OCC Road Rides

What are the OCC Road Ride Groups?

OCC Touring Pace Group

For our purposes, a group 1, 2, 3 and 4 ride means a bike ride along a planned route with a pre-arranged starting point and time and can be classified as “touring” types of rides. Ride group 5 picks up the pace, and Group 6 is for seasoned, conditioned riders looking to train for races.

OCC members can ride in any group at any time, and move groups during the season, but should review the group definitions below to ensure a good fit.

Rules and Tips that Apply to All Groups

Rules of the Road

The basic rule is that nobody gets abandoned out on the road. Your ride leader will try to ensure that the pace is suitable for all. If some of the stronger riders want to go ahead, they can do that, and the leader will stay with the main ride. But this must be communicated to the others in the group. If a rider or a few riders are dropping off the back, the leader will initially slow the entire ride down, and also make sure that the group waits at the top of the hills. If the slower riders decide that they want to turn back they will be accompanied by a designated Club rider to make sure that they do not get lost on the way home. You should not leave the ride without letting the tour leader know. Also, the group stays together in case of a tire puncture or other accident. A helmet must be worn during the ride and all traffic laws must be obeyed (yes, that means stopping at stop signs).

Road Ride Guidelines and Etiquette

All OCC members are expected to read and follow the club guidelines: Group Ride Guidelines and Etiquette.

Cancellations

If a ride is going to be canceled because of bad weather, the ride captain will send out an email to that effect 90 minutes before the scheduled start (to our MailChimp mailing list). If you look out your window and are wondering if there is a ride or not, please check your email before heading out.

Tips

Check the weather forecast and make sure that you have the right kind of clothing with you to remain comfortable throughout the ride. Although some rides will have planned stops for refreshments, you should make sure you bring plenty of water with you and also some high energy snacks. A spare tube and tools to change a tire are also a very good idea, as is a tire pump. Be sure to check the condition and pressure of your tires before you leave the house!

All rides start at a slower pace and shorter length early in the season and progress towards the lengths All rides start at a slower pace and shorter length early in the season and progress towards the lengths listed below. As a result, be wary of joining in mid-season when regular riders are in better condition for the longer rides.

Finally, all Oakville Cycling Club group 1 through 6 rides are best suited for road bikes. Mountain bikes are not suitable for the speeds and distances that are covered in the group rides. Electric-assisted or E-bikes are not permitted.


OCC Road Ride Groups

Recreational Group

This is a introductory-level group that comes in below Group 1 in terms of pace and distances. If you are new to road riding, have never ridden in a group, or are looking for a more-relaxing pace, this might be the group for you. Before coming out, you need to be able to ride on your own at an average speed of at least 20 kph for rides 25 km in length or more, and be comfortable riding on roads with vehicular traffic.  Road bikes or hybrids with road tires are strongly recommended; no off-road/mountain tires or bikes, please.

  • Average Pace: Up to 21 kph weekends and 22 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 40-45 km on Sunday rides, 25-35 km on weekdays
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the event listing in our Events CalendarClick here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 

 

group1

Group 1 is an ideal option for beginners, those new to road or group riding, or riders who are more interested in being in nature with a great bunch of people rather than racing. That said, since the starting points for these groups are either in Milton or Burlington, there will generally be hills on rides.

  • Average Pace: Up to 24 kph on weekends and 25 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 45-65 km on Sunday rides, 25-35 km on Tuesday/Thursday
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the event listing in our Events CalendarClick here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 

Group 1 Notes:

  • We ride in groups; no one gets dropped, but some people by choice may end up finishing the ride alone due to current fitness levels or wanting to start with the group but finish at a different pace.
  • For some rides there are rest stops en route, so refreshments are available.
  • Road bike required

 

group2

Group 2 is for riders who have been on group rides before, but want to push the pace beyond Group 1.

  • Average Pace: Up to 25 kph on weekends and 26 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 50-70 km on Sunday rides, 30-40 km on Tuesday/Thursday
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the event listing in our Events CalendarClick here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 

Group 2 Notes:

  • Road bike required
  • No one gets dropped; at the same time, pushing the pace will not be tolerated

 

group 3

Group 3 is well-suited for those who have been road riding for at least a few years and are looking to increase pace, distance, or generally improve group riding skills.

  • Average Pace: Up to 27 kph on weekends and 28 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 65-95 km on Sunday rides, 35-45 km on Tuesday/Thursday
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the event listing in our Events CalendarClick here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 

Group 3 Notes:

  • Road bike required
  • Participants should be comfortable riding in a group formation, both single file and two-abreast
  • No one gets dropped; at the same time, pushing the pace will not be tolerated
  • Rides can include pack riding, echelon work, hill climbs and sprint
  • Sunday rides include a mid-route break, typically at a convenience store or similar

 

group 4

The fastest of the 'recreational/touring' group rides. We usually ride in groups, but some people by choice may end up finishing the ride alone due to current fitness levels or wanting to start with the group but finish at a different pace. For some rides there are rest stops en route, so refreshments are available.

