Tips for Finding a Good Cycling Club
So, you've caught the cycling bug, and spend as much time on the saddle as possible. The wind in your hair, the thrill of speed, and the sheer joy of pedalling have you hooked. But cycling alone can get a tad lonely, and let's face it, there's only so much you can learn from YouTube tutorials and online forums. That's where joining a cycling club comes into play. You can pick up tips and tricks from your fellow club members, and inspire each other to keep going.
Not only that, but making a commitment to cycle on a certain date often results in you feeling compelled to attend as you’ll be letting people down if you fail to show up. This results in more cycling which can only be a good thing.
But how do you find the right club? To help you, we’ve put together some top tips for finding a good first cycling club that will make your cycling journey even more exhilarating.
10 Tips for Finding a Good Cycling Club
1. Know Your Goals
The best place to start is to identify what you want to achieve. Are you a casual cyclist who enjoys weekend rides, or are you training for the Tour de France? Knowing your goals will help you find a club that aligns with your ambitions. Some clubs are more focused on social rides, while others are all about competitive racing. Make sure you pick a club that matches your objectives.
2. Location, Location, Location
You don't want to spend more time driving to the club than actually cycling, do you? Look for clubs that are conveniently located. Use local cycling forums, social media groups, or even cycling shops as resources to find clubs near you. And don’t forget internet searches to find cycling clubs in your local area. You may want to make a list and work your way through it.
3. Check the Vibe
Every club has its own culture. Some are super competitive, while others are more laid-back. Visit a few club meetings or join a couple of trial rides to get a feel for the vibe. You want to be in a club where you feel comfortable and welcome rather than pressured.
4. Skill Level
It's essential to find a club that caters to your skill level. If you're a beginner, you don't want to be left in the dust by advanced cyclists. Conversely, if you're experienced, you don't want to be held back. Many clubs offer different groups based on skill level, so make sure to inquire about this.
5. Ask About the Schedule
How often does the club meet? What days and times are most rides scheduled? Make sure the club's schedule aligns with your availability. There's no point in joining a club if you can't make it to any of the rides.
6. Membership Fees
Most clubs have a membership fee that covers various expenses like event organisation, insurance, and sometimes even snacks and drinks for rides. Make sure you understand any fees involved and that you are happy with the price and what you are getting for your money. Some clubs offer trial periods where you can participate for free before committing.
7. Safety First
A good club takes safety seriously. They should have guidelines on helmet use, signals, and road etiquette. If a club seems lax about safety, it's a red flag.
8. Social Aspects
Don't underestimate the social benefits of joining a club. It's a great way to make new friends who share your passion. Check if the club organises social events, workshops, or trips. These can add an extra layer of fun to your cycling experience and you'll improve.
For example, an early season spell in Mallorca could be hugely beneficial to your cycling and for your club.
9. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Before making your final decision, it's always a good idea to read reviews or ask opinions from current or past members.
This will give you an unbiased view of what to expect.
10. Trust Your Gut
Last but not least, trust your instincts. If something feels off during your trial period, it probably is. You want your cycling club experience to be enjoyable, so make sure it feels right before you commit.
Finding the right cycling club is a bit like dating. It can take time to find the ‘one’. Often it takes a bit of time and research, but the benefits are well worth the effort. From improving your skills to making lifelong friends, the right club can significantly enhance your love for cycling. So put on your helmet, hop on your bike, and start exploring your options.
While you're looking for a club why not book a Mallorca cycling holiday? You'll get to meet like-minded people and you'll pick up a few tricks riding in the Balearic sun. You may even get to ride with the Legend Sean Kelly!