Beginner’s start here
Here at the Bog Trotters we welcome all! A good introduction to the club is one of our Super Sunday Social rides. These are organised the first Sunday of every month, See the "Rides List". These rides are typically around 15miles with 1500-2000ft of climbing with an emphasis smiles not miles. We also stop off during the ride for lunch so you will need to bring along a packed lunch, as there are no cafés on mountains!!
The terrain is no different from any other rides however it is the distance of the route that generally classes the ride as for beginners. On these rides you will find a mixed standard of riders who all mix together in a relaxed atmosphere. That is not to say we don't have a decent pace it’s just that we don't leave anybody behind and we stay together as a group. At each club ride there is a ride leader who will be reasonably experienced to look after the group and stays with the group throughout the ride. For most club rides the ride leader will take photos of riders and scenery and post these onto the club website so you can have a look at the pictures generally the day after the ride. The ride leader also fills in a report of the day's events.
A generally half decent level of fitness is required for the rides. If you haven't been out on a bike for years or you're a brand new rider it may be a good idea to gain a few miles under your belt. Just to get those cobwebs off in readiness for your first ride!
Many of the riders have generally a good toolkit with them on each ride and help each other out with mechanical faults and punctures etc. So for beginners if you don't have the various items please don't be put off by this as you can learn a lot from other members of the club who will advise you on these things as your experience improves. A rider would probably have the following items with them on rides:
• helmet - compulsory on all rides
• padded cycling shorts
• waterproof jacket
• CamelBak or similar water carrier
• packed lunch
• pump, spare inner tubes x 2 (that fit your bike) & tyre levers
• multi-tool with chain breaker
• spare rear mech hanger
• spare chain split link
• money & change of clothes* for pub visit afterwards!!
Again this is just a basic list of items so don't be put off if you only have a few things as other riders help each other out whilst going through the beginners stage.
We don't ask potential members to part with much money (£2 per ride) until they have been out on a couple of rides so feel free to join in and see if you like it (and us!). We are a non-profit club and as such all subs collected go to; general running costs (e.g. hosting this website and domain name), annual donation to both Air Ambulance and Mountain rescue and other charitable gifts such as Bikes For Africa following a vote at our 2018 Christmas Party.
Here at the Bog Trotters we welcome all new beginners and look forward to seeing you out on our rides!!
All beginners worry about 'slowing everybody down' and not being fit/quick enough. In most cases, this is unnecessary, as the Bog Trotters are very relaxed and happy to stand around chatting when they have to wait for stragglers. For us, mountain biking is about having fun, not about trying to prove anything (except perhaps how muddy and wet we can get:)
If you think you may be slow, try a few beginner rides first, and once you can manage those, try moving up to a harder grade ride. If you have any doubts about your ability, or about the difficulty of the riding, speak to the ride leader.
Please be aware that the club is an informal association of riders, formed for the purpose of organizing rides and related events. As such, it is non-profit making, and ride leaders and other members cannot accept liability for any accidental injuries and damage caused to any rider or their possessions.
Although club members may sometimes give warnings about dangerous riding conditions ahead, this is not always possible in the hurly-burly of a ride, so it is up to the individual rider to decide what they can and cannot ride and to accept responsibility for their own safety.
Mountain biking is not a 'safe' activity - even beginner rides include hazardous sections, and accidents can happen on any terrain. We do not have any qualified first-aiders, though we will attempt to help the victim of any accident to appropriate medical attention.
Your photograph will probably be taken and posted on the club website, Facebook and Instagram - except for minors, who will not be shown unless a consent form is submitted.
Please see the “Legal Stuff” section for more information.