TIPS FOR NEW EBC RIDERS
You’ve found our website. You’ve checked out About EBC Rides, the Rides & Events schedule, Weekly Rides and the Guidelines for Safe Group Riding. You’ve seen some photos. We look like normal people (more or less). You think you’d like to have a go at a ride. What next?
KNOW THY SELF
Because we offer such a range of paces and distances, people come to us for a similar wide range of reasons. Some confident and speedier folks may be looking for a reliable training group that’s the right size and degree of challenge for them. At the other extreme are more tentative folks who are interested in biking but concerned about their own abilities and learning to ride safely. Probably most folks are somewhere in the middle -- comfortable on a bike but looking for some biking buddies and some new places to bike to. All are welcome.
We rarely say much about age because we don’t collect age data and we are by nature an inclusive and welcoming bunch. But look at the pix! We are mature adults (chronologically speaking). We have found over the years that age is not a very good predictor of fitness or cycling ability – or, for that matter, common sense, civility or respect for others or any number of other things we care about. So if you are an adult who also values those things, you’ll likely find us a congenial group.
KNOW THY PACE
When in doubt, choose your first EBC rides at a pace/distance that’s slower/shorter than you think you can handle. To reduce the doubt, ride your bike for 30 minutes or so on a trail or long straight road and note either on your own speedometer or on one of a buddy you’re biking with what your comfortable, sustainable rolling pace is. That’s what our stated paces are pegged to. No need to invest in a speedometer to join our rides. The ride leader will have one. But the better the fit between your expectations and our reality, the better everyone’s riding experience will be. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to pick a scheduled ride – with a leader, distance and destination specified – for your first club ride rather than a Show & Go.
KNOW THY GEAR
Do a quick safety check on your bike or have your local bike shop (LBS) do it. It takes just a few minutes and most LBSs will do this for free. You or they will be checking the tires for air pressure and signs of deterioration (rubber doesn’t last forever; sidewalls are at least as important as tread), the brakes, the chain and the crank – and for anything that rattles or is loose.
While at your LBS, you might pick up a spare inner tube for your tires to carry with you on rides. Flats aren’t terribly common but it’s best to be prepared. Not to worry though. You’ll likely have plenty of help fixing a flat should one happen on an EBC ride.
Get a helmet! If you already own a helmet, check its age on the label inside. Parts other than the protective foam can wear out over 5-10 years or be damaged by long sun exposure. And always remember that a bike helmet is essentially a “single use” item; if it has ever hit the ground or other solid object with your head in it or been dropped hard enough to crack the foam, replace it!
KNOW THY SCHEDULE
Even our shorter rides require an investment of several hours when you include bathroom breaks and a food stop. Sometimes our ride leaders can predict a finishing time; sometimes not. Give yourself some time leeway on the first couple EBC rides you try so you don’t find yourself having to leave mid-ride. Generally, we won’t drop YOU, but if you have to drop US, we can’t guarantee that someone will be available to accompany you back.
COME ON OUT!
Find a ride on the schedule. Mark your calendar. Prepare your bike. Show up at the appointed time and place. We’re looking forward to riding with you!