Mountain biking is similar to gravel biking in the sense that you can do all the same routes although not with quite as much speed. The wider tires and your more upright seating position are more stable but not quite as efficient. The benefit of both the wider tires and different seating positions are that they allow you to navigate rougher terrain which is great fun. Here are Glenn’s, our off road expert’sTop Tips for Beginners.
When riding, position your body correctly.
Theballs of your feet should be directly in front of the pedal axis. (This allows you to stay balanced when standing and also takes pressure off your Achilles and calf muscles)
Your knees and arms should be slightly bent. Your centre of gravity should be above the bottom bracket, and relax your grip on the handlebars. You are now prepared to move around standing or sitting and stay in control.
Keep your Backstraight, index fingers on the brake levers.
Start with easier trails to get comfortable with the feel of Mountain Biking. Increase the difficulty of the trail as you improve and gain confidence.
Try to keep your focus 10 to 15 ft on the trail ahead and practice remembering obstacles without looking down at them and then avoid or ride over them whichever is preferred. Stay focused on the trail. Obstacles such as raised rocks or cut off stumps can be anywhere.
Pick a line through rough terrain so you can be prepared for roots and rocks and hopefully stick to the plan.
Momentum is your friend when riding through rock gardens or rooty sections. Keep your weight rearward when navigating through this type of terrain to assist your front tire in climbing the obstacles.
Get out of the saddle to help maneuver. Use your legs to absorb impact and shift your weight to keep your balance.
Use front and back brakes simultaneously to slow without skidding the tires. When braking on downhills, shift your weight to the back so the wheel doesn’t slide. Use front and back brakes simultaneously to slow without skidding the tires. Don’t use too much front brake or it will lock up sending you over the bars or off the trail (not fun!).
7. Shift into the correct gear. The most efficient cadence is 90 rpm. Spinning quicker is more efficient with traction. Shift into a harder gear if trying to navigate sand to power through it.
If you are enjoying riding so far: practice, practice, practice. The more comfortable you are on the bike the more fun you will have. YouTube videos are great for learning techniques and fun to watch.
Most importantly, Have Fun! Don’t push yourself too hard but you can set goals like pacing yourself so you don’t have to stop to rest or completing a section of trail without having to put your foot down. The less pressure you put on yourself, the more fun you will have.
Alright, are you ready to shred?? Keep an eye our for our Dirty Thursday nights where we’ll hit the trails at Northumberland Forest!
Time Trials have always been a big part of this Club, and we’d love to get them back on the calendar for the rest of the season. In order for us to get our volunteers ready and poised for action, we need 10 participants to confirm. Head on over to CycleClub App and sign up so we can get these exciting nights back on the Club Calendar.
Tuesday Nights, 6:30 pm start at the corner of Normar Road and Hwy 2 for 15kms of some fine suffering.
This week’s rides are posted on CycleClub App. We have a Monday Nighter which is a recovery ride this week riding out of Cobourg. Wednesday we’ll head over to Port Hope and ride some quiet country roads and climb a few punchy climbs. Thursday we’ll try last week’s rained out route. Don’t miss out!!
Head on over to CycleClub App and save your spot! Having trouble getting connected to CycleClub App? Reach out to their Tech Support or let us know and we’ll do our best to get you setup. Not a member yet? What are you waiting for??? Sign up today via this link : https://cobourgcyclingclub.com/join/
Are you watching the Tour?! Shout out to Canadian Michael Woods who’s wearing the Polka Dot Jersey, only the 2nd Canadian to wear it in the history of the Tour. That AND we might be looking at a new record for Stage wins?!?! Wow, what an exciting year!!
We’ve posted a Sunday Social Ride for this coming Sunday July 11th. This ride starts in Napanee and tours around Lennox Addington County. At 108kms in length, we’ll have lots of time to chat.
Lennox Addington County is quiet and scenic, an all around lovely place to ride. Not too hilly, this ride would make a great option for those looking for a long ride that won’t tear your legs off. Party pace is expected: conversational and enjoyable.
This week’s Dirty-ish Thursday is posted! Get those gravel wheels on your bike and go ride this classic Northumberland County Gravel route. Glenn, our Ride Host, has altered the route a bit to take out some of the deeper sandy sections. So, if you’ve been a bit gravel shy in the past, this would be the ride to try. Head on over to CycleClubApp to reserve your spot!
No Club ride on Monday Night this week as your Board has a meeting, we’ll see you Wednesday night on another climby adventure! Head on over to Cycle Club App to register and see more details for this ride.
Did you know that the Cobourg Cycling Club is one of the oldest cycling clubs in Canada??? We’re coming close to our 50 year anniversary! There are some people around who remember who started the club, when and why so we asked one of them to jot down some tidbits so we can all know more about how this Club came to be. Our very own Past President, Dave Singfield has set upon this task. Here’s instalment 1 of The History Of The Cobourg Cycling Club.
