New Malden Velo is a “no drop” club. This means that we ensure that we ride together and never leave anyone behind. We support riders of all abilities.
When I was looking for a club to help support my riding, my biggest concern was “will I keep up?”. I was worried about being stuck at the back of a large group of very fit cyclists and struggling to match the pace.
The experience I had with New Malden Velo was completely different. Firstly there’s the introductory rides which was for me a good gentle starting point. On the full rides we go out usually in two or three groups which allows us to pick our preferred pace. There is a leader for each group who keeps us to the agreed pace. A “Lanterne Rouge”, the person at the back of the group, makes sure that nobody is left behind alone.
If anyone has mechanical problems, needs a break or to change the pace, we communicate through the group and meet at a safe place to pause nearby. The aim of the club is for everyone to enjoy the ride, so if anyone is having a bad day we support them and they are never left behind.
The other question I had was “how fast do I need to be able to cycle?”. This varies quite a lot so it’s hard to give an exact answer. The best approach is to join us on an introductory ride and get a sense of how you feel with the group’s pace. If you want something more specific, however, on a survey of ten rides in the last year the slower group has had a moving average speed of about 21-25kph (14-16mph), and the faster group about 25-28kph (15-18mph). If that seems a bit quick, bear in mind that if you’re used to riding solo it’s a lot easier in the middle of a group!
So come along to an intro ride, and if you enjoy riding with us try a full length ride – we hope to see you soon.
Introductory rides take place on the last Sunday of each month, visit the rides section of the website for details.