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NC&TC Club Ride Guidelines

Updated Ride Guidelines During Covid 19 Outbreak

Ahead of club rides resuming this weekend, please familiarise yourselves with the guidance provided below.

It goes without saying that all aspects of this are very important to understand and adhere to for your own wellbeing and that of other club members.

Guidance for small group and club rides/training in open spaces
These guidelines currently apply to England and have been produced in line with the UK Government guidance on public spaces, outdoor activity and exercise published on 01 June 2020
Members must not attend a ride or run session if they have Covid-19 symptoms, have someone in their household who does and are in the extremely vulnerable category or if they have been asked to remain at home by the UK Government track and trace system.
While many people will be keen to resume club and group activity it is imperative that all members set an example and follow these guidelines to ensure that the risk of infection/transmission of the virus is minimised.
Strong hand hygiene should be practised by all involved before, during and after all cycling activity.
Stay local, cycle to your activity where possible and avoid public transport if you can.
Carefully consider the risks when planning your route, avoiding busy areas, and consider how social distancing measures may impact on the activity as well as other road, track or trail users.
Members to carry own tools and be capable of basic cycle maintenance.
List of members per group of max 6 to be noted and retained at beginning of ride.
Do not exceed group size thresholds (maximum of six people in a group)
During the activity, participants must practice good respiratory hygiene during the activity (i.e. coughing, sneezing into a tissue or the crook of an elbow)
Ensure all those involved maintain social distancing
We recognise that in some environments social distancing may present practical difficulties and risks and it may be safer to ride in groups of fewer than six, and if you do ride in a group of six be sure that it is safe to do so and respect other users of the road, track or trail
Participants must provide their own equipment and refreshments if possible and avoid sharing the like of water bottles and food Exercise within your personal physical and technical limitations to try and avoid additional burden on the NHS and the first aiders present.
In line with government guidelines, masks or face coverings are not required if social distancing is maintained. At this stage using face masks or covering is a personal choice but it should not restrict breathing
If a participant develops symptoms of Covid-19, they should stop taking part and be directed to follow the Government’s ‘test and trace’ guidelines, which can be read on the website
Members joining & leaving the activity must maintain social distancing
Any member developing symptoms after a session should notify the organiser/leader or designated point of contact so that other members of the the group can be advised and all should refer to the latest NHS advice
The primary goal of our club rides is to ride safely in cohesive groups whilst obeying the Highway Code. We respectfully ask all riders to help with this goal when riding in the group. It will be considered ‘bad riding etiquette’ if you constantly ignore this primary goal while riding with the club.

NC&TC Rides are free to all club members and take place every Saturday. The club currently has three guided rides, the Social ride, Club Ride and Sporting Ride. We leave from Newmarket Leisure Centre and aim to meet at 8.45 am for a PROMPT 9:00 am start. We welcome all guests to join us on our club rides, but after three “free rides” and you feel you would like to carry on riding with NC&TC, we would kindly ask you become a member.

At the current time we do not have guided rides on Sunday and riders turning up usually decide on groups,routes etc. This is now under review (as of Nov 2019) and we will report back to members if we decide to
change this policy.

It is every riders responsibility to turn up with a road worthy bike. Here is British Cycling’s M check guidance on how to check your bike is road worthy – British Cycling M-Check

All riders should turn up with rear lights, especially in the winter, and as a courtesy to other members, we strongly recommend installing mudguards for the winter months.

Our Saturday morning rides are designed to be an enjoyable experience for all riders and we require everyone’s help to make sure we do our best to deliver this experience every weekend. We operate as a club with volunteer help. Our ride guides give up their time to help the club deliver this experience, so please respect the ride guides at all times. If you have an individual training plan that would interrupt the normal speed and group dynamic of the social and club rides then we advise that you not join these rides. Just because you can ride faster does not mean you should.

