Clicking a listed ride will give the currently available information on the ride including the leader, expected distance, pace and profile and members who have expressed an interest in joining. There may be additional information such as destination, café stops and a route – but this depends on whether the leader has decided all of this at the time you look.
If you are interested in joining a ride you can let the leader and others know by clicking “I’m in” or “Join Event” in the app. You do need to have a Strava account and be a member of the RCC Strava club to indicate your interest, but you do not have to do this to join a ride See the FAQ for more details).
Once a week, normally on Tuesday the Club Runs Secretary emails the club asking for leaders to volunteer and submit planned rides. Ideally, they will do this by the Thursday when the Club Runs Secretary posts the planned rides on the RCC Strava Club page. New rides, and changes to planned rides may be posted at any time up until the ride is due to take place. Depending on their Strava settings, registered Strava members may get email notifications each time a new ride is posted or a ride they have signed up to is changed (see FAQs for information on how to manage this).
Tips to making the most of the system:
- Check the page regularly to keep up to date on upcoming rides. If you intend to join a ride it is worth rechecking the page the evening before the ride to make sure it is still on and check for any updates to start time or place, route etc.
- While there is no requirement to indicate an interest in a ride you intend to join it is recommended that you do so. If a ride leader has had no expressions of interest, they may decide to cancel the ride, or if the leader would like to limit numbers you may find it is full when you turn up
- Check the FAQs below for advice on how to manage email notifications from Strava and other aspects of the system
- Do not book on a ride if the ride has reached its capacity, equally if you have signed up to a ride and no longer wish to participate, please remove yourself so another member can take that space
- Provide the Club Runs Secretary with as many details of your planned route as early as you can. It does not matter if you have not decided the exact destination or route when it is first posted, but it helps if you can update the Secretary when you know so the post can be updated
- Set a participants limit for your ride, we strongly recommend a maximum of 12 members per club ride, for larger groups such as 8+ you may choose to nominate a back marker to support you in leading the ride
- While the Club Runs secretary has the admin rights necessary to post new rides, add or change ride descriptions or upload route maps, you can post comments on your ride – for example you may want to ask participants which café they would prefer to stop at. For our regular leaders please contact the Club Runs Secretary direct for admin rights so you can post your own rides
- If you need to cancel or change a ride, please do let the Club Runs Secretary know ASAP so that the post can be changed
- Check the listing for your advertised ride from time to time in the run up to the ride to see who is signing up and to see if anyone has used the discussion feature to post a comment or ask a question.
- Why do we need a ride booking system? We moved to a system of booking rides when lockdown rules limited the number of people that could ride together. Several ride leaders and members have been keen to keep the system. Having the rides listed in advance helps members who are unsure which ride to join to get a better view of their options and choose a ride that will best suit their fitness and mood for the day. Also, some leaders, particularly those who are newer or less experienced feel more confident leading a ride when they know how many people are likely to be on the ride and it make sit easier for leaders to limit the number of participants on a ride if they wish to do so.
- What is wrong with email for advertising and booking club rides? Ride leaders commit to rides at different times of the week and sometimes details of rides need to be updated. This has meant that the Club Runs Secretary has often had to send multiple update emails each week to advertise rides. Feedback from Club members indicates that this makes it difficult to easily see what rides are available and to be sure of the status of planned rides due to the need to check several emails. Some members, notably those with Hotmail accounts, have also had problems with spam filters blocking emails and have missed out on rides as a result. Finally, managing everything by email makes it unnecessarily difficult and time consuming for the Club Runs Secretary, who is a volunteer, to manage the booking of rides.
- Why was Strava chosen? Several alternatives were evaluated by the Club Committee and no one solution was perfect or would have been immediately accessible to all members. Strava was chosen because it has the functionality needed to advertise rides and for members to indicate their interest using a smartphone, tablet or a desktop computer. It also allows routes to be easily posted and downloaded. This can all be done without any additional setup or ongoing administration overhead for the Club. Perhaps most importantly, over 80% of Club members are members of the RCC Strava Club, so most of our members have been able to access the system without having to sign up for something new.
- How do I join the RCC Strava Club? You need a Strava account to join the Strava RCC Club. If you are using the Strava Website, you can search for the Club by clicking on the “Clubs” option under the “Explore” tab and clicking the “Join” button. Please note that membership of the RCC Strava Club is only open to paid up members of Reading Cycling Club. Your application will be checked by an administrator before your membership is approved so there will be a short delay. Membership of the RCC Strava Club will lapse if you do not renew your Reading Cycling Club membership.
- Do I have to book via Strava if I want to join a Club Ride? Many ride leaders will still be happy for members who turn up on the day to join a ride without having pre-booked. However, if you do just turn up to ride there is a risk that a ride may be full, or if non-one has expressed an interest the leader may decide to cancel, and you will not know. Also please bear in mind that pre-booking is helpful for some leaders who feel more comfortable knowing advance who is planning to join their ride and gives them the option to cancel if they get no takers. Please note if the ride is showing “ride full” there will be no option to join on the day
- Is Strava my only option for booking a ride? Strava is the best option to keep things simple for everyone, however if you know the leader and choose to contact them directly that is fine so long as they are happy.
- What if I just want to turn up and ride? While some leaders will generally be happy to take participants who want to “turn up and ride” with rides being full and different start locations if you just decide to turn up there is no guarantee you will get the exact ride you want
- What if I just want to ride with my mates and not lead a ride? While we recognise that some members will want to ride informally with their mates, all club rides should be communicated to the Club Runs secretary and advertised to the whole club via the Strava group to make them accessible to all, ideally this should be a minimum of 48 hours prior to the ride to allow those wishing to attend ample time to book
- Do I have to have a Strava account to view or book rides? All rides can be viewed at https://www.strava.com/clubs/readingcyclingclub regardless of whether you have a Strava account. You do need to register for a Strava account to indicate an interest in a ride or post a comment.
- Do I need a paid Strava account to view or book rides? No, a free Strava account is fine.
- I am not keen to have a Strava account what should I do? If you are not keen on registering for a Strava account, there some things you can do to maximise your privacy and minimise your involvement with Strava. These include:
- Setting your privacy settings so that others cannot see you (check and add link)
- Not linking your GPS device account to Strava or uploading any of your rides or activities to Strava
- Not accepting any follow invites you may receive
- I do not want to receive an email notification every time a new ride is posted on Strava how do I turn them off? Go to “My Profile” if you are using Strava via the Web or “Settings” if you are using the App, select “email notifications” and uncheck the box “When an event is added to one of my clubs” under the “Clubs” section.
- Can I ask for email notifications for changes to my rides? Go to “My Profile” if you are using Strava via the Web or “Settings” in the App, select “email notifications” and you will see a long list of checkbox options that allow you to control exactly when you do and do not get email notifications.