Ottawa Mountain Bike Association

What to Expect at your First Group Ride

David N September 1, 2014 No Comments
What to Expect at your First Group Ride

Getting there: Before leaving for the ride check the OMBA forum in the “Events” sub-forum to make sure the ride is still on. The SMH ride group meets at the trailhead at the intersection of Klondike and Old Second Line Road. If you are parking on the side of Old Second Line Road, be sure that your car is parallel to the road and facing the direction of travel. Bylaw officers have been by occasionally to ticket offenders. if you don’t mind a ride to the trailhead you can also park in the lot next to the Morgan Grant Pumping Station at the intersection of Klondike Road and Wimbledon Way. Wherever you park, make sure to be at the trailhead for the agreed time ready to roll.Waiting to get started: If you are not an OMBA member, and just trying a group ride, you will need to complete and sign a waiver before every ride. Becoming a member saves this repeated hassle (you only sign a waiver once per season) and your membership fee goes toward helping OMBA maintain the trails. If you are a regular on the group rides, you should purchase a membership. The big decision at this point is what group to ride with, D, C, B or A. Here’s a primer.

D Group: The gentlest introduction to riding the SMH trails, slower pace, lots of breaks and trails followed are some of the less difficult ones in the network (if you are a true beginner they will still be plenty challenging). D is usually a fairly large group, which is good because there is usually time for a bit of socializing during breaks. D group is also the most likely to expand in size as riders from other groups (mostly C) that are having an off week and find that they don’t have the legs to keep up with their regular group. This group rides in the inner trails, such as Beartree, Rockhopper, North and South Dogsled, Porcupine and Mario’s Line.

C Group: Probably the group with the widest range of abilities. C group can include riders from B or A, who need a break, to people who are just “graduating” from D. The pace ranges from a bit faster than D to a bit faster than expected. If you are reasonably fit, you can probably keep up with C, but some of the trails that the C group routinely rides might be a bit more technically challenging (i.e. more and harder features to try and ride over). This This group rides in the inner trails (Beartree, Rockhopper, North and South Dogsled, Porcupine and Mario’s Line) and also ventures onto IMBA, Bailout and PWT.

B Group: I’ve never been with B, but I hear its fast. Someone once described as “B for bypass”; I’ll take his word for it. If you ride with these guys you should be fit, fast and skilled. This group rides all the trails, including Outback.

A Group: B Group to the extreme. No trails are off limits, but if anything happens you get left for the wolves. To be honest there don’t seem to be many riders rolling with A. Some weeks it seems like there is no A group. If you are still reading this guide then you should probably work your way up to A. This group rides everything, maybe even twice!!

Don’t be intimidated by this description, No Drop means NO DROP, there will be a ride leader and a sweep or caboose rider who will always go last to make sure you are ok. No riders will be left behind on the trails.

So, thanks for sticking with this article to the end.
Come on out and ride with us, riding with others is always a good time. Equip yourself with a few basics, show up at the agreed time, and introduce yourself. Let the fun begin.

Written by Irving Frederick and Terry Field