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|Choose a Ride|
All of Potomac Pedalers rides are listed in our Ride Schedule. This is where you'll search for a ride that matches your ability and/or geographic location.
At the top of the ride schedule page you can search for rides in the following categories -
Below is a brief description of each of our ride classifications. These aren't hard and fast rules. They're simply a guideline to assist you in making the right choice. If you're unsure or you're new to the club, we always recommend trying a ride below your cycling ability, and then moving up once you become more comfortable with the process.
If you're an inexperienced cyclist, than you'll want to choose a "D" level ride at first. They're very social rides and usually include a trip to a local restaurant or coffee shop afterwards. D rides are generally 10-20 miles in length on bike paths and quieter streets, at a slow pace of 8-10 mph. Many of our members enjoy D rides so much, that they never aspire to move up in ride class. That's great because we want to be sure that we offer the appropriate ride for every ability level.
If you've been riding for a while and you're comfortable riding on the road, then you can try one of our "C" level rides. Whereas our D rides are typically held on bike paths and quieter streets, our C rides are on surface streets with traffic. C rides are a perfect way to become acclimated with street riding in a group setting. They're generally 20-30 miles in length at a pace of 10-12 mph.
CC rides (along with B rides) tend to be the most popular rides in our club. They're usually around 30-50 miles in length at a pace of 12-14 mph. These rides can include more challenging terrain (hills). CC rides are where you'll really start to see improvement in your cycling and cardiovascular fitness.
This is the level where the pace really begins to pick up. B rides may cover the the same approximate distance as CC rides, however the pace will be more aggressive. Our typical B ride is 40-60 miles and the pace will rise to 14-16 mph. You'll encounter some very fit cyclists here.
The BB level and above is where you'll find the strongest cyclists in our club. BB rides average 40-60 miles at a pace of 16-18 mph. This is a hard pace to keep up with unless you've been cycling for quite a while.
Our "A" level (and AA level) rides are for the top cyclists in our club. "A" level rides are typically 60-80 miles in length, averaging 18-20 mph. This is quite a fast pace and very hard to keep up with. "A" riders will typically "paceline" (ride in straight lines and draft).
Our "AA" level rides are typically 60-100 miles at 20-22 mph. We'll usually combine our A and AA rides because these elite groups will ride and train together.
The terrain that you encounter on your ride will also determine your average speed. You'll go much faster on flats and a lot slower on hills. Each of our ride classifications takes this into consideration and has separate ratings for Hilly, Moderate or Flat terrain.
For example, a CC ride on Flat terrain would average 14-16 mph. On Moderate terrain (an average number of hills) the ride slows to 12-14 mph, and on Hilly terrain the pace would slow to 10-12 mph.
So it's important that you take into consideration the terrain you'll be riding as well as the distance and speed. Nothing slows down a cyclist more than a steep hill.
To learn more about what to expect on a ride, see our Frequently Asked Questions page. Here you'll find details on just about everything pertaining to Potomac Pedalers rides.
We'll see you on the road!