Meet our groups: Windsor Cycle Hub

Windsor Cycle Hub has some right royal celebrations planned for the Coronation bank holiday
As the country prepares to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, one cycling group affiliated to Cycling UK has a particularly close royal connection. David Bonney of Windsor Cycle Hub tells us about this incredible group and the wonderful work they do in the community to encourage people from all walks of life to enjoy cycling, using a carefully graded system of progressively harder rides

A cycle-friendly location

Windsor Cycle Hub is a Cycling UK-affiliated group which was launched in May 2021. It is a 100% volunteer-run charity based at The Swan community pub in Clewer, Windsor.

It’s a cycle-friendly location where everyone, regardless of gender, age, race, creed or means, is welcome; the group meets every Saturday morning. Our guided rides favour low (or no) traffic routes, so there’s always a little off road.

We’re dedicated to supporting Windsorians to enjoy cycling in and around our historic town and we’re grateful for the grants we receive from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Abri Housing Association, The Prince Philip Trust Fund, Cycling UK and donations from our generous visitors – all of which help us support our local community.

We’re dedicated to helping everyday people get the cycling bug

David Bonney, Windsor Cycle Hub

Not a cycling club

We love to welcome cycling visitors to Windsor, too. We’re conveniently located close to Sustrans NCN4 route.

We’re not a cycling club but a charity dedicated to helping everyday people discover a love of riding a bike. Our visitors are welcome to wear and ride what they like – provided that they’re safe to ride in a group and comfortable.

We’re dedicated to helping everyday people get the cycling bug. Our weekly guided rides are aimed at giving people the confidence to ride more often in and around Windsor. We show people new, quiet routes – to help them get to work, the shops or to simply cycle for pleasure.

Our rides and events

Our rides start at a very gentle pace, slightly above walking, and build throughout the month to a moderate one. We work through our ride classifications in sequence. So, the first Saturday of the month will be Gentle (level 1), the second Gentle Explorer (level 2) and so on. This means that there’s something for every rider each month, and everyone can get used to our schedule.

We cycle at the pace of the slowest person, adapting routes on the day to suit all participants and deal with any obstructions. There’s a ride leader who’s in charge and a rear sweeper to make sure no one’s dropped. We’ll often also have ride assistants to take care of very inexperienced riders.

We have guided rides every Saturday (except for months with five weekends), leaving at 11.30am sharp, unless it’s a level 4 Adventurer Ride, which leaves at 11am to get us back to The Swan in time for lunch and a refreshing cold drink. Riders must arrive at The Swan at least 15 minutes before the ride and be booked in.

On those rare five-weekend months, we run workshops on topics such as bike security and fixing punctures.

Our royal connection

Situated in the Royal Borough of Windsor, we felt we had to organise a ride for Monday 8 May to tie in with the Coronation, instead of the usual Saturday event. We’ve planned a short, flat route away from traffic, which is suitable for families. You can expect to see plenty of red, white and blue, plus some crowns and … cakes. Don’t forget to book your place as this is bound to be a popular ride.

Our routes

We ride away from traffic whenever possible, favouring the scenic route over the quickest. The Jubilee River, NCN4 and Windsor Great Park feature on most rides. All rides have an off-road element. They’re suitable for mountain, hybrid, touring, gravel/cross or road bikes with heavier tyres. Many ride Bromptons, but best leave the time-trial bike at home.

Because we’re supported by The Swan community pub, we have coffee before we leave and allow time for a drink and/or lunch when we get back. We don’t have café stops on our rides, so we ask people to bring their own drinks and snacks, which we do stop to enjoy.

Bike kitchen

We open every Saturday at 11am for a chat, coffee and for our popular ‘Bike Kitchen’, where we offer free bike safety checks and basic repairs. In our experience, it’s all most bikes need – the tyres need some air, cables tightening and saddles adjusting. Don’t forget to book your slot.

We also run Dr Bike sessions, supported by Cycling UK, often away from The Swan in the borough villages surrounding Windsor.

Get involved

We’re always looking for experienced cyclists and bike mechanics to help us, if you want to volunteer and live in the Windsor area, please pop down to The Swan on Saturday morning for a chat or email us.

Our ride levels

1st Sat (level 1): Gentle – flat, off road, suitable for the youngest and oldest riders, e.g. across the Thames towards Dorney and Jubilee River. 1hr, pace of slowest rider, plenty of stops to admire the view. Aimed at inexperienced riders. Approx 1hr (up to 8 miles).

2nd Sat (level 2): Gentle Explorer – as above, but a little faster and with some quiet roads too, e.g. around Eton and over to Upton Court Park in Slough. Aimed at slightly more experienced riders. Up to 1.5hrs (10-15 miles).

3rd Sat (level 3): Explorer – adds hills, a little more pace and distance, e.g. Windsor Great Park (WGP) via Stag Meadow cycle path. Intermediate level, once Gentle Explorer has been mastered. Up to 2hrs (15-20 miles).

4th Sat (level 4): Adventurer – steeper hills (even Crimp Hill!), faster, further and a little more on-road riding, e.g. WGP via the Castle, or further to Cookham. Moderate paced ride, for more confident riders. Up to 2.5hrs (20-25 miles).

By request

There are two extra classifications, by request only:

  • Beginners – adults who’ve never ridden a bike, or perhaps not since childhood. These are normally one-to-one sessions – to give full attention. Training for children is something for Bikeability
  • (Level 5) Pathfinder – monthly Sunday rides, where we check quiet routes for our less experienced cyclists. 30-40 miles on request up to a maximum of four riders