Newbies – What to Expect

Whether you’re new to cycling in general or just new to cycling in a group, this page will give you all the details about what to expect when you join us for a ride. Our rides currently meet in the car park at the bottom of Cumming Street, at The Links in Nairn. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the postcode is IV12 4NF.

Summer Season

During the summer we obviously have the longer nights, which allows us to squeeze in evening rides through the week.

Social Sunday 09:00hrs during summer (BST).

At the moment our Social Sunday ride is proving pretty popular and is definitely the place to start if you’re new to cycling in a group.  It’s a leisurely pace and a manageable distance for most.  It is a condition of our Social Sunday ride that NOBODY gets left behind.  The group pace adjusts to suit the slowest rider and there is no pressure to break a sweat to keep up.  We take breaks when needed and we regroup at the top of hills etc.  Check out our Need To Know section for details on what clothing to wear and kit to take with you.

Hills, Hills, Hills

If you ask a range of cyclists what they dread the most when they are cycling, the answer will rarely be “reaching the coffee shop and stopping for some carrot cake”, or “Cruising along chatting about the exploits of the group on Saturday night”. In most circumstances, the answer will of course be “HILLS!”. Let’s face it though, there’s only one way you will get better at hills… CLIMB more. They are honestly not that intimidating when you learn how to conquer them, and there’s no feeling quite like the achievement you get from reaching the summit and being rewarded by the stunning views.

Anyway, this session is all about getting as much elevation as possible into a restricted time frame. Some routes will be more challenging than others and there will still be options for those less experienced. Make sure your legs and lungs are in good condition for these sessions though – You will need to use them to full effect! Again, we will regroup as a team at the top (or bottom if we’re going up and down the same hill!) so there will be no getting dropped here either.  This session is suitable for intermediate riders.

Chain Gang

This session is all about speed and skill on the bike.  We set off in reasonable sized groups of similar ability, with the fastest setting off last, so we all arrive at the destination at approximately the same time.  That’s the theory anyway.  This is a proper hardcore workout session and is the ONLY session we run where there is a possibility of getting dropped.  For this reason we ask that you only attend the session if you are happy (and equipped) to make your way back to the start alone. This doesn’t mean that we don’t want you to come along – of course we do! And you won’t necessarily have to take a turn on the front initially so please do not be put off.  Email us or chat to us at any of the other group rides if you are interested in giving this session a bash.

Mountain Bike Madness

Mountain bike rides are organised on an ad-hoc basis.  Times and dates are announced over on our club forum page.  We usually take a visit to one of the organised trail centres in the area so that there’s something to suit everyone’s abilities.

Winter Season

The Social Sunday rides continue throughout the year unless the weather is really inclement.  Start time is 0930hrs for these winter sessions.  Keep an eye on the announcements page for any cancellations due to weather. You will obviously need to adjust your riding kit to suit and be prepared to get wet/dirty.  We may even consider changing to Mountain Bike riding through the winter to keep our carbon lovelies in tip top condition! This will be decided on a weekly basis. Again, monitor the announcements and the forum for up to date information.

Night Riding

During winter it feels like 90% of our time is spent in darkness. We want to keep our fitness levels up so we will look to run some night rides (with appropriate lights and reflective gear where required) through the shorter days.  Some club members will need this training to prepare for endurance events like the Strathpuffer 24hr race!

Bike Maintenance Sessions

We are looking into the logistics of this, however we will be hoping to arrange maintenance classes to help you understand more about your chosen steed.  The more you understand your bike and how it all works, the safer you will feel hurtling yourself downhill at 80kph on a contact patch the size of a postage stamp!  Seriously though, basic bike maintenance is a skill that we should ALL have if we are spending time on the road whether in a group or solo.  These planned sessions will give you the knowledge and skills to get you home safely.