How to pick a group ride
This time of the year we get a lot of questions from people looking to get some additional miles in to get ready for PedalPGH. If you are looking to get off the trails and onto the roads exploring city streets we recommend first going on one of the many group rides that ride around the city every week. Group rides are a safe way to get used to riding on the roads and learn from others.
Where to start
When you look around the web you will find a number of group rides in Pittsburgh that depart on a weekly or monthly basis. Some of these rides are social while others are more fitness oriented or even training for competitive racing.
3 main factors go into finding the right group ride:
Meeting place and time
Don’t be late to your first group ride. While every group is different many leave promptly at the start time. Be sure to get to the start ready to ride with your bike tuned up and in working order ready to roll.
Distance of the ride
Jumping from a regular 10 mile ride on your own to a 30 mile group ride is a recipe for a miserable day. Look for rides that are close to the distance that you are comfortable with riding on a regular basis.
Speed of the ride
Be honest with yourself about your pace. The easiest way to check your average speed is to use a cycling computer or phone app. If you stop every 5 miles to take a 10 minute break be sure to calculate this into your average.
Cranberry Ride C+\2-3\25-30 NO DROP !NEW TIME-5:30PM Start
I thought I was ready?!? What does this mean? Don’t fret. Understanding the code is easier once you have a key. You will see group rides in the area post their rides with various information. While some are more complicated than others. Here is what you need to know:
First off is the ride Letter.
Most group rides will use some variation of this.
A : Fast pace competitive ride.
B: Moderate pace ride.
C: Beginner pace.
Casual: This is a social ride slow pace.
Next up. What the heck are all those numbers.
A 1-5 number in the ride description typically hilliness for group rides. This one is not always in the ride description but is used often enough that you might see it. The scale is simple: Rating of 1 (no hills) – 5 (Lots of hills)
This is the typical distance of the ride in milage.
No drop: People will wait for you at the top of a climb and at turns. Most rides in the area are like this.
Drop ride: You have been warned. If you can’t keep up you will be left to find your own way home.
Let’s go back to the example that we started with: Cranberry Ride C+\2-3\25-30 !NEW TIME-5:30PM Start Now that you understand the code you will know that this means The Cranberry Ride is a faster pace beginner ride that has some hills but nothing crazy going 25-30 miles before returning to the meet up spot.
If you are not sure what anything means in a ride description feel free to contact the organizer. It’s better to ask questions to make sure you find a ride that fits your needs.
Bike to Work on Friday, May 19, 2017!
Bike to Work Day is a day to celebrate being one of thousands of people in Pittsburgh who rides to work! It’s also a day to give bicycle commuting a try, so join in the fun and bike to work on Friday, May 19, 2017.Learn More