by Abigail Baker
The only other thing in the world that’s better than cycling is cycling with a group of other dedicated riders. Joining a cycling club opens the door to increasing your knowledge about the sport. Furthermore, learning what works and doesn’t work from others is a great way to gain new ideas and work out solutions to any cycling problems that you might be experiencing.
Finding the right riding club for you is similar to finding the right pair of shoes–it has to be a good fit. Luckily, you can test out a few different groups before making any final decisions. If you’re not sure where to start your search, these physical and digital spaces are where you should begin your quest.
Social Media Groups
The ability to connect with others locally via social media is one of the many perks of the digital era. Facebook Groups, Meetup, and Strava all have clubs where you can find cycling groups to connect with, start discussions with group leaders and other members, and peruse riding schedules.
Putting some face time in at a few local bike shops can help you pick up a few leads. Some shops host rides, and many are well connected with local groups and will even advertise for them. If you’re planning on connecting with group members or leaders in person, make sure that you are ready to talk through your goals and have a good grasp of your current skill level. Consider taking a bike tour with a professional guide. This is a great way to see your city and get a feel for the biking opportunities available.
If you have a friend or colleague who cycles, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask for a group referral. Additionally, approaching other groups or people you may encounter on your route will connect you directly with individuals in your community and help you build your network of cyclists.
Finding the Right Group is Key
How does learning new routes, finding training partners for races, overcoming your fears, and making new friends with common interests sound to you? All this and much more can be yours when you find the right cycling group!
Remember that deciding to tour with a group versus going solo doesn’t mean you can leave your own gear at home. Packing your own water, tools, food, and equipment is still essential. Also, make sure that the group you choose to go out with has the same or similar riding goals as yours. Meaning, if you are more of a competitor, riding with a hobbyist group may not be a good fit or vice-versa.
Abigail Baker is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with Faxage online faxing service.