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Hotchillee Unlocked! Group Riding Tips

As lockdown restrictions are eased Hotchillee will be moving back out onto the roads and trails!

Watch this space for news on the restarting of our official group rides and our new UK based events, in the meantime, we’re sure members will be organising their own meet-ups so here are some tips to ensure that you’re all safe and have as much fun as possible.



Fifteen or six?

Since March 29th British Cycling regulations mean we are now able to organise Hotchillee Ride Captain led rides for up to fifteen people. These will start later this month and open to all Hotchillee Premium Members.

For unofficial rides and casual meet-ups, you should stick to groups of six. This will be the case until 17th May at the earliest so if you are arranging a meet up before then please make sure you stick to this.

 

Women's Cycling

Meeting and greeting

It’s still one of our Hotchillee mantras to always be the first to say hello but you still need to maintain social distancing so no hugs, kisses, handshakes or elbow bumps at the moment, please.

Think about where you arrange to meet-up bearing in mind that you’ll need to maintain social distancing while waiting to ride off. You’ll need to be able to do this without causing an obstruction to other road users, pedestrians etc.

Try if possible to meet up with the same friends rather than lots of different groups.

If you’re driving to meet-up and ride, we’d encourage you to minimise travel time as much as possible. Check that the car park you’re intending to use is open and be aware that many facilities, such as toilets, may still be shut.

 

 

Stick to your own bike


Even if someone rocks up with a brand new steed, avoid the temptation to touch – admire from afar. Stick to your own bike and avoid contact with others, especially the handlebars. The same applies to mechanicals and punctures – make sure you have the skills and the tools to be self-reliant even if riding with others.

 

 

Route choice

We’ll be putting a lot of thought into the routes for our Hotchillee Ride Captain led rides and you should try to do the same for your meet-ups too.

 Keep routes simple and familiar to all riders as this will minimise the need for re-grouping stops.

 Be aware, when coming to junctions etc, that you’ll have to allow yourself more time and room to maintain social distancing. Think about this when route planning and minimise junctions, especially right turns.

 If riding off-road keep the technical level of the ride well within the ability of the group and try to avoid narrow shared-use trails during busy times where maintaining social distancing with other users could be difficult.

 Try to minimise the number of gates you’ll have to go through and, if unavoidable, maintain social distancing and take precautions as described below.

 

On the ride

None of us will have ridden in a group for a while and, for many, most of their riding will have been indoors so ease yourself in gently, allow a bit more space to the wheel in front than you might normally and make allowances for less than perfect group riding skills! It’ll soon come back to you – it’s like…. riding a bike!

Remember to maintain social distancing if you need to stop. This means that all riders will need to be fully independent regarding food, drink, spares and repairs.

More cafés etc will be opening for takeaways but double-check what they’re offering and their opening hours if using one for a mid-ride refuel and bottle refill. Expect queues during busy times so factor this into your ride planning. Don’t forget to pop a face mask in your jersey pocket just in case you need one.

Fewer public toilets are going to be open so this too needs to be considered.

Carry individual bottles of hand sanitiser and use after using gates etc.

Constantly try to be aware, if you do stop by the side of the road or trail, that there’s enough room for other users to pass you and safely maintain their social distancing.

Want to organise a meet-up?

Premium members can organise meetups via the members_meetup channel on the Hotchillee app!

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GLEN WHITTINGTON

Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.

Website: www.aeightbikeco.com

Instagram: @aeightracer

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NIK COOK

Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.

Twitter: @nikalascook

Instagram: @nikalascook

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ADELE SMYTH

Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.

Website: www.purebodybyadele.co.uk

Instagram: @purebodybyadele

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