First ride – information for new riders

  • Our main club rides are every Sunday
  • We meet outside SE20 Cycles (78 High St, Penge. SE20 7HB) and nearby outside the Crooked Billet pub between 7:30am and 8:20am
  • Start times, mileage and speed of all our groups can be found on our Sunday Morning Rides page
  • To come along on any Penge CC ride, you must sign up in advance once you’ve chosen the right group. Registration opens at 7pm on Monday for rides the following Sunday
  • You can ride up to 3 times with us (to try the club out) before becoming a Penge CC member. Our third party liability insurance covers these ‘try-out’ rides, but when joining as a full member, you’ll then need proof of your own insurance
  • Visit our Facebook group for updates and any route changes for our rides during the week
  • The easiest ride for starting with is the Steady group. That is the nearest we have to a beginners’ group, but it’s not suitable for absolute beginners 
  • If you are a female beginner rider and not ready for our Steady group, you could start riding with Breeze to gain confidence before joining the Steady group. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re keeping fit, young at heart, wise beyond your years, or baffled by gears. Every woman is welcome on an HSBC UK Breeze ride’. There are plenty of scheduled local Breeze rides – just add your postcode or look at their Facebook group
  • For all riders not quite ready for the Steady group, we also run leisure rides during the summer
  • Safe cycling that follows the highway code rules is essential for every group. As you move up the groups, group riding etiquette and technique become increasing important, – please take look at how we ride together in Penge CC
  • If you have never ridden in a group of cyclists before, there are some simple calls, and signals you need to know- please look at the main ones. Info will be updated soon

FAQs. The questions new riders frequently ask.

Click on the question + to expand the answer.

As I’m new to the club, which is the best ride group to join?

If you are joining us from another club, and are an experienced road cyclist, then you can decide which of our rides suits you on our Sunday Morning Rides page.

Equally, you may have been commuting to work for some time or been going out on rides yourself but have not been on group rides before. Our ‘entry level’ Steady rides are likely to be the place to start: there are more details lower down this page.  We draw a distinction between leisure and road cycling.  Leisure cycling typically involves 10-20 miles on relatively flat roads, whereas our Steady rides are 24-27 miles, with total climbing of 1200-1400 feet (350-430 metres).

It’s often better to start a little slower at first; you can easily move up a group later. If you go out with a group that’s too fast, it might put you off – and at Penge CC, we don’t want that to happen.

Do I need to have a fancy, expensive bike?

It’s easy to spend thousands of pounds on a bike.  You certainly don’t need a top-of-the-range bike to join us, but in practice, you will need a decent road bike.  Most of our members have road bikes with relatively light frames and either straight or drop handlebars.

Can I ride an e-Bike?

We do not currently welcome e-bikes on our Sunday rides: we have found that mixes of road and e-bikes are difficult to manage safely on group rides.  We are, though, open to members creating an e-bike group within the club.  A few of our members have e-bikes – as well as their road bikes – and we will support you if you want to set one up.

I know Penge CC insists on cycling insurance – what do I need?

The club insures new riders for the first three rides. After that, you must have your own third party insurance to ride with us.

Third party insurance is important because it’ll cover you in the event of an accident with another road user – pedestrian, cyclist or vehicle – if they want to make a claim against you.

Most organisations will also provide free legal advice if you are involved in an accident where you have been injured or suffered damage to your bike and need to claim against the other party. They will also provide advice on other cycling-related legal issues you might have.

You can get insurance through organisations such as British Cycling, Cycling UK or the London Cycling Campaign (or with the equivalent from another provider).  See our cycling insurance page for more info.

Where do you meet up?

Our main club rides are every Sunday throughout the year.  We meet outside SE20 Cycles (78 High Street, Penge SE20 7HB) and nearby outside the Crooked Billet pub, on the other side of the High Street.  Most rides leave between 7.30am and 8.20am.

How fast do you go?

We aim to offer rides suitable for most people. The start times, mileage and speed of all our groups can be found on our Sunday Morning Rides page. Our Short rides are typically 30—35 miles, and Long rides are 50-57 miles (faster groups can go further than these distances, particularly in the summer).  Rides are numbered from 1 to 4, with higher numbers indicating higher speeds.  Please check speeds and distances before signing up for your ride.

What if I think I’m not fast enough yet?

The easiest ride for starting with is the Steady group. That is the nearest we have to a beginners’ group, but it’s not suitable for absolute beginners 

If you decide that you are not quite ready for the Steady group, we also run leisure rides during the summer, designed to help you to step up to it. If you are a female beginner rider and not ready for our Steady group, you could start riding with Breeze to gain confidence before joining the Steady group. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re keeping fit, young at heart, wise beyond your years, or baffled by gears. Every woman is welcome on an HSBC UK Breeze ride’. There are plenty of scheduled local Breeze rides – just add your postcode or look at their Facebook group

Do I have to wear a helmet?

In common with other clubs, we require you to wear a helmet, bring water with you, and wear clothing appropriate for the weather.  We strongly recommend bringing a phone, some money (usually a card) for café stops, a spare inner tube (or have well-maintained tubeless tyres), a pump, tyre levers, and a multi-tool.  You may also want to bring a snack.

How do I learn how to ride in a group?

If you have never ridden in a group of cyclists before, there are some simple calls and signals you need to know- please look at the main ones. Info will be updated soon.

Safe cycling that follows the highway code rules is essential for every group. As you move up the groups, group riding etiquette and technique become increasingly important- please look at how we ride together in Penge CC.

Do you have a Facebook group?

Yes, we have an active Facebook group. You can visit @PengeCycleGroup for updates and route changes for our rides during the week. Rider leaders often post routes, and you can read the chat about the different rides.

How do I sign up for a ride?

To come along on any Penge CC ride, you must sign up in advance.  We manage our rides on RiderHQ.  Registration opens at 7pm on Monday for rides the following Sunday.  Some rides, including Steady and Short 1 (the slowest Short ride), can fill up fast, so sign up early if you can as spaces are limited.

How do I cancel a ride if I sign up but can’t make it?

Your plans might change during the week, and you might need to cancel your ride.  If you are not a member, you can’t cancel the ride yourself: email the Ride Co-ordinator at adultrides@pengecc.org, who will cancel the place for you.  If you are already a member, then you can cancel yourself.  Instructions for cancelling your ride are explained in this Facebook message.

How do I find out more details about PengeCC rides?

On our website, our Sunday Morning Rides page has lots of detail.
If you can’t find the answer, you are looking for email adultrides@pengecc.org.