If we do not have a ride guide for the ride there will not be a NC&TC sanctioned ride for that individual ride, members will be notified if this is case no later than Friday evening.

We want cycling on the public roads to be an enjoyable experience for us and other road users. As a club we want to support and encourage people to to ride safely, respecting their fellow riders and other road users to reduce any risk and danger. Observe the Highway Code. The legal position is clear (Highway Code, Rule 66): ‘never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends’. Riding three abreast is dangerous to riders and motorists – not least because the middle rider of the three has nowhere to go if there are any problems to avoid. This happens most commonly on descents where some riders can feel the pace is too slow. Please be patient as the safety of the group is most important, not how fast you can go downhill.

Communication within the Groups

Communication within the group is very important. All riders have a responsibility to communicate to the front if other riders are struggling or need to stop. Hazards such as pot holes should be pointed out and passed back through the group to make sure everyone is aware of the hazard.

The following are the main signals we use while riding in a group.

“Car back” – Where a vehicle is coming up from behind the group.

“Car front” – Where a vehicle is approaching towards the front of the group.

“Single out” A call from riders at the front or the back of the group when a vehicle is unable to pass the 2 abreast column safely. If hearing the call “single out” riders should create space so the outside rider can drop in safely.

“Slowing” and “stopping” should be used to communicate when approaching junctions and passed back through the group.

Always pass horses with extra care and slow down and please pay attention to any request by the horse rider, as they will know the temperament of their horse in these situations.

Riding with NC&TC is always done at your own risk and requires you to meet the minimum standard set for the ride you have selected.

If you have any issues regarding our rides please contact our ride co-ordinator Ken Parsons at

Winter Riding Protocol

During the winter months (November to March) the rides may leave at 10:00 am to avoid adverse weather conditions. If the conditions for riding are considered not safe for everyone, the NC&TC ride co-ordinator will decide whether the rides go ahead and communicate to ride guides and all members via the website and Facebook and our other social media platforms.

The primary consideration will always be the safety of all riders, this being the case, adverse weather decisions will side with the cautious approach. Members are obviously free to ride even though official sanctioned rides are cancelled, however, this is done, as always, at your own risk. Always take extra care if riding in challenging weather conditions.

During winter, it is recommended that you bring a waterproof jacket, not only for rain protection, but also to give an extra layer if you have to stop with a puncture, which will always mean you cool down quickly. A brightly coloured jacket will also help with your visibility to other road users. Riders are advised to look at the tyres they are using paying attention to their durability. A ‘durable’ tyre has rubber treads that are designed to resist sharp objects, doesn’t wear away quickly and usually have tough side walls. If your bike supports wider tyre clearance, moving to a 25mm, 28mm or even 32mm tyres has the added benefit of having more ‘rubber on the road’ which assists with safe handling on wet roads together with contributing to a more comfortable ride.

NC&TC Club Rides – Details

The emphasis for our social and club winter rides will be on base miles. The sporting ride will be a mixture of base miles and higher intensity riding.

For the winter period (until end of March 2020) we intend to keep all club rides to the following distances:

Social Ride: 35 miles or less – Coffee stop optional

Club Rides: 45 miles of less – Coffee stop optional

Sporting Ride: Approx 55 miles or less – Coffee stop optional

PROPOSED FOR 2020: Gran Fondo Training Rides to include interval/hill training : suggested no more than 55 miles – Coffee stop optional – Block of 10 rides to start during January, weather permitting. More details coming early January 2020.

Ride guides will ensure riders are suitably warmed up, especially before undertaking high intensity work. Warm up ‘zones’ can be as far as the first village on any road leading away from Newmarket i.e. Ashley, Woodditton, Saxon Street, Stetchworth, Dullingham, Burwell, Fordham, Chippenham, Moulton. The Ride guides have an obligation to check with riders to ensure their needs are met, paying particular attention to supporting riders who are returning to fitness, or riders moving up a group. During this phase of the ride, we ask all riders to not overtake the ride guide and comply with the clubs guidelines.

