Serpentine Cycling

Serpentine members ride out most weekend from various locations around London.  If you'd like to plan a ride or find out what people are planning for the coming weekend please contact the Triathlon Lead and ask to join the WhatsApp group.  Please that these rides are organised by individuals and not by Serpentine, so anyone joining in takes part at their own risk.

At all times you have to take responsibility for your safety and that of the whole group, but please heed the ride leaders' advice and instructions. If you are unfamiliar with the etiquette of group riding (most triathletes aren't!) then these folks will be more than happy to advise you, but you have to ask for them to be able to help.

Group Ride Essentials

  • Be properly equipped (see below) and prepared to fix ‘mechanicals' and get yourself home.
  • Be capable of the distances. The shortest ride we do is about 80 km. If you're unsure whether you can mange this you can try the routes here yourself first. Or try doing 7 to 8 laps of Richmond Park (without getting bored!)
  • Be comfortable riding on roads with other traffic.
  • Be comfortable riding in a group and have read our Guidelines for Group riding.
  • Be riding drop a handlebar road bike. Hybrids or mountain bikes will not be able to maintain the pace required for group riding.
  • Let the ride leader know if you are dropping off.
  • Some slower groups may be less ruthless but if your concern is that you don't know if you can stick with the pace or manage the distance then our advice would be that if you carry a map, phone and money you'll always be able to escape if necessary. There are several train stations not far off all the routes. There will always be variations in ability within a group but we attempt to keep the gaps as small as possible. We still wait for each other at the top of the hills and if a rider has a puncture.

Kit to Look After Yourself


  • Helmet - compulsory on Serpentine rides.
  • Cash and/or cashcard – for café stop and any semi-emergencies (train journey home etc.).
  • Map – everyone has off days and sometimes we all get dropped! You may need a map to get yourself home or find the nearest station.
  • Mobile phone – ask the ride leader for contact number.
  • Inner tubes – 2 spares plus pump, tyre levers and the knowledge of how to replace a tube.
  • Fluid – water, juice, energy drink. There is often only one or two opportunities to refill so ensure you have enough.
  • Food – bananas, energy bars, malt loaf, dried fruit. Most rides have one cake stop but you should be regularly eating to avoid the cyclists 'bonk'.

You may also want

  • Glasses – protect your eyes from dust, insects and rain.
  • Windproof and/or arm warmers – it doesn't take a big drop in temperature to get cold cycling.
  • Overshoes/booties – to cover your cycling shoes keeping the worst of the wind and the rain out.
  • Allen keys or multi-tool. 

A roadworthy bike

The checklists above miss out one key item! Before getting on your bike you should get into the routine of checking the following:

  • Wheels – pick bike up and spin them slowly, check that they are centred (spinning straight). Are the quick release skewers tight?
  • Bars – if you can see metal at the ends of your bars, it's time to replace your bar tape. Exposed ends are very dangerous in a crash.
  • Tyres – as the wheel is spinning you can also check that your tyres do not have any nicks, worn patches or embedded glass – perfect conditions for a puncture.
  • Brakes – are the blocks worn down? If so get them replaced. Are they gripping the wheel rim square on? If not, adjust or replace.
  • Frames abd forks – check for any cracks around joints.
  • Check everything is done up properly – handlebars, seatpost, saddle, any accessories attached.
  • Think about the conditions – if the road is wet, you want some give in your tyres to avoid slipping, so let a bit of air out of them (around 100 psi) otherwise check that tyres are hard enough (12your 5 psi) to avoid punctures and keep you rolling along.