How fast do you go?
Our rides are grouped into categories along with a general guideline. We do not promote racing or extreme cycling events. Please pay attention to the ride leader's comments when rides are advertised. If in doubt contact either the ride leader for that particular ride or the Ride Leader Coordinator to discuss the ride. We want you to participate in rides that are best suited for you. If in doubt, many times the ride leader will arrange for a ride partner to shadow you.
How often do you ride?
During the warmer months we begin weekday rides on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Weekend rides are on both Saturday and Sunday. As a member, you can participate in our club's Google Group where rides are always being picked up. A word of caution; pick-up rides are not club sanctioned and are at the risk of each individual. These rides are not covered by our liability insurance.
Where do your rides start?
Our club meets at several locations within Harford County. Our main meeting spot is at the Campus Hills Shopping Center. As requested by the property management company, we meet at the parking lot behind La Tolteka. Remember, we are guests and we ask that you be courteous to the traffic/pedestrians and not to litter. If you see some trash in our area that may be from another rider, please be responsible and pick it up. We also meet at a variety of other locations as indicated on our Start Locations Page (Rides: Routes: Start Locations).
What other rides and activities do you do?
Our club promotes outside rides that meet the overall interest of the group. We regularly meet and car pool to these rides. Also, we are very active and social people. We regularly schedule monthly socials to provide an open environment for both members and non-members to inter-act. Additionally, our members are active in other sports such as running and kayaking. Members use the Google Groups to communicate these interests and to meet-up.
Do you have meetings?
Our club has regularly scheduled Board of Director meetings on a monthly basis. All members are allowed to attend and participate. Each member is eligible to be a board member.
What are your age requirements?
Anyone 14 and above may join. Under the age of 18 requires the signature of a guardian. Age 14 and 15 members must ride with a guardian.
Isn't riding a bike on the road dangerous?
A lot of drivers in Harford County are courteous. OK, maybe that is a bit over the top! Of course, the responsibility is on you! Always be alert and ride defensively. You should be prepared for almost every hazard. Lights and a helmet are important, but the biggest precaution you can take is anticipating dangerous situations. Many of us are experienced street riders, and we are happy to teach by example. Should you have an unpleasant experience, please refrain from giving it back. Most times it simply angers the driver and they will take it out on the next cyclist. Also, as cyclists, we are responsible to yield safely to pedestrians, runners and horseback riders in the park. When approaching them, signal other riders and slow down. Be extra safe around horseback riders. Ride slowly and as far away as practical. If the horse seems irritated or the rider yells out, it is best to stop and let the horse go by. Your actions could cause the horseback rider serious harm and also danger to yourself. Remember, we are equally responsible to act safely around others.
What should I do if someone else in the group acts irresponsible?
Unless it is presenting an immediate danger, you should report the improper behavior to either the ride leader or Ride Leader Coordinator after the ride. Refrain from yelling at someone unless the situation requires immediate attention and you are comfortable saying something to that person.
I'm a beginner. Can I still come on a ride?
Of course. But choose your first ride carefully according to your ability. Everyone has to start somewhere. We support and encourage beginners, but please do not choose a 50 mile first ride. If unsure, simply contact either the ride leader or the Ride Leader Coordinator to discuss the ride and your experience. We strongly encourage beginners! Feel free to approach the ride leader at the ride and introduce yourself. If the ride is appropriate, the ride leader will either designate someone to ride with you or will keep an eye out for you. Rides are typically ''No Drop'', unless specified. If you cannot keep up with the stated pace, the ride leader has the option to either slow the pace down, take more breaks or ask someone to ride with you. While you are responsible for repairs of your own bike, we pride ourselves in our camaraderie. We typically stop as a group for repairs of flats.
What kind of bike do I need?
The majority of our members ride road bikes. Some have mountain bikes or hybrid bikes. So anything goes, but we are riding on roads, not mountains or trails, so a road bike is the most appropriate tool for the job.
My bike sucks. Can I still come on a ride?
Yes. Some of our regular routes have very few hills. Read the ride announcements carefully before deciding whether to come.
Where can I buy a good bike?
We encourage our members to support our local bike shops since they support us. Once you ride with a group, you will be subjected to a lot of free advice. Everyone is encouraged to share their opinions but there is no official club expert.
This is my first group ride, should I bring anything besides my bike?
Always make sure you bring the ride leader's phone number if available. A helmet is required even if you have a hard skull. An extra layer and gloves, in cooler weather, or during the rainy season. If it is really hot, you should bring sunscreen. Sunglasses; if you think you are cool. A spare inner tube is strongly recommended. Bring a pump and patch kit if you have one, though we can help you out initially. Bring water. You may want to bring two bottles if the ride is over 20 miles or it is hot. For longer rides, bring a snack and a few dollars so that you can buy water/food if necessary. If practical, bring a cell phone.
What can I do to really annoy the other club members?
Turn up for a ride that is way beyond your ability on a badly maintained bike, with your tires so deflated and threadbare that you get punctures every couple of miles. That will do the trick. Please show up at least 15 minutes prior to the ride to allow time to get ready. Published times are based on departure. If you are running late, let the ride leader know. They may decide to wait a few minutes to allow you to participate. Do not expect the group to wait all of the time.
Must I wear Lycra cycling clothes?
Look at our photos. Some of us do; some don't. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
How do I get one of those fantastic club jerseys?
They are nice, aren't they! Unfortunately they're only made to order, and we don't keep spares in your size. You can pre-order at any time from the Store located in the Members menu and we will contact you before the next batch is made.
The weather forecast says it is going to rain. Will the ride be cancelled?
Cold/hot temperatures, wind, sprinkles, or raindrops wouldn't prevent a ride. A sustained downpour would. Forecasts change all the time, and they are often wrong anyway. If you are in doubt, check your e-mail for updates, or call the host rider within an hour before the ride. Hosts should always provide someone's mobile number in their original posting. If the official ride leader or a designated substitute leader does not show up, any ride is considered a pick-up ride.
How can I submit my pictures/videos on the web or get a copy of a photo?
We love show-casing our rides and members. Contact the webmaster to arrange for submission of photos/pictures or to request an image. Insertion of your photo/video must be appropriate content, free of copy-protected music/images and have your permission to use it as we deem fit.
What if I find a photo of myself that I do not like?
While your membership gives permission to use images, we will be glad to remove any image that you deem offensive. Please contact the webmaster.