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Prepping for an HBA ride

Here's what you need to do before rocking up for an HBA ride.

Check your bike & helmet It sounds obvious but so many don't. Even if your kid rides their bike regularly, check it over. Check their helmet still fits well and has no visible damage. Helmet manufacturers recommend helmets are replaced every 3-5 years. It's really simple and there's a handy video right here! Don't leave this to the day before.

If a rider turns up with a bike or helmet that isn't in a safe condition, they may not be permitted to take part. It's unfair on the rest of the group to spend the first part of the session fixing someone's bike, all because they didn't check it in advance.

What to wear Aside from a helmet, no other bike specific clothing is required. Flat soled trainers that will give you good grip on the pedals are ideal. Clothing should be comfortable and unrestrictive but not super baggy. Check the weather forecast to decide what to wear. We wear gloves to protect our hands in the event of a crash; any gloves that give you good movement are fine. Mittens are a definite no. There's always gloves available to borrow.

What to bring - You'll obviously need your bike, helmet and gloves. More technical riding may warrant knee/elbow pads. - If you take any medications that you might need when out, then you must bring them. Riders are responsible for carrying their own medications. Your meds are no use to you at home when you're out riding. - Bring some extra layers or a jacket to wear when we stop for a break. - Depending on the timings of the session you may need your lunch. - For all rides, you'll need some snacks and water. - A complete change of clothing is a wise idea. Riders can get soaked through just from surface water, so changing into dry clothing part way through is bliss. Plus, you might want them to change before getting in the car! - And finally, a small rucksack to put it all in. We can probably leave some bits in the van to lighten the load though.

Other stuff

- Have a good breakfast or lunch before you arrive, you'll need it!

- Nobody will be forced to ride features they don't want to ride. You'll be encouraged, sometimes strongly, but never forced.

- There will always be some variance in the experience and abilities of riders in the group. This can be your chance to set a good example and boost your own confidence, or watch and be inspired by how others ride.

- Some venues don't have toilet facilities. For most, this isn't an issue as there's usually plenty natural cover for a wilder-wee.

- It's incredibly rare that we ride at race pace for a prolonged time. If we need to walk some of the uphill bits, that's fine. The pace will be dictated by the group, and it's normally pretty chilled out.


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