New Member Information
Welcome to the Jersey Shore Touring Society! We're glad you have chosen to ride with us. Before you begin, here are a few things you need to know:
The Biking Season - Club members can, and do ride the whole year. The prime road riding season runs from April through October. Road rides get longer as the season progresses, leading to the Century Rides on Labor Day weekend, when we offer half century (50 miles), metric century (62 miles) and century (100 miles) rides in one day. This is the goal of the training season and why the weekend rides get longer and harder. During the cooler months we also schedule Mountain Bike (MTB) Rides on weekends at local parks. MTB rides typically last 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Traffic - When riding on the road, we ride with traffic. It is New Jersey, and although we try to stay off main roads, heavier trafficked roads are unavoidable. If this makes you nervous, then practice on a bike path so you become comfortable with your bike. Get familiar with shifting and learn to maintain a consistent pace before you move on to riding on the road.
The Bike - We ride at varying paces and follow route sheets, unless it is noted as a Leader Led ride. Paces range from A+ (the strongest) to D (beginners & slower riders). You can refer to the Ride Schedule for the Ride Pace Categories on this website. Mountain bikes and cruisers are not suitable for road rides. Even hybrids can be tough to ride because they are heavier, although some riders are able to start on a hybrid and work their way up to a road bike. Bikes must be in good working order. Have your bike tuned-up at a bike store. (See the list of bike stores on the website.) Check the tires and brakes carefully. Have a saddle bag, and always carry an extra tire tube. A pump or a CO2 cartridge is also essential in the event of a flat. A rear view mirror is very helpful, and makes road riding safer.
Preparation - Get to the ride start location a half hour, and no later than 20 minutes before the ride start time, because we roll right at the designated start time. To prepare for the ride, inflate your tires each and every time you ride. You will need water (or your favorite energy drink), and any snacks you may wish to eat at a rest stop. Arrive early enough to leave time to use the restroom facilities before rolling out. Finally, be sure to introduce yourself to the ride leader.
Clothing - You are required to wear a helmet on all rides. Headphones or earbuds are not permitted (even if only in 1 ear!). Wear clothing that makes you visible. Bike shorts with padding, gloves and comfortable tops to wick away the sweat are highly recommended. Some riders use sweat bands or “do caps” to keep the sweat from their faces. Dress in layers so you are comfortable; it gets warmer as you ride. You will be more comfortable in stiff soled shoes or bike shoes (whether you clip in or not) and not sneakers.
Ability - Be honest about your ability to ride at the designated level and ride pace. Note that "rolling" on the route sheet means there can be some hilly areas. Some of our leader led rides are designated for new riders and riders new to group cycling. These rides are no-drop, shorter and easier, and will give you the opportunity to assess your skills. If you have any questions about a specific ride, don't hesitate to reach out to the ride leader by email before the ride. The more often you ride, the better you will become.
Other club members can always answer any questions you may have. Welcome and get rolling!