FAQ

Do I need a bike?
Yes, you will need a bike.  Even for Grade 1 rides in central London, it is impractical to use a "Boris-bike" (that is a rental bike in the Mayor of London's scheme). If you are a visitor to London and would like to join a CycleOut ride as a guest, you will be very welcome, but you will need to borrow a bike or rent one from a cycle hire company.

What sort of bike do I need?
That depends entirely on the type of ride you choose.  We grade rides from 1 to 4 according to their length, speed and difficulty, with 1 being the shortest and easiest.  Any bike will do for a Grade 1 but you might get frustrated on a sports bike.  Most bikes will do for Grades 2 and 3 but probably not a chunky-tyred mountain bike for a 3 unless you are a very strong rider.  For Grade 4 rides we insist that you come on a sports/road bike.  For off-road rides, you must have a mountain bike or sturdy hybrid.

How difficult are the rides?
There is a type of ride for all abilities. The following summarises the four different grades which are offered. 
Grade 1: LEISURE, easy rides, OK for beginners, plenty of stops, easy terrain and relaxed pace, perhaps based around a place of interest or a picnic.
Grade 2: RECREATIONAL, regular navigation stops, enough challenge in the terrain/distance for most club members to feel they have had some real exercise.
Grade 3: TOUR, something for those who want a longer and/or more challenging terrain, less stops. Not suitable for the slower quartile of members.
Grade 4 : SPORT, for those who want fast and challenging rides.

What should I wear?
It is not necessary to wear expensive specialist cycling kit, though if you have it, it is the best option.  What you wear should be comfortable and not too tight-fitting and you should be able to take off or put on layers if the weather is hot or cold.  We do not recommend jeans. As you become more experienced, the most essential items to acquire are :  cycling gloves, to protect the hands and minimise friction; padded cycling shorts, to prevent chafing; and cycling shoes with a hard sole to maximise your pedalling efficiency.  Very soft-soled running shoes will be too flexible for good cycling. CycleOut do have a club kit which can be ordered here.

Do I need a helmet?
Safety is very important to us and cycle helmets are mandatory for all CycleOut rides. Any rider without a helmet will not be permitted to join us on the ride.

What should I bring on a ride?
In autumn, winter and spring you will need cycle lights. Please make sure your batteries are working and the lights can be easily attached to your bike.  You should also bring at least one spare inner tube, a pump and tyre levers in case you have a puncture.  A drink preferably held in a bottle cage is advisable, as are light snacks.  In summer you should have sunscreen and dark glasses. Depending on the weather forecast, it is usually advisable to bring weatherproofs. You will not usually need maps unless you want to leave the ride early.

Do I need to register for a ride?
Yes you do, as it is a requirement of the club's insurance that we properly record everyone participating on a ride. Once you register, you will receive full joining instructions.  If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the ride leader whose contact details are usually given in the notice of the ride.  If for whatever reason, you then decide not to join the ride, please deregister so we will not be waiting for you and to free up the space for another participant.

Where do the rides start?
Most of our rides start either on the outskirts of London or well outside the city and we usually travel to the start by train.  Your joining instructions will include train travel details.  You are, of course welcome to use your own transport to reach the starting point, but please check if the ride is circular or ends elsewhere as that might complicate the use of a car.  Most Grade 1 rides are in London itself and, especially, as the days shorten we will have other rides where you can cycle to the start.

Can I leave a ride early?
It is always an option to leave one of our rides before its official finish as we recognise that members may have to work or have other engagements, or just prefer a shorter ride. It is a good idea to tell the ride leader beforehand and to ensure you know how to get back on your own from wherever you leave. Message the ride leader through the website if you need more information on the route.

What if I have a mechanical problem?
By far the commonest problems on rides are punctures. That is why you should have a spare inner tube as it is not always possible to mend a flat at the roadside.  The rest of the riders will wait and help you.  You will not be left behind. Please do remember that punctures can happen on your journeys to and back from the ride start, which means you may have to cope on your own. If there are more serious problems -- and over the years we have had snapped cables, broken spokes, slit tyres, shorn-off derailleurs -- the ride will help to find a solution.

What about refreshments and food?
It is essential to carry water or some other fluid, preferably in a bottle in a bottle cage.  Nearly all of our rides make lunch stops, often at a pub where you can buy a full meal.  The details of the stop are usually given in the ride description or when you register.  Sometimes we also take breaks for tea or coffee but these stops do not always happen, as they depend on where the ride goes and its progress.  You can always bring your own food and we have members who prefer to have their own sandwiches.  Sometimes we organise picnics in better weather. On our more challenging rides, it is perhaps best not to eat too much or drink alcohol.

Who are the ride leaders?
Our rides are all led by club members who offer their services voluntarily, often riding their routes in advance to familiarise themselves with the route and find lunch stops.  We fully encourage all members to lead rides if possible. Guidelines for ride leaders are here and if you would like to lead a ride please submit the details here.

Do we do any longer rides or trips?
CycleOut London often offers several rides over 100 km.  The club also has a tradition of organising various residential weekends in the UK, for example we have recently been to Scotland, Yorkshire and the Lake District.  We also organise cycling holidays abroad and past trips have included France, Spain, Albania, Italy, Hungary and Belgium to name a few. All trips are organised by CycleOut volunteers on a non-profit basis.  
 
Insurance
CycleOut London is affiliated to Cycling UK (also known as CTC - Cycling Touring Club) and British Cycling. CycleOut members can join Cycling UK for a discounted rate on the standard full individual membership. To take advantage of this rate go to CTC affiliate membership and enter 90069908 as Affiliate Club Code.
Cycling UK provides you with third party insurance cover should you cause any damage or injury to anyone while cycling (terms and conditions apply). You'll also receive access to a wide range of retail discounts, which can easily cover the cost of membership.

How do I change my password?
To do this follow the sequence : Members/Your Profile/Edit/Update Your Profile.
If you have forgotten your password, press the Forgot Login? button on the login form.


Copyright © 2020 CycleOut London. All Rights Reserved.