Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who Are the Portland Wheelmen?
    Who Are The Portland Wheelmen? The Portland Wheelmen Touring Club (PWTC) currently boasts nearly 600 members. We focus primarily on recreational riding, often with multiple rides offered daily, offering cycling experience since 1971. Our ride schedule offers a variety of terrain difficulty and ride distances so most riders are able to find a ride to match their cycling skill level. If you are looking to expand your cycling horizons come out and try our rides. We look forward to seeing you out on the road with us.
  • When do you ride?
    When do you ride? Every day of the year. We have up to two dozen rides offered every week. These include daily morning rides and a variety of weekend rides offered all year round. Also, during April through September, there are a number of evening rides offered. PWTC also offers a number of special one-day event rides, multi-day loaded tours, and long weekend trips that incorporate camping and cycling.
  • Do I have to be a member to ride with PWTC?
    Do I have to be a member to ride with PWTC? No, but being a member has the additional benefits of networking with other cyclists, receiving our electronic newsletter attending member only functions, and receiving Club discounts at a number of area cycling shops.
  • What does it cost to go on a ride?
    What does it cost to go on a ride? There is no fee to attend any of our daily scheduled rides. Annually, we do host the Pioneer Century which is a pay-to-ride event, offering several distances of 30-100 miles.
  • What types of rides do you offer?
    What types of rides do you offer? PWTC has a wide variety of rides on the schedule suitable for various interests and levels of riding. Ride options range from rides for those new to group riding but with some cycling experience, to the more social coffee rides, to challenging routes of longer distance and tougher terrain. PWTC offers lots of social rides in the 25-35 mile range, each focusing on life’s simple pleasures of cycling, food, and coffee!
  • How fast do the rides go?
    How fast do the rides go? On Non-group rides everyone rides the route as fast or as slow as they wish. There is no set speed! However on Group rides the speed will vary with the type of group. The Slowpoke and Meet PWTC rides are the slowest at around 8-10 mph. Recreational and social group rides are faster at about 13-15 mph. The Welcome to PWTC rides fall in between at around 12-13 mph. Check the specific ride description or with the ride leader for an idea of the pace.
  • How far do the rides go?
    How far do the rides go? The ride distance is listed on the ride calendar, but don’t be fooled by distance alone…the terrain rating is also very important. Descriptions are available on the PWTC website. A speed rating (how fast the ride leader intends to go) is also listed.
  • What time do rides really start?
    What time do rides really start? Rides start at the listed time. It’s recommended that participants arrive at the start location at least 15 minutes early to check in and get your bike ready to go. Most ride leaders give a brief overview of the ride at the listed start time. Arriving early to a ride also gives riders a chance to meet the ride leader, ask questions, or socialize with other riders before getting on the road.
  • Will I be given a map so I know where I’m going?
    Will I be given a map so I know where I’m going? All non-group rides have a map for the route. Generally, the ride leader will go over specifics for that particular route at the beginning of the ride. Group rides, where riders stay together, may not have a route map and the group either follows the leader or follows specific directions to re-group points given by the leader.
  • What should I bring?
    What should I bring? ASTM, CPSC or SNELL-approved cycling helmets are required on all PWTC rides. Additionally, riders should carry a basic tool kit with spare tube(s), patch kit, a working bike pump or CO2 inflater, water bottle or hydration pack, clothing appropriate for seasonal weather, food, money, and personal ID, which includes emergency contact information.
  • How do I find out if a ride is cancelled?
    How do I find out if a ride is cancelled? Although PWTC is known for riding all year long, rain or shine, sometimes a ride is canceled because of severe weather conditions. If you have any doubt, contact the ride leader.
  • Will someone be there to help me with a flat?
    Will someone be there to help me with a flat? Yes and no. Riders should have the knowledge to change their own flats, although most of the time other riders are more than happy to help another cyclist in distress. More than one new rider has been given an on-the-road demonstration when the need has arisen. But if you are riding by yourself you may be on your own. The majority of Non-group rides do not have designated sweep riders.
  • I want to do Cycle Oregon or another big ride. Can PWTC help me get ready?
    I want to do Cycle Oregon or another big ride. Can PWTC help me get ready? PWTC’s variety of rides can take you from novice to expert in a matter of months, if you put in the effort. Members can help you set smaller goals along the way and our variety of rides can help you improve your fitness, skill and confidence. Many members have set these same goals and achieved them, so we can help you as well.
  • Is cycling all that PWTC is involved in?
    Is cycling all that PWTC is involved in? Being cyclists, riding is definitely our primary focus; however, PWTC is also involved in an array of local cycling events. We support local children’s helmet fitting fairs by providing both volunteers and helmets. Our volunteers help clean and repair bikes for the Community Cycling Center’s annual Holiday Bike Fair. We are primary support organizers for the Seattle-to-Portland finish line activities. Many of our members are also active in other organizations that either host cycling events or are involved in community cycling programs.
  • What are the benefits of being a PWTC member?
    What are the benefits of being a PWTC member? A member receives the benefits of networking with other cyclists, receiving our monthly newsletter, attending member only functions, and receiving Club discounts at a number of area cycling shops.
  • How do I join?
    How do I join? To join, register online, or download and print out the Membership Form and mail it in.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question; there are really no “dumb” questions. Join us at our monthly Club Meeting. It’s held the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4033 SE Woodstock, Portland. It’s open to everyone and we have great presenters at every meeting.