Ottawa Bicycle Club members without experience riding in an organized pack must attend a group riding clinic before participating in club rides. The clinics, held on selected Saturday and Sunday mornings from April to June, are led by experienced instructors who teach participants group riding techniques that help build confidence in riding with a group and in traffic. You do not need to preregister for the group riding clinic.
What happens at a group riding clinic?
Participants and instructors meet at 9:30 a.m. in front of the Museum at the Experimental Farm on the NCC Driveway, 200 metres west of the Prince of Wales Drive traffic circle. The session, which lasts about 2 hours and takes place entirely outdoors, generally unfolds as follows:
- "Ground school": Learn and discuss the basics of pack riding, including terminology, group manoeuvres, safety, hand and voice signals, rotations, group dynamics, bicycle care and maintenance, etc.
- Off-bike simulation: Rehearse pack riding techniques on foot.
- On-road practice: Saddle up and apply your new group riding skills on the quiet roads of the Experimental Farm.
- Optional tour: Take a 20-km group ride on city streets under the guidance of the instructors. Refreshment stop included.
How do I prepare for a clinic?
- Be an OBC member. The fastest and easiest way is to complete your application on-line . For insurance reasons, non-members cannot take part in an OBC group riding clinic.
- Bring your bicycle and make sure it is in good shape - brakes and shifters working, tires inflated, spare tube or patch kit available, water bottle topped up, kickstand removed.
- Dress for the season. It can be chilly in the first few weeks of the clinic schedule, so be sure to dress appropriately.