SATURDAY, APR 15th at 9am
Museum of the United States Army Parking Lot
FOLLOWING THE RIDE, STOP BY OUR SPRINGFIELD LOCATION FOR
eBIKES + Road Bikes + Gravel Bikes
Verve+, DS+, FX+, Domane ALs and SL, Checkpoint ALs and SLs
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 that will match your abilities and riding style.
Party Time Route
Business: You want to ride at a sustained 17mph+ or faster and will probably be tracking your stats. This group moves and you will want a basic understanding of pace lines. (Suggested bike type: Road Bikes). The Business group rides on open road for the full 23 - 28 mile loop.
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). The Business Casual group rides a mixture of open road and bike paths for the 23 mile loop.
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 is welcome including eBikes.) Casual riders will do a mixture of bike path and 5 miles of open road to complete the 17 mile loop.
Party Time: You love to take in nature and sunshine on a bike without spilling your coffee. (Anything that would be sold in a bike shop, including eBikes are welcome!) 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.
For safety reasons, we strongly encourage riders with young children to only ride with the Party Time group.
GRAVEL RIDE (Gravel Weekends only)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Generally speaking, when we have the rider leaders and rider attendance, Business will leave first since they have the most distance to cover, then Business Casual, then Casual and Party Time.
Often times, the Casual and Party Time will combine into 1 group and pace adjusted accordingly.
Our goal is to have all groups return at approximately the same time in order to encourage mingling and bonding. Therefore, the groups will launch as follows:
0900: Overview of the rides and introductions of the group leaders
0905: Business departs
0910: Business Casual goes forth
0915: Casual and Party Time skedaddle
**Actual times and number of groups will vary depending on rider leader availability and rider attendance**
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.
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!
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.
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.