Hotchillee

EVENTS

Why Ride in a Group?

If you’re fairly new to cycling or tend to ride solo, you might be understandably nervous about signing up to a group ride. Don’t worry though, us Chillees are really friendly and welcoming and, with group sizes currently restricted, it’s the perfect time to get use to riding with others in a smaller and more manageable bunch.

It’ll motivate you to ride

If you like riding on your own, you’ll love riding with a group of like-minded cyclists. Knowing that alone will give your motivation a real boost but so will the thought of the good natured ribbing you’ll take from your new mates if you don’t roll up.

It’s sociable

The kilometres pass far quicker in a bunch – chat, laughter, banter and putting the world to right are all part and parcel of a decent group ride. You also know that you’ll be meeting people with at least one thing in common with you so some new mates are practically guaranteed.

It’s safer

A group of cyclists is far more visible than a solo rider meaning you’ll be more noticeable to, and given a wider berth by, other road users. If you’re joining a ride with some more experienced riders, such as our HotChillee Ride Captains, their skills, knowledge and positioning sense will keep you safer. You’re also not going to get stranded either as there will always be someone on hand to help you sort a puncture or any other mechanical issues.

 

It’s easier

Along with the psychological boost of being in a group and the kilometre munching distraction of chat, riding with others is physically easier. Sitting behind another rider, with them punching through the air, means you can push your pedals up to 30% less and still stay with them.

 

It’ll improve your cycling skills and knowledge

Riding with, talking to and copying more experienced riders is the best way to fast-track your development as a cyclist. You’re also almost guaranteed to be shown some new roads and trails.

 

What to expect from group rides

Whether it’s one of our group rides, with a local club or something a bit less organised, here’s a bit of a heads-up about what to expect from a group ride.

 

Not all group rides are equal

Is it a social spin, skills focused, no-drop, a fast paced chain-gang, road or gravel? Get in touch with whoever is organising the ride, be honest about your experience, ability and equipment and get as much information as possible.

 

Meeting up

If you aren’t that familiar with the area, especially if you’re driving and having to park and get your bike out of the car, allow yourself plenty of time. You don’t want to be rushing and stressed and really should be aiming to be ready to ride 15 minutes before the advertised set-off time. This’ll allow you to introduce yourself, listen to any pre-ride briefing and be relaxed as you roll off. There’s normally five minutes or so grace given for any latecomers but don’t risk it.

 

Pre-ride briefing

Not all group rides will have a briefing and, if there isn’t one, don’t hesitate to ask the ride leader or a more experienced rider how the ride will be structured and if there’s anything you need to know. If you’re new to group rides, don’t be shy, let people know and they’ll look after you.

 

Rolling out

Listen to what the Ride Captain or ride leader says and follow any instructions they give you. If you’re unsure about how to position yourself, ask for some pointers and maybe ride near to the back so you can observe what happens.

 

On the ride

Watch, learn and if there’s anything you don’t understand, ask. Riders in the group will use hand signals and shouts to pass on information and, although these can seem a bit bewildering to start with, you’ll quickly pick them up. Stay relaxed, don’t grab your brakes, avoid overlapping wheels and you’ll soon get into the flow or the ride.

 

Café stop

Even though it might be a takeaway these days, many group rides will involved a café stop so make sure you have a card, a mask and, in case it’s a bit chilly and you have to sit outside, a lightweight gilet or a windproof.

 

Finishing up

There’s always a bit of a chat at the end of a group ride and, more often than not, plans made for the next one. Don’t shoot off without saying your goodbyes and don’t hesitate to ask the Ride Captain or ride leader for some feedback and if they have any take home tips for you.

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Your priority access will start on Tuesday 26 July 2022. We’ll be in touch then, keep an eye on your emails, or the Hotchillee companion app.

Friday 23 June: Festival Fort / Sign On

Please let us know what time you plan on arriving on Friday for Sign On. This is when you collect your rider number. The Festival Fort will be open all afternoon with a live DJ, a 35km social gravel ride from the Lauf stand at 14:14, Rider Welcome at 17:00 and free pizza and beer from 18:00:
For those not able to Sign On on Friday the registration desk will be open for 30 mins from 05:00 - 05:30 on Saturday morning. Signing On on Saturday will delay your start and should be avoided.

Saturday 24 June: Arrival

For those who have not booked camping, access to the site will not be available before 04:00. This is when the gate to the car park will open. The start line is open from 05:00-06:00. If you’re driving please arrive set up and ready so there’s minimal faff. For us to manage traffic flow please let us know how you will be arriving:
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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

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

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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