Frequently Asked Questions - Mountain Biking

How hard will the ride be?

How hard will the ride be?

All our rides are graded and this will give you a good idea of what to expect.

  • Family rides: short rides of about 10 miles, usually somewhere flat like an old railway line. Suitable for young solo riders or children on tag-alongs or in bike trailers.
  • Easy-going: usually about 12 to 15 miles with about 1000 to 1500ft of climbing, the trails will usually be fairly wide and the descents reasonably gentle.
  • Medium: somewhere between 20 to 25 miles with more climbing, usually between 2000ft to 3000ft. Some of the riding will be on singletrack and some of the descents will be quite steep
  • Hard: our longest rides (up to about 35 miles) with up to about 5000ft of climbing, climbs and descents may be steep and rocky and you may need to push up or walk down the most difficult sections. Some of the hardest rides we do might actually be quite short but they may involve long bike carries and/or steep and technical descents.

If you don't fancy a particularly steep or tricky section then it's fine to get off and walk, we all do this sometimes! There is no pressure to ride anything you are not happy attempting and we always ride as a group and wait for people at gates and turnings, we haven't lost anybody yet! (well, actually we have but that's another story). Bad weather may mean we change our plans and either shorten the route or take a different route more suitable for the weather (mountain biking in deep snow is tricky for instance).

What sort of bike will I need?

What sort of bike will I need?

To start with you just need a basic mountain bike in reasonable condition with fat, knobbly tyres and a bit of front suspension.

Make sure the brakes and gears are working and that the tyres are inflated.

What's a typical ride like?

What's a typical ride like?

We generally meet about 15 minutes before the start time stated in the programme and unload our bikes ready to ride. We usually meet up in a car park or village and there are generally, though not always, public toilets available. We make sure everybody knows each other and then head off at the advertised time to start the ride.

We usually stop for snacks or picnic lunch every one or two hours and will also often regroup at gates or turnings to make sure everybody is ok and to keep the group together. If anybody has a mechanical problem or puncture, then the whole group stops while we sort the problem out. We will probably stop during or after a ride at a pub or café so it's worth bringing a bit of cash for snacks, drinks etc. Finally we all end up back at the cars, tired but happy (hopefully).

What should I bring?

What should I bring?

As well as a bike you also need to bring the following:

  • A bike helmet (this is compulsory on our rides, no helmet then no ride with us!)
  • Pump
  • Spare inner tube
  • Tyre levers
  • Puncture repair outfit
  • Water (at least one litre)
  • Food, better to have too much than too little!
  • Lights if it might be dark

What should I wear?

What should I wear?
  • A bike helmet (this is compulsory on our rides, no helmet then no ride with us!)
  • Shorts or longs depending on the time of year
  • Trainers or bike shoes
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Enough warm layers for your upper body
  • Warm gloves in the winter

Where do we go riding?

Where do we go riding?

We are a XC mountain bike group and  many of our rides are in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the North Pennines but we also often ride in the southern Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District and Northumberland. At bank holidays we roam further afield and have trips to many parts of Wales (Brecon Beacons, North Wales etc.), Scotland (Aviemore, Fort William etc.) and the Peak District. We also enjoy visiting the purpose built trail centres and have ridden at Hamsterley, Whinlatter, Grizedale, the Seven Stanes, Coed Y Brenin and a few others.

When do we go riding?

When do we go riding?

We run a busy riding programme all year round (even in the depths of winter) and most weeks there will be a Sunday ride starting at about 10.30am (10am in winter) and a Wednesday night ride starting at 7pm. Evening rides in the summer can be done without lights but between about September and April we ride with lights, these are purpose designed mountain biking night lights and road riding lights are not adequate for the job. We also have some Saturday rides as well. Five or six times a year we have weekends away to further flung places such as Scotland or Wales or the Lake District.

Do I need lights?

Do I need lights?

For evening rides from about September to April you will need to bring mountain biking night lights and a rear red light. On day rides during the depths of winter it can be a good idea to carry a small emergency light in case of problems.

What time should I arrive?

What time should I arrive?

The time given in the programme is the time the ride will actually start so you need to arrive 15 or 20 minutes earlier to have enough time to get ready.

Where do we meet?

Where do we meet?

We meet at the location given in the programme, usually a car park or village centre. If you are not sure where to go, then ring the ride organiser for instructions.

Do I need to ring the ride organiser?

Do I need to ring the ride organiser?

If you haven't been out with us before then it's a good idea to ring the organiser and have a chat about the ride and they can answer any questions you may have. Generally though, you do not need to tell anybody you are coming on a ride; just turn up at the appointed time and place.

Who comes out riding?

Who comes out riding?

We have a wide mix of ages and unlike many mountain bike clubs we have a good number of keen women riders. Sixteen and seventeen year old riders can come along but we do need consent from a parent. Under sixteens are welcome but they must be accompanied by a parent or somebody acting in loco parentis.

Is there any guidance for ride organisers and participants?

Is there any guidance for ride organisers and participants?

Please read our Guidance Note.

How can I find out what's going on?

How can I find out what's going on?

Our quarterly programme is available on our website and members of the club are sent a paper copy at the beginning of each quarter. Members usually subscribe to our email mailing list and can receive the latest news about activities.

Are there any social events?

Are there any social events?

Social events are organised at both club level and also mountain bike section level. Section events include weekends away, quarterly planning meetings in the pub, occasional slide shows at our club house and also our Christmas mountain bike meal when our annual awards are made. We also manage to slot in the odd barbeque, Halloween ride, pie eating competition etc. plus the inevitable pub or café visit after a ride.