Am I the sort of person you are looking for?
Almost certainly! Our members are young and old, male and female, and from many ethnicities. We are a friendly informal club and we are not elitist or patronising to potential new members or those new to cycling.
How fit do I need to be?
You should be able to cycle 40 miles over rolling countryside in about three hours. If you are not sure of your fitness or have never done this distance before, we advise you that you complete some shorter rides first and build yourself up to 40 miles or so as you feel able. You don't need to be fast but you may need to build up some endurance. You are more than welcome to contact us for some informal guidance and we might have a suitable ride coming up that will allow you to test yourself without getting too far from home!
What sort of bike do I need?
Most of our members ride lightweight road bikes with drop handlebars but you are welcome to ride any bike you like so long as its roadworthy. Please bear in mind that mountain bikes or hybrids are heavier and less aerodynamic than road bikes so you’ll need to work harder to maintain the pace (and our main club rides rarely require the off-road capabilities of those types of bikes).
What happens if I can't keep up?
The group always rides at a pace that allows everyone to stay together (so we regroup at junctions, turn offs and the top of hills as necessary). If it quickly becomes apparent that you aren’t able to keep up or for any reason you cannot continue we’ll always assist you in getting back to the start. You won’t find yourself left at the side of the road on your own!
Do you stop during the ride?
Yes. The regular Sunday ride has a cafe stop which is generally about 20 miles into the ride. From there you have the option returning with some of the group to Enfield usually giving a total ride distance of 40 – 45 miles. However, if you want a longer ride, you can continue on to the designated lunch stop before returning, which tends to make the total ride distance between 60 – 80 miles.
Should I bring food and drink with me?
As an absolute minimum you should bring at least one water bottle (although some people prefer a sports drink) with you - preferably in a bottle cage attached to your bike for easy access. Just in case you need it we recommend that you have some food with you as well – either energy bars/gels, cereal or cake bars or perhaps bring a banana!
Do I need lycra clothing?
Riders can wear whatever they please, but cycle-specific clothing does provide some useful advantages such as; comfort for the movements you’ll be making, wicking and airflow, wind/shower proofing, aerodynamics and usually some easily accessible pockets to store the things you need with you.
Do I need to wear a helmet?
There is no law that requires you to wear a helmet but we would probably recommend that you do (just in case you fall from your bike at speed!).
What else should I bring with me?
As a minimum we’d say that you need: a spare inner tube, tyre levers and a pump, some cash for the café stop (some don’t accept cards) or emergencies, some ID and a mobile phone. In the event of a mechanical or some other problem there’s usually someone in the group that can help as may be required. Finally - please bring a set of lights if visibility is poor or there’s any chance that you might be riding home as it starts getting dark.
I’m ready to take the plunge - what do I do now?
Easy - just turn up a little before 9am on a Sunday morning at our meeting place in Enfield Town and introduce yourself to the ride leader! If you are feeling nervous or have never ridden in a bunch before we can arrange for an experienced member to stay close to you and show you the ropes without any pressure.
Do I have to join the club before I am allowed to participate in a ride?
No – we invite prospective members to accompany us on three rides before applying to join the club. Once you’ve completed three rides then you’ll be required to take out a membership.
What does it cost to join?
To join Southgate CC costs £50 – but this does include one of our club cycling jerseys. After that it currently costs just £20 each year to renew membership. In addition, SCC requires that all members join either the CTC, LCC or British Cycling (we are affiliated to all three) as these organisations provide important additional personal insurance cover.