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Sociable leisure rides for enthusiastic cyclists

Club Documents

These documents in PDF format describe the club and ride structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn't answered below or you want further clarification please email info@corallian.cc and we'll be more than happy to help!

Membership

Q — How do I become a member?

A — You can join Corallian CC by clicking on the "Join Our Club" tab at our British Cycling page.

Q — How much is membership?

A — £5 (+£1 admin fee) for a year or part year (there is no discount for part year membership). Life membership is also offered at £100.

Q — Do I have to join any national bodies?

A — No, although you are very welcome to join any national body to obtain the benefits they offer members.

Q — What do I get for my membership fees?

A — The right to take part in club rides, membership to Facebook and Strava social media groups, the right to buy club kit and the right to vote at General Meetings.

Q — What is the club membership year?

A — From 1st January to 31st December. Renewals will open from 1st December for the following year.

Q — Do you cater for beginner cyclists?

A — No, we do not cater for novice or low-fitness cyclists – there are other local clubs who can provide such rides - but let's chat, and if we can't accommodate you, we'll be happy to refer you on to those clubs.

Q — Do you cater for racing cyclists?

A — We do not aspire to be a competitive cycling club, although some members may take part in competitions, and we can refer inquiries to local racing clubs.

Q — Can I ride with you without being a member, or if I'm a member of another cycling club?

A — You are welcome to join a ride before you decide whether to join the club or not. Membership of other clubs or national bodies is not transferable.

Q — Do you cater for under 18s?

A — Yes, within the following boundaries: that the rider is physically capable of completing the advertised ride and that the rider is accompanied by a responsible adult. We do not operate "in loco parentis", and there is no membership reduction for junior members. Ride leaders are not DBS (was CRB) checked, but there is a welfare role on the committee (that role holder is DBS checked and trained) to deal with any issues that may arise.

Q — I've got a friend who'd enjoy the rides – can they come along?

A — Sure – direct them to the website and make sure they know what the ride paces are like, and get them to make contact with the ride leader for their first ride. It'd be great if you could come along (if they are under 18, this is mandatory) and show them the ropes too. Like all members, if they want to continue riding with the Club after their first ride, they will need to join.

Insurance

Q — Is the club insured?

A — The club has third party liability insurance for activities that covers officers and registered ride leaders. It does not cover individual riders.

Q — Who can I get personal cycling insurance from?

A — You may be covered on your home insurance – it's worth checking! Otherwise, many insurers have products, such as Wiggle, and membership of British Cycling and Cycling UK also includes insurance suitable for riding with Corallian CC.

Q — Can I get cycling breakdown insurance?

A — Again, there are a number of providers. One we have experience of is Lexham – useful for if you ride a good distance from home and can't rely on family and friends to provide a broomwagon service.

Q — Can I ride with you if I'm not insured?

A — We would strongly advise that you have third party insurance to cover your legal expenses if you are subject to legal proceedings whilst out on a bike ride, club ride or not. We do not mandate this, but by being a member, you agree to acknowledge that the club advice has been understood.

Organisation

Q — What do the committee do?

A — The committee is a small group of founder members who have set up and will run the club until the first AGM in 2017. The roles are Chairman (figurehead, runs the committee and webmaster), Secretary (committee, welfare, membership and rides) and Treasurer (looks after the money). We have found that smaller organising groups are more focused and get things done quicker - we may change the committee structure in the future depending on what needs arise though.

Q — What other organisations is the club linked to?

A — The club has affiliate membership with British Cycling (you can see our affiliate page at British Cycling), which means that it is insured to operate, and has various other benefits that allow it to run efficiently.

Q — Who directs what the club can do?

A — The club is able to set its' own rules and regulations, and is totally independent in that respect – we fully control our own destiny.

Q — Who leads rides?

A — The club has standards for participating and leading rides. Riders are expected to adhere to club riding standards, and the club will only staff trained ride leaders who will lead rides in the appropriate way. The standards are not numerous or onerous, and are there to ensure rides are safe and fun for the riders.

Q — How much money does the club make?

A — The club has two major outgoings of website and affiliation fees, which annually total around £200. We aim to cover those costs in order to become and remain solvent, and extra revenue will be spent on things that benefit the members. We aim to make no profit, but maintain sufficient cash flow to operate.

Rides and Bikes

Q — How do I come on my first ride?

