Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you based?
We don’t have dedicated club premises but we meet socially on the first Monday of every month at the Kingslodge Inn from 7 pm. Road rides start from the car park at Low Burnhall Nature Reserve on most Saturdays and Sundays while off-road ‘gravel’ rides usually start from Broompark Picnic Area as and when arranged.
Would I need to join straightaway?
You can come along for up to three rides before we respectfully request that you join us formally at which point we’re sure you’ll know whether or not we’re the club for you.
What sort of bike and equipment will I need?
A serviceable bike of an appropriate type for the terrain (road, gravel or hybrid for road rides; mountain bike, gravel or hybrid for ‘gravel’ rides which are usually railway or bridle paths). Rear lights should always be fitted and front lights in winter. On wet roads, particularly in winter, mudguards will be appreciated by your club mates. A bike computer isn’t essential but is handy for metrics like speed, distance, elevation etc. as well as for downloading routes.
A good multi-tool; a couple of tyre levers; at least one spare inner tube (unless you’re running tubeless); a means of repair (patches, ideally of the glueless variety); a reliable means of inflation (pump); food; fluid; appropriate clothing including rain cover; cash and/or card; phone (up to you); good cheer and a dash of self-reliance to cope with the unexpected.
How fit do I need to be?
If you can ride in the terrain around Durham for a couple of hours without stopping and you feel secure and confident on your bike, particularly in traffic, that’ll be enough to get started. We’ll advise on the appropriate group depending on what you tell us. Club mates are always on hand to help but we don’t offer formal instruction or training, the tradition being to learn ‘on the job’.
If you can average 12.5-13 mph on your own you’ll probably manage comfortably on a Sunday. There’s a bit more to it than that but you’ve got to start somewhere! For independent spirits, it’s always an option to ride so far then make your own way home rather than commit to the whole ride (many of us do this routinely). Just let the ride leader know your plans.
From time to time we run Restarter Ride at a slower pace – often on cycle tracks – to introduce prospective members to riding with a club (along with reintegrating current members whose activity might have lapsed). However, these programs can’t be guaranteed and it’s always better to cultivate your own fitness and enthusiasm for cycling.
What’s a typical club run like?
Saturday road rides are more challenging than Sunday rides in a few ways: they tend to be longer, averaging 75-80 miles (more if you ride to the meeting point), hillier (often including some undeniably tough hills in the dales) and quicker (typically 16-17 mph). Sunday rides are usually shorter (averaging around 45-50 miles) at 14-15 mph.
All groups have a ‘no-drop‘ policy but you should be realistic about your abilities so that everyone can enjoy their day. Rides include (and are often based on) a half-hour cafe stop which is generally around half-way.
What is the minimum age for membership?
Currently you must be 16 years and over to join or ride with DCV. We don’t have the infrastructure to accept youngsters under 16 years. There’s no MAXIMUM age limit though!
How much is it to become a member?
Current Senior (18+) membership is £16 per year; Junior (16+) is £11 per year and a family membership is £26 per year.
How do I join?
Go to our Membership page and follow the instructions to join securely online through MemberMojo.
How do I get kit?
Our kit is manufactured exclusively by Provision who require a minimum order quantity and whose lead times vary up to 12 weeks. We do hold some stock of popular items about which you’ll need to speak to our Kit Manager.