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Riding with the Sacramento Bike Hikers

We host a wide variety of rides each week. It is important for first-time riders to select a ride that best fits their ability. We have "Easy Rider" rides which are typically a flat 20-mile ride. Our longer and harder coffee and breakfast rides, which include some climbing, are for slightly more seasoned riders. For advanced riders, we have rides up to 60 miles in length with thousands of feet of elevation gain.  We have something for everyone so come ride with us!

Our typical rides will have 25 to 35 members and guests. "Coffee" rides include a stop approximately half way at a local coffee shop, at which time riders can purchase a beverage and light snack and enjoy social time with the group. "Breakfast" and "Lunch" rides include a stop at a restaurant where riders can enjoy a meal. The type of ride is indicated on the Event Calendar under "Category".

If this is your first ride with the club, our Ride Leader or one of our more experienced members will be available to discuss the club and group riding with you. If you are a newer rider, you will want to be sure you can maintain a ride pace of approximately 12 to 14 mph on flat ground over the stated ride distance. Most rides will have a "sweep" who will ensure all riders have completed and returned to the ride start safely.


While the club is not all about the bike, this wonderful vehicle is certainly central to our cycling activities! Most members favor a standard, lightweight, drop-bar road bike for pavement rides, but some prefer a hybrid or even a mountain bike if it is light enough to keep up with the group. We sometimes see a recumbent or even recumbent-trike. Mountain bikes are, of course, preferred for off-road rides. Cruisers are not recommended for our rides. Class 1 e-bikes (pedal assisted only) are also allowed on club ridesSBH Ebike Policy


Regardless of the type of bike, all riders are expected to follow the rider guidelines below.

Accordion Widget
Before the Ride ==> Be Prepared
Before the Ride ==> Be Prepared

🔹 Check the website Home Page to see what ride is being offered on the day you want to ride.  When you click on the event, the description describing the type of ride (coffee, breakfast, etc), length, difficulty and Ride with GPS link(s) will display. The start location, date and time and person to contact are also listed. Further details on ride difficulty are found in the Ride Grading section.

🔹 Riders should be confident of their ability to complete the stated ride. Review the Ride with GPS link to view the actual route with elevation and grade changes.

🔹 Check the Ride Update forum to make sure there are no updates. Non-members can view the Ride Updates forum on a read-only basis by clicking on the 'Ride Updates' link under 'Riding with SBH' on the menu bar. Members must sign-in to access the Forums which are the club's primary messaging platforms.

🔹 Download the Ride With GPS route (optional). Open the RWGPS App on your phone and click on “Sacramento Bike Hikers”. Click on the Organization Routes option. A list of routes will appear. Search for the desired route. Once you see the route you’re looking for, click on it to bring up the route map. Then choose Download or Navigate to get ready for your ride.

🔹 Bring a helmet, water bottle, spare tire, tire levers, ID and cell phone.

Accordion Widget
Ride Start ==> Be on Time
Ride Start ==> Be on Time

🕗 Arrive at the start location 15 minutes before to unload your bike, pump up tires, greet others, sign in and get a route sheet if needed

🕗 Be considerate of the businesses and other drivers in the parking lot where we meet.  Do not block traffic lanes or park where you will compete with the local business parking.  Remember that you are representing the Bike Hikers.

🕗 Non-members must sign a liability waiver before riding with the club

🕗 Pay attention to any ride leader announcements. This will include where the ride leader plans to leave the sign-in sheet so you can sign out upon completion of the ride as well as any relevant specifics about the ride.

🕗 Talk to the ride leader if you would like to make any adjustments regarding your ride. This might include riding at a slower pace; if starting ride from home, riding the second half of the route before the first half; or requesting an alteration to the route to either shorten it or lengthen it.  Many adjustments will result in the rider not being swept for portions of the ride.

🕗 The ride departs on the advertised time and will not be delayed for late arrivals.

Accordion Widget
During the Ride ==> Be Safe
During the Ride ==> Be Safe

🚴🏼 All riders must wear a helmet for safety. Riders without helmets will not be allowed to participate in club rides.

🚴🏼 Maintain a safe distance between you and the next rider, especially if there is congestion.

🚴🏼 Ride start and ride ends are times to maintain heightened alertness. Be particularly aware of cars backing up, pulling forward and entering from side aisles.

🚴🏼 These are group rides and it is expected that most riders will adhere to the established route for the group.  Riders are encouraged to assist each other as needed. 

🚴🏼 Notify the ride leader if you leave the ride early.

🚴🏼 If riding at night, lights and reflectors are required.

🚴🏼 Riders are responsible for riding safely. They are expected to be courteous to car drivers and follow the rules of the road. Please review our Safety Guidelines and our Ride Safety page before riding with us.

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Ride End ==> Be Finished
Ride End ==> Be Finished

✍🏻 Remember to sign out.  The ride leader is responsible for determining that all signed in riders have returned safely.

✍🏻 Riders must indicate their mileage on the sign-in sheet by selecting one of the distance columns or entering their actual mileage in order to get the correct mileage credit.

✍🏻 The mileage specified on the sign-in sheet will be accrued for each rider by the Mileage Recorder. If no column is selected, the shortest distance will be used unless the ride leader notes the actual miles ridden by that rider. Animal miles (miles ridden to and from the ride start) are also recorded. The total annual miles achieved for each rider is acknowledged at the club awards banquet.

🙂 Route complete!!

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Ride Grading ==> How Hard?
Ride Grading ==> How Hard?

THREE FACTORS make up the ease or difficulty of a ride – not counting such chance factors as traffic, road conditions, and weather. They are: elevation, distance and pace. These factors are important considerations for riders when selecting rides in which to participate. Riders should NOT sign up for rides beyond their ability. Many of our rides are 30+ miles at a pace of about 12 mph to 20+ mph. “Biting off more than you can chew” can result in discouragement or sore muscles and invites accidents. 

Grade - Represented by an alpha letter.


“A” (Steep) - Mostly steep grades: strong riders only. 

Within “A” rides, an average distance is 38 miles with 3100 ft of climbing


“B” (Steep/Moderate) - Some relief from steep grades.

Within “B” rides, an average distance is 43 miles with 2600 ft of climbing


“C+”, “C”, “C- ” (Moderate) - Hilly; a challenge for the average rider. 

Within “C” rides, an average distance is 37 miles with 1500 ft of climbing


“D+”, “D”, “D-”  (Moderate/Easy) - Rolling hills, a challenge for beginners. 

Within “D” rides, an average distance is 34 miles with 900 ft of climbing


“E” (Easy) - Some gentle grades, but no problems. 

Within “E” rides, an average distance is 32 miles with 350 ft of climbing


“F” (Flat) - If any route is really flat. 

Within “F” rides, an average distance is 37 miles with 250 ft of climbing

Distance - Represented by the actual number of miles. 

Pace - This will range in speed between about 12 mph to 20+ mph. Riders tend to increase their pace as they gain experience, fitness, and are challenged by more difficult rides. Beginners and novices are strongly advised to select easy and short distance rides to start with and progress up the grading scale with experience and capability.