Fresno Cycling Club

Promoting safe and lawful bicycle riding for recreation and transportation


Ride Levels

This article details the descriptions of ride (or rider) levels A to D introduced in the article "Rules of the Road".

A Level Rides

Because it's Fun

Remember when you rode your bike just because it was fun?  We do too!  That is why we offer A Level rides, just to have fun on your bike!

What Type of Bike Do I Need?

A Level rides are for all ages and types of bicycles.  On a typical A Level Ride, you will find Mt. Bikes, Beach Cruisers, Hybrid bikes and even bikes with trailers and kids in tow.  The one thing A Level Riders have in common, they just want to ride because it is fun!

How Far Will The Ride Be?

A Level rides are typically under 20 miles; many are less than 10 miles.  An A Level Ride may be as short as one lap around the park, or the neighborhood.  The distance is less important than just having fun.

How Fast Will The Ride Be?

A Level Rides are normally around 10-12 mph.  This is a very comfortable pace, even for beginning cyclists.

What If I Get Lost or Disconnected from the Group?

A Level Rides are “No Drop” rides.  This means everyone always stays together.  Your ride leader will make sure everyone makes it back to the starting location after the ride.  Your ride leader will also go over some basic safety items before the ride begins such as making sure all riders have a helmet, water bottle, and spare tubes in case of a flat tire.

I Don't Know Anyone In the Club, How Can I Find People to Ride With?

All Club rides are listed on the FCC Calendar.  You may also find other members who post rides or events on our Rides Group Page on Facebook.

B Level Rides

Cycling for Fun and Fitness

Soon after A Level Riders become familiar with their bikes and how to ride with a group, they begin to notice they can ride faster and further than when they first started.  These riders often transition to riding with the B Level Riders.  Many riders who are already comfortable on their bike may choose to begin at the B Level.

What Type of Bike Do I Need?

B Level Rides are for those who are comfortable on their bike and have a basic level of fitness.  Often the goal of B Level Riders, in addition to having fun, is to get back in shape by riding their bike.  Typically you’ll see road bikes, hybrids, fixies (single gear bikes), and even some Mt. Bikes at the B Level.

How Far Will The Ride Be?

B Level Rides typically are less than 30 miles; many are around 20 miles.  B Level rides may also include some short climbs but nothing particularly steep.

How Fast Will The Ride Be?

B Level Rides are normally around 13-15 mph.  This is a very comfortable pace for anyone who has been riding their bike two or three times a week or has developed a basic level of fitness in another activity such as walking or jogging.

What If I Get Lost or Disconnected from the Group?

B Level Rides are "No Drop" rides.  This means everyone always stays together.  Sometimes B Level rides will split apart as some riders are just naturally faster than others, in these cases, your ride leader will take short breaks along the route to bring the group back together.  Your ride leader will make sure everyone makes it back to the starting location after the ride.  Your ride leader will also go over some basic safety items before the ride begins such as making sure all riders have a helmet, water bottle, and spare tubes in case of a flat tire.

I Don't Know Anyone In the Club, How Can I Find People to Ride With?

All Club rides are listed on the FCC Calendar.  You may also find other members who post rides or events on our Rides Group Page on Facebook.

C Level Rides

Cycling for Fun, Fitness & Challenge

If you spend much time on a bicycle, sooner or later, 30 mile rides just aren’t as challenging as they once were.  Your friends keep talking about something called a Century and your closet is full of Lycra and Spandex!  Well my friend you are hooked.  You are a C Level rider!

What Type of Bike Do I Need?

The majority of recreational riders fall into the C Level group and will be riding some sort of multi-geared bike designed specifically for riding on the road.  This does not mean other types of bicycles are not welcome on C Rides; it is simply tough to keep the pace on bikes designed for other types of cycling.  There are plenty of good, entry-level, aluminum bikes for under $1000.  You do not need to spend a lot of money on your first road bike.  A good strategy is to purchase an entry-level bike and then decide if longer, more challenging, rides are for you before you purchase a more expensive bicycle.

How Far Will The Ride Be?

