Frequently Asked Questions
I’m Just Starting Out…
I’m new to cycling on the open roads. How can I be sure that this is for me?
Everyone is new to riding a bike at some point and road riding is no different. Everyone does it for different reasons. Velo Club Vitesse offers a friendly and welcoming atmosphere where you can give road riding a try. Whether you’re doing it for the first time, for the social aspect or even just to try and keep fit, we like to make sure our club is about enjoying riding your bike.
How far and how fast do I have to go?
Road cycling isn’t all about doing huge distances at incredible speeds. The club has a variety of rides each week to cater for all abilities. We have more casually paced runs right through to competitive race training nights, each with varying pace and distances. You only have to go as far or as fast as the ride you come to.
I’m not sure if my bike is good enough to be in a club.
If your bike has two wheels and is safe to ride then we think it’s the best bike in the world. As long as you’re riding it safely and with a smile on your face, we couldn’t care less what your bike costs or what brand it is. Yes, we’re predominantly a road bike club but we have members who come out on our social runs with mountain and hybrid bikes. We even have members who ride a tandem!
I don’t have lots of fancy equipment or expensive cycling gear. Do I need that?
As long as what you have is safe and comfortable, brilliant! We don’t expect people to be clad in the latest and greatest cycling gear but we do ask that all riders wear a suitable crash helmet and dress appropriately for the Scottish weather.
I’ve seen people riding in a big group like they do in The Tour de France. Do I need to do that?
On most of our rides, we ride in a group but not quite like what you see from the Pros. We always ride two abreast in a safe and structured way, as per the Highway Code. There are lots of reasons for riding in a group. These include sharing of effort and safety. If you’ve never ridden in a bunch before then there’s no need to worry. The club has lots of experienced riders to talk you through the do’s and don’ts as you go. We also run group training nights where you can ride with those of a similar ability to practice technique. If you’re really unsure, one of our experienced riders will be more than happy to take you through things during a ride.
Is it safe to ride in a group? Don’t people always crash?
It’s very safe. We make a point of ensuring that everyone in the group looks out for everyone else and we don’t leave people behind.
Do I need to be a member to ride?
No, not at first. Most of our sessions are open to those who are not already a member of another cycling club. We do have certain sessions which are only open to members, such as our time trial Thursdays, but we encourage you to come along and try our social runs for a couple of weeks to see what you like. After that, we’d love to have you as a member.
Riding in traffic terrifies me.
The media is full of horror stories about riding in traffic but, as long as you ride safely and respect the Highway Code, it’s great. Riding as a group will also help boost your confidence when riding in the same space as cars and other vehicles. If you’re anxious then one of our experienced riders can help you on your rides.
Am I insured when I’m out on my bike?
The club strongly encourages every member to join British Cycling / Scottish Cycling. As a member of cycling’s governing bodies in the UK, you’ll be covered by third party insurance, but not by Velo Club Vitesse directly. The benefits of joining British and Scottish Cycling are extensive and club members get a discount of up to 30% when joining.
What Do Velo Club Vitesse Do As A Club?…
Our aim is to make sure that everyone can ride their bike and enjoy doing it, no matter what you want to get out of it. We have several different sessions. We hold social rides on Sunday mornings which are at a more relaxed pace (about 12 or 13 mph) and cover around 30 miles with a cafe stop.
During the week we hold faster training sessions including a 10 mile time trial which is you against the clock and group training rides on a set of 4 mile loops at Irvine’s Beach Park.
On Friday nights during the Summer we also have our famous Ice Cream Run. This is a family-friendly session which sticks to cycle paths and quieter roads. It takes in 10 to 15 miles at a casual pace and stops for ice-cream (or chips if it’s raining).
We like to encourage potential members to try all of the sessions. You’ll be welcomed along and looked after in each one.
Can junior riders attend your sessions?
Yes, we have a number of junior members who ride with us. All are welcome on our runs but we do ask that any juniors are accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. Please get in touch with the club via the website or our social media points if you are in any doubt.
Do you do other things?
We have a number of away days during the year to places like Arran. We also hold social nights where members and their families can come along for something to eat, drink and get to know each other – preferably without crash helmets on our heads.
I’m Thinking About Becoming a Member…
Can I just keep riding in your sessions without becoming a member?
We like to invite potential members along to most of our sessions to see what’s right for them. After a few weeks, we ask that you join us an official member to keep riding with us.
What are the benefits of becoming a member?
There are lots of benefits of being a member of Velo Club Vitesse. These range from attending the sessions we offer right through to being covered by the club’s own insurance when we’re out as a group. You can find a complete list of the benefits of being a member in our membership page.
How much does it cost and what types of membership are there?
We have several types of membership including Junior, Senior, Student / Pensioner and Family. We also offer social membership for those who maybe don’t like to ride quite as often but want to be involved in the club. You can find a complete list of membership types and their cost in our membership page.
Do I have to race if I become a member?
Absolutely not. You only have to get into racing if you fancy giving it a go. If you do, we have experienced members who do it and you’ll be in good company.
Do I Need Lots of Fancy Gear and Equipment?…
We do have club kit, which comes from one of Europe’s leading cycle kit manufacturer’s, Kalas. There’s no obligation to buy it but we’ve been told by other cyclists that it looks great when you’re out on your bike!
I’m not sure what I should be buying online or at a bike shop. What if I have questions about my bike or how to fix it / adjust it?
We have many members who have been cycling for years and are very experienced. There are no silly questions when it comes to cycling and we’re more than happy to offer advice and chat about what you’re after.
If you buy online with Wiggle.co.uk you can even make the club some money through our purchase-affiliation scheme.
I’d Quite Like to Try Racing…
What do you offer the more competitive cyclist?
We have several weekly sessions for race training. Our individual time trial takes place on a 10 mile undulating circuit near Kilwinning. It’s great for improving fitness and speed. We also have group training rides where faster riders are grouped with others of the same ability. Riders can practice group riding at pace on a criterium-style circuit. Several of our members represent the club in open events including time trials and road races.
How do I enter races once I’m a member?
There are a few governing bodies out there who organize races. These typically run between March and September. Our racing members can advise you on what sort of events they do, what would be good for you and how to enter.
How can I get in Touch?…
I’ve got some other questions. Can I speak to someone?
Absolutely. Even if you’re not interested in riding, we’re always available for a chat at one of our sessions so feel free to pop down. Full details of these are on our events page.
Alternatively, you can contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (www.facebook.com/veloclubvitesse), Twitter (@vcvitesse) or by sending us a message using the Contact page of the website.