FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need a helmet?
Cycle helmets are not a legal requirement in the NDIA and you are not obliged to wear one. However you cycle at your own risk and the club cannot take responsibility for any injuries you might suffer. We do recommend the wearing of helmets, especially for our Grade 3 and 4 rides which will be at faster speeds.
What should I wear?
It is not necessary to wear expensive specialist cycling kit, though if you have it, it is the best option. What you wear should be comfortable and not too tight-fitting and you should be able to take off or put on layers if the weather is hot or cold. We do not recommend jeans. As you become more experienced, the most essential items to acquire are : cycling gloves, to protect the hands and minimise friction; padded cycling shorts, to prevent chafing; and cycling shoes with a hard sole to maximise your pedalling efficiency. Very soft-soled running shoes will be too flexible for good cycling.
How difficult are the rides?
There is a type of ride for all abilities. The following summarises the four different grades which are offered. On some days, there may be a selection of rides to choose from.
Grade 1: LEISURE, easy rides, ok for beginners, plenty of stops, easy terrain and relaxed pace, perhaps based around a place of interest or a picnic.
Grade 2: RECREATIONAL, regular navigation stops, enough challenge in the terrain/distance for most club members to feel they have had some real exercise.
Grade 3: TOUR, something for those who want a longer and/or more challenging terrain, less stops. Not suitable for the slower quartile of members.
Grade 4 : SPORT, for those who want fast and challenging rides.
What sort of bike do I need?
That depends entirely on the type of ride you choose. We grade rides from 1 to 4 according to their length, speed and difficulty, with 1 being the shortest and easiest. Any bike will do for a Grade 1 but you might get frustrated on a sports bike. Most bikes will do for Grades 2 and 3 but probably not a chunky-tyred mountain bike for a 3 unless you are a very strong rider. For Grade 4 rides we insist that you come on a sports/road bike. For off-road rides, you must have a mountain bike or sturdy hybrid.
Do I need a bike?
Yes, you will need a bike. Even for Grade 1 rides in INDIA, it is impractical to use a “Jayant-bike” (that is a rental bike in the Mayor of London’s scheme). To avoid racking up high charges, you would need to change the bike repeatedly waiting several minutes each time; this is not viable during a club ride. If you are a visitor to London and would like to join a CycleOut ride as a guest, you will be very welcome, but you will need to borrow a bike or rent one from a cycle hire company.