That London bike Clubs

ddraver
ddraver Posts: 26,567
edited January 2014 in Commuting chat
all right you 'orrible lot

It's officially my first night as a Re-London Resident (new Job). I'm in temporary accommodation in Barnes and have to start the miserable job of house hunting soon and one of the things that concerns me is being close to a decent bike club so I can stop being so flipping lazy!

I'm after something that is good fun and where the groups are not averse to a bit of friendly play racing. The serious, old men with beards shouting at me for being in the wrong gear will receive short shrift. I would be interested in a bit of racing but I have rather a lot of weight loss and training to do before I'll get anywhere near that....

It ll be good to have a bit of normality whilst the fun/nervousness/terror of moving my life unfolds.

Any thoughts?

Thanks very much!
We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
- @ddraver
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Comments

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,635
    Barnes?

    Kingston Wheelers will do you then.

    Can say hello to me there too.

    London Dynamo may be temptingly close (they meet at Richmond park) but they ride like a bunch of tossers.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 28,525
    Bit inflammatory, no?
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,635
    Who me?

    I've had a couple of bad experiences with them.
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    +1 for the Kingston Wheelers, enjoyed riding with them when I was over that way
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  • asprilla
    asprilla Posts: 8,440
    I just rejoined KW after a year hiatus.

    Your other option is Twickenham.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • Am in a similar pos. having just moved to Twickenham, after a happy couple of years riding the lanes of Kent and east Surrey with Dulwich.
    Can anyone tell me where Kingston go from / to on a Saturday a.m, and what sort of range of groups there is?
    Am tempted by Twick CC, obviously, but their Saturday ride is the same every week and they stop halfway through for a caff stop - which I think is generally best left to the end of a ride - specially in the winter ...
  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    Am in a similar pos. having just moved to Twickenham, after a happy couple of years riding the lanes of Kent and east Surrey with Dulwich.
    Can anyone tell me where Kingston go from / to on a Saturday a.m, and what sort of range of groups there is?
    Am tempted by Twick CC, obviously, but their Saturday ride is the same every week and they stop halfway through for a caff stop - which I think is generally best left to the end of a ride - specially in the winter ...

    http://www.kingstonwheelers.co.uk/clubrun.shtml

    If you've been riding with the Paragons you'll be fine with the Wheelers, both clubs are big enough that there are groups for beginner/easy pace through to quick rides those in training.

    Edit: Just noticed you were asking about Saturday instead, whereas I think KW is a Sunday run...
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    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    London Phoenix if you decide to settle north of the river as our main club rides run from Finchley and Whetstone, however there are normally each week:
    2 saturday road rides
    2 sunday road rides
    1 tuesday evening road
    1 wednesday evening CX/XC/MTB
    1 thursday evening road

    then there are plenty of ad hoc rides.
  • thanks for that dhope - yes I was hoping there was a regular Saturday ride, having only heard about the Sunday Club Run.
    That was a good a thing about DP: several rides going out both morning from / to different places.
  • BigLights
    BigLights Posts: 464
    I had a really good friendly experience with the Kingston characters...I was on a solo ride out to Surrey to pick up my car (service), bumped into a bunch on the other side of Kingston and they invited me to just hook up with them as they weren't going millions of miles away from my destination. Great bunch of people.

    My rides round Richmond Park have not, to date, yielded any acknowledgement at all from the Richmond folks.....seem more insular to me, but to be fair I have never actually spoken to any of them.
  • tgotb
    tgotb Posts: 4,714
    Kingston (my club) have organised club runs on Sunday mornings (normally a good variety to choose from, mixture of paces and distances), mostly into Surrey hills but with the odd ride out towards Windsor/Henley or into Kent. There are also a lot of ad-hoc rides organised via the club forum, on Saturdays, weekdays, Sunday afternoons, weekday evenings etc. If you post a message on the forum with a proposed route, start time and pace, you'll normally get a few people join you. Also have quite a lot of members racing, at all levels and across pretty much every discipline.
    I know a few Twickenham members; seems like a very friendly club, quite a bit smaller than Kingston.
    Dynorod used to have a bit of a reputation for poor behaviour on the commute, which I suspect was down to a very small number of specific individuals, and seems to have been dealt with. I'm not going to comment on their Richmond Park club runs, because I've never experienced one. They seem to be pretty successful racing at all levels, and I've met lots of members, all of whom are thoroughly nice people.
    If you're interested in track, VCL are very closely involved with Herne Hill Velodrome, though they also have club runs and members racing across all disciplines. They also seem to organise more events (not just track) than every other London club put together. might be a bit too far East for you, though. Don't need to be a member of VCL to ride/race at HHV, but if that was my main focus I'd probably join them.
    Westerley are smaller, Ealing/Northolt based, with more of a TT focus. Club runs tend to head off towards the Chilterns.
    Not sure what Pearson do, but they're very local (Sheen).
    Some clubs (eg Twickenham, Westerley iirc) run turbo evenings in the Winter, others (eg Kingston) don't. Kingston and Dynorod tend to do weekday evening training rides round a Winter training loop towards Chertsey; I've a vague idea Pearson might do something similar, not sure about other clubs.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Pearson's quite a bit smaller than Kingston Wheelers (about 100 members), and do club runs pretty much every Sunday (from Kingston bridge), one or two groups depending on numbers, 50 to 80 miles with cake stop. Tuesday night chain-gang round Chertsey with a handful of other locals from other clubs from Sheen Cross, again usually two groups. Thursday night pace-line (training/tempo pace) from Cheam village around the Horton roundabouts. A number of other ad-hoc rides during the week/at weekends for those wanting to go faster/slower/avoid the cafe.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • Must say, I much prefer the riding out into Kent / east Surrey from south London, to that into west Surrey from south-west London ....
  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    While we're on the subject, anyone got any recommendations for clubs in NW London? I've been out with the Kenton Road cycle club a few times (I'm in Harrow) but would like something a little more hardcore.

