Skip to main content

Group Rides

Twice a month on Saturdays

Rats Cycles and the National Museum of the US Army 

are hosting the greatest way to spend Saturday morning!

Group Leaders Needed    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Riders Register Here    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Group Rides

Twice a month on Saturdays

Next Ride: August 6th

Road Route

New start time during the heat of August

at 0730

(7:30AM for us civilians)

The National Museum of the US Army 

and 

Rats Cycles 

invites you to join a Saturday morning group ride.


Next Ride: Saturday, August 20th at 0730 

Road and Gravel Route

Special Weather Note: We will watch the forecast and if any changes or cancellations are needed, we will update here and by email the night before.

National Museum USA Army

This is a no cost, no drop ride.  Just show up and have fun! 

We'd appreciate you registering so we have enough donuts for everyone, but it is not required to ride with us.

To keep things interesting we change up the route type. The first Saturday's ride is a road route, and the second Saturday's ride is a gravel route. The routes and duration are discussed below in the Route section.

We want all riders of all abilities and all bike types to feel welcome riding with us. To achieve this we offer different groups for you to choose from:

For the ROAD ROUTE:

Business: You want to ride at a sustained 17mph+ or faster and will probably be tracking your stats. (Suggested bike type: Road Bikes)

Business Casual: You want to ride at a brisk pace (avg 15mph), but aren't looking to set any land speed or time records. (Road and flat-bar Road bikes)

Casual: You know it's going to be a beautiful Saturday morning and some good fresh air and a little exercise is a great way to wake up. (Anything that would be sold in a bike shop.  eBikes are welcome!)

Party Time: You love to take in nature and sunshine on a bike without spilling your coffee. (Also anything that would be sold in a bike shop. eBikes are welcome!)


For the GRAVEL ROUTE:

Dirt Eaters: You love a ride with a mixture of track types, terrain, water, and speeds.  Riding 24 miles in these variable conditions is a great way to explore the area.

Leaf Eaters: You love nature and some challenge, but seriously, do we have to go 24 miles?  This group will do a portion of the longer route the Dirt Eaters will ride.

Recommended Bike Types: Gravel, Hardtail MTB, or Dual Sport Hybrid - basically something with some knob on the tires that won't break when roots and smaller rocks get in the way. 

Caution: Full Suspension MTBs are not the best on this ride.  The pace tends to be too quick and the route too long. You have to judge your own abilities, though. No one will be turned away.


GROUP Leaders

Group Leaders

Group Leaders: We have 1 leader for each group. We will split up into 4 groups prior to the ride and the leaders will introduce themselves.

Going forward, both Rats Cycles and the Museum want to continue providing this group ride on the 1st Saturday of the month. To keep this going we need volunteers to be group leaders. If you are interested in serving as a group ride leader, please click the link to volunteer for a slot: 

LEADER SIGN UP SHEET

Casual and Party Time Group Leaders especially needed!

Rats Cycles discounts for leaders who lead more than 3 rides a year!

As a leader your role is to guide the group along the route and make sure you return with as many riders as you left with. We recommend riding the route once before volunteering.

If you are interested in serving this role in the future, please speak to Christian from Rats Cycles or Shelby from the Museum prior to the ride. We'll come up with a volunteer sign up form for future rides.

Routes

ROAD RIDE

The Business group rides on open road for the full 23 mile loop. 

The Business Casual group rides a mixture of open road and bike paths for the 23 mile loop.

Casual riders will do a mixture of bike path and 5 miles of open road to complete the 17 mile loop. 

The Party Time group does an 8 mile loop only on bike paths, but it does cross major roads at intersections. It is a hilly route, but we take it nice and easy.

GRAVEL RIDE

The Dirt Eaters and Leaf Eaters ride the same route, but the Leaf Eaters hit an earlier turnaround point. The Dirt Eaters will ride 24 miles and the Leaf Eaters will ride 16 miles.

Since the route out and back is the same on both rides, any riders that get separated or lost can wait along the route for other riders to pick them up. No one gets left behind.

For safety reasons, we strongly encourage riders with young children to only ride with the Party Time group.

GPS Links

23 Mile Road Route:  LONG ROAD

17 Mile Road Route: SHORT ROAD

24 Mile Gravel Route: GRAVEL LONG

16 Mile Gravel Route: GRAVEL SHORT

*Party Time and shorter Gravel Route use earlier turnaround points.

Road Route


Party Time Route



Gravel Route

Parking

Parking

Please meet at the Museum and park to the far left end of the parking lot in the BUS parking area. You'll see some tents and bikes, which should clue you in. 

To keep it simple: you don't see bikes, you're in the wrong area of the parking lot.


Launching Order

We have been altering when the groups leave depending on the number of riders in each group. Usually, we will release groups in reverse order of pace, with the Party Time leaving first. Sometimes we Business will go first, so it is best to be in the lot ready to go at 0730 sharp.

Our goal is to have all groups return at approximately the same time in order to encourage mingling and bonding. Therefore, the groups will release as follows:

0725: Overview of the rides and introductions of the group leaders

0730: Business and Dirt Eaters and Leaf Eaters depart

0735: Business Casual goes forth

0740: Casual and Party Time skedaddle

Do's and Dont's

Etiquette

Etiquette: Whether this is your first group ride or your 1,000th, it's always good to keep etiquette in mind. This link will take you to an etiquette guide. Don't be discouraged if you do not understand everything in the article. I'll summarize here:


  • Ride with a buddy and stick together
  • If you're training for the Tour and are out to prove it, consider a different group ride
  • If you have to blow your nose, don't do it on your buddy. That's just gross.
Covid protocall

COVID Protocols

COVID Protocols: Safety is our top concern. The links below will take you to the US Cycling recommendations for participating in group rides in the era of COVID.


Cycling Rider COVID Checklist


Group Ride COVID Recommendations

Beverages

Beverages

Beverages: The USO has generously donated a truck bed's worth of drinks. Water, Propel, Gatorade, etc. will be on hand in coolers provided by the Museum.


If you require electrolytes and fuel as you ride, that's all on you.


Donuts are sure to make an appearance, as they are always a staple at any Rats Cycles event!

group ride

Inviting Others to Join You and Us

Invitations: Please, please, please direct your friends, friends of friends, and people you know looking for something to do Saturday morning to this webpage.


Post on your social media too.  It would be greatly appreciated!

Tour the Museum after the Ride

The Museum invites all riders to visit the Museum after the ride. It is VERY impressive! The Museum will have walk-up tickets available, or you can reserve free tickets at the Museum's website HERE.