Types of Rides
Riders have different objectives for cycling and the club offers all kinds of rides to cover the spectrum. Our faster rides offer something for the more competitive, disciplined rider and may include pacelining or training rides. Our moderately paced rides offer great exercise along with a social element. The slower rides are a great place to start for the up-and-coming cyclists or for those who chose to just tour around. Then there are the rides that go off road and on the trail that offer a combination of challenge and fun.
Rides are led by experienced volunteer ride leaders. Depending upon the type of ride, it may also have a sweep. A sweep is another volunteer who rides at the back of the group to assist riders who might encounter mechanical problems, become fatigued, or begin to separate from other cyclists. The ride leader may also include regrouping stops at various times along the way depending upon the type of ride.
When you arrive at the advertised meeting place, the ride leader has all participants register by filling out a sign-in waiver form with their name (printed and signed), cell phone number, emergency contact phone number, and license plate number. The leader distributes a cue sheet, which describes the turns in the route, and may also provide a route map if one is available. Before leaving the starting place, the leader discusses safety, which includes reminding people to obey traffic laws and the use of hand signals and vocal warnings. You can read about what is expected of all our riders in regard to safety by reviewing the Road and Trail Rules
Rides usually meet in commuter parking lots off the Merritt Parkway or I-95 and at other convenient locations, such as schools. The routes are a closed loop, returning to the starting point. Longer rides include a stop where food can be purchased, while shorter rides generally include a break for snacks and may be followed by lunch.
In addition to the schedule of road rides, Sound Cyclists conducts off-road rides throughout the year. Some of these rides require the use of mountain bikes, while those with hybrid bikes can use their bicycles in areas with milder terrain.
The most popular off-road areas in Fairfield County are the Pequonnock Valley in Trumbull, highlighted by a former railroad bed now converted to a multi-use trail, Huntington State Park in Redding, which has wide trails across varying terrain, and the Mianus River Gorge in Stamford, which offers challenging single-track.
Other popular mountain biking destinations include Macedonia State Park in Kent, the reservoir trails in West Hartford, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve, outside New Paltz, New York.