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Northern Virginia Casual Bicycling Group (NOVA-CBG) Pages

Greetings everyone !!!

Welcome to the Northern Virginia Casual Biking Group (NOVA-CBG). For your cycling pleasure, please join us for various casual bicycle rides around the area.

Now, how do we define "casual"?
  • Well, we really don't pressure anyone to be a professional cyclist.
  • We don't ask you to own any special gear (except for a helmet).
  • We don't ask you to wear special outfits (unless you want to of course).
  • All we ask is that you come as you are comfortably with a bike that is in well-tuned shape and a helmet.
We ride with a "no man left behind" philosophy so that everyone can enjoy themselves without fear of getting lost or left behind. So the ride may have a few extra "re-grouping" stops if that is required due to various riding skills. Because of this philosophy we really try to ask that the cyclist's riding skill matches the ride they are on.

We try to accommodate all levels of cyclists with different types of rides. We just ask that you come to the ride that suits your current riding ability the best.
  • If you haven't ridden a bike in a number of years (or are uncertain of your abilities on a bicycle) you should come to the "Introductory Level" rides to get yourself reintroduced to your bike seat (10 mph).
  • If you can easily ride your bike for 10 miles (distance) with some minor hills at a comfortable pace (10+ to 12+ mph) then a "Beginner Level" ride would probably suit you the best.
  • If you can do 20 miles pretty easily at a moderate pace (13 to 15+ mph) then the "Medium Level" rides would be for you.
  • If you are an avid cyclist, you will probably be bored by our slower pace (unless you're coming for a recovery ride) but we welcome anyone to ride with us since there is also a social and fun aspect to all or our rides!

    *** Just like every other group we DO have some riding requirements: ***

    1) Helmets are mandatory for every ride we do, no exceptions... period.

    2) All riders ride at their own risk and with the understanding that cycling is an inherently dangerous activity. Participating in a NoVA-CBG ride is voluntary and riders must be ready and able to participate in the ride as described in the meetup and under the conditions of the day. Riders have read and acknowledged by an RSVP 'YES''s "Terms of Service : Section 6.2 " found HERE ( and NOVA-CBG's "Assumption of Risk Agreement" found HERE (

    3) Just in case there is an emergency situation you should always have on you Identification, Insurance, and any other important medical information.

    4) All riders must be at least 18 years of age.

    5) No music is allowed on any of the rides. Headphones or otherwise.

    6) We have a pretty serious "No Show" policy.

    • If you RSVP as "YES" and don't show to a meetup THREE TIMES you will be removed from the group.
      (NOTE: This is the same as being so late to a ride that you missed us).

    • If you RSVP as "YES" and cancel that RSVP within an hour of the start of the meetup TWO TIMES you will only be allowed to participate in a future ride if you communicate with me directly.

    • If you can explain why the above happened (emergencies etc.) then it is at my discretion if I count it or not.

    • If we cancel a meetup because of inclement weather none of the above applies.

    Ride Level Descriptions

    The hardest part of trying to describe aspects of a ride is the anticipated pace of the ride. We use Miles Per Hour (MPH) as you would find on a bike computer (also known as a bike odometer or bike speedometer). This is a piece of equipment that I strongly recommend for any bicyclist as it will really help you understand your own current pace as well as the pace we are trying to descibe for each ride. Additionally you'll be surprised at how much you speed up or slow down over the course of an entire ride. :)

    Please realize that Virginia is by nature a little bit "hilly" so most of our rides will always involve at least a hill or two (sometimes natural, or sometimes man made as in a bridge). If you just aren't sure how you will do on a mild hill I suggest giving it a try on your own, or begin with our introductory rides to access your current bicycling skill level.

    Introductory Level Rides

    • Have you ever thought about cycling, but were a bit concerned about your riding abilities?
    • Have you heard your doctor or others say that cycling is one of the best aerobic activities, but were a bit anxious about getting on a bike?
    • This ride is for those that haven't been on a bike for a long while and want to get a feel for the bike at a nice leisurely pace (around 10 mph) and shorter distance (approx 10 miles).
    • This will be an "instructional" ride where the leader will teach you various topics such as :

      • Trail etiquette (signals, passing on the trail, the correct gear ratios for hills, etc..).
      • Road etiquette (same concept as above but for road riding).
      • Becoming re-acquainted with simply the mechanics of riding a bike in a controlled environment.
      • Plus other topics.

    • There are frequent rest stops for instructional conversations.
    • Since the ride is of a shorter distance (approx 10 miles) it's a great way to become re-familiar with your bike and familiar with the group.
    • Depending on the topic of the ride there may be some street riding involved .
    • These introductory rides will be presented in a "series" of rides (Part 1, Part 2, etc..) where each ride will be of a particular training subject matter. You don't have to do them all, you can come to any of them but if you do the whole series of rides you will be ready for any biking situation.

    Beginner Level Rides
    • This ride is for those that have been riding a bike recently, is comfortable with a few minor hills, but wants to ride with a group at a nice leisurely pace (10+ to 12+mph).
    • Think "Tourist" not "Tour de France"
    • There are frequent rest stops for sightseeing, water, and photo opportunities.
    • This ride usually has a casual destination point such as a restaurant or attraction like a monument or some other local attraction.
    • Rides are short in distance (approx 15 miles) and are a great way to socialize with the group due to the slower pace.
    • There may be some street riding involved depending on the nature of the ride but you will be refreshed on the bike riding road rules if necessary.

    Medium Level Rides
    • This ride is for those that have been riding for a little bit (not a beginner).
    • This ride is at a faster pace (13-15+mph), still not Tour de France pace, but think more of a "Wicked Witch of the West" pace.
    • There are still rest stops for sightseeing, water, and photo opportunities but they are fewer and farther between so we can get more riding done.
    • This ride also usually has a destination point such as a restaurant or attraction so we can socialize but we don't stay for as long as we would on a beginner level ride.
    • These rides vary in distance (approx 30 miles) and are a great way to get some exercise and build your biking skills.
    • There may be some street riding involved depending on the nature of the ride but you will be refreshed on the bike riding road rules if necessary.

    Advanced Level Rides
    • This ride is for those that have been riding with the group for a while.
    • This ride could be at a faster pace (15+mph) and more than likely will be an "every man for themselves" style ride between rest stops.
    • There will be pre-determined rest (regroup) stops where the group must reassemble before heading back out onto the trail.
    • This ride also usually has a destination point such as a restaurant or attraction so we can socialize and rest for a bit as a group.
    • These rides vary in distance (approx 30+ miles) and very well may be at some "out of town" location to add a level of adventure to the ride.
    • There may be some street riding involved depending on the nature of the ride.

    Informal Rides
    • Sometimes members of the bike group are doing rides on their own and want to see if anyone wants to join them.
    • These rides are great and sometimes they can be turned into "official" meetups, but sometimes they can't due to organizer conflicts or other issues.
    • For the ones that can't become "official" meetups we still encourage them to happen; however, just as informal meetups.
    • The ride should be posted as a "discussion topic" and members can contact the sponsor of the idea either via the sponsor's meetup email or via the comments posted for that discussion.
    • Under no circumstances should the sponsor of the idea contact (solicit) members of the group to participate in the ride.
    • It is solely up to each member of the group to initiate communication whether they want to participate on the informal ride or not.
    • This may sound a bit "formal" but it is my goal to make sure nobody in the group is solicited for something that they may not want to do or maybe for another group outside of NOVA-CBG.

Table of Contents

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About Northern Virginia Casual Bicycling Group (NOVA-CBG) September 27, 2017 10:13 PM Gary W.

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