Dirty Wknd FAQs
It can be daunting joining a new cycling group, so we've put together some FAQs to help you find out a bit more about joining. If the below info doesn't answer your questions then you can always email us or live chat (below). We always want to hear from new members
Can anyone join the Dirty Wknd community?
In short, yes. We are open to all, and we try and encourage everyone to join. We have rides and other events for all levels from complete beginner to experienced athletes.
Many of our members are beginners or new to cycling, so they well remember how scary it can be joining a group. As such the atmosphere is very welcoming and open.
All rides (unless clearly stated) are 'no drop' meaning everyone gets looked after and won't be left behind. We have different event 'levels' that are grouped by colour (like a ski resort) - more info on that below.
Is Dirty Wknd mixed sex and female friendly?
We are big believers in equality in sport, so strive for all our events to have a 50/50 gender split. We don't run single sex events (i.e women's only cycling events) as we believe equality will be reached by getting all sexes on board, not by segregation.
However we do currently have an 60% female to 40% male split in our community, which we're very proud of. So yes, Dirty Wknd is mixed sex and very female friendly. The only time we're not mixed sex is when an event happens to be all female, but that's not by design, just because there are loads of badass women in the group!
Can I try an event before I join the community?
Yes you can. Just check out our 'new joiner events' which are free and open to all. There are rides and runs for all levels so you can come along and meet the community, get a feel for the levels and ask any questions you want to.
New joiner events are completely free and a great place to start. Click Here for full info and to sign up.
How does the membership work?
To become a member you need to join the community. It costs just £3.25 per month. As a member you get access to the members app where you can find and post rides, suggest events, chat to members as well as loads more. You can also access the member 10-50% discount codes from our awesome partners.
Is there a trial period?
Yes - all new members get a 30 day free trial upon signing up. You won't be charged for 30 days so you can try out the community. If you wish to cancel within the trial period then you just need to email us and we'll sort that out.
Can I cancel my membership?
You can cancel within the 30 day trial period no problem. After 30 days you will be a member for a year. The membership is rolling so you will be charged annually on the same date for the following year. If you don't wish for your membership to roll over you can email us.
Where is Dirty Wknd based?
We are an Europe wide community, so not based in just one place. We also don't want to limit ourselves and our members to just one area, but rather encourage them to explore new locations and places to ride.
We have many 'Clubhouses' in our various locations where our rides start and end at. Usually a cafe/bar that can cater for coffee pre ride and beer after, but the start location will always be stated well in advance so you know where to go:
North London - Regent's Park, Camden or Crouch End
East London - Shoreditch or Hackney
South East London - Crystal Palace (Four Boroughs)
South West London - The Dynamo, Putney or Richmond Park
Cambridge - Espresso Library
Brussels - Cafe Walvis or Bois de la Cambre
Some rides may start in other locations but you'll always be told ahead of the meet.
Cycling specific FAQs
Below are some cycling specific FAQs. If you can't find the answer to your question then get in touch.
What level of cyclist do you need to be to attend?
Our rides are open to all levels of cyclist and we operate a 'no drop policy' that means no one will get left behind. We regularly stop and re-group ensuring everyone stays together. A group level and average speed will have been stipulated in the ride details, so you can join a group/ride based on that information. If you're worried, then try a 'blue' ride first to get the hang of it.
How are the groups classified and what does it mean?
We use a colour coding system to determine groups, a bit like a ski resort. Each ride will also have an average speed attached (see below), but this varies based on the length and 'hilliness' of the route:
- Blue = beginner. You're a blue rider if you're completely new to riding, have never ridden in a group before or want to ride at a nice steady pace. Blue rides tend to be shorter, pretty flat and at a steadier pace. Anyone who wants to get into cycling will be fine on a blue ride.
- Yellow = Novice. You're a yellow level rider if you've been on a few blue rides and now want to push yourself more, or you've been riding on your own for a while and want to try out a group. Equally, if you're a fit and confident person you'll most likely be fine with a yellow ride.
