SWCC Chaingang

Chaingang rides are high-intensity one hour sessions which can prove very beneficial to your training. Unlike other standard group rides, they are not “no drop” rides, and require riders to maintain a close-knit group to sustain a high tempo. These factors can give rise to additional risk factors compared to other group rides. These rules seek to mitigate those risks.

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Although chaingang rides are drop rides, we should not see groups splintering in the first half of the session. Chaingang remains a group ride and ideally we should see the whole group finish the hour together. This means we should match abilities in each group, as best we can.

  • TeamUp will be used to offer the maximum number of places in groups B and C based on the number of available ride leaders, rather than individual groups of six being added.
  • Ride leaders will then select groups to ensure the most even match of abilities.
  • Maximum group size remains 6.

The Ride

The perfect chaingang ride sees a smooth effort from start to finish with the whole group finishing the session together. Riders are expected to take turns in heading the group for 30 seconds before pulling out of the line to the right when safe to do so to return to the rear of the group. This means for a group of 6 each rider will make up to 20 pulls at the head of the group in an hour.

  • Maintain the speed of the group when it’s your turn on the front.
  • Do not surge to accelerate as this increases fatigue in the group and therefore risk.
  • Check to your right after 30 seconds and pull out of the line if safe to do so to return to the back of the group.
  • Remember you have 20 pulls to do and this will only be more if the group gets smaller.
  • If you are strong enough to continue but unable to perform a 30-second pull then “ride through” pulling immediately out of the line, returning to the back of the group and maintaining the order of riders.
  • Do not corner at excessive speeds, particularly at the Packhorse / Tadpole junction where the road narrows.
  • Shout “last man”, “last one” or similar to a rider returning to the rear of the group immediately behind you.

Ending The Ride

Although it’s tempting to burn your final matches on the last circuit this will cause additional stresses on group fatigue.

  • The ride leader will inform the group when they have begun their final lap.
  • The “no surging” rule remains in place until the ride has finished. The final lap should be the same pace as the first.
  • At Purton Stoke, rides will normally conclude after the prescribed number of laps of the circuit.
  • Riders should then slow down as normal to take the left hand turn towards Cricklade, continuing to slow down after taking the turn, then turning around when safe to do so to regroup in the lay-by next to the junction.