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Andover Wheelers 2019 

CHAIN GANG - Wednesday Evenings

Social and Training Rides

Saturday Wheelers Rides

The beautiful Hampshire countryside is the backdrop to our Saturday Club rides, they're a great way to explore the area and discover routes and places you may not have visited before.

As a club we meet at the Portway Inn Car Park at the top of Weyhill Road, Andover, ready to leave at 09.30am every Saturday throughout the year, weather permitting.

We generally have four groups of riders to cater for all abilities and we're happy for you to try the club rides for a few weeks to see if it's for you. To carry on riding with us after that, we'd expect you to become a full member.

 

If you have not been on our club rides before, please make contact our Social Rides Secretary, (insert name) in advance, to talk about your cycling experience, your bike and your expectations, so that you can be advised which ride to join and what to expect. Please note that the normal runs are not suitable for mountain or hybrids bikes.

Alternatively, during the summer months, you can come along to the Tuesday evening time trials to have a chat with any member of the committee.

We occasionally offer introduction or easy rides and if you are keen to get cycling then why not try one of the local introduction Let’s Ride or Breeze Lady Rides. These will get you going and once you have built up group riding skills, mileage and confidence, then contact us to see to join one of our club group rides.

 

Meeting Point: The Magic Roundabout, Charlton Road, Andover. SP10 3JJ

Meeting Time: 18:25pm to ride at promptly at 18:30pm

 

The Chain Gang will start at the slowest rider's pace and maintain it to keep the group as one.  If the numbers allow it and the group contains a mixed ability, then we can discuss splitting the group into two on the night. The ride is about 20 miles and is quite hilly so even the slower group can be tuff.  The chain Gang is an ideal opportunity to get to know members both on and of the bike, as after the ride has finished a number of members go on to the Weyhill Fair public house for a drink or two.

Benefits
The Chain Gang in involves riding in close  together with other riders, which has a number of benefits:

  • A more efficient method of riding

  • Ideal training for races

  • Builds confidence for riding in a group at speed

  • Builds trust amongst riders in the group

  • Improves bike-handling skills


Equipment
To participate in the Chain Gang, you will need the following:

  • Bike - make sure it is serviceable

  • Working front and rear lights

  • Cycle Helmet (Although not compulsory)

  • Bike shoes

  • Spare inner-tube

  • Pump

  • Tool kit

 

Tips for Riding in the Chain Gang 

  • Keep the pace constant. Allowing for variation is wind and gradient, try keep the pace constant. When you get to the front, don’t sprint off. That will break up the rhythm and is not the point of a chain-gang. Also avoid slowing down.

  • When you’ve finished your turn, it is important so slow down by 1mph. Otherwise the rider coming through has to lift the pace. And there is constant pressure to keep lifting the pace. But, the idea is to keep a constant pace and speed.

  • Don’t allow gaps to appear. Concentrate on keeping an eye on the wheel in front, don’t allow a large gap to develop because it can then be hard to meet the gap.

  • Don’t cut up riders. The tricky part is coming to the front. The rider on the outside will overtake the rider on the inside and as he does will move across to the inside. It is important to time this correctly, don’t move inside too soon as you will cause the previous rider to have to slow down. Don’t leave it too late as this will also create problems.

  • Make sure you are used to following a wheel at pace before joining.

  • If it is your first time you could stay at the back and observe how people make changes.

  • Once you get the hang it seems quite natural and creates a good feeling of teamwork. You can see the advantages of riding behind others.

  • Make sure your bike is well maintained. Don’t have lose or rattling bits, people will trust you less.

  • Be careful about braking, it creates a ripple effect which can be dangerous at high speed. Use your body to slow down (i.e. sit up to create more of a wind brake. Look ahead and if necessary reduce pedalling effort.

  • Know the circuit. Learn the local chaingang circuit and practise the descents so you can know potential dangers.

  • Remember it is not closed roads. It is difficult to find any circuit which is not populated with heavy traffic. You have to give way to traffic, just because you are in a chain gang doesn’t mean you can expect cars to wait for you.