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INTRODUCTION TO Club Rides

For SRCC members, it is all about enjoying the ride.  This section goes over how participants can be a positive part of club rides and reap greater enjoyment for themselves and others.

Official club rides are listed on the Calendar of Rides and Events.  Leading a ride is easy!  Click here for more information.

There is also a forum for Pick-up Rides, which are not club rides but rather impromptu rides posted on a "bulletin board".

Insurance coverage provided as part of SRCC membership applies for official club rides listed on the SRCC Club Calendar but not for unofficial "pickup rides."

Non-club members are welcome on their first ride with the Club. Our insurance policy requires all non-members to sign a Release and Waiver of Liability before the ride, and to join the Club prior to subsequent rides (for rides on the regular ride calendar). Guests are expected to arrive at the start with a signed form, and give it to the ride leader.  If you can't download a copy of the waiver, the ride leader will have one at the start. If the non-member wishes to continue participating in club rides, they must become a member.

Planning to Ride

Rides are published on the club website with a map, a route sheet, a Ride Rating, and a ride description written by the ride leader. The write up often includes information or plans the leader wants to convey to the group ahead of time. Check these carefully and if you have any questions contact the ride leader. Their number and/or email is listed on the ride posting.  Riders are responsible for selecting a ride that is within their ability and fitness level. The Ride Rating can help one make a suitable choice.

Print a route slip and if needed, a map. Review the information on the Club website to become familiar with the ride as it is planned. Study the route, especially any roads or turns that are unfamiliar. A lost cyclist may cause the ride leader to worry and delay the group, or even to send out a search party.  Knowing the route helps keep us on course, and may prevent a last second hazardous move that could cause an accident.

Check with the ride leader ahead of time if you have any questions or plan anything special. For example, sometimes a rider will meet the group mid route, or even split early from the group. Keep the leader informed so they know what is going on. The Calendar offers the ability to register on-line for the ride ahead of time.  This lets other riders know who is coming and provides opportunities for carpooling or riding together to the start.

Be Prepared

Make sure that your tires are sound and that your bike is in good working order to minimize the potential for flats, mechanical problems and accidents.  All riders are expected to know how to fix a flat and to carry the necessary equipment.  It is also useful to know how to perform minor repairs because the ride leader is not responsible for fixing flats and breakdowns.

What To Bring

  • Helmets are mandatory on all club rides
  • ID, medical information, emergency contact number(s)
  • Route slip
  • Water
  • Food
  • Spare tube(s), pump, tire levers, patch kit, tire boot
  • Multi-tool
  • Money
  • Cell phone 

General Considerations 

The section Rider Responsibilities specifies important SRCC norms and practices.  This is how we roll, and all ride participants are expected to follow these guidelines.

Rain cancels all rides unless otherwise noted in the ride description.

  • If you’re not familiar with the area, a map is recommended in case you get lost.
  • A cell phone is recommended in case of emergencies, and to contact the ride leader if you are leaving the ride or are delayed by a mechanical or flat.
  • Non-members are required to sign the SRCC's Release and Waiver of Liability form before the ride.  Download, complete and present it to the ride leader before the start of the ride.  If you can't download a copy of the waiver, the ride leader will have one at the start of the ride.
  • A road bike works best for a club ride.  While some folks occasionally join us on their mountain bikes, they must work harder to keep up with the lighter road bikes that most club riders use.
  • Choose clothing appropriate for cycling and the weather conditions.  Lycra shorts and jerseys with rear pockets are not mandatory, but are preferred because they are practical and comfortable, especially after several hours in the saddle.

At the Start

Riders should be ready to ride at the posted start time. First the group gathers around the ride leader who checks to be sure that participants have a helmet, ID, and medical and emergency contact information. Then the leader covers:

  • Introductions
  • The route and general ride plan
  • The pace, regroups and stops
  • Special road conditions or hazards
  • Important riding and safety etiquette
  • The necessity of communication

On the Ride

The ride starts 10 minutes after the posted time. 

Participating in an SRCC club ride implies an informal contract.  The leader provides the route and ride plan, and gives guidance and support.  The rider's responsibility is to show up on time, follow the route and ride plan, maintain the listed tempo, and cycle safely and cooperatively.

Riders are expected to follow the Club Rider Responsibilities.  Also, stick to the route and ride plan provided unless you have checked in with the ride leader.  Keep the group informed on how its going and . . . enjoy the ride!

Local Emergency Contact Numbers

Here are some important numbers you should have stored in your cell phone when riding in Sonoma County.  List them with the number in the name for quick and easy access in your contacts or address book app. 

  1. REDCOM  -  (707) 576-1371
  2. Sonoma County Sheriff  -  (707) 565-2121
  3. Santa Rosa Police Dept  -  (707) 528-5222

REDCOM is the emergency dispatch for medical and fire services in Sonoma County.  All agencies (except Petaluma) use REDCOM for dispatch.  If you call 911 from a cell phone in Sonoma County, it is rerouted through the CHP dispatch center in Vallejo.  Calling REDCOM direct saves you some time and possibly a wait on hold.  For other than medical and fire emergencies, call the Sheriff. This is their dispatch line.  And of course SRPD is good for within the city limits.

Reminder:  if there is a medical emergency, call for emergency services first. Then check the site for safety needs, set up traffic control in both directions and begin to administer first aid.  Once you start life-saving actions, it becomes very hard to stop and make that emergency call.  If you discover you don’t really need an emergency response after all, you can always call back and cancel the call. When making an emergency call, always provide the most precise location you can:  reference a nearby mailbox, intersection, public facility, etc.  

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