Ride Guide


Getting involved in a cycling club can be a daunting experience, especially if you don't happen to be an extrovert. This guide looks to prepare you for your first ride with the club, it also serves as a refresher for those riders who are already experienced with the Railway City Cycling Club (RCCC) and provides some insight for those who are looking to improve their abilities.

For new riders, it is highly recommended that you take time to join us on a Wednesday night in the Spring and Early Summer (see: Back to Basics rides in the Calendar) to get a bit of one on one time with an experienced club member. This will give you a head start for some of our longer rides on the weekend.

Risk Management

It is important to note that no activity is without risk. The club has prepared a Risk Management Plan, which is updated annually, to reflect how we will address the risks of riding on public roads. 

IMPORTANT: The 2021 Risk Management Plan has been updated with our COVID-19 Protocols as well. Some of these protocols will supersede the general ride guide below.

Finding Rides

General Schedule

We ride most days of the week. Weekday rides are under 50km and offer an opportunity to get to know other riders well. Weekend rides are targeted towards cafe stops, typically in smaller towns, that require more teamwork to ride to efficiently. 


Start Time: 6:30PM

Distance: 35-50km 

Style: Social - no one is trying to set a land-speed record

Grouping: Pace Group, based on attendance

Sample Routes: John Wise Loop, Port Stanley Loop


Start Time: 8:00AM

Distance: 70-100km 

Style: Hosted Destination Ride

Grouping: Pace Group, based on attendance

Sample Routes: Van Lahti's Cafe


Start Time: 6:30PM

Distance: 30-40km 

Style: Social

Grouping: Pace Group, based on attendance

Sample Routes: Aylmer Springfield Ride

Early Mornings

Start Time: 5:30AM

Distance: 70-80km 

Style: Training Ride

Grouping: Pace Group, based on attendance

Sample Routes: Pt Stanley Hills, Iona Tempo

Ride with GPS

As you may have noticed with the above sample routes, we use Ride with GPS as the platform to organize our events. This allows us to communicate details about a ride, drives our club calendar and creates a history of our activities. As a perk of being a club member, all club rides get the benefits of being treated as if you were an individual paid member of Ride with GPS. Once you have joined RCCC, you can apply to join our Ride with GPS Club.

What to Bring

Required Items

Recommended Items

Ideally, this would be our fancy RCCC Kit, but it is not required. It is highly recommended that you bring a pair of padded shorts and a cycling jersey. These will keep you comfortable (top and bottom) over the duration of the ride. For colder rides, you may wish to bring layers and/or arm/leg/knee warmers. Keep in mind, as you ride you may warm up and these will need to be packed away.

It is inevitable that you will get a puncture while on the road. It happens to everyone at some point, sometimes multiple times per ride. Make sure you have a spare inner tube that fits your tire, tire levers to get your tires off and some way to re-inflate your tire such as a hand pump or a CO2 cartridge.

You should be able to reach out to the ride leader or another contact in the event of an emergency. A cell phone may not always stay charged, so it is good to carry this information in hard copy somewhere on your person or bike.

On most rides, you will need water and food. Nothing is worse than being an hour away from the nearest town and running out of energy. Plan on one bottle of water for every 45 minutes of activity and torching a few hundred calories per hour at a minimum. It is highly recommended to bring an energy bar (~250 cals) and a few gels (100 cals each) to any ride over two hours. Bananas are great portable energy too. Eat them before you get hangry (a combination of hungry and angry, which happens when you wait too long to eat).

For early morning rides, rides in the evenings as daylight fades and quite frankly to continue to be visible on the road, you should have lights for your bike. In most circumstances, a white front light and a red rear light will suffice. However, if you are riding pre-dawn, or in dusk, you should have a front light with enough power to allow you to see road hazards (500-800 lumens).

How We Ride

Single Paceline Animation (above) and Double Rotating Paceline (below) - From bicycling.com

Riding in a Group

We ride in groups, one of the best cycling experiences around. It can be social enough for a chat and structured to go faster than you ever could on your own. The exact execution of these groups is dictated by the rider skill level and range the gamut of structure, which the most structured and disciplined group riding being the fastest and most efficient. Regardless, there are huge benefits to utilizing a paceline as soon as you are comfortable with it.

A few tips to keep in mind:


We routinely ride using a single paceline or a double rotating paceline as shown in the animations on the left. Which type is used at any given time is subject to the road, traffic, weather and group conditions. The ride leader will give the group instructions to use one type or another.


Communication while riding is incredibly important. As you are part of the flow of traffic, you need to be able to communicate with your fellow drivers and riders. The graphic on the right shows some of the most common hand signals that we use as a group to enable this communication. Remember, wind noise, traffic, and other audio interference over the length of a peloton make verbal communication unreliable and verbal communication with motor vehicles is impractical. Hand signals are the best approach for communications.

There are nuances to signalling that are nicely covered in the GCN Video linked below. For example, when it's appropriate to yell instead of using a signal.

Pace Group Definitions

We organize by pace in order to deliver an experience that fits the skill level of our riders. There are a few key definitions to remember:

Final Thoughts 

Pace Groups

Group A

Ride Pace

Ride Style 

Group B

Ride Pace

Ride Style

Group C

Ride Pace

Ride Style

Group D

Ride Pace

Ride Style