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First ride with a cycling club - fun!

johngtijohngti Posts: 1,850
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
Title says it all really - rode out with one of my local clubs yesterday and had a ball. Really nice bunch of people, the pace was perfectly manageable and we managed 1250 feet of climbing in 15 miles so that was good too. Going to go again in a couple of weeks (every week would be nice but the boss would be upset with me!) and then probably see about joining it.

I particularly enjoyed having company on the ride, although on descents I worried a little too much about knocking someone else off, and the cafe stop as I've never actually done that on a ride before. No egos, very supportive and friendly. If you're thinking about taking the plunge, do it!
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  • I've been thinking about joining a club, and I'm glad you mentioned the cafe stop. I just can't imagine stopping half way through a ride. I usually do between 50 and 70m on a Sunday and just eat on the bike.
    What's with the stopping?
  • johngtijohngti Posts: 1,850
    Social as well as riding. There is a group that goes faster and further so more training oriented but the group I joined was more about just enjoying the ride, with a bit of a challenge, having a break for a chat and then heading back. Total distance for the day was 27 miles so just a nice run really.

    It's a bit like when I was young and had a motorbike. We'd go for a ride at the weekend and not really worry about getting anywhere in particular; enjoy the ride, have a bit of a blast when you can and stop for refreshments as you feel like it.
  • Fair enough mate, I will have to look into it again really.
    Would be nice to sit and draft a group for a change.
  • I've been thinking about joining a club, and I'm glad you mentioned the cafe stop. I just can't imagine stopping half way through a ride. I usually do between 50 and 70m on a Sunday and just eat on the bike.
    What's with the stopping?


    Every ride needs a destination. On rides of that sort of length I like to have a place I'm riding to. Even if it just means getting off the bike for a couple of minutes before starting the return leg.
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    I've been thinking about joining a club, and I'm glad you mentioned the cafe stop. I just can't imagine stopping half way through a ride. I usually do between 50 and 70m on a Sunday and just eat on the bike.
    What's with the stopping?


    Every ride needs a destination. On rides of that sort of length I like to have a place I'm riding to. Even if it just means getting off the bike for a couple of minutes before starting the return leg.

    Apart from finding a club which rides at a suitable speed, the cafe stop to me is a huge negative.

    I did a ride with a local club, my first one a few weeks back, they finished at someone's house and everyone left their bikes in the front garden/drive and went it for cake. I politely said goodbye and left them to it.

    The last thing I want to do is leave my £7,000 bike unprotected outside someone's house or a cafe whilst I go inside and chat. I'd be willing to chat with people at the start or end of a ride if we sty withvour bikes or whilst cycling but this enforced stop just seems pointless to me and puts your equipment unnecessarily at risk. If I had a cheap bike then my attitude may be different.
  • I too went on my first ride with a local pub on Sunday. It was great, everyone was really friendly, I felt included and enjoyed the ride itself. I did find the stopping midway odd, i didn't have a lock with me and did not want to leave my bike unattended, but the chap at the cafe place let me put it somewhere I could see it. However I didn't want tea and cake as I was riding, it didn't seem right?

    I thoroughly recommend going to try out a club, it was fab and I will do it again, but I'm still getting my head around stopping mid way through.
  • There's also the issue that many simply can't ride that sort of distance without a decent stop in the middle.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    BrandonA wrote:
    I've been thinking about joining a club, and I'm glad you mentioned the cafe stop. I just can't imagine stopping half way through a ride. I usually do between 50 and 70m on a Sunday and just eat on the bike.
    What's with the stopping?


    Every ride needs a destination. On rides of that sort of length I like to have a place I'm riding to. Even if it just means getting off the bike for a couple of minutes before starting the return leg.

    Apart from finding a club which rides at a suitable speed, the cafe stop to me is a huge negative.

    I did a ride with a local club, my first one a few weeks back, they finished at someone's house and everyone left their bikes in the front garden/drive and went it for cake. I politely said goodbye and left them to it.

    The last thing I want to do is leave my £7,000 bike unprotected outside someone's house or a cafe whilst I go inside and chat. I'd be willing to chat with people at the start or end of a ride if we sty withvour bikes or whilst cycling but this enforced stop just seems pointless to me and puts your equipment unnecessarily at risk. If I had a cheap bike then my attitude may be different.

    Take a lock?

    I've left my £k's bike outside cafe stops along with others - never had a problem. I usually like to leave it within sight though.

    Anyway - if cafe stops aren't your thing then find a club that doesn't do that - or start a ride that doesn't.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    There's also the issue that many simply can't ride that sort of distance without a decent stop in the middle.

