August - No meeting
- Membership Applications being accepted. Contact the membership Chairperson on Contacts Page.
- Welcome new members.
- All members required to sign Villages and TVBC Waivers.
The Villages , Florida
The Village Bicycle Club is a resident only club, which meets at 7pm on the second Monday of each month in the Julio Iglesias Room in the La Hacienda Recreation Center, 1200 Avenida Central, The Villages FL. Bring resident or guest pass for entry to the building. Guests of Village Residents are welcome to ride with the Club.
Days & Time - Every day, starting times are as follows:
Summer Schedule: April 1 through Sept 30 ---- Ride starts at 8:00 AM
Winter Schedule: October 1 through March 31 ---- Ride Starts at 8:30 AM.
Temperature - If outdoor Temperature is 40 F degrees or less at 7 AM the ride start is delayed by 2 hours and the length of ride may be shortened.
Start Location - All rides leave from the Parking Lot at El Santiago Recreation Center at 2373 Enrique Drive The Villages, FL.
GPS Location is N 28.948285 W -81.984277
Safety - Choose appropriate ride level. It is expected that a rider is competent in handling a bicycle on the road and in traffic.
Helmets - All riders are required to wear helmets and ride in a safe manner as not to endanger themselves or other riders.
Ride Levels - A,B,C and S designators indicate the intensity of the rides and suggest an average speed the group will maintain.
A = 20+ MPH ---- distance 35-60 miles
B = 17-20 MPH ---- distance 25-40 miles
C = 14-17 MPH ---- distance 20-30 miles
S = Social Ride ----- Cancelled
Post Ride -Generally, after the ride, most groups meet at Panera's Bakery for coffee and food. This is a buy your own refreshments and food
Visitors looking for Bike Rentals -- Village Cycles is located within The Villages
This is the most important rule and it involves every aspect of riding from changing positions in the group to following the traffic rules. All of the other rules support this one. Smooth, predictable riding isn't just a matter of style...its survival!! Always obey the traffic laws and think of the group as one (1) unit. Cross intersections together, turn together, stop together, etc. NEVER ride more than 2 abreast and always single up when cars are present.
Don't overlap wheels EVER.
Heard the saying "the rider in back is the one that goes down? It's true. Just don't do it. Be steady
This means speed and line. When in a group, maintain a steady speed as you go to the front. When you lead, ride a straight line and keep your speed constant with the conditions. Remember- this means do NOT speed up when you get to the front. It means steady pressure on the pedals...uphill or downhill, headwind or tailwind. The goal is not to have surges, but a constant, steady pace. If you have to brake, do so gently so that you can moderate your speed without disturbing riders around you. Constant, slight adjustments are necessary in a group, learn to do this smoothly.
Announce hazards. When you are in the lead, you are responsible for the safety of everyone behind you. When you are in the group, communicate to the riders around you. Everyone trusts each other to point out anything in the path of the pack. This includes: potholes, road hazards, parked cars, walkers or other riders you are over taking. Be very vocal when approaching intersections, slowing, stopping, or turning. When you are near the back of the group, announce oncoming traffic from the rear.
Signaling lets everyone (vehicles and riders) know your intentions. Remember #1? This makes you predictable. Always try to make eye contact with oncoming traffic at intersections. Most cyclists use their right arms to signal a right turn, although technically incorrect, this is the most widely accepted signal and easiest to understand.
Do not stare directly at the rider or wheel in front of you. Learn to be comfortable looking around or through the riders ahead of you. Be aware of your surroundings- always.
Aero bars and group rides just don't mix
The best scenario is to always use your road bike for group rides. If you do not have a road bike...stay out of the aero bars while in a group. The only exception...when you are at the front pulling you can get aero if you are comfortable doing this, but never when you are following a wheel. It just isn't safe.
Don't leave stragglers on a no drop ride
If you get separated, the lead group should soft pedal until the rest have rejoined. If there are new riders, be sure to regroup at any turns or intersections. It is also helpful to have pre designated "regroup" points during a ride, just in case someone gets dropped.
Know your limitations and strengths
Yes, riders of different abilities can still ride together and have fun. Know yourself and be honest. If you're not strong enough or too tired to take a turn at the front, stay at the back and let the stronger cyclists pull. Make sure you get don't pull too long or hard and then get dropped. If you are one of the stronger riders, set a nice steady pace at the front, but just stay on the front longer instead increasing the speed. Think longer not faster.
