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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. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have "Easy Rider" rides which are typically a flat 20-mile ride. Our Monday/Friday coffee rides and Wednesday breakfast rides are more moderate rides. Advanced rides are generally held on the weekends. 

Our typical rides will have 25 to 35 members and guests. "Coffee" rides include a stop generally 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 prior to continuing on the ride. 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 ebikes (pedal assisted only) are also allowed on club rides.  SBH Ebike Policy
Regardless of the bike, all riders are expected to follow the guidelines set out in this section and our Safety Guidelines.

Rider Guidelines

Riders must arrive at the ride start location prior to the advertised start time to allow time to prepare for the ride, sign in, obtain the ride cue sheet and listen to the ride leader's announcements. Non-members must sign a liability waiver before riding with the club.  Bike Hikers and guests should not expect ride leaders to wait for them as ride leaders are responsible for each rider in the group and should depart with them. The ride departs on the advertised start time and will not be delayed due to late arrivals. Route sheets are not available after the ride starts.

The ride start location can be found on our Event Calendar. Riders are encouraged to ride to the ride start, however when driving to a ride start, please be considerate of the local business parking and park away from business entrances where you will not compete with their customer parking. The start location can be a general parking lot location, look for a group of riders in our blue and yellow "Bike Hiker" jerseys.

Generally a Ride with GPS (RWGPS) digital route link is listed in the description of the ride. Riders can use this web link to view the actual route, elevation and grade changes and distance of the ride. Riders should review this information and be confident of their ability to complete the stated ride.

Riders are responsible for riding safely. Please review our Ride Safety  page and read our  Safety Guidelines before riding with us.  

All riders are required to wear helmets for safety. Riders without helmets will not be allowed to participate in club rides.

Riders should always carry water for hydration and personal identification. If riding at night, lights and reflectors are required. Riders should also carry basic bike tools, a first-aid kit, a spare tube or tubular tire, a patch kit, a pump, and a cellular phone. Riders are strongly encouraged to have their cell phones turned on so that they can be contacted or can contact the Ride Leader if assistance is needed.

Riders arriving after the group has already departed may elect to do the ride providing they have sufficient information regarding the route and destination. However, unless it is a NO SWEEP RIDE, late riders will not be regarded as being officially on that ride and will not receive any club mileage for that ride unless agreed otherwise by the Ride Leader.

Any rider, member or guest, who feels comfortable enough to ride alone, but wishes to either ride part of the route and/or ride at a slower pace without being swept, may notify the ride leader prior to the start of the ride of their intent. It is important for those riders to stay on the shortened route if they have signed in so that the ride leader can sweep all who are on the ride. The ride leader is responsible for determining that all signed-in riders have returned safely. If someone must leave the ride early they must notify the ride leader. Riders with physical disabilities or illnesses can request to do an alternate route but should indicate such to the ride leader. However, that portion of the route may not be swept.

Riders are responsible for selecting appropriate rides for their skills. Riders should not expect to be swept if they are unduly slow and may be asked by the ride leader to select a more appropriate ride or return to the ride start. Riders should inform the ride leader if they do not wish to be swept.

Bike Hiker rides are group rides. Thus, it is expected that most riders will adhere to the established route for the group. The maximum mileage for that route is set by the ride leader. Riders are encouraged to assist each other as needed, taking care to not create any additional hazard for others.

Riders wishing to extend their ride without accruing club mileage have that option, but should still inform the ride leader of their intent.

Riders who live a considerable distance from the ride start and often travel in the reverse direction of the ride for convenience may make arrangements with the ride leader to receive the mileage for that day or an amended mileage, or take the animal miles allowed and complete the designated ride.

Any rider who does not indicate his or her mileage on the route sheet will automatically be assigned mileage for the shortest route option that was listed, unless the Ride Leader knows the actual miles ridden by that rider. In that case, the Ride Leader will record the correct mileage.

Breakfast at Cafe Bernardo

Grading Rides

THREE FACTORS make up the ease or difficulty of a ride – not counting such chance factors as traffic, road conditions, and weather. These factors are important considerations for riders when selecting rides in which to participate. However, 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. 

Terrain Elevation
Represented by an alpha letter.

A - Steep - Mostly steep grades: strong riders only. 
Typical hills: Prospector, Marshall Grade, Snows Rd
B - Steep/Moderate - Some relief from steep grades.

  Typical Hills: Chili Hill, Indian Hill 
C - Moderate - Hilly; a challenge for the average rider. 
Typical Hills: Sierra College Blvd, Iron Point Road 
D - Moderate/Easy - Rolling hills, a challenge for beginners. 
Typical Hills: Bike Trail from Hazel Ave to Beals Point 
E - Easy - Some gentle grades, but no problems. 
Typical Hills: Bike Trail between River Bend Park and Hazel Ave 
F - Flat - If any route is really flat. 

Distance - Represented by the actual number of miles. 

Pace - 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 difficulty. 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. 


Join the Bike Hiker's Forums to find out what's happening. The club’s primary messaging platform is now a set of email groups on this website. They take the place of the club's Yahoo! group which will be discontinued shortly.  They are free, easy to join, and an excellent way to to get timely club-related information such as ride destinations, Ride with GPS routes, cancelations, and other club news and activities. Non-members can join the Ride Updates forum on a read-only basis. Members must sign-in to access the Forums as well as to  join the Forums (through their profile). Click here for more information on joining the Bike Hiker's forums:   HOW TO JOIN