Training

Ten reasons to join a cycling club today

No matter your age or cycling ability, every rider can reap the rewards of joining a cycling club. There are more than 1,500 clubs throughout the UK, so if you’re keen to take your cycling to the next level, check out our top 10 reasons to join a cycling club now…

You’ll get the knowledge

By riding with a cycling club you will meet experienced riders who can impart their years of hard-earned wisdom to you. You’ll be able to find out about essential kit, how to recognise mechanical problems before they develop into full-blown disasters, and whether you could use a better gear for the hills you’ll be tackling on the next club run.

You’ll be more motivated

If you sometimes struggle to find the motivation to get out and ride, the prospect of meeting up with your club mates will really motivate you to get out of the door.

You’ll learn group riding skills

By learning how to ride in a group when you’re out on a club run, you’ll equip yourself with the skills and etiquette you’ll need for a sportive like one of the Prudential RideLondon events. You can also find out more about communicating in a group and useful hand signals here.

You’ll save more

Many cycling clubs offer discounts on gear and servicing at local cycle shops. Penge Cycle Club in south east London, for example, is just £15 a year to join, and for that you get Tuesday and Sunday guided rides, five per cent off new bikes, 12 per cent off accessories and one free bike check a year at SE20 Cycles. Sold!

You’ll feel safer

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.

You’ll train for your target event

Many clubs run targeted training sessions for members building up to a big event like Prudential RideLondon. Joining a group of cyclists who are roughly at your level and who have the same goal as you can be hugely motivating.

You’ll take your training to the next level

On the flipside, if you train with riders of differing standards, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to keep up can also help to develop your strength, speed and stamina. For some cyclists, the competitive side of the sport is irresistible and the next step is racing.

You’ll discover new routes

We’ve all been there: the route that looked good on the map turns out to be a super-busy dual carriageway that’s about as much fun as cycling the wrong way around the M25. By swapping your solo rides for club rides, you’ll tap into the years of local knowledge built up on club runs, which means the quietest routes, the best coffee stops and the quickest routes home if the weather takes a turn for the worst.

You could even discover new countries

Many cycling clubs organise overseas adventures such as a trip to watch a Classic in Belgium or a group outing to tackle a famous European sportive like the Etape du Tour, the Marmotte or the Maratona dles Dolomites. Further afield still, Prudential RideLondon’s sister events include the Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City, The Cape Town Cycle Tour and the epic Vatternrundan in Sweden.

You’ll enjoy the social side

Joining a cycling club isn’t only about the bike; Sunday club rides will often include a coffee and cake stop, either during or after the ride. A social cuppa is a great opportunity to find out what events your club mates are planning to ride, ask any questions you may have and enjoy a sweet treat that you’ve really earned.

If you’re inspired to join a cycling club, visit the British Cycling website to find a club near you.