Revised April 2014
Welcome to GORBA! The club is happy to have you as a new member and we have designed this section to ease your introduction to the club and to help you get the most out of you membership.
ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE CYCLING
GORBA encourages all cyclists to be good trail citizens. We suggest compliance with the following trail rules:
- Respect trail closures and ride only open trails
- Don’t ride muddy trails
- Respect other users by passing slowly and use bells to avoid scaring people
- On a downhill, yield to riders going uphill
- Don’t scare wildlife
- Leave no trace
- TRAIL MAINTENANCE
GORBA leases the land containing the Guelph Lake trails from the GRCA. As part of the lease agreement, GORBA agrees to maintain the trails and to post signage and to make a map available. Keeping the trails in good shape improves the enjoyment not just of our members but of all trail users. All of the work is done by volunteers.
Members are encouraged to help with trail maintenance. It is a terrific opportunity to meet other members and to give back to the community. No skills are required except a willingness to pitch in.
NATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE PATROL
GORBA operates a Bike Patrol group which is most like a ski patrol. Patrollers are required to spend at least 40 hours each year patrolling the trails at Guelph Lake or club rides. There are three benefits to maintaining this program:
- It presents GORBA as good trail citizens;
- It assists the GRCA with its risk management policies; and
- It provides first aid and mechanical support to club members
and all other trail users.
We are constantly looking for new members for the patrol. We need people with knowledge of bicycle maintenance and repair, trail knowledge, bike handling skills, standard first-aid skills, and great people skills.
The most important function of GORBA is maintaining a community of people who enjoy off road cycling. We have about 200 members in any given year. Some join to support our trail work, but most join because they want to have fun riding off-road bicycles. Our riding members represent a broad range of skill levels but regardless of ability they all love to be on the trails riding.
We will have regular rides. The day of the week may change from year to year but it will be consistent within the year. Locations may change depending on what people want but Guelph Lake trails will be included. These will appear on the calendar and notices will be sent via Team Pages.
AD HOC RIDES
All members are allowed and encouraged to post rides on Team Pages on an ad hoc basis. These will be the most frequent postings.
We have occasionally held events which are more social in nature such as a night out to watch Tour de France or other events. These will also be posted on Team Pages.
WHO CAN ATTEND?
All posted events are open to all members except that certain social events may require age of majority. We do ask that you have regard to the skill level posted for the ride but you will be welcome regardless. Our rule is that we leave no one behind. If you are not sure of your ability, we recommend you start with Novice rides and progress up from there.
All skill ratings are relative and the following are recommended as guidelines only.
YOUTH RIDES are geared to our younger members. They are called by experienced adult members who will be leading the ride (usually with a bike patrol member.) Parents are strongly encouraged to accompany their kids. The pace of these rides tends toward a casual pace. There will be frequent breaks and little technical skill is required. Typical rides last about 1 to 1-1/2 hours with breaks included.
NOVICE RIDES are geared to adult members who are either new to or returning to the sport. Most of these rides will be called by experienced club members looking for an easy ride or as a way of encouraging new member involvement. No level of fitness is assumed and the routes tend to the less technical. There will be frequent breaks and new members are encouraged to call a stop and ask assistance with sections of trail they find challenging. Typical rides last about 1 to 1-1/2 hours including breaks.
INTERMEDIATE RIDES are suitable for members who have a good level of fitness and good technical riding skills. There are fewer breaks (if any) than novice rides and the pace is noticeably faster than novice rides. Typical rides last from 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Depending on where the rides take place, advanced rides may require excellent fitness, excellent technical riding skills or both. On non-technical trails, the pace is quite fast and there is seldom any break. Typical rides would last more than 2 hours.
Again, these are just guidelines and the rule is that no one will be left behind on posted rides.
Currently our rides are posted on Team Pages (www.teampages.com) This is a third party website primarily focused on team sports. It works reasonably well for GORBA but it is not perfect.
Username and Password (New Member)
- An invitation to join the GORBA Teampages Website is emailed when a membership is processed.
- The email is from email@example.com with the subject “Check out our new team website for GORBA”. It may end up in your junk mail folder.
- Follow the email instructions to create an account and password.