    Phoenix could be good except for the fact that it sounds like I would have to repeat my commute on the weekends to get to the club runs, which could well drive me completely insane.
  • alan_sherman
    alan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    I've seen a bunch of mamils on Colnagos wearing some Barnes cycling club kit. Not managed to speak to any yet but looks like a small outfit made up of a bunch of friends - good on 'em for getting some kit made up!

    There is also the Clapham Chasers from the bike shop in Clapham Junction and wasn't Velosport starting some rides from their shop in Putney?


    Some of the main clubs are getting too big in my opinion (over 250 members). It'd be good to have more smaller clubs in SW London.
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Must say, I much prefer the riding out into Kent / east Surrey from south London, to that into west Surrey from south-west London ....

    Really? I recently moved to Balham from Richmond and the thing I really miss is the ease of access to the hills either direction. Pretty grotty roads to get anywhere really unless I set off at the crack of dawn and get back well before midday at weekends.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    TimothyW wrote:
    While we're on the subject, anyone got any recommendations for clubs in NW London? I've been out with the Kenton Road cycle club a few times (I'm in Harrow) but would like something a little more hardcore.

    Phoenix could be good except for the fact that it sounds like I would have to repeat my commute on the weekends to get to the club runs, which could well drive me completely insane.
    have we met on the road. i go wembley to finchley every day. what do you ride?

    and the riding the commute on saturday to get to club runs is one of the reasons im moving back to north london.
  • Must say, I much prefer the riding out into Kent / east Surrey from south London, to that into west Surrey from south-west London ....

    Really? I recently moved to Balham from Richmond and the thing I really miss is the ease of access to the hills either direction. Pretty grotty roads to get anywhere really unless I set off at the crack of dawn and get back well before midday at weekends.

    Well there is that. I suppose I mean once you are out there. I just feel that you never really do get to the countryside going out west from Twickenham: Sunbury, Chertsey, Addlestone, Chobham, Sunningdale, Windsor, it's all still pretty built up and the roads are busy compared to Kent, IMO.

    OK south from Richmond / Twick into the Surrey hills is a different matter, but even those I find are a bit busier than the Kent lanes.

    With DP I used to ride from Battersea to Crystal Palace (30 mins) to the meet-up, then head out through Elmers End and West Wickham (another 30 mins) - once on Layhams you are in full-on countryside, no endless suburbs / commuter towns. What I found anyway.
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Well there is that.

    Shame, I thought you were going to spill the beans on a super-quiet route Kent-wards. Haven't really got round to exploring out that way yet, mainly due to lack of knowledge of a good route out/back, still tend to head out towards Windsor for flat rides and via Kingston for the Surrey hills.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Another Kingston Wheeler here. Can only echo all of the above. With the size of the club and active forum; finding rides nearly any day of the week is easy. Once you know a few people and learn the routes you can go ride into the Surrey Hills anytime you want.

    I also trialed Twickenham CC, another good bunch and whilst the ride out on the Saturday isn't fun IMO (dual carriageways for miles) the ride back was a fun chain gang.

    Give both (and others) a try, new people always welcome along for a ride.
  • Well there is that.

    Shame, I thought you were going to spill the beans on a super-quiet route Kent-wards. Haven't really got round to exploring out that way yet, mainly due to lack of knowledge of a good route out/back, still tend to head out towards Windsor for flat rides and via Kingston for the Surrey hills.