    Most club rides with a tea stop aren't training rides are they? They're social rides ... hence the stop for a piece of cake!
  • gloomyandygloomyandy Posts: 520
    The stops are often the most useful bits. You get to find out what others may have planned, get to add your say to possible future events, arrange to meet up with others for longer/shorter/faster rides, get talked into taking part in time trials, hill climbs and all the other stuff that makes being in a club fun. You also get to eat real food, rather than expensive gels etc. As to worrying about your bike, ask if anyone has ever had a bike stolen? I doubt if with most clubs that yours will be the only expensive bike out there. On the other hand if all you want is to ride fast with a bunch, I'm sure there will be chain gangs etc. you can join up with. But the social side of clubs can really be a big help. Club mates will often help out with tools, spare parts, longer trips etc. and the tea stop is often where you get to know people.
  • johngtijohngti Posts: 1,850
    gloomyandy wrote:
    The stops are often the most useful bits. You get to find out what others may have planned, get to add your say to possible future events, arrange to meet up with others for longer/shorter/faster rides, get talked into taking part in time trials, hill climbs and all the other stuff that makes being in a club fun. You also get to eat real food, rather than expensive gels etc. As to worrying about your bike, ask if anyone has ever had a bike stolen? I doubt if with most clubs that yours will be the only expensive bike out there. On the other hand if all you want is to ride fast with a bunch, I'm sure there will be chain gangs etc. you can join up with. But the social side of clubs can really be a big help. Club mates will often help out with tools, spare parts, longer trips etc. and the tea stop is often where you get to know people.

    Agreed. There were some seriously nice bikes out on Sunday (I think my favourite was an older Coppi steel framed bike with an older campagnolo set up). I find cycling more enjoyable with company and the mate I used to go with hasn't been available when I am for the last 6 months so its a club or carry on alone (sob). I'm aiming to do some longer sportives next year so getting to know other riders socially is a first step for me; I'm hoping to find like-minded people who I could keep up with and so start training more seriously as time goes on. And coffee and cake was nice!
  • Oooooh we are talking cake!
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Just in case someone missed it and is unaware, Brandon has an expensive bike. :D
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,100
    Club runs tend to be social in nature. That is certainly the emphasis in my club. In fact, due to many newer members being a bit more 'sporty' and trying to move with the times a faster group has been organised for Sunday club runs. They just do a few miles extra to the same cafe and we all end up together having cake...as it should be. Club runs should go at the pace of the slowest, with enough members out, maybe split into a faster and slower group as above. Nobody should get dropped. This way, new members feel included and if they can't keep up they know what to work on. Our club offers a purely social Saturday ride of about 30 miles every other week which is a good place for newbies and the youngsters to try out.

    If you want to train, go on a specific training ride. If the club doesn't run one, put your hand up at the committee meeting and suggest one. The committee will of course throw it straight back to you to get involved in organising it! I did this last year and set up winter chain ganging in our club. Here the emphasis is on a ride out to a circuit to warm up, then an hour of absolutely caning it, where if you get dropped you get dropped, then an easy spin back home. Worked really well. During the summer we drop these and start time trialling; that's where you can do silly amounts of miles as fast as you can with no cafe stop! :mrgreen:

    PP
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Just in case someone missed it and is unaware, Brandon has an expensive bike. :D

    Sorry, I've still missed it. Can you run it past me again?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Just in case someone missed it and is unaware, Brandon has an expensive bike. :D

    That was my thought too! :lol:
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Just in case someone missed it and is unaware, Brandon has an expensive bike. :D

    Ahh - thanks for pointing it out, maybe he could pay one of the other riders to mind it for him? :roll:
  • Ahh - thanks for pointing it out, maybe he could pay one of the other riders to mind it for him? :roll:


    No because he's far too awesome to stop for a cake ;)
  • If I had a 7 grand bike.....I'd expect it to ride itself, allowing me to stay at home and have a lie in! :wink:
  • Nick_MNick_M Posts: 58
    I own an aircraft that cost less than that. Really.
  • Given Brandon's very short posting history he's managed to squeeze in a lot of references to his bikes and their value :wink:
  • Given Brandon's very short posting history he's managed to squeeze in a lot of references to his bikes and their value :wink:

    If I had spent that much on a bike I'd want to mention it in every post too.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Given Brandon's very short posting history he's managed to squeeze in a lot of references to his bikes and their value :wink:


    I wonder if his business is programming the software on supercars? :roll:
  • carrockcarrock Posts: 1,103
    He sounds like a banker......
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Any advance on 7 grand? Extra kudos if you are an actual beginner. :D
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    My first ever club ride was with ppl who had a single wheel that would've cost more than my whole bike ....
  • My bike is worth twice what my car is, if that counts!!!!! :lol: actually, my accessories are worth more than my car to be honest!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    My bike is worth twice what my car is, if that counts!!!!! :lol: actually, my accessories are worth more than my car to be honest!
    and that's just the bike pump?
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    Ballysmate wrote:
    Any advance on 7 grand? Extra kudos if you are an actual beginner. :D
    I've never ridden a bike, but if i ever get one it'll be worth 8k... do i win?
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • My bike is worth twice what my car is, if that counts!!!!! :lol: actually, my accessories are worth more than my car to be honest!

    Considering my cars done 100k I wouldn't be surprised if my bike was worth more!
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