We have enough numbers now to split into at least two groups - but how do you know which group to sign in with? The information below should help.
‘Normal’ social group pace.
Whilst the Fab ladies are not classed as beginner’s rides, we do ride at a social and leisure pace. We stop to re-group, take photos, admire the view and generally ride at the pace of the slower members. That said, the pace is usually about 12-14 mph, which is fast enough to stay warm in the cold winter days, but slow enough to be able to breathe!
Although an obvious statement, 12-14 mph generally means you cover 10 miles in an hour (or 5 miles in half an hour) including stops. Therefore, with an aim of leaving at 10 am, we should be at the morning coffee stop by 11 – 11:30, all being well. If people ask me ‘how far do you go’, I usually answer that we are out for the morning and back by lunch. If I said 15-20 miles, some people who have not yet been out think this sounds an enormous distance, and totally impossible. But let me assure you, it is not!
In the above statement, lunch, by the way, is actually a bit generous – as groups get larger it takes longer to complete the café stop, so this has the effect that the return times are often a little later than lunch. A late lunch may be more accurate. If you need to get back for real lunchtime, please speak to the leader and she will suggest when it may be best to turn back/ not stay for a drink.
I would suggest that this group is for you if it is your first time out with the ladies, or you have not ridden for a while, or you may have been unwell. Also if you need to get back this may be the better option.
This is also the pace and distance of one of the Wednesday evening riding groups (which run from May – Aug), and also the pace of most of the day long Sunday rides, held once or twice a month.
Further Faster Group
Introduced in the late summer 2012, the further faster group intends to give the more experienced cyclist a bit more of a challenge. As a rule of thumb, we will go as fast as everyone in the group can go, with an intended minimum speed of about 14-15 mph.
The main difference is that there is an expectation that riders are very familiar with group riding, and have been on at least one ‘normal’ ladies ride. We will not generally be expecting to wait long for people, so riders should be able to comfortably keep up. However, we are still a Cycling UK group, and not racing; we will not be bashing up main roads, and will still use country lanes, cut through’s (in town), but would not be going off road on tracks. We would also stop if a rider has a mechanical difficulty or puncture and help out.
As we are going a little faster, so we can also go a little further than the main group; however we still plan to met up at the same café. Distances will depend on the terrain, but are more likely to get into the hills.
Slow and Steady
This pace introduced in February 2014 is for people who are unsure if they are able to even keep up with the regular pace, have done very little riding, or want to take it really easy. Pace is a little slower, 10-12 mph but stops and pauses are included, and as with all Cycling UK rides we will wait. This is the beginners group.