Posting a Ride
To post a ride, you need to log into the site with your username and password. There are a number of tabs at the top of the page. Select “My Teams” and a drop down menu will list GORBA. Select GORBA. That will highlight a list of options under the tab heading. Select “Calendar.” Note that this is separate from “My Calendar.” In the grey header bar named “Events” there is an option in light green (on the right) named, “create a team event.” Click that and select the appropriate options.
All ride postings should include the following:
- Time and date of the ride;
- Which trails you intend to ride;
- Meeting location;
- Pace of ride; and
- Any special instructions
A typical ride posting follows:
July 15, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Novice ride at Guelph Lake. Meet at the bandshell parking lot at Riverside Park. Expect to be out for 1-1/2 hours. Please log in to Team Pages to accept the ride. If no one has accepted by 5:30 p.m., I may leave early.
When your information is complete, click the “Create Event” button at the bottom left. It will take time to process and clicking more than once will create the event more than once.
IMPORTANT! ACCEPTING RIDE INVITATIONS AND INSURANCE COVERAGE
A member attending a ride MUST “accept” the invitation to be covered by
Accepting a Ride Invitation
Rides posted through Team Pages will generate an e-mail invitation to everyone in the club. If you wish to attend a ride, you should log in to Team Pages and “accept” the ride. To do this you would click on the “My Calendar” tab (as opposed to the “Calendar” subheading noted above.) That will generate a calendar page with all posted events shown. Select the event you wish to attend. Find your name under the attendance heading and click the appropriate circle under the column “attending.” Once done, the ride poster will know to expect you. You can also check to see who else has planned to attend. Note there are two pages labeled “Players” and “Coaches.” The coaches are members of the club executive who have a different access for administration reasons.
If you have a change of plans, it is good etiquette to change your status to “Not attending” so others know not to wait for you.
WHAT TO BRING
All GORBA rides require the use of an approved cycling helmet. Local bike shops have a wide selection available.
A general rule of thumb for cycling is to drink one litre of water per hour of cycling. This is just a guideline but some method of carrying water is strongly recommended. This can be a simple bottle of water, a cycling specific water bottle or a hydration pack. Hydration packs also allow you to carry some gear but they are more expensive.
Protective Glasses (Optional)
A pair of protective glasses is strongly recommended even if it’s just a pair of safety glasses. As most of our riding will spend a good portion of time in wooded areas, dark tints are not usually recommended.
Riding Gloves (Optional)
Riding gloves can dampen vibration and are protective in case of a fall. Most off road riders opt for full fingered gloves because of the extra protection.
Riding Clothes (Strongly Recommended)
Most times of the year, you will be sweating when you ride. Breathable clothing is suggested. There is a wide selection of moisture wicking tops which need not be cycling specific to be effective. For shorts, those with a chamois can add extra comfort and help prevent chaffing.
Stiff soled, athletic footwear works best for cycling. Something like a skater shoe would be preferable to a jogging shoe. If you decide to stick with it, cycling specific shoes can improve your efficiency but they can be expensive and take some getting used to.
First Aid Supplies (Recommended)
Even if you aren’t first-aid trained, you may wish to carry a few items for self use. This might just be a few adhesive bandages but it’s still a good idea.
Repair (Strongly Recommended)
It is recommended that riders have a spare tube (of the size used on their bike), a mini pump, a tire lever, and a few allen wrenches (there are a number of good multi-tools for bike use that can cover this). It is also recommended that riders learn some basic repairs like changing a tire. With just a few items and a small amount of knowledge, a minor breakdown can turn from an hour long walk to the car to a 10 minute ride out.
Insect Repellant (Optional)
As we ride mainly in wooded areas and take breaks in those areas, insects can be plentiful at certain times of the year.
WHAT TO DO ON A RIDE
We like to think that every GORBA member looks to introduce themselves to new members on any ride but that may not always happen. If it doesn’t, please introduce yourself. Other than that, the most important thing you can do is be honest when communicating on a ride. We will do our best to be honest with you too. If we tell you we don’t mind waiting or that you aren’t unduly holding us up, we mean it. We want you to tell us if you need a break or if you want to stop to try something new. GORBA is a social riding club and we want our members to have fun. We need your help to make that happen.
Please don’t treat a GORBA membership like a gym membership where you sign up full of good intentions then disappear. We hope you will join us for rides as often as possible. This is a social club and the more people who attend rides, the more fun it is for everyone.