FAQ

These are some of the common questions that we receive about our club and our rides.  If you don’t see the answer to your question here, use the Contact Us page to submit your question. We’ll respond as soon as we can and, if your question is deemed worthy, it just may appear on this page in the future.

Click on the question to show the answer.

Routes/Rides

Where do your rides start from?

Helen’s Bike Shop in Marina del Rey on Lincoln Blvd.

Do you have any rides that are scheduled during the week?

Not at present, but some of our members also ride on Saturdays and midweek. Check with club members on Sunday rides to find out about off-schedule activities.

Where can I find out what rides are scheduled?

Get on your bike and navigate to Rides…We also list next week’s ride on the home page, and publish a weekly email bulletin that polls the group for ride participation.

What distance is your typical ride?

Most rides are from 50 to 70 miles in length.

Equipment

I’m from out of town and will be visiting your area. Is there some place I can rent a bicycle?

There are local bike shops that rent bikes.  You should contact us about your location while in the area and your riding plans, so that we can recommend a shop to suit your needs.

Do I need lights on my bike?

A tail light is strongly recommended.  Some of our rides encounter fog and low visibility, even up in the hills, so it’s wise to have some safety measure to alert potential motor traffic and other bicyclists of your presence.  Some bicyclists now use tail lights even in clear daylight as a safety measure wherever there’s traffic and especially when riding through tunnels.  Since we don’t ride at night (at least intentionally), front lights are optional, though many riders are now using the newer LED flashing front lights to increase their visibility to motorists during daylight hours.

What kind of clothing do you recommend… do I need anything special?

Padded riding shorts of some kind are recommended, as our rides are long and more padding between you and your saddle can be helpful on long rides.  Dress for weather conditions.  Many of our riders prefer to wear layers on colder days and take off the warmer items as the ride progresses into the afternoon hours or when we climb.  Also helpful are items that protect from the sun on hot sunny days such as arm protection.  Loose clothing is not recommended — it can be a safety issue as it can become caught or tangled in the moving parts of your bike.

What kind of bicycle is good for riding with your club?

Our rides require a road bike with gearing to handle hill climbs, some as long as ten miles.  We don’t go off-road, so a mountain bike is not suitable.

What should I bring along on the ride?

A helmet is mandatory.  A good attitude is preferred.  Your bike should be in good operating condition.  Our members are experienced in maintenance and can provide advice if you want.  You should also bring materials to fix flats, including a spare inner tube, patch kit, tire levers, and pump or carbon dioxide cartridges.  Bring water and an energy drink or gel/bar, and lunch money.  A cell phone is also useful in case you get stranded away from the group, so that we can rescue you. It’s also good to bring your driver’s license and a medical information card or RoadID with your name, blood type, date of birth, emergency contact and insurance #.

Membership

What are the club dues?

We are currently operating without dues.  However, should you wish to make a donation, please do so Sunday morning at the ride start, and bring cash in small bills only, please.

Can I try a ride or two with the club before I join?

You’re welcome to see if our rides suit you.  Note that most of our rides also include a short version where you can choose to turn back if you find that we’re too fast, too slow, or you just don’t like us.

What is the average age of your club members?

The mean is 43.28559, with a range from 25 to 70..

Is your club suitable for beginners?

It depends. If you can comfortably maintain a ride pace of 17-20 mph on the flats for at least 25 miles, you would be able to keep up with the pace of the riders in our club.  Also, if you have not had experience riding with a group, you should read the group ride etiquette guidelines.  One of the benefits of riding with a club like MDRCC is that club members enjoy sharing their experience in helping new members develop riding skills and fitness. If you feel that you can handle our average pace and ride distance, come out and try a ride or two. If not, there are other area clubs, such as the L. A. or South Bay Wheelmen, that have rides for beginners in group riding. Any experience commuting on the city streets is always a plus.

Do I have to be a member to purchase one of your great looking club jerseys?

Yes.

How many members do you have?

About 70, with a dozen to twenty on the Sunday rides.

Are there any age limits for your club?

