SBC sponsors rides virtually every day of the year, with a variety of destinations, distances and pace to accommodate cyclists of all abilities and skill levels. The EZ Rider program, for example, is for riders new to the sport or riders who simply prefer to ride at a more relaxed pace. Also, contrary to what many people might believe, you don't need an expensive bicycle or have to wear spandex to be a member. SBC members ride just about anything with two wheels and pedals, including those funny looking contraptions called recumbents.
The SBC rides offer a variety of benefits. The rides provide an opportunity to meet and socialize with others in the community who also enjoy cycling. They encourage cyclists to learn about different riding styles, and improve their riding skills and confidence. Novice riders will be introduced to safety techniques, effective riding habits and tips on basic bike maintenance. Another advantage of riding with the SBC is to learn preferred bicycle routes, both in town and out in the country.
The SBC ride program contains rides to suit just about every cycling interest, whether for recreation, fitness, sport or touring. The rides include:
In addition, the SBC annually sponsors the Capital City Century (commonly known as the “CCC”), a special event that draws as many as 600 riders from Illinois and surrounding states. The Capital City Century is held on the first Sunday after Labor Day and includes rides of 25, 40, 62, 80 and 100 miles.
If you are a novice or new to group riding, we encourage you to start with a weekend, EZ, or neighborhood ride that has a designated ride leader. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before the starting time so that you have an opportunity to meet the ride leader and other members of the group.
The SBC expects its members to ride safely, defensively and in accordance with all traffic laws. The club strongly encourages all riders to wear a bicycling-specific helmet in order to protect their head in the event of a fall or accident. It is well documented that those who fail to wear a helmet face the greatest risk of severe injury and/or death in a bicycling accident. Other desirable safety gear includes gloves to protect the skin on your hands and eye protection to help keep dust and bugs out of your eyes.
If you’re going to come out for one of the longer rides, you should bring a water bottle, with water or sports fluids, and exercise snacks. A pump, tire levers and a spare inner tube and/or patch kit is also recommended. For the neighborhood or EZ rides, consider wearing a bright shirt in addition to a helmet. We also suggest a rear-view mirror for your bike or helmet.
Finally, make sure your bike is roadworthy. Try the brakes to check if they are working well. Inspect the tires to make sure they are in good condition and inflated. Check seat, pedals and handlebars to be sure they are firmly attached. Lube the chain if it squeaks. It will eventually break without regular maintenance.
Now that you’ve learned about our ride program, the SBC hopes you will consider joining us on our rides. We really enjoy group bicycling and would like to share this rewarding pastime with you. Come ride and experience the camaraderie, knowledge and enthusiasm of hundreds of people who love cycling as much as you do.
Please contact a club officer or ride leader if you have any questions. We look forward to riding with you.