Ten reasons to join a cycling club today
No matter what your age or cycling ability, every rider can benefit from becoming a member of a cycling club. More than 1,700 British Cycling-affiliated clubs are currently active across the UK, so if you’re keen to meet new people while taking your rides to the next level, check out our top ten reasons why you should join one now.
1. Absorb cycling knowledge
When riding with a cycling club you’ll meet a range of like-minded cycling enthusiasts, from newbie riders to experienced cyclists who will no doubt be keen to share their wisdom with you. You could learn about key cycling kit, how to spot mechanical niggles before they develop into full-blown bike disasters, what gears to use during the next club ride, and much more.
2. Feel more motivated
If you sometimes struggle to find the motivation to get out and ride, the prospect of meeting up with your club mates can really motivate you to get out of the door and onto the saddle – and keep you accountable if you’re training for Ford RideLondon!
3. Learn group riding skills
By learning how to ride in a group when you’re out with your club mates, you’ll equip yourself with the skills and etiquette you’ll need for events like Ford RideLondon – whether that’s using correct hand signals or knowing how to ride at an appropriate distance from other cyclists.
4. Feel safer on your bike
If you’re involved in an accident while out riding, being part of a cycling club group ride should mean that help is at hand if you need assistance – giving you and your loved ones greater peace of mind.
5. Train for your target event
Many clubs host targeted training sessions for members building up to events like Ford RideLondon. Joining a group of cyclists who are roughly at your level and who have the same goal as you can be hugely inspiring.
6. Move your cycling up a gear
On the flipside, if you train with riders of stronger cycling ability, you could develop a drive to push yourself out of your comfort zone and build your strength, speed and stamina as a result. For some riders, the competitive side of the sport is irresistible, while others are keen to improve their cycling in their own time, without the pressure of races. No matter what the nature of your cycling goals, so long as you enjoy the process, you’re doing the right thing!
7. Grab a discount
Many cycling clubs offer discounts on gear and servicing at local cycle shops. Everyone loves a bargain, and this could prove useful when getting hold of essential gear for Ford RideLondon.
8. Discover new routes
We’ve all been there – the route that looked wonderful on paper translates into a stressful ride on busy highways that makes you feel like you’re cycling the wrong way around the M25. By swapping your solo rides for club rides – especially if you’re new to the sport – you’ll tap into a wealth of local knowledge built up over months and years. This means safer, more sociable and often more interesting rides that are better suited to your cycling ability and training preferences.
9. Visit new countries
Many cycling clubs even organise overseas group adventures, such as trips to tackle famous European sportives like the Etape du Tour or the Maratona dles Dolomites, or to spectate thrilling pro races like the Ford RideLondon Classique. Perhaps options to consider if Ford RideLondon whets your appetite for more cycling excursions?
10. Enjoy the social side
Joining a cycling club isn’t only about the bike – traditional Sunday club rides often include a coffee and cake stop (or several), either during or after the outing! A social cuppa is a great opportunity to make new friends, find out what events your club mates are planning to enter, ask questions and – of course – enjoy a well-earned sweet treat.
If you’re feeling inspired to join a cycling club, check out the British Cycling website to find one near you.