    Well I did - a bit. The best route out to Kent from Clapham / Battersea / Balham is through Crystal Palace, down Anerley Hill, through Elmers End and West Wickham, then up Layhams road. The green belt bulges in here, and I think you'll be surprised how quick you are out in the lanes from Balham.

    If you do an anti-clockwise loop south and east through north Kent you can then come back via Cudham - but you will still end up at West Wickham and will repeat the section back home through Elmers End and Palace.

    OR you can go out that direction, head south to somewhere like Lingfield, then west into east Surrey and back north to come into town via Kingston etc - so that 1) avoids any retracing and 2) means you don't face Anerley hill with 75 miles in the legs.
  • keyser__soze
    keyser__soze Posts: 2,067
    Thanks, will give that a go soon.
    "Mummy Mummy, when will I grow up?"
    "Don't be silly son, you're a bloke, you'll never grow up"
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,567
    Hmmm, would there be a KR ride this Sunday then?

    just to shock myself into action...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,635
    ddraver wrote:
    Hmmm, would there be a KR ride this Sunday then?

    just to shock myself into action...

    Eeevery Sunday.

    Will see you there, providing it's not p!ssing.
  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    spasypaddy wrote:
    TimothyW wrote:
    While we're on the subject, anyone got any recommendations for clubs in NW London? I've been out with the Kenton Road cycle club a few times (I'm in Harrow) but would like something a little more hardcore.

    Phoenix could be good except for the fact that it sounds like I would have to repeat my commute on the weekends to get to the club runs, which could well drive me completely insane.
    have we met on the road. i go wembley to finchley every day. what do you ride?

    and the riding the commute on saturday to get to club runs is one of the reasons im moving back to north london.

    We might have done, depends how far north your route takes you - this is mine: http://www.strava.com/activities/103659088
    I ride a black Fuji with disc brakes most of the time - you could also have seen me on a trek 5000 when the weather was better, although only been in harrow a couple of months so our paths might not have crossed yet. You'll know me by my considerable size and beard.
  • rubertoe
    rubertoe Posts: 3,994
    edited January 2014
    @TimothyW

    you could always try Islington CC- although i'd imagine again its the same route as your commute - We tend to use the same roads for club Rides as Spasypaddy's Phoenix.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
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  • Hello,

    There's not that many Twickenham CC-ers on this bit of the forum (part of being a smaller club) so feel like I shoud extol the virtues of my lovely club. We do the same route every Saturday that's right, but it has the advantage that you can move into faster pace groups if you want with the safety blanket that there is always a slower group behind. Sundays often have a self-organised ride into the hills (pretty much every week in the spring/ summer although not many in the past few weeks). Tuesday nights are chain gangs and in Winter months there is also a turbo session and last spring/ summer there were Thursday night chain gangs. There is a growing racing-core of both men and women (you can follow the girls team on twitter @TwickChicks) catering from entry level racing through to national if that's your thing (across road, CX, TT and track). The dual carriageway isn't as bad as it's made out - it's not a 70mph one and it's the quickest way to get out into the nice lanes... Because it's not the biggest club (somewhere in between Pearson and KW) it's very friendly and most regular members get to know each other and who they like riding with pretty quickly.

    Feel free to PM me for more details and we're always happy to have people come and try us out on a Saturday morning.

    Emma
    Nice weather bike: Fondriest TF2 (white/ black)
    Training Bike: Giant Avail (white/ blue/ green)
    Track bikes: Planet X Franko Bianco (white) and 7VRN (white/ black)
    CX: Kinesis Pro6 (sick green)
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,567
    Where do you start from Emma?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • spasypaddy
    spasypaddy Posts: 5,180
    TimothyW wrote:
    spasypaddy wrote:
    TimothyW wrote:
    While we're on the subject, anyone got any recommendations for clubs in NW London? I've been out with the Kenton Road cycle club a few times (I'm in Harrow) but would like something a little more hardcore.

    Phoenix could be good except for the fact that it sounds like I would have to repeat my commute on the weekends to get to the club runs, which could well drive me completely insane.
    have we met on the road. i go wembley to finchley every day. what do you ride?

    and the riding the commute on saturday to get to club runs is one of the reasons im moving back to north london.

    We might have done, depends how far north your route takes you - this is mine: http://www.strava.com/activities/103659088
    I ride a black Fuji with disc brakes most of the time - you could also have seen me on a trek 5000 when the weather was better, although only been in harrow a couple of months so our paths might not have crossed yet. You'll know me by my considerable size and beard.
    nowhere near each other unfortunately. i go through wembley, kingsbury, west hendon
  • mattsaw
    mattsaw Posts: 907
    Are there any clubs that do Saturday morning runs rather than Sunday?
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