Why Join a Cycling Club
Cycling is a fantastic activity that offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. However, it can sometimes feel like a solitary pursuit.
This is where cycling clubs come in. Joining a cycling club can add a whole new dimension to your cycling experience, providing a range of advantages that go beyond simply getting some exercise. These benefits aren't just for adults – kids can reap the rewards of a cycling club too!
Structured Training and Improved Fitness
You don’t have to be a cycling pro to join a club, and whatever your level the club will let you improve. One of the primary benefits of joining a cycling club is access to structured training plans. Clubs often have rides catered to different fitness levels, allowing you to find a group that matches your abilities and helps you push yourself to improve.
Drafting behind other riders can also significantly reduce wind resistance, making your rides more efficient and helping you cover longer distances. You'll be surprised how quickly you and your little ones see gains in stamina, speed, and confidence.
Discover Local Routes and Hidden Gems
Experienced club members often have an intimate knowledge of their local cycling routes. Joining a club can expose you to hidden trails and scenic backroads that you might never have found on your own.
It’s also nice to ride local routes with a group of people who are familiar with the area.
Building a Cycling Community
Cycling can be a solitary activity, but joining a club instantly connects you with a community of like-minded individuals. You and your children will be able to cycle in exciting group activities.
You'll find mentors, training partners, and cheerleaders who share your passion for cycling. This camaraderie can be a powerful motivator, providing support and encouragement as you challenge yourself on or off the road.
Learning from the Experts
Club members come from all walks of life and cycling experiences. By joining a club, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
You can learn from experienced riders who can teach you about bike handling, maintenance, and even racing tactics. These skills will make you a more confident and competent cyclist. Many cycling clubs also hold workshops and classes to help you improve your skills and fitness.
Many cycling clubs will organise group rides and races, which can add a healthy dose of competition to your training. The competitive spirit keeps things exciting, adds a dash of adrenaline, and fuels your and your kids' drive to constantly improve.
However, it's important to remember that the emphasis should be on personal improvement and enjoying the ride, rather than cutthroat competition!
Benefits for Kids Too
Kids can also reap numerous benefits from being part of a cycling community. Clubs provide a safe and supportive environment for children to learn to ride, develop cycling skills, and make friends with other kids who share their passion.
Participating in group rides and races can also boost kids' confidence and self-esteem while teaching them valuable lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship.
Kids Bikes with Bike Club
If you're looking for a way to get your child started on the right foot, consider a kids' bike subscription service like Bike Club. Bike Club provides high-quality bikes that grow with your child, eliminating the need to buy new bikes every few years.
This makes cycling more accessible and affordable for families, allowing kids to join the cycling community and experience the joys of riding with friends and family.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cycling Clubs
How do I find a cycling club near me?
There are several ways to track down a club that's a good fit for you:
- Online directories: Cycling organisations like Cycling UK have club search features on their websites. You can filter by location, riding style, and skill level. British Cycling also have a catalogue of “Go-Ride” clubs, which cater specifically to children and young people.
- Social media: Many cycling clubs have active Facebook groups or Instagram pages. Search for groups using keywords like "cycling club" and your city or region.
- Community centres and event listings: Check community centre bulletin boards or websites for announcements about local cycling clubs or cycling events. These events can be a great way to meet potential club members and try different riding styles.
Are cycling clubs expensive to join?
Membership fees vary depending on the club, but they're generally quite affordable. Most clubs charge annual fees ranging from £20 to £100. However for children the price is often cheaper, with some being as low as £5 a month. Some clubs may also have additional costs for things like race entry fees or club jerseys.
However, the benefits of joining a club far outweigh the costs. You'll get access to structured rides, coaching tips, and discounts on gear and events. Plus, the camaraderie and support you'll find in a club can be priceless.
What kind of rides do cycling clubs do?
Most cycling clubs offer a variety of rides to cater to different levels and interests. Here are some common types of rides:
- Social rides: These are relaxed, no-drop rides perfect for beginners or anyone who wants to enjoy a leisurely pace.
- Training rides: These rides are designed to help you improve your fitness and prepare for events. They may be interval-based or focus on climbing or other specific skills.
- Group centuries: These longer rides (100 miles or more) are a challenge for experienced cyclists. They're often broken down into smaller loops with rest stops.
- Mountain bike rides: Some clubs focus on off-road riding, exploring trails and tackling technical terrain.
- Commuter rides: These rides help cyclists get to work or other destinations safely and efficiently.