They’re yours when you join a cycling club aligned with your interests, here’s how to make that happen.
At last there’s a way to unite your social scene and your cycling lifestyle.
Chances are that you fit your cycling lifestyle into the margins of your workday, where it may crowd out your social life (or vice versa). What if you combined the two by joining a cycling club? Cycling clubs come in all varieties and are often a further expression of members’ interests, starting with what type of riding they like to do (i.e. road or off-road). The benefits of joining a cycling club are numerous — almost too many to count in fact, because you’ll always find something more to like about joining a club.
Some of the basic benefits to riding with a club are that scheduled club rides have a nice way of keeping you committed to cycling when you know that other people will also show up to ride; riding skills get generously shared among club members; there is safety in numbers on a group ride; and likely the biggest benefit of a cycling club is that members already have a shared interest, so right away you’ll feel like you’re among friends. Many clubs also welcome junior cyclists aged 16 and under, which can turn club events into family outings.
Most clubs will let you ride with them once or twice to try it out to see if you like it. If you decide to join a club, you should choose a club that’s closely aligned with your interests because anything less would be doing you a disservice, especially when there are so many clubs to choose from.
To find a cycling club, you have a few different options, which are listed below.
- Visit the “Club Finder” section of British Cycling’s website. Once there you can filter your search to find a club within a certain radius, postcode, city, or region. Or, you can simply search for a club by name. Available information varies between clubs but there’s enough there to give you an idea of what the club is about.
- Chat up the folks at your local bike shop to see if they have a club or if a club uses their shop as a departure point for club rides. Then ask to join one of the rides to try it out.
- If any of your friends who also ride belong to a club, see if you can tag along on one of their club rides.
- You could always start your own club if none of the existing clubs tempt you. It could be a club of your own design, with its own guidelines however, if your club starts to outgrow its grassroots origins, you may want formalise it and make it a legit club. British Cycling lays out how to do that in a section on “How to set up a club”.
A cycling club can spark your competitive spirit, improve your social scene, or just give you something to do on weekends. But more than that, joining a cycling club offers benefits like knowledge sharing, friendly competition, and lasting camaraderie, both on the bike and off.