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.
At the start of the ride, the Ride Leader will give a short talk about ride safety, and provide any last minute updates about the route including route changes, terrain and food-stops.
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.