The Barnesbarian rendezvous for club runs is 09:30h on Sunday mornings outside the Village Hall in Dinnington (towards the north end of the main road through the village). Rides typically last up to 4-5 hours at a moderate pace. A cafe stop may be involved, depending on the preference of riders who turn up. Participants can, of course, leave the group early and go their own way for a shorter ride. Full mudguards are recommended for winter group rides and you should ensure you wear suitable clothing and bring sufficient food and drink to see you through the ride.
Late Winter /and early Spring is the time of year when most cyclists seek to build up their fitness for the season ahead by doing what’s referred to as “base training”. This can be beneficial no matter what sort of riding you plan to do later in the year, whether it’s racing, touring or just leisure rides. Base training builds up your muscular endurance and aerobic capacity, giving you a good base of fitness upon which you can build anaerobic fitness later on by doing shorter, harder training sessions (should you wish to).
The good thing about base training is that it doesn’t require you to work exceptionally hard, rather you need to ride regularly and do one lengthy ride per week at a pace that you can reasonably easily maintain. For those using a heart rate monitor, you’d be working at 65-75% of your maximum heart rate. In terms of perceived exertion this should feel about a 6 (on a scale of easy 1-10 hard) somewhat hard but you should have enough breath that you can comfortably carry out short conversations. Base training isn’t an excuse to go slowly, though, that would only get you accustomed to riding slowly.
The Sunday Club runs provide an ideal opportunity for you to do your longest ride of the week in good company. There may be a mix of abilities in the group but this shouldn’t be a problem for a novice due to the dynamics of group riding – while riders at the front of the group need to push through the air. Riders in their slipstream can ride at the same speed while expending up to 30% less energy – it can feel like a very easy ride on the back of a group of riders. If you will struggle to stay on the front of the group, just make this known and you will be excused your turn on the front just make sure you stay in the group to get the benefit though.
If you are not used to doing long rides, you should build up gradually, extending your longest ride time by half an hour per week. This needn’t stop you joining the club runs; it just means you will need to turn back from the route in order to complete your intended ride time. You probably won’t be the only one; people often do part of the ride if they have family commitments on a Sunday afternoon.