Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Should I join a cycling club ?

Uncle MaffUncle Maff Posts: 12
edited January 2011 in Road beginners
Hi

I am 42 and discovered cycling a couple of years ago and am a very proud owner of a lovely Wilier Izoard. Until now I have been only riding with a couple of mates and this is much social as it is a way to get fitter.
Due to friends other comittements I often ride alone and wandered wether I should join the local cycling club which seems to be mainly racing and time trial based. I dont know anyone and have never joined a "club" of any type in my life.

I quite like the idea of joining but nervous as will not know anyone and not sure how my fitness level will stand up to club member. Don't really want to go on a club run and make a muppet of myself.

Please let me know your experiences and wether you think I should "take the plunge"

Posts

  • Where you based? I need to do the same... maybe we could join together and half the nerves!
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,144
    Do it!
    Have a look on the British Cycling website for links to clubs.
    I was the same as you with family/work and only get 2 weekends off in every 5.
    My club have runs of different levels but usually the experienced guys know the 'bail outs' so you can tag along for however many miles you want.
    You can try and keep with them for a bit more each time.
    Can you not get your usual cycling partners to join the club as well?
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you want to improve your bike handling, speed and endurance then it's a lot more difficult to do it on your own. Some clubs cater for new riders better than others, so do look around and seek opinions - BC Website is a good start. Finally, if you have any aspiration to race, then definitely join a club.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,869
    Monty Dog wrote:
    If you want to improve your bike handling, speed and endurance then it's a lot more difficult to do it on your own. Some clubs cater for new riders better than others, so do look around and seek opinions - BC Website is a good start. Finally, if you have any aspiration to race, then definitely join a club.

    Monty Dog, I see you are in Fleet... is that the one in Hampshire. If so, near to me. I was thinking of talking to the guys in the Farnborough & Camberley Cycling Club to see if they catered for slow old s*ds like me. Do you know anything about them, I only know what I've seen on their website.

    Apologies to OP for any hijack... just that I'm in a similar way of thinking to you.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Kona Hei Hei/Calibre Bossnut
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Yes
    Even if you can't get along very often to club runs it keeps you in the loop of whats going on cycling wise in your area. You'll also find others who are free when you are to train away from the club environment.
    One proviso, only join a club that says it waits for new riders, ie no one dropped. Then ask to tag along for a couple of runs to see if you like it. Any decent club would agree to this and is a good sign for the future.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,400 Lives Here
    Turn up. If it's not your thing, you can always not go again.
  • LucanLucan Posts: 338
    I was in the same situation as you early last summer. I'd hesitated for years, always fancied riding with a club, but worried that I would make a fool of myself by not being fit enough to keep up. I'm 48 and had never ridden in a group.

    I spoke to staff in the local bike shops (they will always know the local clubs) and decided to take the plunge. I found out that the slowest group (of three) in the nearest club to where I live, did about 40 miles on their Sunday ride, so I did a couple of 40-50 mile rides in the fortnight before I turned up. That gave me the confidence to know I could at least complete the distance.

    On the day, I just turned up, said hello to anyone who nodded in my direction and set off with them. Chatted with whoever happened to be alongside and was instantly hooked. Great set of riders, and I was surprised how leisurely the pace was. I wasn't very fit and thought I was going to die on the hills to begin with, but every ride got me fitter.

    Go for it, what have you got to lose?
    Summer: Kuota Kebel
    Winter: GT Series3
  • peejay78peejay78 Posts: 3,378
    my answer to this question is always yes.

    the camaraderie and social aspect of the club run up and down the land is one of the definitive features of cycling. get in a good club; the benefits go over and above fitness and cycling.
  • CarleyBCarleyB Posts: 475
    My club has lots of different disciplined rides. I tend to ride with those above the starter rides. which consists of loads of older people. They are the best bunch of people and a lot to be said for riding with such experience even if they don't go that fast!!
    Level 3 Road & Time Trial Coach, Level 2 Track Coach.

    Blackpool Clarion CC
    http://blackpoolclarion.webs.com/

    Blackpool Youth Cycling Association
    http://www.go-ride-byca.org
  • That was the question that quite a few members must have asked only a few weeks ago in our club - have a look at the website and that may give you the answer.
    http://cyclesportinternational.moonfruit.com/
  • Like any relationship thing, don't be shy of shopping around until you find the right one.
  • chill123chill123 Posts: 210
    do it.

    joining a clubs was great for me and really kicked my cycling on. most clubs willl let you turn up for a few club runs before expecting you to join. give it a go and see how it is.

    i rememeber my first club run nearly collapsing the pace was so quick. 4 weeks later i was up to speed and never looked back.
  • Thanks everybody for your positive responses. Clearly from what you all say I need to pull my finger out and get on with it. Your advice is much appreciated
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    As others have said go for it. I joined one 3 years ago when I thought I was fit, instantly proved me wrong (as did starting to race...) and I've made a few more friends in the process.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    I'm sure you should, most clubs are full of normal, welcoming people. Just make sure you don't wear the wrong jersey.
  • Joining a club seems like a good idea from what people are saying - does anyone know of a club close to London SW18. Have heard of one in Dulwich which seems good but something closer would be good as well. Any advice most welcome.

    Sorry for hijacking the original thread!
  • Westyorkie wrote:
    Where you based? I need to do the same... maybe we could join together and half the nerves!

    West Yorkie, I couldn't help notice where you are from. I ride with Ravensthorpe CC and we are always more than happy to see new members. We leave from Mirfield Library on Sunday mornings and there are also runs on Saturdays.

    We have quite a few members now but after riding with them for over a year I really would reccomend them, especially if you are nervous about joining a club (will they be cliquey, stupid rules etc). We have a great laugh, nobody is left behind (but we ride at a decent enough pace as well so it won't be too slow for you). All in all it is a very social club.

    Give me a pm if you wanted to know anything else or have a look at our blog:

    http://blog.ravensthorpe-cycling-club.org.uk/

    Thanks

    Ben
  • In a word. Yes
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • xcmadxcmad Posts: 110
    Owen-Starsky-Hutch-Signature-Do-It.jpg
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    Yes,
    You should do it. Despite being a bit older than you(now 48) when I bought my road bike 18 months ago I was getting beaten to a pump on a crit training ride within a week and had joined the local club a week later. Didn't know anybody at the time but didn't even think about maybe being seen as a muppet- at the end of the day whats the worse that can happen?
    As it was, they were friendly enough and it was great in terms of getting fitter faster. Took about 6 months (including the off season) to find my legs and get racing
Sign In or Register to comment.