FAQ

Have questions about our Free Group Rides program? We have answers! 

Do I have to be a Cascade member to go on a Free Group Ride?

No, you do not need to be a Cascade member to participate in Free Group Rides. All Free Group Rides are free of charge, and listed publicly on Cascade’s events calendar. 

If you wish to pre-register for a ride, you can do so online. You will need to create an account online for no charge. Create a new account. More info on club membership levels.

Cascade members power our programs, including Free Group Rides. Become a member today.

What kind of bike and/or equipment do I need to participate in a Free Group Ride?

Any sort of bike is fine, as long as it is functional and safe to ride. We do not allow the use of aero bars. All Cascade rides require that you wear a helmet to participate.

Many ride descriptions will include suggestions of other equipment to bring, such as a white, non-blinking headlight and red taillight for rides after dark, fenders for your wheels on rides in the rain, or a bike lock for rides with lunch stops.

You should also bring a spare tube and the tools necessary to fix a flat tire (tire levers and a hand pump or compressed CO2).

Can I ride my ebike on a Free Group Ride?

Riders with electric assist bikes are welcome on all FGR at Moderate Pace and slower, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The rider agrees to follow all the customary rider courtesy and safety requirements expected of riders using standard non-assisted bikes.
  2. The use of an electric assist bike on streets, trails, paths and sidewalks according to specific local rules and regulations is the responsibility of the rider of the electric assist bike and not Cascade Bicycle Club or the Ride Leader. The Ride Leader will discuss this requirement with the rider before the start of the ride. If the ride route uses streets, trails, paths and/or sidewalks where local authorities prohibit the use of electric assist bikes, it is the responsibility of the rider to comply with this requirement and leave the ride or depart from that portion of the ride route. The Ride Leader will have no obligation to the departing electric assist bike rider.
  3. If the use of an e-assist bike is inappropriate on a specific ride due to terrain, required turning radius, bike carry requirements, bike parking limitations, or any other issue, the Ride Leader will make that decision and inform the rider that the ride is inappropriate for the rider’s equipment.

Electric assist bikes are not allowed on Brisk or faster FGR because the physical and technical skill training objectives of these rides is inconsistent with electric assist. Electric bikes that do not require pedal force to operate are not allowed on any FGR.

Do I need to wear special clothes or shoes?

No. Wear clothes that you are comfortable moving in and that are weather appropriate. Wear closed-toed shoes that are safe to bike in. You must wear a helmet on all Cascade rides.

What else do I need to bring on a Free Group Ride?

Bring as much food and water as you will need for the ride, or, if there is a food stop planned, as much food and water are you will need before and after that stop. Be aware of weather conditions and your physical needs. Bring sunscreen if you will need it, as well as any important medicines (epi-pen, glucose tabs, etc) and a photo ID.

In case you have a mechanical problem you cannot fix, bring money, an ORCA card, a charged cell phone or a number to call to get yourself home.

What do I do if my bike breaks down or gets a flat during the ride?

All riders must be self sufficient in terms of bike maintenance. It is a good idea to bring a spare tube, and the tools necessary to fix a flat tire (tire levers and a hand pump or compressed CO2). You should also have a backup plan to get a ride or bus back to the ride start in case your bike has a larger mechanical issue. Consider taking our maintenance classes before participating if you want to learn these skills or have a refresher course. See our maintenance class schedule.

What do I do if I want to participate but I don’t have a bike?

If you do not have a bicycle, there are a number of options for renting bicycles and purchasing bicycles in the Puget Sound region. 

How do I know if I can do the ride?

All of our Free Group Rides are classified by various characteristics of the ride, including pace, distance and terrain. Read a full listing of ride classifications.

If you are uncertain of your ability to do a ride, feel free to reach out to the Ride Leader through their contact info on the ride posting. You can also always start with rides in our slowest “Easy” pace category and work your way up from there.

Do you only offer road rides?

While the majority of Cascade’s Free Group are road rides intended for those riding road bikes, there are rides posted for those interested in off-road and mountain biking. Check Cascade’s Free Group Ride calendar for upcoming offroad/mountain biking rides (check under the “Interest” section on the left-hand side).

How do I become a ride leader?

To become a Free Group Ride Leader, you must be a Cascade premium member, and have gone on at least five Free Group Rides. Learn more.

I don’t see any rides in my area or at the right time for me. Why is this? How can I find the right ride for me?

If you have been checking the Cascade calendar regularly, and don’t see any rides that suit your interests or fit in your schedule, become a Ride Leader! Our Free Group Ride program is volunteer pedal-powered, meaning it is our awesome and dedicated team of leaders who provide all the rides of various interests, regions and skill levels that are listed on our calendar. 

If you feel the perfect ride for you is missing, chances are others feel that way too. Becoming a ride leader could significantly expand what rides our program is able to offer and who in our community we are able to serve.

Can my children come on a ride?

It depends on the ride. While some of our rides are family-themed or kid-friendly, not all rides are suitable for children/families. Please contact the ride leader before the ride to ensure the ride is appropriate, and read more about children and youth on Free Group Rides

Why do I have to sign a waiver?

All riders on a Cascade Free Group Ride must sign a waiver (Safety Affirmation and Liability Release), agreeing to the terms and conditions of a Cascade Free Group Ride. Riders must also provide their contact info and an emergency contact when they sign this waiver. 

Please contact us with any other questions or concerns about our Free Group Rides program.