Social Series

If you’ve still got questions after reading everything here, and are uncertain about joining us, we’ll more than happily try and answer them. Please feel free to email us

Rides meet under The Buttercross

Who are we?

We are the social series of Otley Cycle Club. We ride every fortnight. No-one is judged for their gear, their bike, fitness levels or cycling experience. We wait for people at the top of hills and our motto is, ‘No-one gets left behind’.

Our Aims:

  • Offer regular social cycling rides where people matter more than anyone’s bike, skill or fitness level
  • Organise occasional events such as bike maintenance tuition and social evenings for members, partners and friends
  • Most of all enjoy ourselves as we get people cycling

Are we the right section for you?

If you’re new to cycling or riding with a group don’t panic, we were all like you once. New riders join us all the time and everyone is always welcome. We meet regularly to cycle, chat, keep fit and enjoy the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

Our rides are suitable for beginners, or those who are happy to ride at a leisurely pace. We plan routes and distances to account for all abilities and experience.

What kind of bike and accessories will you need?

You don’t need any particular type of bicycle: mountain bike, folder, hybrid, road bike. Any bike will do as long as it’s roadworthy, but please bring a spare inner-tube and basic tools (puncture repair kit, tyre levers to remove tyres, tyre pump etc). Don’t worry if you’ve no idea what to do with these tools, we’ll help! There are plenty of group members who will be only too happy to do “get you home” repairs.

All these tools are available with significant discounts from Chevin Cycles to club members.

You don’t need special cycling clothes, but do make sure you are reasonably waterproof (and warm in winter) and we recommend a cycle helmet and a (full!) water bottle.

When do we ride and where do we meet?

For official rides we meet at 9.00am on alternate Sundays. Depart by 9.15am prompt, usually from the Buttercross (covered market stall next to the clock tower.), but rides are currently meeting in North Parade Car Park (Just behind Bridge Street / The Horse & Farrier Pub). We return to Otley by early afternoon (approx. 1pm) and head to the Fleece Public house to share the day’s tales.

We also offer a gentle ride on alternate Saturdays – A sociable gentle ride (approx 20 miles) with a coffee stop aimed at new riders or those coming back to fitness or from injury. Booking essential via the club email address.

Impromptu midweek daytime/evening rides as well Saturday rides are often organised by our regular cyclists usually by the Club’s Facebook Group (Club members only) and also meet up on a Wednesday evening, these rides are not official club runs.

Check out the routes we go on here.

social series categories

Do we ride in all weathers?

We sometimes need to cancel our rides at short notice due to bad weather. We do cycle in light wind and rain, but anything dangerous we usually cancel. We’ll always confirm a cancellation using social media.

What about comfort breaks and refreshments?

On Sundays we include a tea and cake stop so bring some money. One of our unofficial mottos is #ItsAllAboutTheCake!

However there may be few or no private facilities en-route so please ensure you are relieved and comfortable before we depart.

You will probably want to drink water during the ride so always bring a water bottle. It is helpful to learn how to drink whilst riding – we recommend that you keep the pull up lid on the bottle up so that you can grab and sip from the bottle. A snack bar or banana can be very useful if you run out of energy during the ride (sometimes the hills or the head wind can really sap your energy). Don’t worry if you find it difficult to snack and drink whilst riding – we’ll pause at the top of the hills long enough for refuelling and hydration!

Fancy volunteering?

Every single person makes our rides such enjoyable events. No more so is this true than our wonderful volunteers, without who we couldn’t do any social rides. We are grateful to you all!

If you are interested in volunteering and what it entails, check out our Social Volunteers page.

What next?

You don’t need to be a member to join a ride. You’re more than welcome to come out with us a couple of times for free to see what you think before we ask you to join.

Enjoy riding with us? Become a member and enjoy lots of benefits.

Safety Notices

Young People: We take our responsibilities to safeguard young people and vulnerable adults very seriously. All unaccompanied under 18s and vulnerable adults must have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian, if a form has not been completed they will not be allowed to participate in any club activities. If they are a club member this is completed at the point of membership. For all guest riders please download the consent form from this website and complete it, bring it with you to any club event and show the form to the ride leader or event organiser.

Emergency Contacts: We recommend that ALL MEMBERS carry emergency contact details (ICE) with them at all times when involved in any club activity/ride. This is a requirement for all under 18s and vulnerable adults. Please complete the emergency contact details and medical information section on your membership card and carry this with you on all club activities. We also recommend either of the following: ID bracelets, carrying your BC membership card and storing ICE details in an unlocked mobile phone. For more information about emergency contact information procedures please see the consent and emergency details policy.

Cycle Security: The places we ride are magnificent and beautiful, and can lull one into feeling safe and welcome, far from the madding crowd. Unfortunately thieves get everywhere and bikes have been stolen whilst hardy riders take refreshments and share stories of steep hills or fast descents, or who sells the best cake, so please bring a lock to keep your trusty steed – and your transport home – out of the hands of these parasites.

Riding In A Group: It is worth reading the club’s Riding In A Group guide for what makes an effective and safe group ride.

Junctions: When you reach a road junction you will need to make a personal judgement about whether you feel it is safe to cross the road. If you do not feel ready to cross the road then wait until it feels safe, even if the rest of the group has crossed, they will wait for you at a safe point just past the junction.