a Massive thanks go to John & Giacomo at La Taverna who always make sure we’re looked after post ride, and allow us to meet in their car park. (Be sure to pop in off the bike for the fantastic food!). Today I also think reaffirmed that club rides are open to all, when we have the numbers we have the capacity to make it inclusive for all regardless of your speed. (as ever if you have any concerns over a ride, contact us!)

Once again, thanks to everyone thats turned up, emailed, posted on our pages, fixed our bikes, brewed us coffee and anything else we do.

Personally… This year has flew by and I hope the next year is very much the same.

Don’t forget our next rides are our Development Ride next week but PLEASE NOTE we are meeting at NEWBURN this time round. The week after that we shall be riding the wooler wheel.



Blaydon: our rides and what purpose they serve

At Blaydon Cycle Club we have three ‘levels’  all will be explained, what they are, what they are for, who they are for and why we run them.

This post has been commissioned as we have a considerable amount of new members, and a few questions have been asked and we want to make sure that everyone understands how we operate and how we are trying our very best to be as inclusive as possible. We understand a lot of our social media traffic might sound like everyone’s wanting to go around winning Le Tour but that’s more than likely isn’t the case (but we can dream, right?)

The three rides are graded as follows:

  • ‘Easy Wheelers’ rides
  • Development Rides
  • Club Rides

‘Easy Wheelers rides’ Occasionally when time allows we operate an ‘Easy Wheelers’ ride, these are open to all. but the focus is on new riders, those ‘fresh out the box’ these rides are shorter (10-15 miles) and are there for any new riders, or those new to riding in groups simply to get used to cycling on the roads (we pick quiet roads for these rides) and riding in groups. everyone is welcome to these but you must remember if you are experienced already these rides are exclusively for the newer riders to learn new skills and gain confidence, more able riders should be prepared to help others and be fully aware the ride will be geared for the new riders.

Development Rides Dev Rides are our middle tier of rides, generally they are every second week and run any time from 9am to 10am start. They usually run a length of 30-40 miles and are planned with a route that is not too challenging. Being Northumberland a few lumps and bumps are inevitable but these are kept to a minimum and around the top we will regroup. These rides are in essence for development and improvement, right from how to climb, corner, even eat and drink on the go. We want people to develop their skills, teach others, learn from others, the rides name is pretty self encompassing when we label it! Blaydon Jerseys will always be on hand and your ‘ride leaders’ will be pointed out at the start, these are your port of call if you have ANY issues on the ride be they mechanical or physical. We also think these are a great ride for your first ride if you have never been out in a club,you get to ride in a group, and meet many of our regulars. The intention is development rides are there to prepare you for and work your way to club rides as your confidence and skill sets grow.


Club rides perhaps the most confusing of late. We have operated a few ‘big’ club runs of late, more notoriously our recent ‘Hilly Fondo’ has caused some panic within the club. We want to reaffirm that challenging rides such as a ‘Fondo’ happen occasionally as we do have a very diverse group of riders. Club rides are not there just for the fast, the racers, they are all inclusive as is any ride. As you can imagine with 20-30 people on a ride it is hard to put a maximum speed or time limit out there and have such a large group out in one go. What generally happens now on the club rides is a ‘breakaway‘ group forms which contains a small group of riders who are capable of 16-18mph averages, behind those is the main group these generally are 13-15mph average depending on the terrain and course, if the group was even larger there is a chance of having a 3rd group.

Having mixed abilities is a hard balance to strike within cycling, and it can be hard to plan for from our end, and its with your continued support that allows us to facilitate the group rides. Quite simply put we need members of all abilities to make the rides a success. In no way are club rides designed for the ‘fast lads’ (as they get called) they are inclusive for everyone.

If you have concerns over   a particular route please raise them on the event page or direct message the club page (or email us) we will do our very best to help everyone, and make any adjustments or reassurance to anyone who needs it. Some club rides are challenging, some will be easier, we just want to strike a fair balance to all of our members and offer a bit of everything, all feedback of late has been noted, we really do need that feedback if we are going to be able to try and help everyone. The support can be and will be out there for all.

if you have ANY questions please to sign in with one of your social media accounts below and post a comment and we will do our very best to answer your questions. It’s with everyone’s great support the club is where it is. and it’s with this continued support and occasional feedback that we can plan for the future.

Thanks for reading this, and if you have any questions regarding how we grade and deliver our rides again, please do comment below (on this page as opposed to on twitter or facebook itself please) any feedback is appreciated and this is a great open forum to facilitate this.


Watch Out! Theives about…

It has come to my attention, and I’m sure your own that over twitter and facebook there’s been a lot of recent cycle thefts and just as many police reminders about keeping your bike safe and marking it up.

Sadly as cycling becomes more popular and the bikes and bits more expensive, the unscrupulous amongst society see your pride and joy as their next trip down to the pub or the cash converter shop.

When your bike is at home, have it secure, if in a wooden shed remember they are vulnerable to attack so you need to make it as hard as possible for any would-be thieves, get a good quality lock or a ground anchor, if that’s not possible get good locks on the shed and tamper proof door hinges. At the very least you could tie your bike to items such as lawnmowers or deck chairs making any moving of said equipment tricky and noisy. Also consider fitting a shed alarm.

Write down your frame numbers, take a photo and get the bike logged on

When you are out and about, at cafe stops don’t always assume safety in numbers, carrying a lock to most is a cumbersome task and quite simply not practical, if you can if you’re nipping into a shop try and have someone hang back to keep watch, or in a cafe try and keep your eyes on the bikes.

It’s an awful post to have to write but I’ve noticed a lot of stolen bike posts of late, lets make it harder for these idiots who want to spoil it for us and stop us doing what we love doing.


Edit: 11/9 Thanks to Dave from Cycle Repair Shed for pointing out this video on ‘cafe stop’ security: