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When to join a club?

Hi, I am at the point where I think joining a club is the next logical step in improving my fitness. I have a good base fitness and dont think I would struggle too much in being able to do 60 -80 mile runs (although that depends on the pace :o )

My question is, when would be a good time to join a club? My concern is that at this time of the year I imagine club riders are at their peak fitness. Would I be better joining over the winter when everyone is taking it a bit easier?

Also, any recommendations on clubs in the Nottingham area?

Many thanks

Posts

  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    'Now' is always a good time to join a club. :D

    It's a myth that the majority of riders in most clubs are lean racing whippets who will work you over and spit you out the back of the clubrun before you've left town. Some clubs are full of nothing but racing cyclists but the vast majority of clubs, in my experience, have a huge majority of non-racing members (or ex-racing members) who just like riding their bikes, often at quite a sedate pace. So any time is a good time to join most clubs.

    Ruth
  • e999same999sam Posts: 426
    There are quit a few good clubs in Nottingham Including Beeston Road Club, Mapperley CC Ashfeild RC, Sherwood CC.
  • TonymufcTonymufc Posts: 1,016
    Most clubs you'll find expect you to be able to hold a pace of about 15mph ave. If you've got a decent fitness base you'll have no trouble what so ever. Also most clubs have several runs that go out. fast runs, touring runs etc. So you can just choose which one you want to go out on. Once you've built up your fitness, speed and confidence you can always give the faster run a go. Try having a look at the British cycling web site. They'll have a list of all the clubs in your area.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,503
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    'Now' is always a good time to join a club. :D

    Ruth

    Or, when you have the money.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    dennisn wrote:
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    'Now' is always a good time to join a club. :D

    Ruth

    Or, when you have the money.

    Don't think that's true of clubs here tbh, in fact quite the opposite. Most clubs charge next to nothing and some will offer good discounts on club clothing.

    I think all a club will need from you is a little bit of time and effort in helping at events (if you want to.).
  • Ian JIan J Posts: 12
    chrisw12 wrote:
    dennisn wrote:
    BeaconRuth wrote:
    'Now' is always a good time to join a club. :D

    Ruth

    Or, when you have the money.

    Don't think that's true of clubs here tbh, in fact quite the opposite. Most clubs charge next to nothing and some will offer good discounts on club clothing.

    I think all a club will need from you is a little bit of time and effort in helping at events (if you want to.).

    Think he means that when you join a club you see all the top gear that some members have and start spending
    Focus Culebro Tria
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,524
    Join ASAP, riding regularly with others can really help you improve and a lot of clubs will have various club runs etc. to suit ability. The start of winter is also as good a time as any as the racing types will hopefully be winding down and not using a social ride to train. Riding IMO is far more enjoyable with a group of people and a nice cafe stop :)
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Join now. Most clubs usually let you tag along for a ride so you can see what you think.
  • There are some common misconceptions associated with club riding and club attitudes (I was guilty of thinking if i'd be strong enough.

    1. try a couple of sunday rides with various clubs get chatting and one of them are bound to ask you to join anyway if they're worth it
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  • try a couple of sunday rides with various clubs

    This is a good idea if there's numerous clubs in the local area. In Merseyside, we have access to Southport, Liverpool mercury and Ashurst as "large" clubs, and don't forget that some bike shops such as Harry Middleton's in Ormskirk have now started a club.

    I think some clubs get a "bad" reputation because they're not as helpful to beginners, but really that's the only thing the "fast" clubs are "guilty" of in my view.

