Q. Are newbies welcome?
A. Definitely! We welcome riders of all levels and experience. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Q. When do you ride?
A. We ride every Saturday, Sunday and all holidays. We also offer a standing Monday and Wednesday ride. Click the “Rides” button at the top of this page.
Q. What time do the rides start?
A. With the exception of an occasional remote ride-start all rides start at CSUN promptly at 8am. There’s a link on the home page for directions to the ride start location and parking information is in the General Info section of that page.
Q. What kind of bike do I need to ride with the SFVBC?
A. A bike in good working order. Although you may use a mountain bike, we are a road-riding club, and mountain bikes tend to be less efficient on the road.
Q. What do I need to bring with me?
A. A helmet is required. Bring some water or sports drink. You should also bring a spare tube, tire lever and pump (or CO2). A few dollars for refreshments at rest stops, and perhaps some extra money, a credit card and cell phone are also good to have. Depending on the ride you choose you may want to bring some energy food. Print and bring the route slips of the rides you think you’d like to do. They are in a PDF format and available for download 1 week before the ride is scheduled. Please note, there are no ride leaders, except on introductory rides, so it is best to have a route slip. Should you become separated from other riders you will then be able to regroup at the rest stop.
Q. Where do you ride?
A. All over the greater northwestern Los Angeles area. We have rides anywhere from 25 to 100 miles. The local riding is exceptional.
Q. How hard are your rides?
A. We rate our rides on a 1-5 scale with 1 being the easiest and 5 the hardest. The #1 rides are short and relatively flat. The #5 rides are long and hard. The ride pace tends to be faster on the longer rides, depending on the terrain, weather and ride participants. It depends on how far and how fast and the ride rating. The #1 and #2 rides are typically flatter. Anything longer will have some climbing. On any ride, regardless of length, there will be a range of speed, with slow, medium, and fast riders tending to ride together in relatively small groups. The slowest riders on shorter rides will be slower than the slowest riders on long rides. Likewise, the fastest riders on long rides tend to be faster than the fastest riders on short rides. Unless you are sure of what your relative speed is, it is best if you start out with an easier ride and gradually move up to faster and/or longer rides. If you are not having fun, you should try a shorter ride or a slower group next time.
Average speeds vary quite a bit, particularly on the shorter rides (which tend to be flatter but have more traffic lights) but as a guide:
#1 Rated: 13 MPH
#2 Rated: 15 MPH
#3 Rated: 14-17 MPH
#4 Rated: 14-18 MPH
#5 Rated: 15-18 MPH
Q. What should I wear?
A. A helmet is required. If you’re just trying this out that’s about all you need. You’ve probably seen cyclists in Lycra and colorful jerseys. You don’t need those to ride with us. As you get more involved in cycling you’ll understand why most riders use these “Kits.” The cycling specific and hi-tech fabrics are great but not necessary to ride with us.
Q. Do you offer any introductory rides?
A. Yes. We offer an introductory ride the first Saturday of every month. It will have a ride leader and will always be the shortest scheduled ride for that day. Our regular rides do not have ride leaders; only the introductory rides do.
Q. How do I ride in a group?
A. Our monthly introductory ride covers this but here are a few key pointers.
- Hold your line.
- Do not swerve.
- Ride Steady.
- Ride predictably.
- Don’t cross or overlap your front wheel with the rear wheel of the rider in front.
Q. Will I get “dropped?”
A. At some point everyone gets dropped. Faster riders may drop you, but sooner or later another group will catch up with you. You’ll eventually fall into your natural group. Every ride has at least 1 break of 20-30 minutes for food, water and regrouping; longer rides usually have two. Getting dropped is a rite of passage.
Q. Are there differences between your Saturday and Sunday rides?
A. Yes and no. There tends to be more riders doing a wider variety of rides on Saturday. This makes the easier rides easier and the hard riders harder. On Sunday we offer fewer rides so we end up with more riders on a given route (usually the shortest route of the day).
Q. What about mountain bike rides?
A. We hold 1 or 2 a year just to mix things up. If you are serious about mountain biking take a look at: http://www.nrmbc.org
Q. Do you hold rides in the rain?
A. Yes, but no one may show.
Q. Do you offer any bike tours?
Q. I’m visiting LA with my bike. Are you the club to ride with?
A. We think we are. We are located in a great location for road riding. We can ride from the Pacific Ocean to mountains over 6,000’ right from our starting location. We’ve had many visitors and they usually are quite impressed our rides and location (and the fact that we can ride year round).
Q. Are you a racing bike club?
A. No, we are a recreational cycling club.
Q. Do I have to join the club to ride with you?
A. No. Give us a try on a ride or two, and when you’re satisfied that we are right for you, please join then.
Q. How to set my profile photo, aka “icon” or “thumb” or “avatar”?
A. You will need to do it using Gravatar.com. It is a bit lengthy to answer here so I created a step by step page – here.
Q. What are the benefits of membership?
- Access to the club Facebook page
- Emails with late-breaking changes as well as reminders of upcoming rides and events.
- Discounts at most local bike shops.
- Supporting an organization that brings riders together. With the club there’s always someone to ride with.
- Good Karma.
Q. How do I join/Renew?
A. I am not a member: Click on the “Join” menu option on the top right hand side of this page.
A. I am a member: Use the top menu to visit “Members / my profile”, and click the [Renew 1 year] or [Renew 2 year] buttons
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