- Orange = Intermediate. Orange rides usually have a high average speed and the routes will be longer and include more climbing. Orange riders are pretty experienced and will be confident riding in a group. Not all orange rides are 'no drop' so you'll need to check the event details and come prepared. Orange rides are still social, but the average speed is higher and there is less stopping/regrouping.
- Red = Advanced. This is the highest level we have, and we'd only recommend for anyone who has been on an orange ride and still wants to go faster, or has ridden with other advanced groups before. You will be very confident in a group and entirely self sufficient - red rides aren't 'no drop rides'. Still very fun, if you like this sort of thing, but not for everyone.
If you're at all unsure about the levels then please email us. You might have to try a few rides out first to gauge your level correctly, but just remember it's super social so you've got plenty of time and space to figure things out. If in doubt, start lower and work your way up. We always recommend trying a 'New Joiners Event' first, especially a laps session, as this is the best way to find your level.
How fast are the rides?
This is million dollar question, and to be honest it's very hard to say. Once we have grouped the rides (as above) we then add an average speed so you know roughly what speed is expected of the group. However average speed can be tricky to determine, let alone stick to.
You can read all about average speed here, but the thing to bear in mind is that it changes from ride to ride, and from route to route. There are a few factors (read above) but the main one is hills. If the route is flat, then the average speed will be higher (for all groups). If the route includes even a few hills it will be lower, and if its has lots of hills then the average speed will be lower still.
So a yellow ride to Windsor (flat) won't have the same average speed as a yellow ride to Kent (hilly). So please check the route details of the ride (route length and amount of climbing) and assess the average speed before deciding which group is for you.
What equipment do I need?
In order to join a ride you need a road legal bike and a helmet. That's it! Road legal basically means a bike with working brakes. We recommend you get your bike checked out by a bike shop if you're unsure to check it's safe.
If the ride starts, or might end, in the dark/dusk then you will need lights (keep them on your bike to be safe). Other than that we recommend bringing water, some energy snacks (whatever works for you) and an extra layer/waterproof just in case. If you can, please bring a spare inner tube, tyre levers and a pump in case of punctures. Full details on the essentials to bring on a group ride - Read Here.
Some rides will have a 'bag drop' meaning you can leave things at the start/end point. It will say in the specific event details if this is the case.
What bike type can I ride?
We get asked this a lot, as turning up on the 'wrong bike' seems to be a big fear for new riders. Well the truth is, in most cases*, there's no such thing as a wrong bike. For blue and yellow rides, a hybrid bike or single speed/fixie is totally fine, but again please check the route before hand. If it's a hilly ride, a single speed bike will be difficult. For orange and red rides we would recommend a road bike.
*The exception to this rule is if the ride is a specific type - i.e. off-road. You might not want to show up to a mountain bike ride on a skinny tyred road bike ;) Other than specific rides (gravel, MTB) any bike is generally fine, but if you're still unsure then email us for a chat.
I'm worried about riding in a group!
If you're worried, join one of our 'blue/beginner new joiner' rides. These are very relaxed, there is always a safety briefing at the beginning of all the ride where we explain the rules of riding in a group. This includes the different had signals and what you need to look out for. It can be daunting but our group leaders will take special care of you on your first ride. In preparation of your first ride, you can also watch this short video - Click Here
I don't have clip in pedals?
Clip in pedals are not mandatory, trainers and flat pedals work just fine when you are starting out. You are more than welcome to ride with us if you don't have clip in shoes. If you are looking to make the transition to clip in pedals we can also help with that, with tips on what sort to buy, and then helping you get used to them on our beginner rides. Just let us know if this applies to you.
Can I bring friends?
Yes absolutely - friends are very welcome to join our new joiner rides, the more the merrier! Please just make sure they also sign up to the ride on the website so we can send them more detailed information.
Read Customer & Member reviews:
Click this link to read google reviews from real members and customers and learn about their experiences riding with us - Google Reviews
Or you can read a blog by a beginner cyclist about how and why she chose to join a London group ride. The truth is everyone is scared the first time, and that's ok. Pick the right group and you'll get looked after!