A Group for Every Skill Level

May 25, 2014 Club News

  1. Tip of the Week: What to Carry With You on a Group Ride
  2. Group Sizes
  3. Clothing Order Update
  4. June Special Ride – Cambridge Tour de Grand
  5. Inspiration

Tip of the Week: What to Carry With You on a Group Ride
This week’s tip is with respect to what type of stuff you should carry with you on a ride.
Helmet.  No further explanation necessary.
Water/Sports drink.  We all know it’s important to stay hydrated during a ride, especially with the nice and toasty weather June, July and August.  Unless you’re taking the bike for a spin around the block, you should always have something to drink in your water bottle cages.  
Those are the two basic items, but what else should you have with you on a ride?
ID and your health card should also be on you during a ride.  Some riders like to wear something like a RoadID bracelet -- in fact, I have one that I wear myself.  It lists my name, city where I live, health card number, plus two emergency contacts in case something happens to me.  They’re actually relatively inexpensive to order.  Some cash is also good.  Stops in Moffat for butter tarts require exact change.  DO NOT expect a $20 to be broken for you there.
Now, in your saddle bag there are some key items you should have...
- A spare tube.  I never got the hang of using a patch kit and tubes are fairly inexpensive, I’d rather get rid of the old tube and install a brand new one, not having to worry whether or not the tire was patched correctly.
- Tire levers - 2 or 3 (better).  This will save you from having to use a stick found at the side of the road to try and get your tire off.
- Air pump or CO2 cartridge + valve.  One or the other - I carry both.  The pump will take some elbow grease, the CO2 cartridge will get the tube up to a decent inflation level quickly.
- Multi-tool.  This will help you in a pinch.  These tools will let you tighten loose bits or break chains apart to fix them.
This is actually a fair bit of stuff to bring along on a ride, but you never know when you’ll need it.  It does make that super-light bike of yours a bit heavier than you might be used to.

Group Sizes
The various groups have been getting quite large this year.  For safety reasons, groups should be split up into smaller sizes when they become large.  (Ideally around 10 to 12.)
The ride leader may appoint an experienced OCC member to lead a second group travelling about 30-60 seconds behind.

Clothing Order Update
For those of you that placed an order for clothing at the end of April, we are on track to receive the shipment in and around the mid-June timeframe.  Unfortunately, it looks like it won’t be arriving before the major events happen at the beginning of June (Ride for Heart,  Conquer Cancer, Tour de Grand).

June Special Ride – Cambridge Tour de Grand
There’s still time to sign up for the Cambridge Tour de Grand.  http://www.cambridgetourdegrand.com/
Again, we don’t have official ride leaders on this ride.  Various members participate (I’ll be doing the 100 km route) and find each other when we get there.  

For some inspiration, here is a quick video that came across my news feeds (6 and a half minutes long):  http://jalopnik.com/this-80-year-old-cyclist-will-inspire-the-crap-out-of-y-1580056857

That’s it for this week.

May 11, 2014 Club News

This week:
  1. Tip of the Week: Incidents on Group Rides
  2. Pace Lines
  3. June Special Ride – Cambridge Tour de Grand

Tip of the Week: Incidents on Group Rides
I was hoping not to have to post this tip of the week for a little while yet but, given the events of this past week, I think now is as good a time as any.
I can't stress this enough and  
anyone who has spoken to me knows that I have 
said this many times previously - what we are doing out there is inherently dangerous.  Even travelling at some of the "slower" speeds, injuries can happen if something goes wrong out there.
The tips that follow come from the 2014 OCC Ride Leader Handbook.  If something happens on a group ride, it is important to:
  • Stay Calm
  • Try to identify the mechanism of injury (road hazard, collision, mechanical failure, exhaustion, etc.) and then act to minimize danger of further injury.
  • Ensure that traffic is stopped or redirected to prevent further injury.
  • Don't move the injured person. Consider the possibility of a cerebrospinal injury. Ask the injured person for his or her permission to help. Do not provide help if the injured person refuses your offer - remain nearby and offer again after a minute or two; he/she will likely consent if the injuries are severe. Note that if the injured person is or becomes unconscious this permission is deemed to have been given.
  • Sending for help is often a judgment call. Is there profuse blood loss? Are they in obvious pain? Did they lose consciousness, even briefly? Are they having trouble breathing? If in doubt call 911. 
  • Administer first aid to the extent of your ability.
  • Even if the injured person pops up off the road and insists there is nothing wrong, look for signs of confusion and disorientation. They may have sustained a head injury
  • While waiting for help to arrive get the injured person's personal information (name, address, emergency contact, telephone) and medical history (allergies, medic alert, recent illnesses & operations) and write it down. Make sure a copy of this information finds its way onto the ambulance. 
  • Comfort the injured person. -When you get home notify the Recreational Ride Chair or President with details of the incident and the injured person's name(s).
  • There is paperwork that will need to be filled in and submitted to the Ontario Cycling Association.  The president will provide the form to any witnesses.  It is important to get this document filled in and sent back to the club in a timely fashion.