  • Average Pace: Up to 30 kph on weekends and 31 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 80-105 km on Sunday rides, 40-55 km on Tuesday/Thursday
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the event listing in our Events CalendarClick here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 

Group 4 Notes:

  • Road bike required

 

group 5

Group 5 rides are meant to fill a much needed void in the middle between our fastest pace rides and the more 'recreational/touring' focused ones in groups 1 to 4. These are not training rides.

  • Average Pace: Up to 31 kph on weekends and 32 kph on weekdays
  • Typical Ride Distances: 90-100 km on Saturdays; 50-70 km on Tuesday/Thursday
  • Meeting Locations: Munn's Church (corner of Dundas and Sixth Line) for Saturday and Thursday rides. Tuesday rides start from both Munn's Church and Appleby/407. Click here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 
  • Group Contact: If you have any questions about the Tuesday & Thursday rides, please contact Alan; If you have any questions about the Saturday rides, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Parking at Munn's Church

Important notes about parking at Munn's Church:
- Munn's Church has agreed to allow OCC riders who ride with Group 5 to use their parking lot
- Vehicles must display a parking pass on driver's side dashboard to identify that the rider is part of the OCC - parking passes are available through Pieter; alternatively, leave your OCC membership card to identify yourself, if you do not have a parking pass
- There is no parking allowed on Sundays before 1:00pm, even if you have a parking pass displayed
- In the event the Church has an event going on that conflicts with a scheduled ride, an alternate starting point will be communicated through our Ride Announcement e-mails
- Failure to display a parking pass could result in your vehicle being towed

Group 5 Notes:

  • Road bikes only. Please make sure your bike is fully-tuned, lubed and road-tested; this is not the place to try new equipment for the first time.
  • No aero bars please
  • Bring a minimum of 2 large bottles of water/energy drink - more when we get to the height of summer
  • Bring some food: bar, gel, figs/dates
  • Make sure you have a spare tube(s), patch kit, pump, multi-tool. Be self-sufficient, although the group will help who needs it.
  • Depending on the route, we will try to have a rest stop around midway through the ride
  • Ride leader will ensure that the pace is suitable and work to keep the group intact. We need to stress that hammerheads will not be tolerated...and, in fact, can/will be asked to leave if they do not follow the determined pace.
  • If you are unable to keep up with the group we ask that you try out Group 4. The pace of this group will not be determined by the slowest rider policy - we will wait at the top of hills and for traffic lights/signs etc, but if you are unable to keep up with the group, please let the ride captain know that you are backing out.
  • Please read and familiarize yourself with our Road Etiquette e-booklet (link above) -  It will be assumed that if you show up for these rides, that you have read the guide. It will form the "terms and conditions" of our rides (so to speak) and help determine if someone is barred from the rides of not, as a result of errant behaviour. We want to ensure the greatest happiness and safety for all - and that means following some basic tenets of riding courtesy and safety.

 

group 6

  • Average Pace: Up to 34 kph on weekends and 34 kph on weekdays (note that Group 6 will have greater elevation variety and, as a result, shorter distances with a higher pace)
  • Typical Ride Distances: 80-105 km on Saturdays; 50-60 km on Tuesdays/Thursdays
  • Meeting Locations: Start locations are noted on the specific event in our Events Calendar. Click here for maps and directions.
  • Ride Schedule: Check our club Events Calendar for the complete ride schedule. 
  • Group Contact: For more information on group rides, click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to send an email.

Group 6 rides are for seasoned, conditioned riders. If you are unsure if you meet the requirements for this group, you should be logging at least 3,000 km per year at an average speed of 30 kph. If you want to work up to this level, you need to come out early in the season and come out consistently; you will then be able to hang with the pack!

NOTE: ALL RIDES ARE DEPENDENT ON SUITABLE WEATHER AND ROAD CONDITIONS. We do not ride in lightning, snow or ice. For our evening rides, we plan to be home by the time the street lights come on.

Group 6 Notes:

  • Mixed terrain (some harder hills, with faster flat sections).
  • Emphasis is on training, pack riding, echelon work.
    • These are GROUP RIDES, NOT races.
    • There will be sprints and long tempo sessions, after which the group will reform
    • In the last 10 or 15 km, the pace may pick up as "the horses smell the barn"
  • No rider is obligated to ride faster than they feel comfortable. Riders should not ride out of their "comfort" zone. This is discouraged for safety reasons.
  • We do not drop riders without their consent
  • Road bikes only
  • Helmets are mandatory
  • You also need a repair kit (CO2 or pump, spare tube) and water / drink
  • A cell phone is a 'nice to have'
  • We obey traffic laws! We do not blow throw stop signs, we yield the right of way, we are considerate of other road users