Come cycling with Columbus Outdoor Pursuits!
We welcome new cyclists as well as those who have been riding for years.
Our COP volunteers offer one-time and weekly occurring rides of varying distances and terrain starting at different locations around Central Ohio. We also organize budget tours around the state, including the Knox County Bicycle Challenge, Columbus Fall Challenge (CFC), and HOOT. Please consult the Cycling Activity Schedule for a listing of upcoming rides.
Read our articles and peruse our photos to see our members in their latest adventures on the road!
If you are new to COP rides, please make sure to read the description of the ride and consult our COP rider guidelines. By choosing the correct pace and arriving prepared for the conditions of a particular ride, you help ensure that our rides are as safe and fun as possible for everyone. If you have further questions regarding the ride, contact the ride leader listed.
Note that starting times listed for each ride indicates when the riders will roll out of the parking lot to begin the ride. Therefore, please arrive early enough to depart at the prescribed time listed.
Lastly, note that helmets are REQUIRED on all COP rides.
For general questions regarding the Bicycling program, contact the Bicycling Activity Leader: email@example.com.
Bicycle Tour Types
We offer offer offer of Tours (Full Service and Budget), Roving/one time, and Recurring rides. These rides are described below
Full Service Tour Information
Full Service Tour synopsis: Map, painted arrows on road, rider support, food provided
Full service tours offer snacks and lunch, as well as SAG support, and the option of preregistration for a reduced price. Routes will be marked and maps provided. Multi-day tours require preregistration. Generally this rides will attract 200 to 3000 riders and the cost will be at least $20
Budget Tour Information
Budget Tour Synopsis: Map, painted arrows, no sag support provided, no food provided.
Roving/One Time Rides
Columbus Outdoor Pursuits (COP) sponsors a number of traditional one-day rides, known as budget tours, throughout the riding season. The rides are open to cyclists of all levels (A-B-C-D). You do not need to be a member of COP. Cost is $4, or $7 for non-members. You can preregister but on the day of ride Cash only please. Correct change appreciated. Please have COP member an emergency contact number available when signing registering. The rides go on rain or shine.
"Budget tour" means a map is supplied and the routes are marked on the road. Food is on your own at carryouts and restaurants carryouts the way. Be sure to carry plenty of water and a snack, as food opportunities may be limited. Riders start on their own or with friends after registering. There is no mass start. A helmet is required.
The rides typically offer multiple routes, ranging from 27 to 100 mile loops on lightly traveled roads. Terrain may range from flat to very hilly, depending on the area. There will be route markings as you approach a turn, at the turn, and a confirmation mark after the turn. Straight-through intersections may not be marked unless confusing or it's been several miles since the last mark. Optional routes will be marked with the mileage.
Dates and starting locations are listed in the COP newsletter and in the online activity schedule. Registration time is normally from 7 - 9 am.
Maps, route advice and highlighters will be available at registration. Pick your route, start on your own and ride at your own (or your friends) pace. But mostly, be safe and have fun!
Roving/One Time Synopsis: Map provided, all riders depart at same time, no cost to participateRecurring Rides
Roving/One Time rides do not cost anything for you to participate. The leader might have a theme like seeking hills or flat. They may have a unique destination like Amish country or Utica Ice Cream Festival. Like full service and budget tours, these are unique rides and tend not to be repeated during the year.
Recurring Ride Synopsis: Map provided, all riders depart at same time, no cost to participate, the ride starts at the same location and time during the bicycle season.
Recurring rides do not cost anything for you to participate. They tend to start at the same time and location each week. Most of these rides occur Monday through Friday though we have a few that happen on the weekends.
Please review these guidelines if you are new to COP rides. By choosing the correct pace and arriving prepared, you will help ensure our rides are as safe and fun as possible for everyone.
SAFETY: A CPSC, ASTM, or SNELL approved helmet is required on all COP rides. Other recommended safety items include a rear-view mirror, a rear flasher, and bright, visible clothing. Cyclists under age 18 must have written permission and the liability waiver release signed by a parent or guardian. For safety reasons, children two and under are not permitted on COP rides. Please respect the laws of the road and rights of other road users.
PACE: All COP bicycle tours are "open" paced events, with maps and road markers provided; however, the tour organizer does not specifically accompany the riders. COP day rides have designated leader(s) at one or more paces, and only maps are provided. The ride leader will accompany the group in the manner that best supports the entire group, not an individual rider. COP highly recommends that you contact the ride leader if you have any questions about the ride/tour.
Pace classes are intended to give a rough idea of the common "riding" speed of the group, rather than the average speed. Completing a century ride (100) miles in 5 hours indicates a mathematical average of 20 mph, but the common riding speed to required to complete this ride in 5 hours can easily be in the mid-20s. Variables such as wind, hills and time off the bike can greatly detract from an average, as it is a time-based figure. The speeds listed below refer to common "riding" speeds.
- A 19-23 MPH: our fastest pace. Licensed racers frequently attend these rides, which might be listed as A+ rides in this schedule. Be prepared to maintain this pace over 30-50 miles on a weeknight ride, and 60-100 on a weekends. Stops typically are few and short. Average speeds can be over 20 mph.
- B 16-19 MPH: a fast recreational clip. The ride distances will be somewhat lower than the "A" group, and the stops can be longer and more frequent. Opportunities for regrouping will be more frequent.
- C 13-16 MPH: an enthusiastic pace. Many of our longer-distance riders ride in this pace range. The mood will be less competitive and more social. Groups will tend to stay together more, but the riding will still be consistent. The routes often avoid the hilliest options.
- D 10-13 MPH: a very social pace. Riders can be experienced, or fairly new, but are usually familiar with the basics of cycling on the open road and in groups. Distances are modest, and often a meal stop or sight-seeing is involved.
- NR: no designated speed. These rides are specifically oriented around introducing new riders to the sport. The pace will be dictated by those who attend, and often these rides are intended as an introduction to cycling. NR rides can use bike paths or roadways.
- DOWR: Depending On Weather and Riders, usually for winter rides. This note in any ride listing indicates an "open" condition, and will usually be included with a pace class. The leader may choose to leave the pace, distance and destination to be decided by the group, so maps may not be included for these impromptu rides.
You must wear a helmet on all COP rides.