The Cobourg Cycling club letterhead has always stated that the club was founded in 1972, however a search of many old documents show that the club officially joined the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) in 1974. The letter font (Some old English text?) was the font used for the name of the Cobourg Daily Star newspaper.
The club was originally formed by 4 people:
However we have it on good authority that the wives and the rest of the families were very much involved in getting the club started.The club was active in all disciplines of cycling and was very family orientated.
The Club Jersey’s were wool, knitted mostly by the club women however we believe Henri also took to doing some knitting. The club chose the colours from the Cobourg Flag, which was very much the tradition back in 1960’s and 70’s. Just discovered that Vera McLlwhan and Henri’s wife Pam had a competition in knitting the panels for the sweaters and that Vera was a seamstress (trained in Scotland). This was confirmed in a telephone interview Jim Breckenridge had with Vera in November. Given her skill set she may have designed the first jerseys.
Dave would like to thank Jim Breckenridge and Yvonne Joachim for helping put some of this information together.
As promised, today we are revealing the Segments for the June PB (Personal Best) Challenge. Below you will find the names of 15 Strava Segments (5 Road, 5 Gravel, and 5 MTB) that we challenge you to achieve a PB on between June 15th – July 15th. The first 5 Members to get back to us with PBs on 5 segments win a free CCC Cool Cycling Cap. You can mix and match your segments between road, gravel and MTB.
Each of the Segments offers a great view, a great challenge, or is little known in the area. Riding the entire series will give you a true taste of riding in Northumberland County and around.
Please note that participation in this Challenge is at your own risk and the PBs are intended to be achieved outside of our Club rides. We created this Challenge to encourage you to ride a new route or to achieve a PB. As mentioned before, you don’t need to end up on the Leaderboard, KOM/QOMs aren’t extra special, just aim for your best time. Ride safely and enjoy the tour!
So, without further adieu, here are your Challenge Segments:
“From Snacks To Beer” Rice Lake Scenic Drive from Gore’s Landing (18) to Harwood (15) West to East. 4.88km with Average 0.2% Grade
“Vimy Ridge Climb” at Glen Gavel Road East-West. 0.44km with Average 6.5% Grade (ouch!)
“CCC Shelter Valley TT (7.5km Spilt)” From Hwy 2 to Vernonville Road. 7.45Km with Average 1.1% Grade
“Mastwood Rd from Hwy 65” From Hwy 65 south to 4th Line in Port Hope, ON 4.88Km with Average -0.1% Grade
“English Settlement Road Eastbound” From Bigford Road to Loyalist Parkway in Brighton, ON 5.62Km with Average 2% Grade
“Fisher – Edger Benson” South off Beaver Meadow to Eagleson. 1.74km Average Grade 0.2%
“Scoot Along Old Danforth W-E”* Grafton, ON Old Danforth Road from Purdy to Benlock
“Veep’s Locke UP”* Grafton, ON Locke Road from Pipeline to Joice
“Beaver Meadow W-E” From Johnstone to Bowmanton Road 1.93Km Average Grade 1.2%
“Donaldson You’re No Son Of Mine!” Donaldson RoadWest to East From Canning Road to Hwy 18 1.91Kms Average Grade 0.2%
*These 2 segments are new and will only be available as of June 16th.
MTB Segments( All in Northumberland Forest)
“Up The Chute” (East of Hwy 45) 0.54km Average Grade 10.5%
“The Dragon Stonewall to Carstairs” 5.00km Average Grade 0.4%
“Black Oak Section 2 E-W” 1.25km Average Grade -3.3%
“Green A Finish C4” 6.24Km Average Grade -0.5%
“To The Bench” 3.48km Average Grade 0.9%
Email us at email@example.com when you have achieved your PBs with the Segment Names. Good luck and have fun with it!
Did you see we are riding this week??? Join our road ride Wednesday night or our Dirty Thursday gravel adventure- head on over to CycleClub App and reserve your spot!
It’s the news we have all been waiting for! The CCC 2021 season of group rides starts Monday, June 14th. If you haven’t already, download CycleClub App and get yourself registered for next week’s rides. We’ll be out Monday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday Night. Pre-Registration is required for participation in our group rides as group size is limited. Haven’t joined us yet? Follow this link and become a Member today! http://cobourgcyclingclub.com/join/ Woot Woot!! See you this week!!
Saturday, June 12th a number of CCC Board Members and Club Members will Ride For Rebound. Ride for Rebound is a fundraising initiative put forward by Cobourg Chief Of Police Paul VandeGraaf. Tomorrow’s ride of 115km has raised funds that will go directly to programming for children and youth in our community.
