WCC FAQ’s 2021

Once you’re a paid-up member of Wokingham Cycling Club (WCC) you’ll get access to WCC’s regular club rides and events.  In the meantime, take a look at the FAQs below which should cover everything you need to know about the WCC.  If you have any questions that are not answered then drop us an email at [email protected]

Why do I have to be a member to ride with you?
Established in 2013, WCC has grown from a handful of cycling enthusiasts to a club with c.200 paid-up, active ride members in 2021.  WCC is reliant on its volunteers, including over 40 Ride Leaders, to operate a structure that helps us to organise rides and other events in an inclusive and efficient manner.  Active members and their annual subscriptions allow WCC to develop, plan and implement a programme aimed at providing benefits to all members.

What will I get as a paid-up member?
WCC Members have access to the following:

  • Discounts on British Cycling and Cycling UK membership and insurance products
  • Increased rewards scheme points at Mountain Trax on all purchases
  • Regular Ride Leader organised and led Club Rides (road and off road)
  • Events such as:
    • The Summer Series Time Trial
    • The Club’s social hub at the Wokingham Bikeathon
    • Velodrome group ride skills and road craft training
    • Social events
    • Monthly selling days
    • Overseas ride trips, e.g. Mallorca
  • The WCC Facebook community, A.K.A ‘the Hive Mind’, to learn and socialise with other Members
  • Access to purchase discounted official WCC cycling kit, made by Endura
  • WCC Emergency Management and I.C.E. card

What will the membership funds be used for?
The Club operates on a purely voluntary basis.  Subscriptions are used to:

  • Plan and deliver the events listed above
  • Secure website development, hosting and management
  • Public liability insurance
  • British Cycling club membership, Cycling UK club membership, Cycling Time Trial club membership
  • Venue hire, e.g. Farley Village Hall for the TT’s, the AGM
  • Continual improvement of Ride Leaders’ competencies

In cycling terms WCC is a relatively new club. We are continually looking to innovate and enhance our value proposition.  We aim to cover our in-year costs and maintain a small working balance so that we can confidently plan, and implement our annual club plans.  We operate as a not-for-profit Social Enterprise.

How is WCC structured?
WCC operates a flat hierarchy, with 5 permanent committee members, who rely on several project teams to deliver the clubs activities. The committee roles are:  Chair, Treasurer, General Secretary, Club Captain and Project Liaison. Each role is supported by project teams e.g. the IT team, the TT team, the Revolver Team.

Fundamentally, the majority of club activities are led by the club’s 40+ Ride Leaders

Documented in the club’s constitution, committee members and supporting project teams do not, and will never seek financial benefit or compensation for their own personal gain from the WCC.

How is the Committee appointed?
WCC members will elect a Committee, as a minimum a Chair, Treasurer and General Secretary to hold the post for one year.  Elections occur during the club’s AGM, which is nominally held around December/January in Wokingham Town Hall.  Committee members serve a one-year term, but if they choose, can re-apply to run for consecutive years.

How was the membership fee chosen?
The current membership fee was set back in 2015, after extensive research looking at equivalent fees charged by other local cycling clubs. The current fee equates to £1.67/month when the club was just conducting Sunday rides.  As the club expands both in terms of members and activities the committee reserve the right to consult the membership and if required raise membership fees commensurate with increasing club activities in order to sustain and secure the long-term future of the club.

Who can spend the Club funds?
The Committee, via the Constitution, has the authority to spend Club funds to advance the purposes of the Club.  Any incurred cost requires a double signature sign-off by the Treasurer and the Chair.

How can we be sure that the Club funds are being spent appropriately?

The Treasurer will manage the accounts and at the AGM will present a year-end overview and forecast for the following years budget.  Each year the club accounts will be audited by a suitably qualified and experienced person who is independent of the committee. 

Will I get a guaranteed ride every week?
The Club runs an extensive series of rides, classified by a colour-based average speed, distance and ascent, see the ride classification graphic below.  This classification ensures we have a ride type suitable for every member rider, who can then match their ability and availability to ride types.  However, even with 40+ Ride Leaders WCC cannot guarantee a ride place every time. Club rides are determined by Ride Leader availability on a weekly basis. After early-week Ride Leader discussions, Ride Leaders self-nominate to plan, create, post and lead a ride. Ride’s are posted onto the WCC website from Wednesday mornings onwards so that members can sign up and secure a ride place.

How does the club manage ride risk? 

WCC has an extensive Ride Risk Assessment, which conforms to British Cycling’s direction and guidance on identifying and mitigating risk from various hazards. The document addresses Generic, Specific and Dynamic risks and steps to mitigate them.  A good example would forecast inclement weather, which is categorised as a Specific risk.  Consequently, rides will be delayed or cancelled due to very poor weather such as icy roads and or very high winds.

Can I join a Club ride immediately after joining as a member?
Once you have joined WCC, you will be able to book on to club rides which are listed on the website, this feature is available under the ‘members’ section of the menu then by clicking ‘book a ride’ or ‘club events’. For more information on how to access club rides please see the ‘How do I book onto a ride and why is a ride reservation system needed’ question below.

Will the Club Rides be limited in their size?
Yes. To ensure that the rides are safe and enjoyable for all, the rides will be limited to 10 riders at the most but Ride Leaders have the option to limit the numbers further. If additional Ride Leaders have been identified for a particular ride type, e.g. Blue Ride, more Rides will be generated.