Ride guides have the discretion to select their own routes but will stick to the distance guidelines as close as possible, but will always aim to stay within club guidelines for that ride. We will do our very best to inform members of the route before Saturday so you have a chance to review it, even if the information is just a list of villages the route will pass through.

Social Ride

This ride follows the clubs primary ride guidelines.

This is a ‘guided’ ride and during the winter months will be less than 35 miles at an average pace between 13-15mph.

It is perfect for those cyclists wanting a social ride, those new to the sport, those coming back from injuries and sportive cyclists. All the routes for this ride are designed to take in a coffee stop during the ride unless otherwise agreed (sometimes the coffee stop is at the NLC at the end of the ride especially in the winter months). The group will stay together.

It is envisaged that the stronger riders progress their rides to the Club Ride as necessary. You are still welcome on the Social Ride, however, this may require more discipline than before in terms of staying together as a group and you should not break the group riding dynamic.

Club Ride

This ‘guided’ ride will be less than 45 miles during the winter months, but can be as long as 65 miles with up to 3000ft of climbing during the summer. The average pace of this ride is in excess of 15mph but not above 16.5mph.

This ride is perfect for those wanting a step up from the social ride, triathletes, stronger sportive and touring riders and riders with a good level of fitness. It is the ride for riders wanting to improve their technique, such as hill climbing. This group stays together at all times on the level and reforms after climbs. This ride can include a coffee stop unless otherwise agreed (sometimes the coffee stop is at the NLC at the end of the ride especially in the winter months).

It is envisaged that the stronger riders progress their rides to the Sporting Ride as necessary. You are still welcome on the Club Ride, however, this may require more discipline than before in terms of respecting the wishes of the ride guide for the ride and not breaking the group speed/dynamic.

Sporting Ride

This ride, due to its nature, has a good deal of flexibility but will still be setup to benefit all the riders in the group. Ride guides will ensure riders are suitably warmed up, especially before undertaking high intensity/tempo work, paying particular attention to supporting riders who are returning to fitness, or riders moving up a group. If all riders in the group have ‘warmed up’ on the way to the NLC, and this must first be established, be aware, this ride can start off at a strong pace.

This ride can be any distance between 40 and 80 miles and sometimes further, during the winter months it will be mostly around 55 miles. The average pace for this ride is in excess of 17.5mph and on flatter routes can average as high as 20mph. Routes can include over 3000ft of elevation and can include the biggest hills in the
Newmarket area.

This ride is perfect for strong triathletes, half and full ironman athletes and riders with a high level of strength and fitness who want to put in some strong shared training sessions. Please note, the base assumption is for this ride is to stay together but on occasion (through agreement with ride guide) may separate to cater for specific training plans, but is up to the sporting riders themselves to agree the etiquette of the ride. Although the speed of this ride can be much higher than our other rides, it will still comply with all safe riding guidelines.

Sunday Rides

These will be introduced during February 2020 for a trial period. There will two a month and we communicate which weekends these will be on the events page. We will continue through March and then evaluate if there is sufficient numbers to make this a permanent NC&TC ride. 

Introductory Rides

We have in the past organised Introductory rides during the summer months. We will publish more information during the spring of 2020 if we intend to run these during the summer of 2020.

Junior Rides

Juniors (under 16 years old) are welcome on our social and club rides subject to a parent/guardian always being present and that they are able to keep up with the advertised speed of the selected ride. The parent/guardian must stay with their junior throughout the ride.

Route Library

You can see all our routes on the NCTC route page. If there is route you enjoy which is not included please let us know.

Would you like to become an NC&TC Ride Guide?

We are always looking for help with our guided rides. If you are an experienced cyclist with good group riding skills send us a message if you would like to help. You do not need any formal ride guide qualifications, but these are obviously useful, as all riders ride at their own risk if they attend a club ride. You can contact us at
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