Archive for Development Rides

Events: Sunday 25th Jan 2015 – New Ride formats

on ‘yer bike: What are you doing this weekend? We’ve two rides suitable for all:

1) Our Development ride series continues see for full information, suitable for people wanting to improve and develop on their bikes, learn how to cover distances of 30-40 miles and develop group ride skills. A ‘No Drop’ ride with regular stops / regroups.

2) our first ‘Rehab Ride’ (info is at This is our first ‘club ride’ style ride aimed at those who can cover 40-50 miles and can keep a pace around 14-15mph, these rides will feature additional things such as longer climbs or challenging climbs. (Ryals this week) It’s named ‘Rehab Ride’ it’s designed for those who have been off the bike over christmas and the winter months to get back on. They have also been designed for a mixed start between la taverna and kirkley as we’ve an increasing number of people taking partners to development rides. it is the first one so please bear in mind timings and mileages may be adjusted next time, these rides have been designed to allow Development Rides have slightly smaller groups and allow the BCC riders to focus on those who wish to develop their skills.

we are hoping these new style rides will help us cater for all, it is however a little trial so may be subject to alteration or change in future.

Development Ride 11 JAN 2015

Here’s the night before reminder!

0945 meeting for 1000 start (prompt) at Kirkley Cycles

Please Note: The weather forecast is changeable and at present the ride is STILL GOING AHEAD though with police and weather sources warning us of adverse weather we may have to CANCEL in the morning, a post will be made in the event by Blaydon CC or Kevin if this is the case please check our event (click here) before traveling. If you are riding to the event please take care on the roads.


Winter Rides

Winter Rides: *Updated November 2015*

Please Read the below so you fully understand our intentions for winter club events. 

Unfortunately living in the North of England we are at the mercy of mother nature. Just to re-address the issue of winter rides.

We try our best to keep club activity to as near to as full time as we can, we were lucky in previous winters as we never really had any severe weather.

Safety of all members is our top concern and it may get to the point where for these reasons we call off a ride. If you don’t feel confident riding in the weather that has been forecast, there is no shame in dropping out of the ride if you think you won’t be to manage for whatever reason.

We recommend lights for all rides during the winter months due to visibility being lower than the brighter summer months, especially for the ride to and from the club rides. For our week night training sessions they are mandatory (these rides take place in the hours of darkness, it’s also a legal requirement to be lit up at night) – as a minimum, on a club ride a flashing rear light is suggested in daylight hours. (just think if there was an insurance claim, have you took reasonable precautions to aid your visibility) It is your responsibility to make yourself visible to others.

Regarding club rides and events, the decision to cancel or alter a ride will be made where we can, the evening before so during the winter please make sure for our events you check the social media channels (usually this will be decided

We will post a message on one of the following (twitter and main club page are interlinked):

  • Our Facebook page
  • The Event Page
  • Twitter

This decision will be made amongst a group of our regular riders from observing the current conditions, forecast and any weather warnings in place. Rides may be also subject to delay, cancellation or alteration on the day if we feel that it may not be safe to continue due to sudden weather or forecasts received. Please check the individual events and main page for any relevant messages before you leave the house that morning.

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.

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.


Development Rides: an update & guidelines.

We have just had our 8th Development ride. They’re getting more and more popular each time and we’re seeing a lot of new members and a lot of regular faces develop their skills. As such we have had to tweak the rules, learn from our mistakes and listen to feedback for how we run these rides, while the emphasis is on fun and development there is a very real risk ever present when we use the roads.

Please make sure you read and understand the attached document in regard to Development Rides.

Click the following link to view the document >> development ride info PDF

Development Ride 15 june

Event info is all at

if you are coming please RSVP via the link, send a tweet or reply below using the diqus system, you can also ask any questions this way.

We are pleased to announce the next in our development series, once again massive thanks to Kevin for planning the route and making these the success that they are.

We’ll meet at Kirkley Cycles again, although slightly off our usual meeting point and a little straying from our Blaydon roots the offer of quiet country lanes, a cafe start and relatively flat roads is perfect for this type of ride.