    Yes, there are one or two people who really are arrogant b******s but on the flip side there's an awful lot of people who get into cycling, buy a cheap road bike to start them off, and won't wait six months to develop good fitness to join the likes of Ashurst. Instant gratification isn't everything; it's the ONLY thing. So DON'T blame all on the fast lads, people sometimes need to take a bit more responsibility for their own fitness levels. Sorry if that comes across as being snobbish but I've been on both the receiving and "dishing out" ends of punishment (just not as fast as the racing lads) :wink:

    Some clubs, I think, are conceived with events to aim for in mind, e.g. time trials and triathlons at Ashurst. Personally that's what gets my juices flowing these days, it's like giving a piano student a competition or concert appearance to look forward to, it drives you forward. After all, why do we spend £1500 on a fast bike? To ride it FAST :D

    Speaking of the Merseyside/Lancashire clubs, they all made me feel very welcome on the Kenny Hill Sportive last Sunday! I was the only one from my club there, and Liverpool Merc, Ashurst and Harry Middleton CC all did themselves proud, to name three. These events (and I'd include Lancashire Lanes in this category) are great for someone who HAS waited a while to build fitness up, because you can easily get on well with any of the club cohorts who take part on the day.

    Now I've just got to think about which of Liverpool/Ormskirk/Ashurst I might want to switch to in the near future, anyone on these forums who is a member of the aforementioned clubs? You know where the PM button is :D
  • i've never really got the club thing - of course it's nice to chat to people, but riding should be about training, and the problem with many club rides is that you will always have to go at the pace of the slowest rider and wait at top of hills/junctions - for most of the clubs i've ridden with it seems to be a social thing...
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    ............ but riding should be about training...........
    Maybe it is for you, but I would say that for the majority of club cyclists training as such is of no interest. Probably 80% of my clubmates are not interested in 'training' at all. They ride their bikes for fun and for pleasure, to explore the countryside, to make friends, to enjoy being out in the fresh air etc etc.The nice thing about cycling is that it can mean completely different things to different people.

    Ruth
  • dbodendboden Posts: 349
    Where in Notts are you?
    I,m in MapperleyCC joined this year, best thing I,ve done.
  • i've never really got the club thing - of course it's nice to chat to people, but riding should be about training, and the problem with many club rides is that you will always have to go at the pace of the slowest rider and wait at top of hills/junctions - for most of the clubs i've ridden with it seems to be a social thing...

    Course it is, that's the point. Going out by yourself all the time is boring.

    Pianoman, I think your post is bang on. I've been going out with a different club than the one I joined at first, because they do more social rides and not just very fast 'race training' rides. Yet even on the slower social run (around 17mph ave) there's people who turn up saying "I've not been on the bike for a month!" and cry on the back that we're going too fast. It's a social ride, but don't take the mick, do your bit!
  • Thanks for all the replies and advice guys.

    Dboden - I actually live in Mapperley. Where and when do the runs usually go from? Do you think it would be ok to tag along on one to see how it goes?

    Thanks
  • Oh, sorry, confused - the post was in the training section. Sure I ride my bike for pleasure, as i'm sure we all do, but just saying that the clubs I've been on haven't been any good for training. Much as i love my cycling, by the time i've trained/raced/commuted on my bike, pottering around with a group of people on their bikes is pretty low on my priorities...
  • dbodendboden Posts: 349
    Thanks for all the replies and advice guys.

    Dboden - I actually live in Mapperley. Where and when do the runs usually go from? Do you think it would be ok to tag along on one to see how it goes?

    Thanks

    I go along on a sunday morning, as its more convenient for me and its the steadier ride, aimed at newcomers. Meet at Lowdham island. Go at 9.30. Usually anything between 50-60miles, with a coffee stop, really friendly bunch, prob avg 17-18mph, but nobody will ever get dropped on a sunday. Get urself down. cheers
  • dbodendboden Posts: 349
    ps. I know how it is... if you have any more questions etc. pm me. cheers
  • alanmcn1alanmcn1 Posts: 531
    I was in the same boat as you this summer mate and joined Clarion in Nottingham, who ride out of Cropwell Butler. Excellemt is all I can say...............have a look on their webite. There is usually a gentle Sunday run and they have waited for me a fair few times
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