No, but minors should provide parental/guardian consent

Your ride start location is not convenient for me. Are there other bike clubs in the West LA area?

There are many, including the L. A. Wheelmen, which is a recreational cycling club that offers several options each week for riders of different levels.  Some of our members are also in Velo Club La Grange, the prominent racing outfit in the area and Grandmasters Cycling.  Check the web for other options.

Activities

What do you do besides ride?

Party!  But…we also go to out-of-town rides throughout California and even ride to San Diego.  Some of us have also gone on cycling vacations in Europe.  And we also have parties, including a summer and a year-end holiday get-together.

Safety

I havenʻt had experience riding with a group — will that be a disadvantage?

One of the advantages of joining a club like MDRCC is the opportunity to develop the skills associated with group riding.  Club members are happy to share advice with new riders and provide pointers for safe group riding practices. If you’re new to group riding, take a look at the Ride Etiquette page, There are also many sources of information about group riding on the Internet.  There are other area clubs, such as the L. A. Wheelmen, that schedule rides specifically designed  for beginners in group riding.

Car traffic freaks me out. Do you ride on busy streets?

It freaks us out, too, but more so the drivers than the traffic itself.  Some rides do go on streets that are sometimes busy.  The club routes have been designed over the years to be ridden as much as practical in minimal traffic.  However, it should be recognized that bicycling is inherently hazardous regardless of traffic level. It is helpful if you find opportunities on your own to take short commuting rides around town to get a feel for riding in traffic. Also, be aware of the local traffic laws that apply to cycling; many accidents occur when cyclists fail to observe laws that relate to stop signs, pedestrian right of way, and U-turns.

Should I bring anything to eat?

Bring water and/or an energy drink plus energy snacks.  Rides also include an optional lunch or coffee stop.  If you choose not to stop, you’ll still need to carry some energy source for a 50-mile ride. Power Bars, Balance Bars, Cliff Bars are some of the popular energy bars, and some  members also like the energy gels — all available at most bike shops.

Do I need lights on my bike?

A tail light is strongly recommended.  Some of our rides encounter fog and low visibility, even up in the hills, so it’s wise to have some safety measure to alert potential motor traffic and other bicyclists of your presence.  Some bicyclists now use tail lights even in clear daylight as a safety measure wherever there’s traffic and especially when riding through tunnels.  Since we don’t ride at night (at least intentionally), front lights are optional, though many riders are now using the newer LED flashing front lights to increase their visibility to motorists during daylight hours.

Group Riding

How fast does the group usually ride?

There are two answers.  Not including hills, sections on a ride vary from about 16 to 20 mph where there’s city traffic and 20 to 23 mph where it’s safe to ride in a paceline.  The second answer is that our rides, which are about 50 to 70 miles, take about 4 to 6 hours with additional time for an optional lunch stop.

I havenʻt had experience riding with a group — will that be a disadvantage?

One of the advantages of joining a club like MDRCC is the opportunity to develop the skills associated with group riding.  Club members are happy to share advice with new riders and provide pointers for safe group riding practices. If you’re new to group riding, take a look at the Ride Etiquette page, There are also many sources of information about group riding on the Internet.  There are other area clubs, such as the L. A. Wheelmen, that schedule rides specifically designed  for beginners in group riding.

How many riders typically participate in the weekly rides?

Currently, from 12 to 20. Unless it’s raining, then 0.

Miscellaneous

I have a specific question that is not covered here. Whom can I contact with my question?

Try the Contact page.

What it the significance of your club name?

Our original name, “Mad Dog Roger’s Cycle Club”, didn’t seem to be effective in attracting new members, so since our ride starts are in Marina del Rey, well… it didn’t take a lot of thought. But if you want the real skinny, back in the day, we were sponsored by the Marina del Rey Bike shop (now Helen’s) and its owner, George Garvey. So when the bike shop was sold to Helen’s, we retained the name and the start location.  Interestingly, none of our club members currently reside in Marina del Rey… except for Brian. MDRCC was founded, by the way, in the early 1980s.