When you join a cycling club you’re joining a community of like-minded people who are passionate about the sport you love. Sure, it might be nice to ride and train on your own but by joining a club you can truly get the most out of cycling. In a club you can make new friends, learn from more experienced riders, share routes and training tips, and create a new social group.
If you’re unsure where your nearest club can be found, the club finder on the British Cycling website is a good place to start. Before you comb through that for your local club, here are our reasons to join a cycling club.
In a club there will be no shortage of people who want to ride with you. You can meet new people that you otherwise wouldn’t as cycling is a melting pot of different personalities from all backgrounds and of all ages. Club mates can be friends for life too. This camaraderie is particularly useful if you move to a new area and feel a bit lonely.
Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to find someone willing to talk cycling with you. It’s not exactly a watercooler topic and it can be especially difficult if your friends or partner don’t have clue what you’re going on about. However, in a cycling club you have the perfect group of people to share your passion with. Pro racing, kit, tips, bikes, routes, the cycle chat is endless.
Learn new skills
From a performance side of things, joining a cycling club will make you a better cyclist. Learn essential skills from more experienced riders and pit yourself against the best in your club. You’ll begin to develop your skills and become a better rider because of this extra competition.
One of the best things about joining a club is the kit. Wearing the same colours can make you feel better as a rider, training and racing among your clubmates in sharp matching kit. You’ll also be able to pick out fellow riders on the road and shout a greeting even if you don’t know them yet. This sense of belonging is key to the club mentality.
The club run
The traditional weekend ride-out is the staple of UK cycling clubs. Most will run several groups at different paces so you can choose where your ability is best placed, then move up through the groups as you improve as a cyclist. Alternatively, you can head out at a slower pace and socialise with your club mates. Whatever they may say, most of the club are there for the mid ride café stop anyway.
New roads, new routes
This is especially pertinent if you’ve moved to a new area. Going on rides like the weekly club run is a fantastic way of discovering your local roads. You may find new Strava segments that you didn’t know about before or discover new routes to connect your favourite training roads. There’s always something new to discover.
When you ride on your own it can be difficult to talk yourself into riding in the winter months. You are the only person who suffers so sometimes it’s simply easier to stay in bed. Committing to riding with a mate or joining the club run will banish these doubts and motivate you to get out on the bike.
Another big motivation is the opportunity to start racing. Whether it’s time trials in spring, road races in the summer or cyclocross in the winter, if you’re part of a large club there are bound to be people who do all of those disciplines. Perhaps you don’t drive so struggle to get to races? Well, now you’re part of this new community you can find someone to hitch a ride with. Of course, do remember to pay them back in whatever way you both see fit.
Off the bike fun
Sometimes being part of a cycling club means more fun off the bike than it does on it. Club socials are some of the most anticipated events of the season for some cyclists. Things like award nights, pub socials, café stops, and takeaway nights are all part of the fun. The club community extends far beyond just simply riding your bike in a group.
Giving back to the club
Finally, once you start benefitting from all these perks it’s time to give back. This can be equally as rewarding as riding a race and a great way to integrate into the fabric of the club. Volunteering as a marshal, being a ride leader, helping to organise events or simply giving advice to the next new rider are all ways you can help to give a little back to your club.
As you can see, joining a cycling club can be incredibly beneficial to every rider. It’s not just about the improvements either, there’s nothing better than joining a group of like-minded people to do the sport we all love.
Before joining a club, it’s worth looking at our cycle insurance policies. Pedalsure can insure all of your bikes and accessories and cover them even in your home. The fact is, you won’t find many of the things we cover in your typical home insurance policies.
Taking out a policy with us means that your bike is protected in cases of bike theft and damage when you stop for your mid club run coffee. Pedalsure can also protect you, your bike and your accessories in mass participation events and races, in cases of personal injury, personal liability and when you’re travelling abroad.
Getting yourself set up with a Pedalsure policy is something you only have to do once a year, but you benefit from on every ride.