June 26, 2013

Novice Ride RESUMED !

We are back on for Wednesday’s Novice Night.

We pulled out all the stops to make sure the route is safe, the ride format is acceptable and the ride leaders are aware and ready to lead new riders into the sport.

We always like innovating and changing things up, for both safety and variety.   The introduction of the new novice route along Gerber Road with bike lanes was one such example this year.  After careful review and consensus amoung riders and ride leaders, we’ve come up with three new ideas to improve the novice ride program.

1) Smaller Groups:  We’ve grown!  And groups can become large as they leave the parking lot.  So, we’re going to insist on smaller groups of 8-12 riders.  That way the ride leader can communicate with the group more easily and focus on instruction and ensuring smooth group motion.

2) Tighter Ride Format:  Single file, with the front rider pulling off to the right or flicking their left elbow (like the PRO’s) to indicate the next rider is to pass on the left and take a turn pulling.  You only need to “pull” at the front as long as you have capacity…~30 seconds.   The passed rider will “filter” to the back and rejoin the single file, where he/she can rest before it’s their turn to pull at the front again.  We are also going to be moving over to the right…in single file if possible when a car passes.

3)  New Routes:  Inspired by the Tour de France this month, one suggestion from the membership is to have a “Tour Month” where ride leaders will slightly modify the route for July for a change of scenery.  It’s up to them.  Nothing major.  For the novices that may mean more hills or bike lanes?  For the advanced that may mean more distance and elevation?

We’ve have such great momentum in this program and the summer is just starting.  The ride leaders have discussed best practices and are ready for you to take on the road.

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WCC Administrator


  1. JaneV

    WCC always puts safety first.
    The experienced group riders need to understand the bylaws and pass them onto the novice riders.

  2. Dan

    Flicking the left elbow, then drifting right and slowing, to be passed on the left buy the “upcoming rider” or the rider “pulling through”? Am I reading this correctly? I just joined the club last week, but I’ve been at this for decades on the road and on the track, and I/we /the rest of the cycling world (?) have always done it like in a car—flick right, move right. This signalling may be even more important on the track…. Just speaking intuitively, if the following rider just happens to be overlapping on the right, and the front rider flicks left; I don’t understand how the following (and overlapping) rider is going to see through the front rider to see his left elbow flick, before she/he pulls to the right, and then rides across the follower’s front wheel and crashes her/him and lots of others. I am hoping this is just a typo, but given that it is in regard to novice riders, I hope this is either clarified or corrected IMMEDIATELY.

  3. Philip

    Riders shouldn’t be overlapping wheels on Wednesday night (or most other rides for that matter). I think the idea was that if you’re pulling off to the right it will be easier to see someone flick their left elbow. The goal is to clearly indicate that you’re pulling off the front.

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