THANK YOU to the riders, the sponsors, and everyone who made a donation to support this event. Leave a comment here or on our Social channels (FB + IG) to encourage the riders as they set out on their 115km tomorrow. May the winds be at their back!
Stay tuned as we just received the OCA’s Return To Sport Guidelines, looks like we will be ready for Group Rides very soon!!! What great news to start the weekend off with!!
Congrats to everyone who completed the May Challenge of riding 250kms outdoors! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your good-looking CCC mask.
We had a lot of fun with the May Challenge so now onwards to the June PB Challenge. We’ll be releasing the names of 15 segments in the area, ones that are a true taste of riding in Northumberland Hills. 5 Road Segments, 5 Gravel Segments and 5 MTB segments. The goal is to get a PB (Personal Best) on each of 5 segments. Doesn’t matter if you place on the Leaderboard for the segment, QOM/KOMs aren’t extra special for this challenge, just aim for your best time on 5 of the 15 segments. THE FIRST 5 PEOPLE TO GET PBs ON 5 SEGMENTS WILL WIN A FREE CCC CAP. The Cap is a lovely Sportful cap with a fresh new design in Club colours. The Challenge Starts June 15th when we release the names of the Segments. Keep an eye on our social channels for an update.
Aren’t doing the Challenge? Still want a hat? No problem, we will be selling hats to anyone who wants to buy one. Stay tuned for details on that coming soon.
How do you let us know about your PBs? Email us at email@example.com with your stats when you’ve completed the challenge. Good luck and have fun with it!
Gravel riding offers a level of exploration beyond that of paved roads. Rail Trails, unmaintained roads, unpaved roads, fields, single or double track, all are avenues to take you deeper and further into the world of exploring by bike. Here in Northumberland County, we have endless opportunity to ride gravel- rarely a route is ridden that doesn’t have you roll past an unpaved road or trail through the woods or fields. Our VP has spent a lot of time riding around these back roads so we asked Scott to give us 10 Tips for Riding Gravel. Here they are, along with some pics from recent off road adventures.
PREPARE YOUR BIKE One of the most important things you can do to prepare your bike for a ride is to make sure it’s in good basic mechanical shape. That means giving it a good service and making sure there’s plenty of meat on the brake pads, the drivetrain isn’t worn and all the cables, bearings and other parts are running smoothly.
ENSURE PROPER AIR PRESSURE IN THE TIRES. Rule of thumb for this one is the wider the tire, the lower the pressure. If your setup is Tubeless you can usually run even less pressure as you won’t risk a pinch flat. Lower pressure in your tires allows the tire the conform to the terrain and provide a more stable ride. If your tires are hard, they may bounce off rocks which will make bike handling more difficult. You should be able to squeeze your tire and feel some give. Side Note: Knowing the terrain on your route will help you determine the right pressure for your tires. Rail Trail vs. Unmaintained road vs. unpaved roads are all very different surfaces
PICK A LUBE THAT SUITS THE TERRAIN OF YOUR RIDE This means choosing between Wet or Dry Lube. Wet should be used for early spring, wet or muddy conditions. Dry for summer, dry and dusty conditions.
PREPARE YOUR SADDLE BAG: Include tools, tubes, air pump etc to help you with any trail side maintenance you may need to do. Getting comfortable with basic roadside repair is a real asset- changing a tire, etc. Carrying a Chain tool + spare link are super important for gravel rides- conditions are less consistent than riding on pavement and therefore a little more likely to put strain on your components. I’d also suggest carrying a Tire Boot as well as having 3, 4 + 5mm Allen keys on hand- those 3 sizes will cover most minor repairs.
EAT AND DRINK ACCORDINGTO YOUR DISTANCE: Bring extra water and snacks as there may be long stretches without places to restock. Bonking while you’re deep in the woods or trails isn’t a great idea- it may take a while for your call-a-friend to locate you.
PICK A ROUTE THAT SUITS YOUR FITNESS AND EXPERIENCE LEVEL. As mentioned above, gravel riding can vary from fairly easy to very challenging. There are lots of online services like Komoot, Ride With GPS and Strava that can help you plan a route based on terrain, distance and elevation. There are also several online communities and Facebook Groups that share great information on routes where you can ask questions before you head out.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE so you know where you can get replacement fluids, food and even shelter if needed. Please remember that a 50K gravel ride will take longer than a 50K road ride and factor that time difference into your day. Estimate that you will be approximately 5-10kph slower than your average road speed when on gravel.
CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST You may need to pack layers for varying conditions, or pack extra fluid for a hot day. Remember that gravel riding takes your father away from conveniences so being prepared is super important.
