Love to Ride? About the rides

We have a few basic rules for joining our rides. Please read the following FAQs

If you're new to riding, or have never ridden in The Surrey Hills before, you might have a few questions before you join one of our rides. Here we try to answer some of the common questions people have about Love to Ride.

Why Love to Ride?

Love to Ride is the 'Shop Ride' of Singletrack School; a trading name of Astounding Adventures Limited. Love to Ride is a members only club for people who have previously attended a Singletrack School mountain bike skills course.

You can find details of our rides on our Facebook group page, hear about our news and communicate about the rides and riding in general with other members.

Where and when do you ride?

In the beautiful Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and The North Downs including Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, Pitch Hill, Winterfold Woods, Norbury Park, Headley Heath, Blackheath, Box Hill, Ranmore Common, Mickleham Downs and Newlands Corner.

Our ride calendar is published on our Facebook group page, but as a general rule our rides follow the following programme:

Fast, technical singletrack trail rides

Slower, less technical cross country rides

Members also occasionally organise Awaydays (or sometimes a whole weekends). These consist of either challenging backcountry rides or visits to trail centres in Wales, Central and Northern England and Scotland. These are advertised on our Facebook group page.

Can I come too?

We always welcome new people on our rides; it's a great way to meet like-minded mountain bikers and talk about all things bike related. However, you must have first attended a Singletrack School Mountain Bike Skills Course or are an existing member of Singletrack School's Switchback Club.

All we ask is that you contact us to tell us you are coming in advance of your first Love to Ride ride. This is so we can check that you are eligible and have the right equipment, technical skills and physical fitness to enjoy the rides in comfort and safety. We also ask that your first ride is a Thursday Night Ride.

IMPORTANT - After your first contact with us please use our Facebook group page for further communications.

Once a month in the summer we organise a 'Newbies Night' for people who have not attended a ride before. These are advertised on our Facebook group page.

Do I need to tell you I'm coming?

Please RSVP via our Facebook Club page. We ask the you either state you are attending or not attending. Please don't choose "Maybe".

If you do not RSVP we will be unable to forward updates to rides via Facebook in the event of a last minute changes or cancellation.

How hard are the rides?

Some rides can be harder than others in terms of technicality and fitness required. We only usually ride for a couple of hours on an evening ride so, if you can ride that long, you should be OK.

Tuesday night rides are intended to be more technical and physically harder rides, while Thursday night rides are usually less technical and easier physically.

To help you decide which rides are technically right for you, each ride is graded according to International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) trail grading standards.

Our rides each have a Leader that knows the trail ahead and can warn you if any section of trail is particularly difficult. You should never ride ahead of the group leader. Only they know the route ahead and can warn you of approaching danger if necessary.

Please remember that mountain biking can be a dangerous sport and you are participating at your own risk.

What if my bike breaks?

You are responsible for ensuring you attend our rides with a well maintained mountain bike together with the tools and spares required to fix common issues with your particular bike. You are expected to fix your own bike yourself; for example replacing an inner tube or fixing a broken chain.

What if I get left behind?

We'll never leave anyone behind and will stop regularly to regroup. However it is your responsibility to inform the ride leader if you are struggling with the pace, have a mechanical problem or decide to leave the group before the ride is scheduled to end.

You should also never ride ahead of the group leader. Only they know the route ahead so no riding away no matter how keen you are!

What equipment do I need?

Most importantly you need a well maintained mountain bike that is ready to ride and suitable for sustained off-road use. Hybrid or commuter bikes are not suitable. Your bike must have bar end protectors fitted (plugs or locking caps).

Mountain bikes are available to hire from Surrey Hills Bike Hire (see below). Please contact us if you are unsure if your bike is up to the job.

Your bike should be serviced at least once a year. If you need your bike serviced, please contact our friends at Cycleworks.

You will also need the following mandatory gear:

Equipment notes

1 Your helmet should be undamaged and less than 5 years old
2 You should carry water enough for at least 0.5 litres per hour (more in high summer)
3 Including a tubeless repair kit if you are riding with tubeless tyres or a regular puncture kit for ordinary tyres
4 Including a spare inner tube, tyre boot, speed links, brake pads, cable ties, gaffer tape and a replacement mech hanger

IMPORTANT - If you arrive at a ride without some sort of hydration bladder/bottle and a backpack that looks like it has the requisite equipment in it, you will not be allowed to join the ride. If you have a major mechanical issue at the car park, broken spokes for example, you will not be allowed to join the ride.

Do I need lights?

We ride all year round at 7:00pm (meeting at 6:45pm). This means that for three quarters of the year it is necessary to have a good quality, reliable set of off-road lights. The battery will need to last for at least a couple of hours and the light output needs to be a minimum of of 20 Watts/200 lumens. Commuter lights are not suitable.

IMPORTANT - If you arrive without lights (when necessary) you will not be allowed to join the ride.

Can I hire a bike?

Surrey Hills Bike Hire also have a fleet of Specialized mountain bikes available for hire.

They can also supply mountain biking equipment such as helmets, gloves and Camelbaks for a small fee.

Call them on 0333 12 12 125 to book. Please book the day before your the ride at the very latest.

Any more questions?

Send us a message if you have any other questions regarding our rides.

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