How do I book onto a ride and why is a ride reservation system needed?
Once you are a full or temporary member, you can book yourself onto a ride via the website’s ‘Book a Ride’ section, which is under the Members Tab.  Typically, rides are opened for sign-up 4 days prior to the start date and time, meaning that a ride listed to start at 8am on a Sunday morning will become live for sign up at 8am on Wednesday morning. The ride may be listed on the website prior to this time but you will not be able to sign up to it until 4 days prior to the start day/time.  We limit the number of Riders that can join each club ride to mitigate risk and to balance the number of Ride Leaders available.  Once a ride is full you will not have the ability to book on to it – if there is additional demand, and provided additional ride leaders are sourced, the ride may be opened up to more attendees and/or another ride of the same colour added to the website.

Once I’ve signed up for a Club Ride, can I cancel it?
Yes, the website will allow you to cancel your participation on a ride. Of course, the more notice you can give, the better, as late cancellations could be stopping other riders from taking part.

Can I ‘try before I buy’?
Yes. Potential members can sign up for a free Temporary Membership which is valid for one month. A Temporary Membership will allow potential members to experience the club prior to becoming a fully paid member. For newer, less experienced riders or those not used to group riding we recommend booking on to one of our Introductory Rides – these are nominally held once a month on a Sunday afternoon over a 15-mile route. Intro rides are intended to give potential members and WCC Ride Leaders the opportunity to assess whether potential members have suitable roadcraft skills and fit the club ethos (socially and inclusive minded) and/or whether the club is right for the potential members.

More experienced riders who are familiar with their ability, average speed and distance, and also have some group riding experience can use the Temporary Membership to sign up to a regular club ride listed under the ‘book a ride’ page of the ‘members’ section. Potential members should consult the ride classification chart to determine which club ride colour is suitable for them, and then sign up to one ride within the Temporary Membership period as a taster ride with the club. We ask that all Temporary Members on their first club ride make the Ride Leader aware of this so that they can properly manage the ride. If the potential member wishes to ride with the club for the remainder of the year then they will need to join as a paid member.

Recent ride date (e.g. from Strava) or a recommendation by an existing club member will help to determine whether a potential member should attend an Introductory Ride – if unsure please contact us using [email protected]

Temporary Membership can be taken out once per year and there is no obligation to join the club as a paid member if, after experiencing the club on a ride or event, you feel it is not suitable for you.

How do I sign up?
Those looking to join as a member can do so via the Sign Up page on this very website. Payment of the annual membership fee is made via PayPal.

Is club kit available to purchase?
Absolutely! Club kit was designed in-house and is manufactured in Scotland by Endura.  To keep costs down, to meet the minimum order requirements and in doing so receive Endura’s best discount, club kit order-windows (Winter and Summer) are nominally established twice a year, via an online club order managed by the club’s kit manager.  A limited amount of club kit is kept in stock, which is only available to purchase through the Shop section on tWCC’s website, visible once you have become a paid member.  Once purchased, kit will be delivered to Mountain Trax for collection.

Which days do you run Club Rides on?
Historically Sunday was the core riding day for the club and when most of our rides run, departing from Peach Place in Wokingham between 8:00-9:00 AM. However, Ride Leaders are increasingly planning and leading rides on alternative days/times, e.g. Saturdays, mid-week and during some evenings.  All official WCC rides and ride events, e.g. the TT can be booked via the website.

What sort of distance do you cover on a typical ride?
We run seven ride types on a regular basis, colour coded in order of difficulty: Intro, Green, Blue, Red, Black & Orange, and new for 2019 Off road (MTB and Gravel). Below is our Road ride classification chart.  Each ride will be put into one of these categories so every rider can identify the type of ride (distance, ascent and pace) they are signing up to. The ride classification is indicative, clearly actual pace will vary depending on the amount of climbing involved on the route in question and the fitness of the group riders.  Regardless of ride description, WCC employs a ‘no drop’ policy for all rides, except the high intensity and interval training, chain-gang rides, which will be identified in the ride description on the website.

This is only a guide and pace will vary depending on the amount of climbing involved on the route in question.

How fast do you ride?
It depends on the ride difficulty level of the group.  We chat as we ride and get to know each other so it’s fun, sociable and fairly relaxed.  However, we do ask that people consider their fitness levels before signing up to any of our rides and ensure that they are realistic about the pace they can sustain over the published distance.

How do I know if I am fit enough to ride with you?
We have a variety of ride categories to cater for as many people as we can.  The Short Routes that we have published are typical of some of the routes used on our Blue rides, so we would ride them at an average pace of 15-16mph.  That is, the pace averaged out over the entire ride – so the pace on the flat would normally be quicker on a route that contains a few climbs.

Is it a single mixed ability group or several groups based on ability?
Several groups based on ability.  See above for group classifications.

Do you attend sportive events?
We do attend sportive events together sometimes. Events of interest are discussed on our Facebook group page but signing up to them is down to the individual. The members Facebook group is only available to individuals who have paid for full membership

Do you have any club rules?
WCC employs a road rule charter, which exemplifies a Ride Controlled, Ride Wise and Ride Smart approach to club riding, which we recommend you familiarise yourself with before joining the club https://www.wokinghamcc.org.uk/wcc-road-rules.pdf  As a club we are affiliated with British Cycling. Please note that cyclists join our rides at their own risk. We are not insured against injury to yourself or others, neither are we insured against damage to your property or the property of third parties. It is important that you cycle responsibly and take responsibility for your own actions. British Cycling offer personal insurance. Details can be found here.

British Cycling offer personal insurance. Details can be found here.