A — Ideally contact the ride leader and have a chat with them – they can help advise you if you have any questions on the ride itself, or how we ride together as a group. Alternatively, if you've read the information on the website and you have no questions, just turn up at the start location at least 10 minutes before the start time. We organise "welcome" rides monthly (4th Sunday) especially for new members.

Q — I'm not sure if I'm fit enough – how can I tell?

A — Contact the rider leader or Secretary and we can discuss the best options for you.

Q — I've not ridden in a group before – what do I do?

A — We'll help you buddy up with experienced riders on your first rides and before long you'll be confident and able to experience the many benefits of group riding.

Q — I've got a [whatever] bike – is that good enough?

A — The most important aspect to a bike on a club ride is not what sort of bike it is, but that it is safe and that it is well-maintained. Punctures and other mechanical failures do happen, but out of respect for your fellow riders, please keep your bike well-serviced to minimise preventable stops on rides. We can advise on bike suitability and maintenance, but not right before a ride!

Q — Do I need a racing bike?

A — Not necessarily, but you do need to ensure whatever bike you're on that you can keep up with the advertised pace.

Q — I'm not sure if my bike is roadworthy – what do I do?

A — Get it serviced before coming out on a ride! Local bike shops are the obvious place to go, but please don't turn up on a bike that is likely to break on a ride – pay particular attention to tyre condition as punctures are the most common source of ride delay. Please don't be (too) offended if you turn up on a rusty-chained, squeaking jalopy with flat tyres, and the ride leader asks you to come back when your bike is usable!

Q — What if my bike breaks on a ride?

A — There will often be other riders who are keen to challenge their wrenching skills out in the field, so it's quite normal that the group can bodge a "get you home" repair. For more serious problems though, you may need to consider getting a taxi, or calling a loved one or friend to come and get you. Rarely, a group member might be able to help – we'll not ditch you though, without having come up with a plan together.

Q — What sort of lights should I buy?

A — For daytime use a lot of riders use a cheap, but good quality, rear light that is set in a flashing mode. But at night, you really do need lights that make you visible, and a powerful front light that gives you every chance to see and avoid potholes. Rechargable front lights are quite cheap now, with variable power, and last a good two hours in higher power modes. It's always useful to carry either a spare rear light at night, or spare batteries.

Q — When do you ride?

A — There will be either a morning or full day ride every Sunday and there are summer evening and winter evening rides on Wednesdays. Other rides may happen on an ad-hoc basis - you'll have to watch the website to catch them all!

Q — Where do rides start?

A — For "home" rides, they will start from Wantage Market Place, where free parking is available nearby if you're arriving by car. Some rides will leave from other locations, and the start point for each ride will always be clear on the website.

Q — Will I get left behind?

A — The club ethos is not to leave people behind. Hills are the great natural highlighters of weight and fitness though, so we will always wait for the group to re-form at the top. You may be having an off day though, or have come on a ride that you're not capable of, so always liaise with the ride leader before and during the ride to ensure that the ride is working for everyone.

Q — Why are there no green rated rides on the calendar?

A — We are not actively promoting rides for cyclists who are unable to ride to at least the defined blue rated pace or distance. Other local clubs (e.g. CTC Wantage, CTC Wallingford, Farcycles) offer rides suitable for these riders.

Q — Why are there no or few black rated rides on the calendar?

A — We do not provide short, fast and hard rides, there are numerous local options for this kind of riding (e.g. CTC Wantage, Didcot Phoenix, Newbury Road Club, Outdoor Traders) and we will direct riders who wish to do this style of riding to one of these alternatives. We may have occasional black rated rides due to the route being particularly long or hilly, however these will still be leisure rides run at lower than the defined black pace.

Q — What happens if I am injured or have some other problem on a ride?

A — Firstly, the ride leader will deal with the situation, maybe calling on other riders or the emergency services to help as necessary. Corallian CC does not collect In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact details as the logistics and data protection issues of giving them to ride leaders are overwhelming. How you can help is by creating a lock screen picture on your mobile phone that shows your ICE details (there are apps that help you do this such as "Road ID Lock Screen", which is available on iOS and Android, and you can also get ICE bracelets from Road ID) or by putting a simple printed or handwritten ICE card prominently in your saddlebag.

Q — I have an idea for a ride...

A — Talk to the Secretary and we'll see what we can do!

Q — I've taken some photos on a club ride can I put them on the website?

A — Absolutely. Send them or a link to them to the Ride Leader or the Rides Secretary who will be able to upload them for you.

