I am beyond thrilled that over 40 people already want to join in on the Rococo Rides! There are a few things for you to know, however. Each person is responsible for herself. There is no SAG support, no special insurance, and no official leader. This is just a group of women getting together to ride because it will be fun.
Also, as much as I may want it, this ride cannot be all things to all people. This is not a beginner ride. This is a beginner GROUP ride. There is a difference. This ride is for people that say, “I want to go on group rides, but I’m not confident in my group riding skills.”
I will offer up some guidelines and you can decide for yourself if this is the ride for you.
I can hear some of you now…“Wait! What?! I thought I was going to get to ride with women! What if I can’t do everything in the guidelines?”
First, you CAN do this. There are people of all ages that can ride bikes great distances and at a fairly quick pace. You CAN do it, but you might have to build up to it. Please read all the way through before you decide.
Rollin’ in a Group Ride
Definition of a Group Ride: They involve riding side by side in a defined pack at fairly close proximity to other riders. All riders travel at the same speed and the group travels together. Group rides are very social but they do involve having a fairly high level of comfort with bicycling.
What you should expect:
- The group will ride for 60-80 minutes with, maybe, a short break in the middle.
- The group will ride at about 12 miles per hour at a fairly steady pace.
- The ride will mostly be on the MKT/KATY Trail but will also get on county roads.
- No one will ever be left behind, but please make sure you can handle the speed and distance.
You will need some things
A bike shop quality bike that is either a sportier hybrid, cyclocross, mountain, or road bike. Cruiser and comfort bikes will have a difficult time keeping up. If all you have is a road bike, make sure you have tires that are good for trail riding.
Your own set of bike supplies—that means a seat bag holding a correct size tube, two tire levers, a C02 cartridge or a pump, and a dollar bill. You don’t have to know how to change a tire (several of us on this ride already do) but you need to have your own supplies.
At least one water bottle and some food. No need for an expensive, sugary sports drink. Water will be fine. No need for expensive “fuel”, a granola bar, a package of peanuts, or some Fig Newtons will all work great.
Do I already have to know how to ride in a group? No, but you should know what I am talking about. This ride was started because many people say they are nervous about their group riding skills. This ride is to gain comfort with riding in a formed group.
Do I have to wear bicycle specific clothes? No, but if you’re not familiar with bike shorts and why people wear them, you might go down to your local bike shop and check them out. It can be very uncomfortable for some people to be riding a bike for more than an hour without the benefits that bike shorts can bring.
Do I need special bicycle shoes? I love mine and most people that have them do as well, but they are not a necessity. You will be more comfortable on this type of ride if you have bike shoes but if you are on the fence about getting them, do a few rides with us and see what you think.
Am I ready for this group ride?
- Can you ride for 30 minutes without stopping?
- Can you go five to six miles in that 30 minutes?
- Can you take a drink out of your water bottle while riding?
- Can you ride next to someone and have a conversation with them while you are riding?
Test yourself! Go on a bike ride on the trail and see how far you can go and for how long. Take drinks out of your water bottle while keeping your eyes on the trail. Practice keeping your bike in a steady, straight-line trajectory.
If you feel you need more practice, there are options.
I’m sure others are feeling the same thing right now. There are other rides in town that can help you build up. Columbia Bicycle Club has offerings and Walt’s Bike Shop runs a fairly regular Saturday morning trail ride. As I said before, you CAN do this. Regular bike riding (at least 3 times a week) will get you in shape fast and increase your comfort level on a bike.
I’m ready to go! When do we ride!
After careful consideration, Sunday seem to be the best day. Below is a survey so that we can figure out the time of day that works for most people. The first ride will be on Sunday, March 17th. We will meet at the Forum Trailhead. Check the Rococo Rides Facebook page for info updates. Leave some time for socializing! We’ll head to Dunn Bros or La Terraza (just behind Dunn Bros) after the ride.