Preparing for the Ride
There are lots of great local bike clubs, such as the Five Borough Bicycle Club, New York Cycle Club, and the Suffolk Bicycle Riders Association and most of them offer free rides just about every weekend. Be sure to read their ride descriptions carefully so you understand how far and how fast each ride is. You do not have to be a member of most clubs to ride with them, but we think that once you see how great these clubs are, you’ll want to join. Note that most clubs require you to wear a helmet when riding with them.
The Route Sheet
On the day of the ride we will give you a great route sheet. We do not release copies of the route sheet in advance, for four reasons:
1. Not everyone is as honest as you. When we release the route sheet in advance, we get a lot of people who do the ride without raising money for charity.
2. Believe it or not, the route sheet is usually not ready until just a day or two before the ride. Why? Because our excellent route-marking crew heads out right before the ride to check for any last-minute changes. It is VERY common for them to come across a road that we have used for years, only to discover that it is closed for construction. When they return from marking the route, the route-marking team is THE final word on where the route goes -- even I don’t know the route until I hear back from them.
3. If we distribute the route sheet before the ride, we get a LOT of email like this: "I see the route goes down Maple Street. You people are idiots. Everyone knows that Oak Street is much better than Maple Street. I will be riding on Oak Street instead. Will there be a rest stop for me on Oak Street?"
4. We ALSO get a lot of email like this: "I see from the route sheet that the ride will go right past my house. I will start pedaling from in front of my house, and then do the route in reverse order. Can I get a lift back to my house after the ride?"
Hope you understand! When we’ve released the route sheet in advance bad things happen to us, and we hate when that happens!
Chat With Your Fellow Riders
You can find us for free on Facebook -- check out photos of the rides taken by you, the cyclists, and stay in touch with your fellow riders:
“I need a ride home -- are you going to my neighborhood?”
“I want to buy new tires -- any suggestions?”
“I’m going to do a 60-mile training ride this weekend -- anyone want to come along?”
“My cousin signed up for the ride but now can’t make it so I’m selling his registration.”
This is also where we usually leak any gossip or news about the ride before we tell everyone else.