Midweek ride lengths and speed;

I see that the ride to Whittington on Tuesday 6 June is quoted as being of a length i have not previously seen, being graded C but with a distance St: 40-65 miles. By what stretch of the imagination is this a C grade ride?The maximum for a C ride has always been 50 miles and this was seen as pushing it a bit. Is this something which was agreed at the AGM?

This leads me to a further matter of concern regarding the mid week rides in that the C rides have been hi-jacked with the result that they are now almost all bordering on B rides. The result of this is that it is putting off a growing number of well established C grade riders who are either unwilling or unable to join these rides any longer. Not only are such riders making their own arrangements, outside the official progrmme but, any potential new-comers turning up at the bridge are unlikely to come again if their needs are not met.

It may be that there needs to be another sub group set up to cater for older/slower riders and newcomers and this will need to be addressed by the committee. I would welcome comments from others who feel that things cannot go on as they are. Your views/suggestions can shape how we go forward from here.

5 Responses to Midweek ride lengths and speed;

  • Here are the guidelines for PACE, DISTANCE and ELEVATION as mentioned by John above.

    In regard to Jenny and Graham’s comment, why not have a regular D ride say every Tuesday and decide on the day where the destination is to be. That is effectively what you do now but you would have the ‘Group’ intact.

    I can give an example of how the ‘old’ system wouldn’t work. I reccied a ride on Wednesday last for a Car Assist. Under the ‘old’ system it would have been C ride as it was only 36 miles and ridden at an average of 9.4 mph. I did stop once for 30 minutes.
    But to tell you that involved climbs of 25%, multiple 15% sections and up to the top of the Horseshoe Pass twice as well as over the Panorama and Worlds End with many thousands of feet of climbing would put in a completely different category. As it is I am halving the amount of climbing and missing out the steepest sections so that it can be described as a C (The ride will be intentionally ridden at a sedate pace and not at B pace) It will be HILLY (after cutting the climbing down) and MEDIUM for distance. By these descriptions it can be seen that it will be different to an ‘old’ C ride to Church Stretton down the Roman Road.

    Anyway, here are the guidelines (and is stressed that they are only guides and the overlaps are intentional)

    We now have a new system for grading our rides. This will be introduced as and when Rides Listings can be updated. The basic change is that ABCD now refers only to the PACE of the ride and not the distance. DISTANCE is now represented by 4 brackets as below. An addition is a description of the sort of ride you can expect in respect of ELEVATION. None of the categories are to be taken too literally, but just as a guide to give a better idea of the type of ride to be expected. It is hoped this will help Leaders to provide the ride that Riders are expecting and for Riders to select rides that suit their needs.

    PACE (mph average)

    A = 12 to 14
    B = 10 to 12
    C = 9 to 11
    D = easy pace up to 10

    DISTANCE (Miles)

    SHORT (Short) 15 TO 35
    MEDIUM (Med) 30 TO 50
    STANDARD (Std) 40 TO 65
    LONG (Long) 60 TO 80

    ELEVATION (Overall impression)

    FLAT (Flat)
    HILLY (Hilly)
    VERY HILLY (VHilly)

    Claire Ashton

  • My thanks to the committee for addressing the subject of speed and distance John. This is no mean task, and even when apparently sensible criteria have been agreed upon I know, from when I was preparing the mid week programmes some years ago, how hard it is to keep a group within the parameters laid down. I gave up eventually, assuming that the speed was what the group wanted, and it seemed to work reasonably well.

    However, the years have rolled by and that laissez-faire attitude is no longer appropriate, for reasons I set out in my original post. Graham and Jenny clearly feel the same and have explained what is currently happening. Also, you didn’t explain how a ride of up to 65 miles can be a C ride even if it is run at no more than ten miles an hour, so I’d appreciate being told the thinking behind this. If this is now seen as reasonable, then any ride the rest of us put on would be a lot shorter, which would not suit the present generation of mid-week riders. Better by far I feel would be a separate, perhaps less formalised group to cater for what will inevitably be an increasing number of older members. I think it needs to be remembered that most of us have been riders with the CTC in its present and former guises for many years (I’ve got my 25 year badge) and I’d like to think that our needs are still being catered for.

  • I have read the comments from Bryan, Jenny and Graham regarding the pace and length of Midweek rides and think it may be helpful to look at the thinking behind the new ride grading system (which applies across all club rides, not just Midweek). The pace of club rides has been a regular topic over as many years as I have ridden with the club and will probably continue to be debated as long as groups ride together! We should give credit to the committee for taking the issue seriously enough to set up a sub-committee to fully discuss and formulate a system designed to more accurately describe rides so that we (and newcomers) know what to expect on a particular ride.

    The previous grading system often did not fully describe the nature of a particular ride and the committee felt that it would be helpful to separate speed, distance and elevation. Looking at what they have come up with, the A-D categories now ONLY apply to average speed. There has been a small increase in the C band, from 8-10 to 9-11. The Distance categories are more finely tuned with a Medium ride at 30-50 miles and, as before, some overlap between all four bands. The addition of four Elevation categories usefully grades rides from Flat to Very Hilly. So, in theory, we now have a more accurate ride grading system to tell us what to expect. I understand the system will be reviewed after a year which is a sensible approach.

    The need for a wide range of rides has been addressed by the committee – there are some D rides on offer (Brian is leading a D Flat one along the old railway track to Bridgnorth next Tuesday, 13th). For those older or slower riders who feel some of the Midweek rides are too demanding or those (like me) who feel the hills are getting steeper, the answer is in our own hands – offer to lead some more gentle rides! C or D; Short or Medium; Flat or Undulating gives plenty of scope but, as always, the hard-working coordinators who put the rides programmes together need LEADERS.

  • We have just read Bryan’s email and agree with what he says. Most of the rides are now too far and too fast for us and we would welcome a sub group for older/slower riders as,at the moment, we are tending to make our own arrangements outside of the official programme. We too would like this to be addressed by the committee as we have always enjoyed riding as members of the group.

    • Hi both, we’d be delighted to set up a programme of rides at D pace (speed up to 10 miles an hour) and over shorter distances but we need volunteers to offer to lead these. It seems a shame to me that riders are setting up rides outside of the ‘official’ programme as these are not visible to anybody that is looking for a group to cycle with.

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