Local Bike Rides and Bad Form

As you know I now have a bike and plan to get some riding done.  I began to look around for local or semi-local riding events for beginners as I figure this would be a great place to learn and I would feel safer on the roads with others. Well I found some sources including some from local triathlon groups as well as cycling groups and cycling stores. But I have a question of what is considered appropriate?  If a bike store I dd not buy my bike from is hosting a beginner ride and they list that all are welcome do they really mean ‘all’?  

Lets say I bought my bike from company X because they had what I wanted and were closer.  But company Z has a schedule of beginner bike rides that looks like something I might want to participate in.  Is it bad to partake in their ride as I am sure they are hosting it for people who bought from them.  So, if it is cool, then I guess it is only right to buy something, even a little something like  a water bottle, from them right?  I hope you can see my concern and maybe I am just making a bigger deal of this than it really is.  I just want to be sure I truly understand protocol here.  Till next time.

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6 comments

  1. I’m pretty sure they mean everyone is welcome. I think it’s their way of gaining trust, establishing a reputation as the go-to bike place, and drawing in new customers. You don’t have to buy a bottle, but who knows down the line you might pick up bike parts from them or get your bike serviced there. 🙂

    1. Part of the reason for asking this is was the fact that the place I bought from has a ride, it just seems less aimed at beginners and is in a busier area. The other shop is in a less busy area and is specifically aimed at beginners.

    2. Agreed, it will just be a marketing thing for the bike shop to increase its reputation. By the sounds of it anyone will be welcome.

  2. If it were me I would probably buy a little something and try to establish a relationship. When I first started everyone was anti big box stores which is why I went with a LBS. Having that relationship is a great thing. I feel like they care a little more. My opinion, buy a little something and see how it goes. Which area do you live if you don’t mind me asking?

    1. Both the store I bought the bike from (Performance) and the store I want to participate(Fleet) are both decently sized I think. Good suggestion either way. I live in Woodstock Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.

      1. Cool. Either way it wouldn’t hurt to try to establish that relationship. At least it would be another outlet for questions. People in the cycling community tend to be great at giving real advice and honest answers.

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