Club Kit

Q — Can I buy club kit?

A — We have a Club Shop where you can buy club branded kit.

Q — I've ordered the wrong size / the kit is not what I expected – will you refund me?

A — All club kit is provided by a supplier directly to you – the club has no part of the commercial transaction that you enter into with the supplier.

Q — How do I know what is the right size?

A — The best bet is to have a look on the club shop, and then speak to a member who has the same garment and is about your size – you may be able to try their garment for size.

Q — Is the sizing guide accurate?

A — We've found it to be pretty good for tops, but shorts may come up a little large for you – speak to one of the short owners (John, Chris, Phil, Richard) for guidance.

Q — Do I have to wear club kit on club rides?

A — Of course not – the most important thing is that you ride and enjoy it. Club kit does help promote the club though, and there's nothing better than seeing a well-drilled peloton out riding in club colours!

Other

Q — Do you have other events other than cycling?

A — The focus is on cycling, however we are including some social events in the calendar too. We are building a tradition of curry evenings – keep an eye on the Calendar to see where and when they are, and we also like to have a pub stop on "last Wednesday in the month" evening rides, for a natter, a noggin and either a cool down or warm up, depending on the season.

Q — I've got some skills that you may be able to use – do you want them?

A — Have a chat with any committee member – volunteer clubs thrive on energy, time and commitment – if you can offer any or all of those we'd love to get you involved.

Q — Why Corallian?

A — Corallian Limestone is a rock of Jurassic age which forms a ridge through the Thames Valley in Oxfordshire. High points occur at Faringdon, Cumnor, Wytham and Headington where quarried stone was used for many of Oxford's historic University buildings. In parts of the Vale of White Horse, e.g at Shellingford and Hatford, the rock is soft and sandy and has been extensively quarried. You may be familiar with Coleshill, Buckland Hill and Cumnor Hill, these and some other nearby hills climb the scarp slope formed by the Corallian outcrop. The Corallian also outcrops in Dorset and Yorkshire and is one of the principal aquifers of England.

Top Tips for Riding with Corallian Cycling Club

British Cycling has put a lot of effort into creating some instructional videos to help you get the most out of your riding, as an individual and in a group. The Ridesmart page has a number of useful videos on and is well worth a 30 minute browse (don’t be put off by the slant towards sportive guidance – the videos are all relevant!) The GCN bunch also have a whole bunch of advice videos that are generally tongue-in-cheek and rather funny, but are very good for riders of all standards.

Park Tool is an American company that makes tools for bike workshops. They have also written the bible on bike repair, the “Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair”, but check out their website, because they have easy-to-follow guides, photos and videos describing how to do all the common bike maintenance and repair tasks, and quite a few of the esoteric ones too!

Quite often we get asked, what “clothing should I wear today” and it’s not always an obvious answer during the Autumn and Spring months. Stolen Goat is a clothing manufacturer who give you some guidance based on temperature, and you can apply the principles to clothing by any manufacturer. Some sound guidance is to “ dress for the second half hour” meaning wear a little less than you think you need when you set off, as you may regret dressing like the Michelin Man when you’ve put a bit of effort in and warmed up!

Out on a ride, it’s quite normal for riders to be discussing their “n+1” purchase (see The Rules - although a bit tongue-in-cheek, clearly Rule #12 applies!), so don’t be shy, do ask fellow riders about their kit choices before you spend too much money on “n+1” , whether it’s a bike, shorts, sunglasses or energy gels.

Although the right answer is “have a coffee and cake stop”, cyclists often fret about what they should be eating and drinking on a ride. Gels, flapjack, hardboiled eggs, malt loaf, pork scratchings – you name it and there will be a devotee somewhere. Just be aware that nearly all “sports food” is marketing hype and can be substituted by something you’ll already have in your cupboards (unless you’re Old Mother Hubbard) at much lower cost. Same goes for drinks - water with (or without) squash in it is good enough for most riders, and you really don’t need to drink as much as you think you might – the body has evolved a brilliant mechanism for telling you when you really need water (you get thirsty) – and provided you have some salt in your diet, you won’t die from electrolyte depletion. There should also be little or no need to be regularly slurping down gels on a Corallian club ride – you don’t need glucose (sugar) to ride at an aerobic pace! For two (very) diverse views on nutrition, have a look at the following links, and have a chat to fellow riders:


Do bear in mind who is selling you products though – any advice may not be particularly impartial!