You and your bike

Riders are expected to be safety aware, self-sufficient and to ensure that their bike is in a well-maintained condition.


Much of Hertfordshire is chalk. Where there's chalk there's flint and where there's flint there are punctures - so expect them, especially when rain has washed a new crop of flint across the road! Punctures are more of an irritant on a group ride than when riding alone. The more bikes there are the more chance there is that someone will puncture and everyone's puncture spoils everyone else's ride.

You should reduce the risk of punctures by choosing tyres with a sensible level of protection. Usually this means some sort of breaker layer (often Kevlar) under the tread. Regular tyre maintenance will help. Conventional tyres - those with inner tubes - should be checked regularly. Deflate the tyre and pinch between thumb and fore-finger to reveal embedded flints, glass and thorns which can then be removed with a sharp point. Tubeless tyres should self seal when punctured by a small flint but you need to make sure the sealant is topped up and replaced regularly. Watch this video for help on this.



Use tyres with a sensible level of puncture protection.

  • It is recommended to have a pump, tyre levers, spare inner tube, puncture repair kit and to be able to deal with punctures and minor repairs while out on rides.

  • You may also consider bringing a chain tool, Allen keys, a spoke key, plasters and a bandage.

  • Check your bike before you set out, paying particular attention to brakes, wheels and tyres, the chain, steering and gears.

  • Drinks bottles and food or energy bars are essential on most rides.

  • It is recommended to have eyewear, track mitts or gloves, a mobile phone, and some cash for refreshments.

  • It is recommended you wear a helmet.

  • Check the weather before you set out and bring lights, and wear or bring high visibility and waterproof clothing as appropriate.

  • Mudguards are recommended in wet weather for your benefit and for the benefit of those riding behind you.

  • Tyres with a sensible level of puncture protection should be used. Frequent punctures spoil the ride for the whole group.

  • Carry emergency contact details and consider how you would get home in an emergency.