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Club Runs:

The Club offer a number of weekend Group Rides. We meet at 9.00 am in the car park adjacent to the Coffeeworks Cafe and Wheels Cycles in Station Road, Gillingham (SP8 4QA). 

We ask that regular participants become members of the Club.

Saturday mornings - There are usually 2 Saturday morning club runs, however during the summer months a third run may also take place at a pace suited to those present

Saturday Intermediate Ride 09:15 to 12:30:   The intermediate group will typically ride

 between 35 and 50+ miles at a speed of 14.5 to 16.5 mph (23-26 kph). The routes are circular and cover the Frome / Warminster / Salisbury / Blandford / Sherborne areas. This is a no drop ride, but participants need to be able to maintain the stated speeds across the terrain covered. Occasionally a full day outing will be arranged.

Saturday Faster Ride 09:10 to 12:45: The faster group typically cover between 40 to 60+ miles at speeds between 17 and 19 mph (27-31 kph), this ride may also run as a chain gang training ride. This is a no drop ride. Occasionally a full day outing will be arranged.

Saturday Slower Social Ride 09:30 to 11:15: This ride takes place on the FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH and is aimed at newer riders, those getting back into cycling, or those who just enjoy a slower paced social ride. Although the ride will aim to average around 12 mph (19 kph), and the ride last about 90 minutes, the pace and distance will be dictated by the group. Where possible, hills will be avoided! This is a no drop ride.

Where possible, the route will be published beforehand on the Club's Facebook page. 
After the Saturday rides there is usually a get together in the Coffeeworks Cafe next to Wheels.

Sunday Morning Ride 09:00 to 12:30: There is usually just one ride on a Sunday morning and this will typically ride 40 - 60 miles at speed of 17-19 mph (27-31 kph), and cover Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset areas.

Thursday Improvers' Ride 19:00 to 20:30: This ride is aimed at newer riders wishing to improve their abilities, those getting back into cycling, or those who just enjoy a slower paced ride. The speed will be determined by the group but typically be between 12-14 mph.

A number of typical routes are listed on the Club Runs page here
GDW Club members rides who belong to the Gillingham Wheelers Strava group have their rides listed on the members ride pages 

For more information or any enquiry use the Contacts page

Safety Advice
All riders are encouraged to carry a good bike pump, and a couple of spare tubes, with some decent tyre levers, a drink, some food and some money.  But more essential is some identity and emergency contact details, either an ID tag or your GDW membership card which has your emergency contact details on the back.  If you have the misfortune to come off or have a medical emergency this could be the most important information in your pocket.  Carrying  a mobile phone is also a good idea with your emergency contact name/number in the directory. 

This link http://www.southhertsctc.org.uk/resources/first-aid-for-cyclists has a slide show specifically aimed at cyclists, all club members particularly Ride Leaders are encouraged to spend some time to digest the information contained within.                                                                    
Sat 17 April 10 Ride Departs Wheels
Club guide to group riding by British Cycling for your info:

 Knowledge Level: Beginner

If you have been following the British Cycling Training Plans, you may have already ridden with groups of riders or even joined a local club and taken part in their club-rides. If you’re not used to riding in a group, rolling away from the start line of a sportive surrounded by other riders can be intimidating and by not being comfortable in a group and being able to shelter from the wind, you’ll be making any ride significantly more difficult. 


The most important factor to successful group riding is communication. Make sure you know the meaning of and always pass any verbal signals through the group. As well as obvious shouts such as “slowing” and “braking”, others to be aware of are “car up”, meaning there is a car ahead to be aware of, “car back”, meaning there is a car behind and “single out”, meaning to adopt single file. Be aware there are local variations of these shouts, so use your eyes too. There are a number of hand signals you should also be aware of (see illustrations below).

Be aware

Stay relaxed in the group but constantly look around and don’t mindlessly follow the wheels. Look past the riders in front to get a heads up of the road ahead. Always look first and let the riders around you know before moving within the group.

Obey the rules of the road

Most Sportives take place on roads that are open to traffic and, even with those on closed roads, there’s no guarantee that there won’t be some traffic on the course, so ride accordingly. Respect junctions and always stay on the correct side of the road.

Ride consistently and predictably

Your movements will affect everyone in the group. Hold a straight line, don’t weave and always overtake around the right hand side of the group.  Don’t grab your brakes and, if you stand out of the saddle, don’t let your back wheel drop back. Also, when you come to a feed station, no matter how relieved you are to see it, don’t veer across the road.

Dont overlap wheels

In case the rider ahead needs to brake, don’t follow their rear wheel directly. It’s perfectly acceptable and you’ll get the same drafting benefit from riding six inches either side of it. However it’s essential that you don’t overlap their rear wheel as any sudden movements by them will be likely to bring both of your down.

Make sure both you and youre bike are prepared

Ensure your bike is well maintained as misfiring gears or poor brakes can make you a liability in a bunch. Carry suitable spares, clothing and some of your own food and drink so that you are self reliant. 

Avoid half wheeling

If road conditions and traffic allows you’ll often be riding two abreast. Maintain an even pace and stay level with the person next to you. Do not constantly up the pace whenever a rider draws level to you. Known as “half-wheeling” this is definitely frowned on.

Wheel suck

Don’t always sit amongst the wheels and shirk your stint on the front. Even if you just put in a few turns of the pedals it’ll be appreciated. However, even if you’re finding the pace easy, don’t get on the front and accelerate, try to maintain the pace of the group.

Dont ride in the gutter

If you’re on the front of the group, don’t sit in the gutter as you’ll be forcing everyone else to follow you increasing the likelihood of hitting obstructions such as drain covers and of picking up punctures. Where possible, ride 1 m out from the curb.

Expect the group to change

Groups will change, fragment and reform as the ride progresses. Expect larger groups on flat sections but, on longer climbs, they’ll break up. Similarly, on descents, riders will tend to string out to give more time to react at higher speeds.

Hand Signals

In addition to the standard directional signal of the left or right hand extended out to the side, which should be used whenever you are cycling on the public highway, see below some of the other common hand signals used when riding in a group situation.

Make yourself aware of these prior to going out on a group ride and also check with a group member which hand signals and verbal shouts they regularly use, as they can vary locally.   

One hand as if “gently patting an invisible dog”: This shows that the group is slowing down or just to ease the pace back a bit.

image: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/734//zuvvi/media/bc_images/bc_izone/test/HAND_SIGNAL2.1422361292.jpg

Pointing down at the road sometimes with a circling motion: Indicates an obstruction or hazard on the road such as a pothole or drain cover that needs to be avoided. Be sensible with this one and only point out major obstacles that should be avoided. This signal is often accompanied with a call of ‘below’.

image: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/734//zuvvi/media/bc_images/bc_izone/test/HAND_SIGNAL3.1422361294.jpg

Waving/pointing behind back:
 Indicates that there is an obstruction such as a parked car or pedestrian and that the whole group needs to move in the direction indicated to avoid it.

image: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/734//zuvvi/media/bc_images/bc_izone/test/HAND_SIGNAL1.1422361291.jpg

There are also a number of video guides to group riding skills here to help improve your riding.

Read more at https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/article/izn20121221-group-ride-0#dqGLClOVku16TPyg.99