Winter rides: Frequently asked questions

group photoOur rides are all casual, social affairs which are intended to give people a chance to have a pleasant ride in good company, and maybe discover some new quiet routes in and around Dumfries. We get a few questions from people about them, so we’ve put together a little FAQ for anyone who isn’t sure if these monthly rides are for them.

Do I need to book? No – you can just turn up on the day (but we do try and leave quite promptly so don’t be late). If you want to let us know you’re coming, you can sign up to the relevant event on Facebook, if you use it. All our rides are listed as events on our Facebook page.
What should I wear?  We’re not going to be riding fast, so don’t feel you have to be in specialist kit – but do dress for the weather. If you’re unsure, our general guidance is to dress as you might to walk the dog, bearing in mind you’ll be out for 2 or more hours and this is Scotland. Layers are good, and a waterproof is wise, and good gloves will probably make the day more enjoyable if you’re prone to cold hands.
Turning into Brow Well
What kind of bike do I need? Any bike as long as it’s roadworthy. We welcome e-bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, road bikes, folding bikes and  trikes or other adaptive cycles. We mostly stick to tarmac so you don’t need to have anything that handles off-road conditions.
How fast do you go? It varies depending on the group. In practice we probably average around 10-11 mph, but we’re absolutely happy to go slower if people want to. If need be, speedy riders can go ahead as long as they promise not to eat all the soup at the cafe. Nobody ever gets left behind, even after their third puncture.
Is it suitable for children? Yes, if they can ride the distance, or are happy to be out cycling for a couple of hours (the exception is our Halloween ride, which includes a long, fast descent in the dark, which may not be suitable for less confident riders). We’ve had kids as young as 11 ride out with us on past winter rides. We choose our routes to use quiet roads and cycle paths – you can check out the routes on our ride pages, but if you’re not sure, email us ( You might want to organise a bail-out option at the cafe if you aren’t sure you’ll make the whole way. Note that children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Do you still go if it’s raining? Yes – as long as anyone turns up! If it’s icy or snowing, or there’s a weather warning we will probably cancel the ride. If you’re not sure, check Twitter, our Facebook page or this website on the morning of the ride.
How much does it cost? It’s free, but you may want to bring some cash for lunch (or at least a drink) at the cafe if we’re stopping at one – we want to support local businesses with the ‘cycling pound’ as much as we can!
Do I have to be a member to ride with you? No, anyone can come along – but if you support our work, we do appreciate it if you join us!
road to Ae

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