The club meets at The Carfax, Horsham (see maps) every Sunday morning, all year round. Seven groups, each catering for different speeds and distances, leave between 09:05 and 09:30. Many groups finish before 12:30 and meet at the Cafe in the Park (see maps) for tea, cake and bike talk. All are welcome.
You don't have to be a member to sample our club, though we will want you to join by your third or fourth ride. When turning up on a Sunday for the first time, just make yourself known and someone will quickly point you in the right direction. If you have questions before your ride, either contact the membership secretary (see contacts), or visit the forum. All riders must come equipped with a road-worthy bicycle, suitable clothing, plus tools and know-how to fix a puncture. A helmet is strongly recommended. Be careful not to overestimate your ability on the first ride, you will enjoy the ride more if you don't struggle, and can quickly progress if needed. Bring sufficient snacks and drink to keep your body fueled for your chosen ride, and arrive at least 10 minutes before the group departure time.
Each group has a rota of ride leaders who will select a route and, with the group's help, ensure that no-one is left behind. In the event of bad weather, the leader will determine if the ride should be cancelled. If you are unclear whether a ride has been cancelled contact the leader on the morning of the ride. Ride leaders are shown on the calendar and home page, click the name for contact details. The club will not ride if there is risk of ice.
If groups are oversubscribed, or for safety reasons, they can be split in two with an approved ride leader appointed to lead the second group.
All riders are expected to be considerate of the group, other road users and safety - see below for details.
Social 1 - coordinated by Roger Nash
The Social 1 group pride themselves on a warm welcome, supportive atmosphere and a banana stop! Rides leave from the Carfax at 09.20 for 25-30 flat or undulating miles at 10-12 mph, usually arriving back in Horsham before 12.30.
Social 2 - coordinated by Philip Van Der Veen
The Social 2 group have the same ethos as Social 1. Rides leave the Carfax at 09.20 riding for about 35 miles at 12-14mph, with one banana stop, usually arriving back in Horsham before 12.30.
Intermediate 1,2 and 3 - coordinated by Barry Harwood
The 'Inters' ride is a little more sporty, with a comfortable, sociable pace on the flats and occasional sprints up hills. There are three rides leaving the Carfax at 09.15 for 30-40 miles at speeds between 14 to 17 mph, usually arriving back in Horsham before 12.30. Rides often include a quick stop to take on food. Routes may take in big hills in places like the North Downs (Leith Hill or Box Hill) or Ardingly.
- Intermediate 1 speed range 14-15 mph
- Intermediate 2 speed range 15-16 mph
- Intermediate 3 speed range 16-17 mph
Sporting Group 1 - coordinated by Stewart Forbes
'SG1' is a good step for faster intermediate riders, with a little more distance and speed and a planned cafe refreshment stop on route. Rides leave from the Carfax at 09:10, for 45-60 miles at 16-17mph, returning to Horsham between 12:30 and 13:00 except for the first Sunday of the month which returns around 12:30. Examples of well used destinations include Hindhead, Shere and Godalming.
Sporting Group 2 - coordinated by Keith Shuttlewood
'SG2' is our fastest ride over hilly and flat terrains. Rides leave from the Carfax at 09:05, for 45-60 miles at 16-18 mph, usually arriving back in Horsham between 12:20 and 12:40, and without a break. Example rides include loops out to the South Downs, Petworth or Dorking.
Off Road - coordinated by Ali Bruce
This group rides on the last Sunday of the month. Rides use local bridleways and forest tracks. The mileage is approximately 20 miles but this is dependent upon terrain and the time of year. Rides leave from the Carfax at 09:30 usually arriving back in Horsham before 12:30 for a Park Cafe finish. The rides are not too technical but do require a Mountain Bike and maybe muddy.
For more challenging off-road rides Horsham has a dedicated mountain bike club - http://www.horshammountainbikeclub.org.uk.
For 3 or 4 Sundays over the winter months reliability trials take the place of regular club rides. The aim is to navigate a ride to a set destination and back within a time chosen by the rider. The route and rider grouping is entirely up to those taking part. There are normally two destinations, a shorter one within 15 miles and a longer one within 30 miles (remember, you have to get back). To complete the challenge requires the rider to return within 10 minutes of their chosen time - neither late or early. Rides usually start and end at the Forest School Youth Wing, Comptons Lane (see maps), with refreshments available at the finish.
These events add a bit of variety to the winter schedule and are a good chance to set yourself a challenge, or just socialise with riders from different groups.
Safety & Rider Discipline
Group riding can only be a success when all riders follow the same rules. Our expectations of you can be found on our 'rules and roles' page.