Ride2Raise 2013-14 Rider Handbook
This is some basic information that we share with all our riders. Please feel free to ring or email us if you can’t find the answers here.
2-3 weeks before your event you'll receive a full Ride Schedule including details of where and when your ride starts and finishes. We’d recommend being at the start as early as possible to allow for loading of the support vehicle, checking bikes, taking photos, warming up, saying tearful goodbyes to loved ones etc. If you’re struggling to be there on time make sure you ring and let us know.
Where accommodation on the final day is included, there will usually be a quiet dinner in the evening in a local hotel and any riders and their family and friends are welcome to join us. We would need to know about numbers in advance and guests will need to meet their own costs.
The routes vary in length and difficulty. We use four grades – Easy to Moderate, Moderate, Moderate to Tough and Tough. There are more details on the routes, route highlights and night stops on the website.
We provide excellent hotels and usually single or twin room accommodation. However, sole occupancy can be guaranteed by payment of a supplement. Contact us for more details.
Clothing and kit:
Each rider will need to bring all cycling clothing they need for the trip (although usually the charity will provide bespoke branded jerseys for each rider). The wearing of helmets will be required at all times.
There are very good reasons why pro cyclists use the kit that they do ie so they can travel quickly and comfortably over long distances and, of course, that's exactly what we want to do as riders, especially on these challenges. And every piece of kit has a practical purpose. It also doesn't have to be expensive. Yes there are pricey manufacturers out there but there are also decent brands at different price-points to match any budget.
Here are some ideas on what clothing and kit you'll need….
Baselayers - these come in short sleeve and long sleeve versions. They wick the sweat away from your body, which is crucial in keeping you dry on a long ride in any temperature. April, May, Sept and October rides might require warmer, long sleeve layers.
Shorts - Good quality, padded shorts are vital. We’re not fans of wearing two pairs as this can cause additional friction, as does wearing anything under or over the shorts. We recommend buying at least one pair of the best shorts you can and then hand washing them each evening if necessary. The use of chamois cream is also a must, either applied directly to the skin or to the pad in the shorts. A knicker is another option (longer lycra shorts that go below the knee) and these are especially good for keeping fragile knees warm on morning rides.
Jerseys – We’d recommend any jerseys come with at least three pockets, which are useful for carrying anything from waterproofs to energy bars, to inner tubes, co2 cannisters and phones.
Socks - Any short socks will do, although specific cycling socks are designed to be breathable and lightweight. The cycling tarts among you will know that the wearing of black socks with white shoes is very much frowned on!
Arm and knee warmers - these can be useful when starting out early on a long ride as they can be removed and stored in jersey pockets when you - and the day - has warmed up.
Shoes - Not much to say here although it's crucial that the cleats are positioned correctly when you are fitted for your bike, while shims and orthotics can help if, for example, your arch collapses in during the pedal stroke or you have a leg length difference.
Waterproofs - Another crucial bit of kit is a lightweight, breathable waterproof. We carry waterproof gilets in the Summer as keeping the torso dry is the priority.
Food - You'll need to eat as you ride – and we’d recommend grabbing a banana and a roll from breakfast each morning and carrying them in your jersey. We also carry energy gels and high-calorie bars. "Bonking/Blowing Up” on a trip like this, or any ride, isn’t much fun and everyone should be prepared. A recovery drink/bar after each ride is also recommended.
9Bar are one of our sponsors and supply us with a stock of their energy bars which are ideal to eat on route. And we can usually supply recovery shakes For Goodness Shakes after each day.
Here's a more detailed nutrition plan for endurance rides exclusively put together for us by our friends at fitnaturally - Nutritional Plan.
Drinks - You'll need two bottle cages unless you'll be carrying a bottle in your jersey. 750mm bottle are best. We usually just take water but sometimes will add a hydration tab from Nectar. You can fill up bottles from our support vechiles during the day.
Creams and Potions – Even if you don’t suffer from any aches and pain, we’d recommend using these on a trip like this. Deep heat or similar will help you ease back into your riding each morning and minimise the risk of a strain or pull. And a recovery cream, like Nature's Kiss, will help after the ride, along with stretching and leg elevation. High factor suncream is also vital and recommended even on our April and October rides.
Bikes - A good quality racing/road bike will be necessary for most of our challenges but a decent hybrid would be acceptable for the shorter rides. We'd be happy to advise if you're looking to buy a new bike before your challenge.
Bike fit – In our opinion it really is crucial to get a proper fit on your bike as the smallest irregularity or bad positioning will be amplified across a long ride.
Bike service - Again, we think everyone should give their bike a full service before the start. Our rides are a long way and it would be crazy to have your bike working at less than 100% or, worse, failing you mid-ride. At the very least get it some new tyres, pads and a cassette and chain plus give it a good clean!
Pumps, CO2 etc - Obviously you'll each need to bring the relevant kit for your bike. We use CO2 but have gadgets that include both a CO2 inflator and a traditional hand pump. You’ll also need to bring a couple of spare tubes and tyres levers.
Multi-tool - A vital item to carry with you on a long ride. We use Lezyne multi-tools but there are loads on the market. Carry it in your saddle- bag.
Sunglasses - Obviously good in the sunshine (!) but also great at keeping grit, spray and dust out of eyes.