None of us want to be in this situation, but things can on occasion go wrong very quickly out there.  Even when everybody is riding safely and doing everything right, unavoidable things can and do happen.

Pace Lines
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be trying something new in some of our groups – pace lines on some of our Sunday rides.
Now, we’re not talking a Giro D’Italia or Tour de France caliber pace line here.  Don’t worry about that.  
There are some really great resources on the OCC web page that explain how to do single file and rotating pace lines.  On some of the quieter Sunday roads, we’re going to start experimenting with a pace line.  This does not mean that we are going to be pushing the speed faster than what’s advertised for the group.
Please visit the following link to familiarize yourself with the concept:  http://www.oakvillecc.com/index.php/member-resources/group-ride-etiquette
That said, if you’re still not comfortable participating in the rotating pace line, you are more than welcome to hang off the back at a safe distance.  
We’re still working out which in which groups we will be trying the pace line and on which roads.  It’s not something we should be doing on some of our busier roads – Derry, Britannia, Appleby, etc.

June Special Ride – Cambridge Tour de Grand
Quick reminder that the June special ride happens on June 8th for the Cabridge Tour de Grand.
Cost is $20 if you sign up by June 2nd.  You can sign up here:  http://www.cambridgetourdegrand.com/
Again, there are no real set groups and ride leaders for the event.  It’s more of an event where OCC members find each other and ride as a group.
I’ll be doing the 100 km route again this year and hope to finish with around a 28 kph average speed for the day.  If you think this is something you can do, then find me on the day of and join my group.  Otherwise, ask around your various Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday groups and see if anyone else is interested in doing a distance/speed that you’d like to do.

That’s it for this week. 

April 27, 2014 Club News

For those of you that are new to the club, throughout the spring and summer months I try and do a weekly announcement on Sunday evenings.  I usually start it with something called “Tip of the Week”, followed by any relevant information to the club and members.
This week:
  1. Tip of the Week:  Group Ride Guidelines and Etiquette
  2. Club Clothing Order
  3. June Special Ride:  Tour de Grand
  4. Ride Cancellations

Read more: April 27, 2014 Club News

May 4, 2014 Club News

Given that there are many new people in the club this year, and writing new material week in and week out can be quite difficult, I’m going to rehash many tips of the week from last year.  Apologies to those of you that may be seeing them for the second (or third) year in a row.
This week:
  1. Tip of the Week: Choosing a Ride Group
  2. 2014 Road Construction
  3. Burlington & Oakville Road Reporting
  4. Club Clothing

Tip of the Week: Choosing a Ride Group
As mentioned previously, we are seeing a lot of new members join the OCC in 2014.  Many have said that they have not been part of a club or participated in group riding before.  
If you're new and not sure which group to choose, here is the advice that I always give.
First and foremost, we want you to have fun out there and enjoy the rides.  It's not fun if people are being left behind because skill and/or endurance isn't up to the level of the group.  The best bit of advice I can give you for picking a group is to look at the speeds of the various groups (listed in the Road Rides section of our web page).  Pick the pace that you think best suits your level and, for one ride, go in the level below.

For example, group 3 averages 25-28 kph.  If you think you can do this, go into group 2 (23-25 kph) for a single ride and see how the pace works for you.  That way, if it's too slow for you, you can move into group 3 for the next ride.  If the pace is right, then spend some time in there until you feel you can move up into the next speed category.

Reminder: If you have any tips of your own that you would like to share (nutrition, safety, technique, maintenance) please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2014 Road Construction
As in previous years, we’re going to try and keep track of the road construction that’s happening in our riding area.  Given the winter we had, and the condition of some of our roads, I’m anticipating a lot of work that’s going to affect our riding this summer.
If you see of any road closures, repaving, chip & tar, etc. please let me know and I’ll add it to the map.
I’ve already added the proposed Kilbride reconstruction/resurfacing and the bridge replacement that’s happening on Snake Road.

Burlington & Oakville Road Reporting
Jon C. passed this along last week.  To report potholes or road cleanup in Burlington and Oakville, you can visit the following pages:
Jon mentioned that they were pretty quick to get back to him when he reported issues in Oakville.

Club Clothing
The first order for club clothing has gone in for this year.  We do have some clothing in inventory.  
Please visit the following page to see what we have: http://www.oakvillecc.com/index.php/member-resources/club-clothing
I’ll try to keep this as up to date as possible.
Please send me a note if you’re interested in a particular item.  I’ll provide you with the details on how to pay for the item.
There are a few members that reserved jerseys at the end of last year.  I have not included those in the available counts.  If you would still like your jersey(s), please let me know.

That’s it for this week.

First Ride of 2014

Great turnout tonight for our first ride of the season! Lots of new members and returning ones in all six groups - well over 50 riders, including an huge amount in Group 2!

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