Mountain bike (MTB) rides
Darren O’Toole is our club lead for MTB rides. Although there are no set times for regular MTB rides at present, we hope this will change as we attract more new club members and our existing members diversify their interests! In the meantime, make sure you sign up to our Yahoo Group to get information about ad-hoc MTB rides. Please feel free to contact Darren O’Toole for advice on any aspect of riding the ‘rough stuff’!
Ad hoc MTB rides
Depending on the level of interest, weekend and Summer evening MTB rides could either be pitched at the less experienced or those looking for more challenging terrain – the route will usually be described in advance. Routes can, to some extent, be tailored to the skill and fitness levels of whoever turns up – but if in any doubt, please ask! Absolute beginners on bikes that are not up to the job may be turned away. You are not allowed on a club MTB ride if you are under 18. If you come on more than one club ride you will need to join our club and agree to our club rules. Please note all riders on club rides must wear a helmet, No Helmet No Ride
During cyclocross season, winter MTB rides are most likely to take place on weekday evenings – good off-road specific lights are essential as is a reasonable level of skill.
Once you have come along on a few rides you will need to join our club and agree to our club rules.
A few of our club members take part in endurance based non-competitive MTB marathon events. An excellent mid-week XC series that accommodates a wide range of abilities is the Manchester Midweek MTB Madness Series. For more information please visit http://www.britishcycling.org.
Fitness & Skill level
The club rule is ‘no one gets dropped’ but if you are new to off-road riding, it is important you are reasonably confident in your fitness and skill level. Everyone is welcome, but the last thing we want is for you to have a bad experience and be put off coming out with us again, or worse, end up injured. Please be prepared for faster riders to go ahead on climbs and descents – do not take risks by trying to keep up, they will wait for you!
Please try not to cut up other riders on descents or block the trail if you have to stop on climbs. Try not to scare walkers and beware of dogs, sheep, and horses! Be very careful around horses, especially if the horse is looking nervous – get yourself and your bike out of the way and speak to the rider. Finally, take care not to drop energy bar/gel wrappers anywhere and make sure all gates are shut after you!
Off-road specific lights are essential if riding at night or if there is a chance you will not get back before dark. If you get separated from others whilst out on a ride, retrace your steps to the last place everyone was together. Don’t try to predict where the group is going and don’t make your way back to your car or ride around trying to find somewhere where your phone gets reception! The rest of the group will know to retrace their steps and wait for you where the group was last all together. The route leader should have your mobile phone number, but may not have a signal, or hear their phone, so be prepared!
Please make sure your bike is fit for purpose and in full working order before you come along to a ride. No helmet = no ride – this is a strict club rule. Always carry a spare inner tube (preferably two of them if you don’t carry a repair kit) a pump and a tyre lever. Always carry a multi-tool (with a chain tool on it), a spare chain powerlink and rear mech hanger is advisable. Zip ties can often be used for temporary trail-side repairs – carry some! Always bring enough water and food for the length of ride – many MTB routes will not pass a shop or café!
Remember to bring adequate clothing (including a waterproof) in case the weather turns bad or anyone has a serious crash/bike failure and we end up having to hang around. Always carry a mobile phone with an ICE (in case of emergency) number stored and make sure the route leader has your number in their phone before setting off.
We strongly recommend you have personal and third-party liability insurance. We recommend you join British Cycling and get either Ride Membership or Silver Race/Gold Race. Please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/legalandinsurance