Spares - To be safe we'd recommend that everyone brings a spare chain (that fits their bike) plus brake pads and a tyre.
Leg shaving/waxing - It's an amusing topic but there are also clear practical benefits of doing it. 1 The leg is easier to massage, 2 the leg is easier to treat for cuts, grazes 3 there's less friction if/when you fall off ie hair on ground will pull the skin out. It's also true that hairy legs and lycra shorts just don't look right! Anyway, it's obviously not compulsory but we thought we'd address it all the same....
With just one support vehicle, space will be tight so each rider is limited to one small case. Think airline hand luggage limits.
We will cover the cost of all accommodation, meals and transport on the trip (sometimes this includes the night before a ride and the night after the last leg but not always). The only exclusions would be for evening drinks (soft or alcoholic), room service and any other food or services you require outside meal times. You will need to arrange your own transport to the start and after the finish.
What kit we’ll be carrying:
We will carry some spares – wheels with tyres, lubricants, cleaning kit plus a full tool kit, bike stands and stand pumps. But you will need to bring any other kit you feel is important and it must be able to fit in your luggage. You will be charged at cost for any spares we have to supply (other than tubes).
With 8-10 riders the chances of getting a puncture are obviously increased so it’s important that everyone has decent touring puncture resistant tyres. We can thoroughly recommend Conti 4-Seasons or GP4000s. However, punctures can’t be helped and we’ll all need to muck in to change a tube so we can get back on the road asap.
There’ll be at least one experienced mechanic on each ride so we should be able to handle most eventualities.
There will be at least two people trained in First Aid on each ride, and we will carry a basic first aid kit by bike with a more advanced kit in the support vehicle.
See my notes below on riding as a group. The event is insured but we’d recommend anyone who isn’t already a member also joining British Cycling as the individual cover is excellent.
Lunch will be pack lunches provided by the hotels on route or pub lunches. We will try to make the stop as short as possible (not more than 30 mins).
On the road:
We feel strongly about riding each challenge as a team, sticking together at all times and starting and finishing each leg together. The only place where this is difficult will be on climbs as everyone has their natural rhythm and it’s not wise to upset that rhythm by asking people to go slower or faster than they’re comfortable with. If you get to the top first, just wait for everyone to re-group before setting off again.
Where we have enough riders for more than one group, we will split participants based on speed/ability. This usually makes for smoother, safer progress with riders happier being with others of a similar ability. You'll have the opportunity to move between groups depending on how you get on.
Riding as a group is an art in itself and for longer challenges there will usually be one Training Ride before the event so that we can practice. Taking 10 min turns on the front makes sense but, of course, we’ll also have to make allowances for those who are struggling with injuries or tiredness (we’ll usually have a spread of ages, abilities and fitness to factor in too). There’s no shame in having an hour on the back if you’ve blown up or are having a tough day.
Riding two abreast is perfectly acceptable unless the road is very narrow and riding as close to the wheel in front will help you be as economical as possible, conserving energy for your turn on the front. Watch the hips of the rider in front not the wheel as this better indicates any change in direction. Don’t overlap or cross wheels as this can be very dangerous if the rider in front moves across suddenly. And never ride three abreast.
Riders at the front will need to point out any potholes or road “furniture” – and riders at the back any cars. Use hand signals as shouts can’t always be heard. Pass this information through the group. When you’re going to stand up announce this with “standing up” to the rider behind or you risk touching wheels. Never brake without signaling or shouting a warning. Keep regular and sensible spacing on descents. Riding predictably and smoothly is the way to go.
Racing or sprinting is not allowed at any time, regardless of road and weather conditions.
There’s so much training information online and in specialist cycling magazines that we won’t go into too much detail here. It is important to stress though that some sort of training schedule, with a gradual build up in speed and mileage, is vital for anyone taking part in a Ride2Raise event.
Completing at least one ride of a mileage similar to the daily distances of your event will also help your body become accustomed to being on a bike for that sort of time.We will hold a Training Ride in Dorking, Surrey for longer challenges (4-6 days). This will take place around 6-8 weeks before the event and is a great opportunity to assess fitness and see where extra work might be necessary. It’s also a good chance to meet fellow riders and your Ride Managers and to practise riding safely and efficiently as a group.
You will need to demonstrate that you are capable of completing the event you've entered. For guidance, on our longer/tougher challenges you will need to be able to ride for a considerable distance at an average speed of 14-15mph. For our other, shorter events an average speed of 13-14mph will be acceptable. We reserve the right to offer you a place on an alternative event if necessary.
Terms and Conditions, Rules & Regulations, Waiver and Declaration
By entering a Ride2Raise event or training ride you agree to abide by our published Terms and Conditions and Rules & Regulations. You will also be agreeing to our published Waiver and Declaration. Please see the Terms & Conditions page of this website for more information.
Follow the Rides on Twitter
There will be regular updates on Twitter for all our rides so please encourage friends and family to follow us - and you - at www.twitter.com/ride2raise
There will be experienced Ride Managers on each ride plus a support vehicle team. Our policy is to have at least one member of staff for every 3-4 riders – maximising the attention and service we can offer you. The Ride Managers are there to help the ride run safely and smoothly and to help you enjoy the challenge as much as possible. Their decisions on all matters are final. Meet Our Team.
Richard King (01306 509147/07903 254399)