LEAVE LOTS OF SPACE When riding with others, give lots of space between yourself and the person in front and behind you.This allows you time to react to obstacles up ahead like pot holes, sticks, an animal crossing the path, a rider falling over, etc. Riding close together on gravel can be dangerous.
HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE SCENERY. This is truly what gravel riding is all about.
As restrictions are lifting, we here at the CCC are gearing up for the upcoming riding season. We are waiting patiently for the official Return To Sport from the OCA that will guide our return to riding as a Club. So, here are a few things we wanted to mention to our followers so that you too will be ready to hop on your bike and join us when we get the green light.
Please note that if you are a returning Member from 2020, your Membership is not automatically renewed. You must reregister with the CCC and renew your OCA for the current year. If you wish to take advantage of the discount code for your 2020 Membership, please email Corey (our Membership Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your discount code.
2. SIGN UP FOR EMAILS ON OUR WEBSITE
This will keep you up-to-date and informed on official Club happenings. Enter your email in the field on the home page, right underneath our sponsors’ logos. http://cobourgcyclingclub.com/
3. DOWNLOAD CYCLECLUBAPP
CycleClubApp is our official ride management app. This is how we schedule and post rides and where you will need to reserve a spot in order to be able to join our group rides. It’s a great app and easy to use. Available through the AppStore, Google Play or for the web: /https://www.cycleclubapp.com/
CONSIDER BECOMING A RIDE LEADER. Training is easy and available online. Set out on your fave routes on days and at times that suit you. Clubs survive on volunteers like yourself. Want more single track and off road?BECOME A RIDE LEADER. Want to drop the hammer? BECOME A RIDE LEADER. Interested in long coffee pace rides? BECOME A RIDE LEADER. (notice a theme here?? : )
Our Board of Directors is chock full of dynamic individuals with some great experience in the sport of cycling, as well as a few accomplished Triathletes. At a recent meeting we decided we’d share some tips and wisdom with our Membership. Here’s some terrific insight on Why To Tri from one of those accomplished and dedicated Triathletes, Harold Kuschnik. As we continue to ride alone due to the Lockdown, you may find some inspiration in the article below on how to keep yourself motivated and active.
A major component of health & fitness includes endurance training, and this can be done in many formats with cyclists favoring their bikes, swimmers the water, and so on. Whatever your choice, have you ever considered the benefits of cross-training or ‘triathlon training’ to compliment what you’re already doing? Perhaps you’re experiencing cycling road/trail fatigue with muscle soreness, weather restrictions, or bike issues but still want to workout.
Consider the benefits of swim-bike-run (SBR) connection:
Improved overall conditioning, flexibility, strength and coordination which is available from engaging more of your body’s muscle groups and metabolic systems
Training options when cycling just isn’t possible
A fresh mental focus which will likely make cycling more enjoyable
Options for multi-sport competition/racing such as duathlons, triathlons, etc.
Enhanced muscle recovery allowing your body to keep fit but not overloading certain muscle groups thereby reducing the risk of injury
A psychological break from intensive or extensive bike training which keeps burnout away
The keys to starting include:
Begin at a level suitable to your ability. If this means taking swimming or running lessons then so be it. Everyone benefits from good coaching, even the pros.
Monitor your body carefully. A lower body injury will likely hamper both running and cycling, but likely not swimming, and vice versa.
Be reasonable with gains. The benefits to your body’s adaptation is long term, weeks and months
Have a balanced program which allows your body to recharge and heal. Loading swimming and running on top of your current cycling is best done gradually, with a reduction in cycling,- as in cycling, the right gear makes all the difference. However in this case, quality running shoes & apparel will make running so much better, just as a good set of swim goggles, swim suit, etc will make swimming better,
If and when possible train with an experienced partneror group. They will likely provide the mentoring, encouragement and technical support to head you in the right direction
Avoid an all at once approach. Become proficient at either swimming or running first. Trying to teach your body and mind too much all at once can be overwhelming. Change up the volume and intensity of your SBR training,
Finally, have fun! Whether it’s the journey or destination you can find a good starting point to find the right balance or “happy spot” for yourself.
Endurance athletes, whether recreational or semi-pro can benefit from SBR or triathlon training.. Enjoy your time on the road, trail or in the water as you move forward to discover your athletic abilities.
Who doesn’t love a good Challenge? This year we are running some Challenges to keep you- our current Members, our soon-to-be-returning and our new Members motivated and riding. Time to get the trainer tire dust off your bike and get those wheels on the road, gravel, or trails!
Our first challenge is to Ride 250km Outdoors between today and June 10th.
HOW TO ENTER: If you are a current Member, make sure you are part of our CCC Strava Club. For those who don’t use Strava or are new Members, please track your KMs and email your results in when you have completed the challenge to email@example.com
Your Prize for completing the Challenge is a good-looking CCC Mask!