Encourage Responsible Cycling
GORBA encourages all cyclists to be good trail citizens. Please adhere to the following trail rules:
- Always wear a helmet
- 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
Volunteering with the Club
There are a lot of ways you can help the club if you want to, and we are always looking for more volunteers to help us with the day to day.
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. Volunteers do all the work.
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.
Trail Ambassador Program
The Trail Ambassador Program is constantly looking for new members to act as Ride Leaders, and Trail Ambassadors. We need people with knowledge of bicycle maintenance and repair, trail knowledge, bike handling skills, and great people skills.
GORBA Board of Directors
As a member you can join GORBA's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors make decisions for the club, plan events, manages the club's financials, works with our landowners and the city, and handles the day-to-day club business.
The most important function of GORBA is maintaining a community of people who enjoy off road cycling. We have over 500 members. 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 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 and the Arkell Spring Ground Trails will be included. These will appear on the calendar and notices will be sent via Team Pages.
All members are allowed and encouraged to post rides on Team Pages on an ad hoc basis.
We occasionally hold special events, like our Epic 6 Hour Ride. This is very social in nature and not a race. More like a mountain bike festival! Something for the whole family!
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. 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 are frequent breaks and new members are encouraged to call a stop and ask assistance with sections of the trail they find challenging.
Typical rides last about 1 to 1-1/2 hours including breaks.
Intermediate sides 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.
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.
If you're a new member you won't immediately have access to Team Pages. Shortly after purchasing your membership, you should receive an email from Team Pages with instructions on setting up your account.
The email will be from a firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Check out our new team website for GORBA". Make sure to check your email's spam folder if you don't see the email.
If you don't receive your email within a week, use the form on the Contact Page and send us a membership inquiry. Note that at the beginning of the year we don't add new members to our Team Pages account until the end of March, so you won't receive the email from Team Pages until then.
Posting a Ride
To post a ride, you need to log into Team Pages with your username and password. There are several 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
Accepting a ride invitation
Rides posted through Team Pages will generate an e-mail invitation to everyone in the club. It is important to accept ride invitations if you intend to come out for the group ride.
Accepting group rides lets the ride leaders know who to expect out on the ride, allows the ride leaders to wait a few minutes if you are running late and most importantly ensures that you're covered by GORBA's insurance for the ride.
There are three ways you can accept a ride after receiving the invitation email.
1. Reply to the email
The quickest way to accept a ride invitation is simply to reply to the invitation email with the word "Yes". This will trigger Team Pages to mark you as attending the ride. You can also respond "No" to the email to mark yourself as not attending.
2. Using the Team Pages App
If you've downloaded the Team Pages app, which is available on both Apple and Android devices, you can simply log into the app. Select "Events", make sure you are on the "Upcoming" tab, then select the group ride you are planning to attend to open the rides information page.
Select the "Attendance" tab at the top of the screen, then find your name in the list of members and mark yourself as attending.
3. Through the Team Pages Website
Log into TeamPage.com. Once logged in, click on the "Calendar" tab. Select the ride you would like to attend. Find your name under the attendance heading and click the appropriate circle under the column "attending."
What to bring on a ride?
All GORBA members are required to bring an approved cycling helmet to club events, or while riding on GORBA trails. If you don't currently have a helmet, the local bike shops have a wide selection and can help you choose the right one for you.
A general rule of thumb for cycling is to drink one liter 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.
For rides taking place later in the day, when it's likely that the ride will not be over until after the sun starts to go down, and for evening rides when the sun has already gone down, lights are required.
There is a great selection of bicycle lights at the local bike shops, and there are a few our members have found on Amazon to be quite good for a low price. We recommend at least an 800-lumen handlebar light, but recommend you also get a light you can attach to your helmet as well.
If you are going to buy your lights off Amazon, make sure you select a higher lumen light than you are looking for. We've found that you often get a lower lumen light than you expect. However, if you are buying from a local bike shop, while your lights will be more expensive to buy, you will get exactly what you expect, and they will last a long time.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy the benefits of membership! Join today!
- Get access to ‘Member Only’ Arkell Spring Grounds Trails
- Attend group rides
- Receive Retail discounts at local bike shops
- Support our trail development
- Support your local cycling community
- All for less than the price of an MTB tire!