Q. What is the process to sign up to Dittons Velo?
A. Many thanks for your interest in riding with Dittons Velo. Unfortunately due to a number of reasons including the Covid 19 pandemic we are unable to accept further new members for the foreseeable future.
Q. When and where are the rides?
A. Our main ride is on Saturday, starting from The West End Esher Sports and Social club. We meet from 9am, giving time for a coffee and chat to the other riders – we assemble into groups at 9.20am to ensure we are ready to ride at 9.30am.
Sunday rides are organised privately amongst smaller groups who tend to know each other which is why it’s important to join Saturday rides to get to know other people.
Q. Is Dittons Velo a serious club?
A. We’re very serious about making cycling enjoyable, no matter what level or what you want to achieve in your cycling. We are a very social cycling club. We welcome all cyclists from beginners to those with many years of experience.
Q. Is the club only for people in Esher / Thames Ditton?
A. We have members from Surbiton, all over Elmbridge and beyond. As long as you are happy to start your rides from Esher then you are welcome to join us.
Q. Does the club organise races and time trials to help me get my racing licence?
A. Racing against the clock will never really be the spirit of what attracts people to the club. That’s not to say we don’t occasionally try to beat our own club Strava segment times. All in the name of fun (and beer) though.
Q. Can I ride with Dittons Velo as well as other clubs?
A. Yes, some of our members are also members of other local cycling clubs but given our social nature you will get the most out of the club by turning up regularly. Some of Dittons Velo race at other clubs but join us for less serious training rides.
Q. How fast or how far do I need to be able to cycle to join the club?
A. Not fast, not far. Start with the slower group on a shorter ride, and work your way up. Most people surprise themselves. Our Saturday rides range from 25 miles upwards. You will quickly find yourself in the appropriate group.
Q. Is the club suitable for faster experienced riders?
A. Yes, but again the best way to see if you like the club is to come and chat with us to see if we will suit your type of riding.
Q. Do I need an expensive road bike to join the club rides?
A. Most members ride road bikes since it does make the routes easier. The bike does not need to be the latest model or expensive. Some groups will go on a gravel ride.
Q. What are the typical routes and distances of the club rides?
A. On a typical Saturday we usually have five or more groups riding different routes and speeds. Our blog shows some of the routes we have done in the past.
A social group might do a gentle 30 miles on a mostly flat route – possibly with one hill and a coffee stop.
Our middle group(s) typically do a 40-50mile route into the Surrey hills. We routinely do 60+ mile rides in Spring/Summer.
Longer rides (over 60miles) are usually planned in advance. We also like to organise a 100mile ride with a few groups meeting in Brighton for fish and chips and then cycle or get the train back.
Q. What do I need to bring on a ride?
- A helmet (all riders must wear one)
- A road bike in reasonable state of repair
- Spare inner tube(s). When you ride with the group, you’ll never be left alone to fix a puncture on your own but make sure you bring tyre levers, pump/CO2, multitool
- Mobile phone (suggest you swap numbers with members of the same group) – fully charged!
- Cash and a credit/debit card – for tea and cake, or emergency taxi
- Form of ID with emergency contact details and any necessary medical info
- Front and rear lights – the Surrey lanes are often dark
- In winter: mudguards
– For anything else: if you’re uncertain, just ask
Q. Does it cost money to join the rides?
A. Not to start with. The club is run by volunteers. We incur costs in running the club and we cover these via contributions when required.
Q. Do you have a club kit?
A. Yes, and members can order a full range of kit. Members are certainly not obliged to wear DV kit but many find it an important part of being in a club. We don’t hold stock of kit, but we take orders a few times a year so kit is made to order and delivered in a few weeks. Details will be shared via email and via the DV Facebook group to let you know when kit is available to order. Club Kit Page
Q. If I have any questions who should I contact?
A. Send an email via our contact us page and someone will get back to you.