There is no "typical" C Level distance.  C Level Rides may range from 20 miles to 200 miles or more.  At this level, the distance is less important, the emphasis is on pace, and on finding ways to challenge yourself.  That may mean a Metric Century (65 miles), a Century, or even a Double Century and beyond.  For some C Level Riders, it may just mean making it out to the diner for breakfast on Sundays; challenges are personal, set a goal, then go out and achieve it!

How Fast Will The Ride Be?

C Level Rides are normally around 16-18 mph.  You can measure your average pace by riding on relatively flat ground.  You should be able to hold the pace comfortably for the entire ride.  Because most riders climb at different paces, C Level Rides will often break up on the hills but tend to regroup at the top.  Before you go out on a C Level Ride, you should be comfortable with pace line riding. See 9 Paceline Rules from Bicycling.com.

What If I Get Lost or Disconnected from the Group?

It is important, at every level, to make sure you are familiar with the route before you head out on a group ride.  Most rides are posted as either "No Drop", "Social", or "Training" rides.  Be sure you know what type of ride you are attending.

  • No Drop Rides: your ride leader will make an effort to keep the group together or regroup often, especially at the top of longer climbs.
  • Social Rides: these rides may break apart and regroup less frequently but the pace will be closely adhered too.
  • Training Rides: on these rides, no one is obligated to wait for other riders and in fact, often, take much joy in trying to drop as many people as they can.  It sounds a bit "cut-throat" but being dropped, every now and then, is just the nature of this great sport!  Remember, C Level rides are all about fun, fitness and the challenge!

I Don't Know Anyone In the Club, How Can I Find People to Ride With?

All Club rides are listed on the FCC Calendar.  You may also find other members who post rides or events on our Rides Group Page on Facebook.

D Level Rides

Cycling for Fun, Fitness, Challenge, and Training

D is for Delusions of Grandeur.  At this level, city limit signs become finish lines and you actually catch yourself thinking, “hmm… maybe I could go pro some day?”  You have more cycling clothing than you do work clothes and if you are a guy, you’ve seriously considered shaving your legs.  Your DVR keeps filling up as you refuse to delete last year’s Tour de France because you are "going to need it for indoor training this winter!"

What Type of Bike Do I Need?

At the D Level, your bike becomes an extension of your personality.  You spend more time with it than you do your dog!  You have likely bought and sold a number of bicycles along the way and your garage looks like a bicycle museum.  You can explain what STRAVA is and you own a heart rate monitor.  At the D Level, cycling is a way of life and your bike will likely reflect this attitude.  Most D level riders have made the move to a carbon frame and at least one spare wheel set, and if you are riding at this pace, racing is likely on your mind, but only on rides where you get the jump on your buddy, otherwise, "today was a recovery day".

How Far Will The Ride Be?

There is no "typical" D Level distance.  A D ride may range from 20 miles to 200 miles or more.  At this level, the distance is less important and the emphasis is likely on training.  You may be training for more speed, or to climb better, or to ride further than you ever thought possible.  But the thing that typically separates C and D riders is, D riders are always pushing and trying to go harder.

How Fast Will The Ride Be?

D Level Rides are normally around 19-20 mph, but can, at times, exceed 25 mph on flat ground when a fast pace line forms. Very few rides will be listed as "social" or "no drop" at the D Level.  Most often D rides will be listed as "training rides". On training rides, no one is obligated to wait for other riders, and at this level it's drop or be dropped, so you should be very familiar with the route, as other riders will be actively seeking to leave you in the dust.  Know where everyone is headed before you roll out.

What If I Get Lost or Disconnected from the Group?

Bring a cell phone!  Seriously, if you've gotten to this level, you can expect to get dropped on a regular basis, in the life of a D rider there are 3 guarantees: Death, Taxes and getting dropped every now and then.

I Don't Know Anyone In the Club, How Can I Find People to Ride With?

At this Level, you probably live with a few cyclists!  But if you happen to be new to the area and are looking for some challenging group rides, check out the FCC Calendar and our Rides Group Page on Facebook.

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