If you are new to the sport of cycling and are looking for a ride to test your fitness, look no further. The Bud’s Ride, which is less than 25 miles in length, rarely finishes with more than 30% of the starters. That’s not to say the group shrinks that much as many will use a shortcut in the course to get back on after losing contact. The Bud’s ride was my first group ride (quite a few years ago now…) and definitely my first taste of true cycling humility. Many riders will do this ride for several years before finishing all three laps with the front group. What makes this ride so tough you ask? The riders! With dozens of fit Category 1,2 and 3’s showing up every week and a total rider count that can exceed 100, the pace can be blistering. One section of the course which parallels the Pomona drag strip on Fairplex is particularly difficult when the cross winds kick up.
Day Every Wednesday (March – November during Daylight Savings)
Start Time 5:30 pm
Main Start Starbucks in Claremont, CA on 2nd St. and Yale Ave. Parking at Jax Bicycle Shop on 1st Street.
Alternate Start Corner of Puddingstone Dr. and “E” Street in San Dimas, CA (5:40pm)
Distance 25-30 miles
Duration 1.5 hours
Notes If this ride causes you excessive grief, try cutting across the dam (turn right just past the second guard gate). This way you’ll get a bit of recovery before the group catches you. Please read guidelines below.
Guidelines for Jumping in the Pack and Basic Etiquette
If you get dropped, most people will take the short cut across the dam and jump in on the Raging Waters Hill. The following are some tips for jumping in and to ensure safety and good etiquette to other riders.
1. Do not jump in the break or on the back of the break. This disrupts the break and also fills in the gap that the riders have worked hard to establish from the pack. If your taking short laps your fitness is not at the same level as the riders in the break or pack, so respect should be given to the riders that are hanging for all three laps.
2. It is safest to jump in on the Raging Waters hill and not ride ahead of the group to jump in, because the road is narrow and the pack is going much faster than a group of slower riders. Jump onto the back of the main pack when it comes by on the Raging Waters Hill. It is easiest and safest to jump in on the uphill or crest of the Raging Waters Hill where the riders are going slower before the downhill fast flat section. Once they start going downhill / flat it gets very fast and is single file and the riders will not want to let you in. If no one is letting you in, sometimes it’s easier to just slide to the back of the pack and get on the back so you get out of the wind the quickest and expend less energy.
3. When jumping in, stay to the right and get up to speed before jumping in. Look over your shoulder to make sure it is safe to get in.
4. As always point out obstacles, pot holes, and oncoming cars and don’t cross the yellow line.
5. If you feel like your going to blow up or get dropped, try to give the riders behind you a warning (wave them through immediately), so you don’t gap them out instead of just slowing down and sitting up. Trust me, this small courtesy will be appreciated by those that are behind you!
6. If you are off the back, work with the other riders to try to chase back on or cut across the dam with.
7. Most of all have fun!
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