So you’re a keen cyclist and would love to have other people to ride with? Or maybe you took up cycling during lockdown and want to explore taking it a little further with some coaching or advice on sessions and so on. I’ve put together five tips for joining your local cycle club that should help you in taking the next steps.
Do your research
In large towns, you shouldn’t have an issue finding a local cycle club. However, in some smaller towns, it may prove to be a little tricky. I would always recommend researching all the clubs you have in your area so you can make an informed decision. Once you have identified the clubs available to you, it’s about making sure one of them ticks the boxes you need for what you want to gain from joining (more on that a little later).
Do they offer a taster session?
Think of this like try before you buy. Do they offer a taster session where you can go down on one of their training sessions and join in? It’s an opportunity to meet the people, get a feel for what this club is about and how everything works. If you’re unsure on if a club offers a taster session, head to their social media and drop them a message to ask. If they don’t offer a taster session, I’d be questioning if this is the right club for me.
Are you made to feel welcome?
I’d consider this to be one of the most important things to consider when joining your local cycle club. Being made to feel welcome and included is so important. It costs nothing to be kind and welcome new people to the club! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist and moved to a new area and need a new club, you should be made to feel welcome. If a cycle club states they are inclusive and cater for all abilities and you don’t get that feeling, then it might be time to try an alternative option.
Does it fit with you and your lifestyle?
Things to consider here are what nights or days do the club come together? Are there set training days and do these fit into your schedule? Where do they cycle and is this accessible for you? When you decided you wanted to join your local cycle club, you most likely told yourself it’s because you want to meet other cyclists, get some advice and start cycling with others. So if you can’t make the sessions and they don’t fit your lifestyle then it may be best to check other clubs that train on days that work for you.
What do you want to gain from joining the club?
This is the biggie. What do you want to gain from joining your local cycle club? Is it to meet new people and make some cycling friends? Is it to train in a group and prepare for an event? Or is it simply to take your hobby to the next level and experience a club environment? Whatever the reason or reasons are, identify what it is you want to gain and make sure the club you choose will support those goals.
Joining your local cycle club will be one of the best decisions you make if you want to take your cycling further. The advice and knowledge you gain from being around experienced cyclists are second to none. On top of meeting like-minded people with who you share a passion makes for some great Sunday afternoon rides with coffee and cake!
I hope you’ve found these 5 tips for joining your local cycle club useful and I can’t wait to hear which clubs you’ve joined! Be sure to keep in touch by signing up for the Stomp The Pedal Monthly Edit newsletter here!