Change positions correctly
A common beginner mistake is to stop pedaling just before pulling off the front. This creates an accordion effect toward the rear. Keep a steady pressure on the pedals until you have cleared the front. After pulling off, soft pedal and let the group pull through. As the last couple riders are passing through, begin to apply more pressure to smoothly take your position at the rear. The goal is a nice, smooth transition. Remember- steadiness is the goal.
If you need to stand, shift up a gear to compensate for the slower cadence and stand up smoothly keeping a steady pressure on the pedals. Think about propelling your bike forward as you stand. This will keep the bike from moving backward into the rider behind you.
The leader on a group must overcome a much greater wind resistance as the speed increases. If you are leading, keep pedaling. Riders to the rear will accelerate faster downhill as drafting becomes more effective. If you are following, back off a couple of bike lengths to give yourself a little extra space to compensate for the greater affects of drafting. If you are closing on the rider in front, sit up and let the wind slow you or use light braking to maintain spacing, but in both cases you should keep pedaling against the resistance. Keeping your legs moving not only makes it easier to keep the spacing, but also helps the legs get rid of the acid build up from the previous climb.
This one is really important. It will allow you to be smooth and responsive. A relaxed upper body allows you to have much more control over the bike and eliminates over-reacting. Many times, over-reaction to a situation is what causes the crash. If you just stay calm and relaxed, you might be able to avoid the mishap or crash.
Closing a gap or slowing down
Don't make erratic movements. Close a gap slowly, don't panic. Stay seated and gradually reel them back in. If you are getting to close to the rider ahead, soft pedal, sit up higher to catch more wind, move over slightly to catch more wind, feather your breaks a bit.
Leading the Pack
It is important than when you are pulling that you know where you are going. Make decisions with the safety of the entire group in mind. Do not accelerate or decelerate unless appropriate. If you decide to cross an intersection, make sure the entire group has enough time and space to make it through safely.
No Half Wheeling
Do not half wheel (riding in slightly ahead of the rider next to you) when riding side by side. Settle on a pressure and maintain it. Constantly evaluate your position next to another rider. Few things are more annoying than "Half Wheel Hank" or "Half Wheel Helen" on a group ride. Don't be Hank or Helen.
Notes- Move completely off the roadway when waiting for groups, fixing flats or stopping. Do not congregate on the roads.
Yield to horses, runners, and other pedestrians on paths.
Let someone know if you are getting dropped - it is much easier for the group to slow down a bit than to have to stop completely and wait for dropped riders.
Leave no trace - do not leave trash on the trail or road!
Only ride two abreast- NEVER more, and single up when cars approach- stay to the right and be courteous to traffic.
Shawn Heidgen, from Pactimo.com
TVBC is encouraging members to use these reports in a joint project with the Sumter Landing Bicycle Club designed to improve bicycling safety in The Villages and surrounding areas.
Gate Malfunction --Use this form to report an improperly functioning entrance or exit gate. The information collected is forwarded to the appropriate officials.
Accidents -- Use this form to report accidents requiring professional medical care.
Motorist Dusting Bicyclist-- SLBC recorded, posted on web and reported to Sumter Sheriff a video of a two SLBC members intentionally buzzed and intimated by a SUV. The incident was caught by a video mounted camera on their bicycle. For more info and video click here.Please report similar or related incidents to law enforcement..
through Sept 30 ---- Ride starts at 8:00 AM
Effective April 14, 2014:
Social ride has been cancelled
Scheduled club ride days are everyday of the week.
Club Jerseys are available in both men's and women's styles with full zipper or 1/4 zipper. Price is approx $50. Club cut. Also available in sleeveless. Contact Clay Smith 352-396-3137 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Ride Across America Update -- Two members from our club, Bill Bellew and Clay Smith are participating in this 3000 mile ride.
SLBC would like to invite the members of The Village Bicycle Club to join us on our Villages/VBT cycling tour to Croatia beginning on September 24, 2014. More information can be found by CLICKING HERE.
For more information and exercises on group riding techniques, refer to the following documents.
Documents courtesy of Jack Logomarsino and the Sumter Landing Bicycle Club