BMCC Introductory “Taster Rides”
9am on the 4th Saturday* of every month.
26th March, 23rd April, 28th May, 25th June
23rd July, 28th August*, 24th September, 22nd October
* August Taster will be on the 4th Sunday this year.
You don’t have to be a club member to take part. In fact we ask all prospective club members to take part in at least one Taster Ride. The aim is to introduce potential new riders to the club and to demonstrate the techniques of riding in a group.
We want to encourage you, not put you off, so all rides are run at an easy pace and no-one is left behind. We all started somewhere and so we appreciate how nervous you may be! All we ask is that your bike and fitness are of a suitable standard as outlined below.
There is no need to book – just turn up & ride!
All our rides start at 9am from Bicester Leisure Centre
We meet at the back of the car park by the entrance to Bicester Bowl. If you need to use the facilities in the leisure centre (changing rooms, cafe, etc…) they are open for us to use.
It may look intimidating seeing riders chatting in the car park, but we are a friendly bunch (if a little socially awkward) so please just ask someone in club kit to point out the Taster Ride Leader. They will introduce themselves and others that will be in your group. There will also be a 2 minute pre-ride briefing to welcome everyone and calm any nerves.
The ride to the Cafe is around 20 miles and should take about 90 minutes – an average speed of 12mph.
The cafe stop is at around 10:30-11:00am at Waterperry Gardens where we will stop for coffee and a cake. If you have never ridden in a group before then these rides are designed to get you used to group riding at a comfortable pace. Even experienced cyclists will appreciate the need to understand our ride protocol that keeps everyone safe and together.
The ride back to Bicester is also around 10 miles and we should arrive between 12:30 – 1:00pm.
I’m nervous about the pace – will you just leave me behind?
Rest assured, we always ride at the pace of the slowest rider, but we do ask that your bike and fitness are capable of riding the above distances and speeds (e.g. it is 1.5 hours at a 12mph average to the cafe).
What bike and equipment do I need?
You don’t need any special kit or bikes, but we would suggest a road bike or MTB with road (“slick”) tyres is most suitable. Please wear a helmet, carry a spare inner tube and a pump, some food and water (you can get sweaty!) and some cash for a coffee & cake at the cafe (£6 will be more than enough).
In general mountain bikes with wide, knobbly tyres aren’t suited to road riding for the Taster ride (it requires a great deal of rider energy to propel a MTB along the road at our usual speeds leading to rider fatigue and lack of enjoyment on the ride!). We have no problem though with people coming along on a Taster ride with a flat barred/hybrid bike with road/”slick” tyres.
Please also be aware of the British weather and be prepared for rain or a heatwave (such are the vagaries of our climate).
Why are you doing this for?
This is an ideal opportunity for cyclists who have a resolution to get fit and do some cycling to come and see what the club is all about. We particularly welcome club members’ spouses, older children (under 18’s with a parent/guardian please), workmates or friends – come & see what we get up to at the weekends.
“It had been a long time (20 years) since I had ridden a bike and was a little nervous being back on the roads but I knew I had made the right decision to checkout my local club the BMCC.
My first taster ride was hugely enjoyable and the friendly BMCC members soon made me feel very welcome and in very safe hands. Having not done much physical exercise for way too long I have found cycling the perfect solution to help me on my way back to fitness. Last weekend with the help of a great bunch of riders of all ages I managed a 50 mile ride for the first time.” – Nick
We think Nick may have been helped by the fact that the tea stop was at the Hook Norton Brewery Visitor Centre !
Can I contact someone with my questions?
Want to try the Taster Ride Route yourself?
There are a number of routes that are used for the Taster Ride. You can view and download the routes on Ride With GPS on the links below:
If you fancy trying cycling to get yourself fit, take inspiration from our own Reg Gardner. Reg was over 27st when he decided it was time to change his life. He started cycling as part of a diet and exercise regime. He joined BMCC to have company on rides but also did lots himself. He successfully completed a ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in the mid-00s. The result, after all his work, is that got down to close to 15st … amazing and inspirational. Well done Reg!