TCBC RIDE KEY
Being the Twin Cities’ largest cycling club, TCBC has a wide range of cycling speeds among our many members. Our rides are designed to be social group rides, but since cycling speeds can vary so greatly, the Club has developed Ride Key and Ride Considerations documents to assist members, new members and non-members in choosing a ride that best fits their riding ability and comfort level.
The Club often has over 2000 rides scheduled a year, including both road bike and mountain bike rides. You will meet riders who share your love of bicycling and the outdoors. Rides are mostly on low-traffic roads and trails. Each ride will have at least one trained and experienced ride leader. At the present time, TCBC rides are open to members only. Minors must be accompanied during the ride by a parent or guardian.
All TCBC members are covered by liability, medical, and accidental death policies when on scheduled TCBC rides. Non-members are not covered. For details see TCBC Insurance Benefit on website under Resources.
All ride participants are encouraged to learn how to fix a flat tire and perform minor bicycle maintenance and should be willing to assist other riders when necessary. TCBC stresses safe riding, following good bicycle riding etiquette and obeying all vehicle traffic laws. Before you ride with the Club, please read the Club’s Ride Safety Rules and Recommendations.
The ride description for each separate ride is listed in the Ride Calendar (on the TCBC website) and will provide more specific information for that ride. Please read it thoroughly. If you have additional questions about the ride, call or email the ride leader whose name and contact information are listed in the ride description.
The club has designed five ride levels:
- A and A/B rides are for experienced riders who desire to ride fast, in pace lines or on their own. Leaders of these ride levels may ride anywhere within the group.
- B, B/C and C rides are social rides at moderate or slower paces where riders generally ride as a group. Leaders of these levels will ride with the group at the published pace. Faster, self-sufficient riders may join these rides, but they may be started ahead of the group and ride at the front on their own.
- Refer to the following chart for a more detailed ride category description.
TCBC Ride Key for Road Rides
Min Average Riding Speed
Riders Must Have
|A – Very Strenuous: Fast Paced, most difficult terrain, or longer distance||17+ mph||Advanced cycling skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump||At leader’s discretion||Anywhere|
|A/B – Strenuous: Swift, more difficult terrain, or long distance||15-17 mph||Intermediate to advanced cycling skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump||About every 20-30 miles||Anywhere|
|B – Brisk: Social, but emphasis is on riding – A good choice for experienced group riders – generally intermediate or greater pace, terrain and distance||13-15 mph||Intermediate to more advanced cycling skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump||About every 15-20 miles||With group at the published pace|
|B/C – Moderate: Social emphasis, but for those with riding experience – generally intermediate pace, terrain and distance||11-13 mph||Intermediate cycling skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump||About every 10-15 miles||With group at the published pace|
|C – Relaxed: Easier, for a more “laid-back” time, perfect for newer riders, slower pace and flatter terrain, shorter distance||9-11 mph||Entry level to intermediate cycling skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump||About every 10-15 miles||With group at the published pace|
(An expanded type of “C” Level ride)
E3= Easy, Educational, Enjoyable: Focus on creating a welcoming and social atmosphere. Rides will be 60-90 minutes long and approximately 5-10 miles. Route adjustments made to accommodate the group.
|6 – 9 mph||A bike and helmet, basic biking skills, desire to have fun||Every 5 miles (or more frequently as needed to keep group together)||With the group|
TCBC RIDE KEY FOR NIGHT RIDES
|TCBC Night Rides are rides of which any portion of the ride occurs between sunset and sunrise. A heavier-duty bike and/or a bike with larger-sized tires is recommended for night rides to help compensate for the lower visibility of debris and other road hazards. Night rides inherently require a higher level of effort, awareness, and bike handling skills than daytime rides. Due to more limited visibility at night and the frequent use of trails, the average speed on night rides will normally be 1 to 2 mph slower for each category listed in the Ride Key above for day rides. Night rides are generally stay together rides and riders who are new to night riding may want to start with a level below what is normally ridden on day rides until you are comfortable riding at night.|
|Riders Must Have||Rest Stops||Ride Leaders|
Very Strenuous, Safety stressed, advanced riding skills stressed.
|45 miles||Expert level bike handling and group riding skills. Spare tube, patch kit, pump. Front and rear fully charged cycling lights, reflective clothing, and smartphone and/or GPS to aid navigation in case of being dropped from group.||At Leader’s Discretion||2 Ride Leaders Recommended Ride Anywhere|
Strenouous, social, safety stressed, stay together ride.
|40 miles||Advanced level bike handling and group riding skills. Spare tube, patch kit, pump. Front and rear fully charged cycling lights and reflective clothing.||About every 20 miles||2 Ride Leaders Required|
Ride Front and Rear
Brisk, social, safety stressed, stay together ride.
