​Scheduled Club Rides

Club Meetings --Special Notice

Next Club Meeting:

  • Monday, June 8th at La Hacienda Recreation Center, Julio Iglesias Room, 7 pm.
  • It will be a joint meeting with the Sumter Landing Bicycle Club. 
  • Larry Black will be our guest speaker.
  • Note that Dr. Gabe Mirkin presented at the last meeting and here is his presentation if you missed it:  ​How to be a Better Cyclist.pptx

Minutes- March 2015 Meeting minutes are posted on the Documents page.

From The President

- It is now the policy of The Village Bicycle Club  not to say "Clear" when going through or turning at an intersection.   Each rider is responsible to make sure that the intersection is in fact "Clear." 

- Welcome new members. 

- Membership Applications being  accepted. Contact the membership Chairperson on Contacts Page.

- Announced a new beginners ride starting Feb 3 (see details below)

The Villages , Florida

Welcome to the Village Bicycle Club!


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.

Clay Smith - President

Days - Everyday: main rides are Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday and recovery rides are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, & Friday.

            Main ride days have the most ride levels so visitors should ride on main ride days.  

Start Time -  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 - The club voted 1/12/2015 to simplify --- no weather delays.

                         Group start times are independent of weather and a personal decision of your choice to ride based on weather. 

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 - Every day
                B  = 17-20 MPH ---- distance 25-40 miles - Every day
                C  = 14-17 MPH ---- distance 20-30 miles - Every day
                S =  10-12 MPH ---- distance adjusted to new rider skills - Tuesdays  only

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

                                            Group Riding Techniques


Be predictable.

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.  It the policy of The Village Bicycle Club  not to say "Clear" when going through or turning at an intersection.   It is the responsibility of  each rider to make sure that the intersection is in fact "Clear."   

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.

Don't fixate
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

Gate Malfunction, Accident Report, Safety - Please use caution at the gates.  We had another cyclist get hit on Jan 6, 2015 by the exit gate on Enrique Drive.  An incident report has been submitted on the SLBC web site. I believe the cyclist was stationary waiting for the light and  gate came down on him.

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.

Bicycling in The Villages Video -- See The Villages video featuring members of our club and Sumter Landing club  (Click here).

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 68gamecock@gmail.com 

Group Riding Training Manuals

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

 and League of American Bicyclists

News, Events & Highlights

Feb 3, 2015 Beginners Ride: Starting Feb 3 the TVBC added a weekly scheduled beginners ride every Tues. The ride will begins at 8 AM at Santiago Recreation center. The ride will be at an average 12 mph pace with no rider left behind. This is a great way for  new riders to explore joining the club and learning how to do group ridding.

Both Wally KURZ and Bob KRAUS celebrated their birthdays by sharing bagels and cinnamon bread at Panera Bread after the Tuesday ride Posted 4/1/205

Pictures of the Day

​​Looking for more in Florida --- Check out Cycling Across America.

Clay Smith Birthday -- Sharing bagels at Panera's Posted 4/10/2015

Apr 1 Summer Ride Schedule begins at 8 AM See Ride schedule below.

​Florida Bicycle Statutes

Title XXIII    MOTOR VEHICLES       Chapter 316      316.003 (2)
BICYCLE.—Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

316.2065 Bicycle regulations.—
(1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.
(2) A person operating a bicycle may not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(3)(a) A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped, except that an adult rider may carry a child securely attached to his or her person in a backpack or sling.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), a bicycle rider must carry any passenger who is a child under 4 years of age, or who weighs 40 pounds or less, in a seat or carrier that is designed to carry a child of that age or size and that secures and protects the child from the moving parts of the bicycle.
(c) A bicycle rider may not allow a passenger to remain in a child seat or carrier on a bicycle when the rider is not in immediate control of the bicycle.
(d) A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. A helmet purchased before October 1, 2012, which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department may continue to be worn by a bicycle rider or passenger until January 1, 2016. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.
(e) Law enforcement officers and school crossing guards may issue a bicycle safety brochure and a verbal warning to a bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection. A bicycle rider or passenger who violates this subsection may be issued a citation by a law enforcement officer and assessed a fine for a pedestrian violation, as provided in s. 318.18. The court shall dismiss the charge against a bicycle rider or passenger for a first violation of paragraph (d) upon proof of purchase of a bicycle helmet that complies with this subsection.
(4) No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle may attach the same or himself or herself to any vehicle upon a roadway. This subsection does not prohibit attaching a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer to a bicycle if that trailer or semitrailer is commercially available and has been designed for such attachment.
(5)(a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
1. When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
2. When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
3. When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, turn lane, or substandard-width lane, which makes it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge or within a bicycle lane. For the purposes of this subsection, a “substandard-width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
(6) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast may not impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing and shall ride within a single lane.
(7) Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by this section. A law enforcement officer may issue a bicycle safety brochure and a verbal warning to a bicycle rider who violates this subsection or may issue a citation and assess a fine for a pedestrian violation as provided in s. 318.18. The court shall dismiss the charge against a bicycle rider for a first violation of this subsection upon proof of purchase and installation of the proper lighting equipment.
(8) No parent of any minor child and no guardian of any minor ward may authorize or knowingly permit any such minor child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this section.
(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
(10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
(11) No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device, may go upon any roadway except while crossing a street on a crosswalk; and, when so crossing, such person shall be granted all rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians.
(12) This section shall not apply upon any street while set aside as a play street authorized herein or as designated by state, county, or municipal authority.
(13) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its rider to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.
(14) A person engaged in the business of selling bicycles at retail shall not sell any bicycle unless the bicycle has an identifying number permanently stamped or cast on its frame.
(15)(a) A person may not knowingly rent or lease any bicycle to be ridden by a child who is under the age of 16 years unless:
1. The child possesses a bicycle helmet; or
2. The lessor provides a bicycle helmet for the child to wear.
(b) A violation of this subsection is a nonmoving violation, punishable as provided in s. 318.18.
(16) The court may waive, reduce, or suspend payment of any fine imposed under subsection (3) or subsection (15) and may impose any other conditions on the waiver, reduction, or suspension. If the court finds that a person does not have sufficient funds to pay the fine, the court may require the performance of a specified number of hours of community service or attendance at a safety seminar.
(17) Notwithstanding s. 318.21, all proceeds collected pursuant to s. 318.18 for violations under paragraphs (3)(e) and (15)(b) shall be deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund.
(18) The failure of a person to wear a bicycle helmet or the failure of a parent or guardian to prevent a child from riding a bicycle without a bicycle helmet may not be considered evidence of negligence or contributory negligence.
(19) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a pedestrian violation as provided in chapter 318. A law enforcement officer may issue traffic citations for a violation of subsection (3) or subsection (15) only if the violation occurs on a bicycle path or road, as defined in s. 334.03. However, a law enforcement officer may not issue citations to persons on private property, except any part thereof which is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.