Welland Valley run multiple social ‘no drop’ Club Runs that take place throughout the year for riders of all speeds and abilities.
New Member? Non Welland Valley members are welcome to join a couple of club runs to see how things work and (hopefully) go on to join up
#1 Sunday Club Run, Market Harborough [All Speeds]
Welland Valley Cycling Club’s Flagship Club Run departs from The Square in Market Harborough with groups assembling from 09:00 for 9.15am departure and normally split into four groups depending on riders. If you’re looking for a ride at a specific speed please check in advance.
- Leisure (Very Steady)
- Steady (12-14mph)
- Brisk (15-17mph)
- Fast (18+mph)
All club runs have a ride leader who sets the pace and picks a route normally between 2hrs15mins and 2hrs45mins, ending up at the cafe in Moomins (for an optional reviving drink, food and stimulating conversation). No-one is ever dropped on a club run or left to fend for themselves for any reason.
No sign-up required. If you’re attending for the for the first time please let Chris Dainty know in advance and we’ll ensure a warm welcome and help you find the right riding group – we can easily move you up groups over the following weeks until you find your right level.
#2 Saturday ‘Yews’ Club Run, Great Glen [Brisk]
Saturday Club Runs take place throughout the year. The ride will be around 45 miles back to Great Glen and is likely to be run at a speed between 16 and 18 mph over rolling terrain. There will be one or two groups depending upon numbers and attendees.
Rides run most Saturdays, groups assemble from 8:45am for 9:00 departure. No sign-up required. If you’re attending for the for the first time please let Nick Clarke in advance and we’ll ensure a warm welcome
#3 Friday Morning Coffee Run, Market Harborough [Steady]
If you fancy a steady ride (12-14mph) to a local cafe and back on a Friday morning this is the ride for you. Groups assemble at The Square Market Harborough from 09:15am for 9:30 departure. No sign-up required. If you’re attending for the for the first time please contact Judith Rout in advance and we’ll ensure a warm welcome
Riding time is usually 2hrs15mins and 2hrs45mins with a cafe stop at about half way.
#4 Bike’n’Beer Off-Road Rides
‘Bike ‘n’ Beer rides – to indicate that they are intended to be off-road social rides – which are suitable for cyclocross bikes as well as mountain bikes of around 2 ½ hours happen regularly all year round. Typically on Friday evenings in the summer – when they don’t clash with local FNSS mountain bike races – and on Saturdays in the winter. When the bridleways are muddy we stay on the gravel and less-travelled tarmac.
The meeting points will are variable to enable us to explore more of the local bridleways, field roads, towpaths, disused railway lines and other trails. These are often followed by a vitamin B recovery drink in a local hostelry (although beer is not compulsory). Lights will be needed if it gets dark early or we ride through the tunnels on the Brampton Valley Way. Some form of puncture protection is recommended for our off-road riding such as self-sealing inner tubes or tubeless tyres + sealant.
Please contact Adrian Killworth to find out more about these rides or to be added to the WhatsApp group
#5 Other Welland Valley Events
Check the website, Facebook & Instagram for any other rides and socials club members organise throughout the year.
Welland Valley also offer many other club events including:
- ‘Mudlarks’ CX Training sessions last for an hour and focus on off-road skills, techniques and fitness, as we move into the CX racing season.
- Gravel Rides each Autumn & Spring we organise a 100km and Mid-Summer 100mile ‘Off-Road Challenge Rides’ covering local bridleways, field roads, towpaths, disused railway lines and other trails suitable for Gravel, CX or MTB
- Reliabilities Rides run last weekend in January offer a great no frills event with fantastic routes along the Leicestershire / Northamptonshire border. Don’t expect a Sportive, this is an “Old School” Reliability Trial
- Harborough Sportive organised by Welland Valley Cycling Club offers a chance each May to take to the quiet, rewarding but challenging road and off-road routes across the scenic Leicestershire and Rutland
- Summer Chain Gangs involving laps of a short circuit around Welham, Medbourne and Cranoe at pace in close formation
- Bruntingthorpe Circuit Races throughout July and August at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground – in partnership with our hosts Cox Automotive
- Time Trials Welland Valley has a thriving time trial section with a variety of courses and distances – from 5 miles to 25 miles with competitors from 12 to 70+ with 50%+ of competitors on standard road bikes
Some Guidance for club runners
Riding safely in a group
Club runs are social events and are not disciplined training rides / chain gangs. However, there are rules which all riders must follow for their own safety and that of other road users.
This is the number one priority. If you are three or four riders back from the front of the group you may not be able to spot an up-coming hazard. So if there’s an enormous pothole up ahead which no-one tells you about, or a parked car on the road; then a day in A&E beckons.
Therefore, it is essential you communicate clearly (and loudly) with your fellow riders – especially if you are at the front of the group.
Cars, lorries, junctions and horses
It is particularly important on minor roads, where the width of the carriageway may be an issue, to alert everyone to passing traffic / junctions etc with the following verbal warnings.
“Car front” or “car up” means a vehicle approaching from the front.
“Car back” means a vehicle approaching from behind. If riding two abreast, you should normally go into single file, with the rider on the outside slotting in behind the one nearest the verge.
“Slowing” means what it says – generally used when approaching a junction.
“Clear” – means it is safe for following riders to proceed at a junction. However – you MUST BE CERTAIN the road is clear when making this call; and following riders still have an individual responsibility to check for themselves.
“Moving out” – means a pedestrian / jogger / parked car / skip etc in the road. Also indicate by putting a hand behind your back and pointing to the left or right.
“Horse” – self explanatory (but see additional note below).
Potholes are a particular hazard when out in a group as riders back in the pack may not be able to see them. Therefore, there are a number of verbal instructions and hand signals which should be used.
“Hole” – self explanatory . This should be accompanied by pointing down at the hazard as you pass on the left or right.
“Gravel” – risk of skidding. Also indicate by putting an arm down at 45 degrees with the palm of the hand facing down and waving from side to side.
“Slippery” – indicating mud, leaves etc on the road surface.
Moving within the group
When riding in a group, always remember not to overlap your front wheel with the back wheel of the rider in front. If he / she needs to take avoiding action for a hazard, you are likely to come off if there is a touch of wheels.
Try to ride smoothly and at a constant speed. Avoid slowing unexpectedly and never brake harshly, except in an emergency.
If you wish to come alongside a rider, let them know by saying “on your left” or “on your right.”
Be aware that when standing on a climb, the bike will briefly decelerate, which may come as an unpleasant surprise to the rider behind. If you want to stand, always push hard on the pedals for a second to create a small gap to the rider behind.
When approaching horse riders from behind; please shout “hello” or “bikes behind” when you are about 30m away. Wait for an acknowledgement (shout again if you don’t get one), and then pass slowly and widely.
You should also slow for horses on the opposite side of the road.
Group size and etiquette
Your ride leader will determine the group size. In general, groups will have a maximum of 10 riders.
More than that; and groups of the same speed will split into two and ride with a 100-200m gap.
Riders should not roll off the front and establish significant gaps. If a ride is too slow for you, then please move up to a faster group next time.
Rides which split up on hills should regroup at the top.
Riders are asked to keep an eye out for – and bring to the attention of the ride leader – anyone struggling off the back of the group or suffering a ‘mechanical’
All club runs will have a designated ride leader, who picks the route, the duration of the ride, regulates the speed and is responsible for ensuring WVCC is ‘well represented’ on local roads.
The ride leader will also support / instruct / encourage new club run riders to be aware of their responsibilities to ride safely at all times.
Ride leaders may choose to share the day’s route before setting off.