|35 miles||Intermediate to advanced level bike handling and group riding skills. Spare tube, patch kit, pump. Front and rear fully charged cycling lights and reflective clothing.||About every 15-20 miles||2 Ride Leaders Required|
Ride Front and Rear
Moderate, social, safety stressed, stay together ride.
|30 miles||Intermediate level bike handling and group riding skills. Spare tube, patch kit, pump. Front and rear fully charged cycling lights and reflective clothing.||About every 15 miles||2 Ride Leaders Required|
Ride Front and Rear
Relaxed, social, safety stressed, stay together ride.
|25 miles||Entry level to intermediate bike handling and group riding skills. Spare tube, patch kit, pump. Front and rear fully charged cycling lights and reflective clothing.||About every 10-15 miles||2 Ride Leaders Required|
Ride Front and Rear
TCBC Ride Key for Mountain Bike Rides – TCBC Members Only
Ride Time for Mountain Bikes
Terrain for Mountain Bike Rides
Riders Must Have
|MB A: High Speed, no time limit||Difficult dirt trails, roots, rocks, many difficult hills, technically very difficult||Advanced MB skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump, chain tool, water||At group or rider’s discretion||Anywhere|
|MB A/B: Rapid, less than 6 hours||Challenging dirt trails or roads, roots, rocks, many hills, technically quite difficult||Advanced MB skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump, water||At least 1 time each hour||Anywhere|
|MB B: Moderate, less than 4 hours||Gravel or dirt trails or roads, some hills, technically moderate||Intermediate MB skills; spare tube, patch kit, pump, water||At least 1 or 2 times each hour||With the group – riders regroup occasionally|
|MB C: Slower, less than 2 hours||Gravel or dirt trails or roads, few hills, technically simple||Beginner MB skills; spare tube, patch kit, water||2 or more times each hour||With the group – riders regroup frequently|
Additional Ride Considerations
General – TCBC rides are open to members and non-members. Listed ride start times are departure times. You should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time to get yourself and your bicycle ready. This will also give you time to find the ride leader and sign in on the Ride Report Sheet. Non-members are free to ride their first ride with our club and must also sign a non-member waiver at the ride start. The ride leader will give a short briefing on safety and the route along with other important information about the ride.
Ride Descriptions – The ride descriptions in the Ride Calendar (on TCBC website) give important details about each ride that include distance and terrain or may list special situations or conditions that apply to the ride. Be sure to read these descriptions carefully.
Average Speeds – The speeds listed in the Ride Key are average speeds for the entire ride. These are not minimum or maximum speeds. In order to maintain any of these average speeds, at times it will be necessary to ride faster than the listed average speed. For example, a route with hills or many stop signs or stop lights may require riding 2 to 4 miles per hour faster than the listed average for portions of the ride in order to make the listed average for the total ride.
Faster Riders – Faster self-sufficient riders are welcome on most daylight rides, but they may be asked by the leader to start ahead of the group if they wish to ride at a faster than advertised pace.
Leader Speed – Barring unexpected circumstances, leaders will attempt to maintain the average speed published in the TCBC Ride Calendar description of their ride.
Support – All riders should be willing and prepared to do minor repairs, fix flats and to assist if there is an accident.
Bicycle – Your bicycle should be in good mechanical condition; you should perform a safety check before every ride. We recommend at least an annual tune-up. Mountain bikes are required for MB rides.
Helmets – Properly adjusted and fastened ANSI or Snell approved helmets must be worn whenever riding on TCBC rides.
Protective Glasses – They are highly recommended for all bike rides.
Mirrors – The Club highly recommends using a helmet-mounted, glasses-attached or handlebar mounted mirror to increase awareness of traffic and other riders.
Personal Listening Devices – Audio devices such as: MP3 players, iPods, Bluetooth ear buds, headphones, etc. are not allowed on TCBC rides.
Cell Phones – Cell phone use is not allowed while riding. Find a safe place off the road to make/receive calls.
Clothing – Wear clothing appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Cycling shorts or tights and cycling gloves greatly increase your comfort. Mountain bike riders may require more protective clothing as abrasive brush and tree branches or muddy terrain may be encountered on these rides.
Hydration/Water – Be well hydrated before you ride. Carry water or sports drink with you and drink frequently. Sometimes water may not be available, so always have water with you sufficient for your needs.
Food – Bring quick energy food (fruit, nuts, energy bars or gels) with you on the ride.
Things to Carry – Carry at least the following on your bike: tire removal levers, pump, spare tube, patch kit, cell phone, money, identification.
Traffic Laws – All riders must obey Minnesota vehicle traffic laws, share the road with other users and cycle in a manner suitable with the conditions and keep the safety of others in mind.
Electric Bicycles (ebikes, e-bikes) – For riders that need them, TCBC does allow electric bicycles on our rides as long as they do not have more than 750 watts of power and provide no assist after 20 miles per hour.