ABOUT OUR RIDES

Every Sunday we offer rides of at least 2 distances; 20/30/50 miles are common, with longer options in summer, shorter in winter. Three century rides (100 miles) are offered each year, with shorter options available.

The routes are marked with arrows painted on the roads by volunteers. Maps are also provided (or you can download a map beforehand - maps are in PDF format, viewable with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader). Our many years of exploring the best back roads in New England have produced routes that you may have never discovered on your own -- and you will ride them in the company of friendly companions.

NBW is not a racing club; we attract all levels of cyclists, so there is usually someone riding at your pace. Non-members are welcome on our rides; we merely expect riders to ride safely and lawfully.

Our detailed ride schedule is published on this website and in our club newsletter, The Spoke'n Word. Online ride schedules are in PDF format, viewable with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Read the ride description carefully so you know how to get to the start location, and are prepared for the distance and terrain of the ride. Our ride schedulers try to rotate rides around our riding area in RI, southern MA and eastern CT, so we cover a variety of terrain. We have a library of over 150 ride maps, accumulated over 40 years. Recently we have begun offering GPS files for our rides.

Your bicycle should be in good working order, and we expect riders to wear helmets. Bring water or energy drink. Carry tools and a spare tube.

The start time given in the ride schedule is the time that riders will depart. Arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time to allow time to assemble your bike, pick up a map (unless you've already downloaded one), and listen to the start announcements (which will include the color of that day's arrows).

On a good day in summer as many as 100 riders can assemble for an NBW ride, so we stagger the riders to allow for a smooth, safe start. Faster riders (average 18 mph or more) will leave first.

We do not have ride leaders. You will find yourself naturally falling in with riders of similar abilities.

You should use safe riding techniques for riding in groups. Riding in a group is very different from riding on your own, and we expect riders to use these guidelines:

* Ride on the right.
* Ride single file, except where legal to ride abreast; single out when alerted that a vehicle is approaching from the rear.
* Maintain a safe distance between you and other riders.
* Pass other riders only on their left, saying "On your left" to alert them.
* Signal turns, or intentions to slow or stop, well in advance.
* Alert other riders about overtaking vehicles by calling "Car back".
* Do not use earphones or answer your cell phone while riding.
* Aero bars are unsafe when riding in groups.
* Obey all traffic laws.

NBW from time to time offers beginner rides and classes on safe riding skills; these are announced on this website and in the club newsletter.

In addition to our scheduled Sunday rides, informal rides on other days or nights during the week are organized by members, who announce them on our NBW email discussion list. We now have a women's group, organizing bi-monthly Saturday rides, which are announced on this website.

Occasional weekend trips are organized, providing opportunities to explore further afield in New England.

Special rides and events are traditional:

* TFCE (The Flattest Century in the East), an NBW tradition for 39 years, is held every September and attracts 2,000 registered riders. Requiring about 90 club members to organize, TFCE is the jewel in our crown of rides. NBW members have an early-bird chance to register before the ride is opened up to the world in Spring.
* Rhody Roundup is a summer day of social events by the ocean - rides, barbecue, swim.
* Holiday Party after a December ride is not only a social event but a fund-raiser for a local RI homeless shelter.
* New Year's Day ride by the ocean, whatever the weather.