Our beginners /development rides are very popular! often with up to 20 people on! has more details about the  rides on.
They’re for you to get our build confidence, learn to ride with others and progress onto longer rides hopefully with the club!
They have a few simple rules which are posted at the bottom of this post for everyone’s safety.

This ride like many others we have hosted will consist of a small loop for everyone, we then return to ride HQ and those who wish to continue onto the longer development loop can do so. We aim for 10-15 miles depending on the terrain for lap one, for lap two we bring the ride up to around 40 miles in total.

The Development Group rules & guidelines:

– The ‘back marker’ rider won’t allow anyone to fall behind them.

you shouldn’t overtake the leading rider as they are there to help navigate and help manage the pace of the ride, also we can’t look out for you if you are ahead. Naturally, groups will split a little but there will always be a Blaydon jersey (or ride leader) nearby.

– If you have to stop, let whoever is leading your group know for example with any mechanical issues, or you need to stop for a rest.

– we will re group at various points on the initial loop.

– if you spot a hazard such as a pothole generally cyclists will point down at it, if you are not confident you can just shout something such as ‘Pothole!’ you may hear other things such as ‘Car!’ which generally means a car is behind and we should go into single file or allow the car to pass. other calls are made for cars but generally they are obvious as to what is happening.

– ensure you drink enough fluids, hydration is vital, sip small but often generally is the advice from cyclists.

– finally… enjoy the ride, chat to people, ask questions, make suggestions

June 1st – Development group ride.

new to cycling, new to group riding, or just coming back after some time off the bike for whatever reason? This Sunday welcomes in a continuation of our Development rides:(previously beginners rides)

We’re changing the venue once again, we’re testing out Kirkley Cycles near Ponteland

Date → 1st June
Time → 10:00 (for 10:15 departure)
Pace  → 12-13mph (no one left behind)
Venue → Thorneyford Farm, Kirkley, Ponteland, Northumberland NE20 0AJ

The usual format applies, a short 1st lap then a second lap for those wishing to stay.

Development Ride Guidelines


Development Group Ride 4

☺ 10am for 10:15
Sunday 11th May
☺ La Taverna NE21 4LU
☺ Route (please RSVP on the event, post on this page or tweet us to let us know you are coming)

Dev4 Map
We’ll meet at La Taverna for 10am and set off for 10:15, we will follow the red route for around 10 miles. The usual ‘Beginners Ride’ rules will apply. This route will return to the start point where anyone who only wishes to do our first 10 miles can leave the ride if they wish. The pace of the first 10 miles is very steady and suitable for anyone regardless of experience.
We then will continue to follow the blue marked route to bring the ride up to around 40 miles including a cafe stop. The additional loop is usually a little faster than the first 10 miles but the same rules apply where nobody is left behind. The longer route offers a bit more mixed terrain to allow you to develop skills and pick up new techniques such as climbing.

Any questions, or i if you want to know more simply post below on the event wall:

Development Ride Guidelines

27th April Rides

A very rainy Sunday seen 2 rides head out, we’re now edging towards calling our ‘Beginners Rides’ Development Rides as that is a more accurate portrayal of what they are, a chance for everyone new, experienced or whatever your ability to learn now ways of riding, pick up tips and cheer each other on.

The first ‘big’ ride seen 6 head up towards Blanchland, over the tops into the North Pennines then loop back at around 50 miles, from what I heard the going was quite fast, and it too was a bit of a soaking wet ride.

The Second ride which was our ‘Beginner’/Development ride had 15 riders who joined us, unusually (due to a weeks break for Easter) both rides started at 9am at La Taverna.

The first loop into Newcastle was pretty uneventful in such a way everyone kept close, and we got there without incident, we got to our second lap and decided due to the rain to slightly reduce the remaining ride to around 30 miles, in that short 20 miles or so we had a broken spoke, and a bottle cage that managed to sheer from the frame of a bike, add that to a little set up error at the very start it may have been one of those rides where we had our most ‘mechanicals‘.

All in all feedback for the development rides is superb, we are getting our highest ridership and we do hope that within a short time those on our short rides can progress to the extra loop then soon the ‘main’ club rides.

as always we seek any feedback or comments, you can leave these below by simply using your twitter or facebook details (other services can be used as well). These rides are becoming a firm favourite and we’d like to improve on an already successful idea.