Saturday Group Rides



We, over at US Open Cycling Foundation, have recently been inundated with requests for group rides.  So, Ok then!  We have formed a club and our group rides will begin as of this Saturday (Sept. 10) at 4:00pm.

The rides will be 30-40 miles in length on a mixture of predominantly public roads and some bike path.  Pace will be moderate. You’ll need a road-style bike (road, ‘cross, touring) and a helmet.  We’ll be departing from 181 Brook Street in Providence.   We will add a shorter loop of around 20 miles if we have at least 5 requests.  This week we’ll be riding to Seekonk, Barrington and back to Providence.

There is an annual membership fee and a minimal per-ride donation to help us continue to serve our mission of helping people achieve healthy lives through bicycling for fitness, fun and transportation. We’re also going to throw in some instruction on group riding technique because, well, trial and error on that can be both painful and expensive.

Details and registration are at the US Open Cycling Foundation website.  See you all on Saturday at 4:00.


  • Labann
    Sep 9, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Or you could a) Ride for FREE on an arrowed route at your own pace with the NBW (like time share salesmen, they may pressure you to join) any Sunday morning at 10:00 AM, or b) Ride by yourself with FREE "Guide to Bicycling in the Ocean State" map or modest one-time charge for Howard Stone's dated book, or c) join any of several FREE rides from bike shops such as Providence Bicycle, or d) ride in some NOT FREE subscription event that helps a meaningful worthy cause. Personally, I prefer map in my head, which I've shared with innumerable people as a pro bono guide. Getting lost is half the fun, remaining self-reliant not surrounded by sanctimonious/scared riders, stumbling into terra incognita next door, or trailing fresh arrows left from rides whenever I feel like it. Route nazis want you to climb hills, dance their dance, snap chains, and wreck bikes. About the only positive things you can say about group rides are "competition" and "repetition" increase miles. Forget learning much, networking, or sense of community.

  • Eric
    Sep 9, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Alan, you wrote it yourself: "…event that helps a meaningful worthy cause." Yes, just as lots of people ride the Pan Mass Challenge, or ride with Team In Training to support leukemia and lymphoma research, I hope that lots of people will ride to support the educational programs offered by US Open Cycling Foundation. And that is all I will write on this matter.

  • Sep 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Alan, this is intended to be a different type of ride than the traditional group rides. The target audience is those people who are not currently riding a bicycle, have a bike but it's been years since they've been on it, or have a bike and are only comfortable enough to ride the bike paths. The NBW does a GREAT job creating well marked rides. However for many entering cycling or returning to cycling, meeting up with a group of specially clad cyclists can be very intimidating. In contrast, this ride is designed to help people build confidence with riding on the roads. Remember, the people interested in this ride are NOT comfortable riding on their own and want help… let's help them! Being a cycling advocate yourself, I would think you should welcome someone who is helping to get more tires on the roads.

    Whether or not there is a cost associated with the ride should be of no concern to you. U.S. Open Cycling is trying to build a statewide bicycle education program for children and adults. This takes money to do properly, if for no other reason than it requires paying someone who can be available during the day when most of us to be at work. The only people who should be concerned about the cost is those who are interested in the class. I suspect many will feel it is of value, if not for themselves, then in support of the larger cause. If you truly feel a fee to attend such a class is unjustified, then go out and build up your own program… nobody is stopping you.

    I for one hope these rides are a huge success and we start seeing our numbers grow substantially!

  • CycleHoney
    Sep 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I have to disagree with the above comment. U.S. Open Cycling is a grassroots, local nonprofit that is working with people who might not otherwise get on a bicycle. The group rides are intended to be educational, safe and, above all, fun. For a ride to be fun, safety is paramount and that aspect is where the fee is derived – to benefit from professional cycling education.
    I am very much looking forward to riding this Saturday, learning more about how to bike safely and enjoyably, and creating a sense of community with others of like minds.