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Cycling clubs

rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
edited October 2015 in Road beginners
Now that I've got more into cycling, I want to cycle more and develop the social aspect of it too. What's the best way to locate cycling clubs near me and also find good cycling routes (courses) that will take me out of my 20km comfort zone?

As for cycling clubs, I don't really want to do massive rides that take the whole day with very experienced cyclists at the moment. Ideally I'd just want to ride for a couple of hours with leisure/recreational cyclists who may also be relative beginners like myself.

Posts

  • QubeQube Posts: 1,899
    https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/

    Is a good place to start looking for events/clubs etc.

    http://bikehike.co.uk/index.php

    For plotting your own routes.
  • +1 for the British Cycling website.

    Check a few clubs out, as they all have their own characters. Some are more social, some are very race focussed.

    I found a club that had the right mix of both for me, and have enjoyed riding with them for the last 2 years. You'll ride more, to different places, and time will fly.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Most clubs will have a facebook page these days, you may find that viewing their pages and comments from members will give you an idea of the type of club they are. So basically use the BC club search thing, then get stalking!
  • Where abouts are you?
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  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    I'm in the Hayes/Uxbridge area in Middlesex.

    Just looking to start out with a nice, social group of cyclists who like a bit of banter and have varied interests outside of cycling too. Don't want anything too serious as I think that'll take away some of the enjoyment for me at my current level.
  • whoofwhoof Posts: 756
    The club I'm in have 3 - 4 runs on a Sunday (50 -70 miles) of varying speeds and a shorter 'starter' run on a Saturday (~25 miles) for people who may not yet want to do the distances of the Sunday rides. Unfortunately it's not near you but contact some in your area and ask if they do something similar.
    If you find a club near you ask them if you can come out a couple of times before joining to see what it's like. When you speak to them be honest about your ability and what sort of riding you are looking for.
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Thanks everyone for your advice. I'll look at some local ones and check out their Facebook pages to see what sort things they do.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    For routes, Strava is actually quite good for that, if you look at Activity Search on the Explore tab you can see rides that people have done in a specified area and filter for distance to give you some inspiration.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    The CTC are also worth looking at. They are more like an umbrella organisation with many local clubs left to run to their own rules, etc. Sure, some of the clubs have an average age just shy of 3 figures and beards are not just optional, they are mandatory*. However, because each club can be different, they often are! Worth seeing if your local version meets your reqs... they are invariably a welcoming bunch and usually they have excellent knowledge of local roads and good routes...and the best cafes are always on the list. Most offer a good variety of riding abilities too, for instance my local club has a very good A group that can barrel along all day and, at the other extreme, a group that only just moves fast enough to avoid toppling over. The CTC membership offers some good benefits too, like advice in the event of an RTA, etc.

    *To be fair, beards are only mandatory for women, for men it is optional :wink:
  • Get on Strava, and search for local clubs in it.
  • fat_catfat_cat Posts: 560
    Willesden Cycling Club start their club runs from Denham, which is just up the road from you.

    Not a member myself, but see plenty of them about and they seem like a friendly lot!
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    So my visit to my bike shop to get my bike serviced was quite productive - the staff there mentioned a closed cycling circuit which isn't that far from me. It's called the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit, but is actually in Hayes, Middlesex:

    http://hillingdoncyclecircuit.org.uk/

    Whilst not a club as such, it's free and a 0.94 mile circuit exclusively for cyclist. I'll give it a try just for practising, and the staff at the bike shop seemed to rate it highly.

    Anyone heard of it before? If so, any experience of it?

    I realise it's not a club but still could be a useful place to get fit in relative safety.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Hillingdon circuit is a great resource for sure.

    The aforementioned Willesden CC have Friday night sessions there (on the track in summer and then turbo sessions in the club house in winter).
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    Hillingdon is a good closed circuit that would help you sharpen up, but as they say its better with friends or clubmates.

    Willesden are a good bunch. Others fairly local are London dynamo and Twickenham CC as well as the club I'm with, Kingston wheelers.
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