2019 B-STS: Frequently Asked Questions, Policies & Good Advice

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  • 2019 B-STS: Frequently Asked Questions, Policies & Good Advice

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* Don't try to do anything drastically different or new in your cycling routine on the B-STS rides. 

* Eat a full breakfast before every ride. Breakfast tastes better than gravel or dust mid-ride.

* Be prepared to ride on time. Be at the start point early if you can. 

* Don't chase someone who's breaking the pace. Note your cyclecomputer readings and stick to what you think is reasonable, not what someone up-front can do.

* Keep in mind: as these are B-level rides, organized groups break up and fully regroup at the tops of hills. 

* Always bring 2 spare tubes and a pump, and bring any additional tools enabling you to fix common mid-ride mechanical issues. 


* You should have a full-size road bicycle with road tires in good working order. Reasonable exceptions (Bike Friday, single-speed, etc.) will be accepted but should be noted with the B-STS coordinator in advance.

* You must be a SIG graduate or have an equivalent skill level in group riding. If you are not a B-SIG graduate, we will verify your ride history ahead of the first ride.

* Riders are not required to ride in set groups... you can ride alone if you want, or find friends in the program whose riding styles and pace closely match yours. 16mph and 18mph riding groups will be arranged with captains ahead of each ride.

No passing except in instances where the roadway is flat, straight, and light with traffic. Particularly, no passing within a group on steady inclines and no passing on any downhills. An exception: steep hills follow the normal B-level rides convention of "take it at your own pace, regroup at the top".  

* Riders will be provided cue sheet files and GPS files prior to every ride. Cue sheets are not handed out every week... you must print your own!

* You might get left behind by a group of riders if you can't keep their pace. Join an apt pace group every week; start slower if you're not sure

* You might have to fix your own mechanicals. Not all the time - some participants are generous with helping. 

* Weather updates will be provided when the conditions of the original ride date are not favorable (below 35 degrees, precipitation, extreme winds). We aim to provide updates starting 2 days in advance but a final call on the ride may be made as close as 2 hours to the ride start. 

Please monitor both your email and/or the message board up through that time for EVERY RIDE. If there are no messages that affirm the ride is cancelled or rescheduled, please assume the ride is happening as scheduled! (You can check in on the message board if you're unsure)


(Note: not all of these are critical, but it doesn't hurt to read further!)

Who's leading the rides?

These rides are arranged by the B-STS coordinator and assigned weekly ride leaders maintaining the pace speeds. Find the leaders each week who plan to ride at a pace that you can handle. 

Where is the schedule of upcoming rides?

On the club's ride calendar. Not all are posted at once... we'll post a couple at a time.

I have a non-standard bicycle. Is it going to work for this?

Email the program coordinator and let us know what you have. It may be acceptable. But do be sensible about this. 

Can I skip a ride if it's too cold?

It's not our concern if you miss a ride or two. Be kind and withdraw from the ride listing at least 24 hours in advance. 

I'm going to miss two of the first three rides for a business trip. Should I sign up later on?

Use good judgment. If you know you'll be in riding shape, come along! If you are sure you are behind on fitness, try doing park laps for a week or two.

I don't want to stop for lunch, do I really have to?

No, you don't! If you know the way forward, then let others stop, and keep riding the course. The groups will not skip scheduled stops, so unless you have a riding buddy, you may be alone.

The B18 group is going too fast. Can you have them slow down?

Only if they're riding faster than 18mph. (Do inform the program coordinator if that is the case)

If you're not keeping up with them for the whole ride, take a break, have some water, and wait for other cyclists to come along. There are probably people riding at B17 or B16 right behind you, on the same course.

I'm going to be riding a new bike and a new saddle and a new set of cleats for Week 5. Think I'll be ok?

This is not a good idea. These rides will test your fitness. It's okay to add one new thing to your bike in a given week, but don't throw loads of extra obstacles in your way, or you'll be bailing out somewhere.

Can I bail out at lunch?

Yes. Just let a leader know that you're departing the ride if you've been with one of them the whole time. 

I haven't passed the SIG, should I do B-STS?

While there are exceptions for people who have a LOT of riding experience, you really should register for B-SIG instead.

I saw that there is a no-passing rule. But I really have to pass people, especially on hills!

To break down our policy (and general B-rides etiquette) on this:

* The groups should split and re-gather at the top of steep hills, and yes, in this situation, you can pass a cyclist.

* In most situations there will be plenty of chances to pass around cyclists if they are going too slowly - wait for level roads where it is safe to do so.

Most of these courses level out frequently, and if you really feel as if you are trapped behind someone, make your move on flat ground and don't take a chance on an incline, where your speed (or their speed) might vary from moment-to-moment during a lagging/passing situation. 

I have most of the basic tools but I can't fix a popped chain or broken spoke on a ride. And I don't have spare cables for brakes or shifters. Am I ok?

We think that's ok. Some people do carry chainbreaker tools on these rides, but otherwise consider a popped chain or a broken spoke a day-ending mechanical issue. Same for a blown tire (not tube). Same for any other serious drivetrain issues. 

Do I need cash AND a credit card for lunch on each ride?

We think it's a good idea. Keep in mind: no money, no food. (Unless you brought some) We'll try to give you a heads-up about cash-only lunch stops.

Do I need my MTA "bike pass" all the time?

Rather than present a flow chart detailing when you will or will not need it, we suggest that you just get used to carrying it on all your rides. 

What else do I need to bring? 

Anything you'd bring on a normal club ride. Guidelines here. And, it's also a good idea to re-read this

I'm going to miss the last week of the series, do I get to graduate?

Actually, there is no graduation so feel free to miss it penalty-free.

I see there's a chance of rain... are we still having the ride?

Assume we are always having a ride unless you hear otherwise!

It says it's going to rain during tomorrow's ride. You haven't called the ride yet. What are you waiting for?

You'll know when we know. 

How close to a ride might you decide to call it off?

Two hours.

I missed a week due to a rainstorm. I'm definitely not in shape for next week now. Am I banned from the rest of the rides?

If we all miss a ride due to weather, the next week's ride expectations (and rider guidance) will take this into account. 

I have a question that wasn't listed here. What do I do?!

Email us anytime.

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