A very good article from I-Team
So what do cycling clubs have to offer?
Why pay money to join a cycling club when it’s free to just ride on your own?
We won’t deny that there is immense pleasure to be found in riding alone or with a few friends on quiet roads – in fact it’s how most cyclists start out and how the majority of club members spend their time cycling.
Some Reasons to Join a Cycling Club:
To gain more cycling knowledge -
None of us can know it all – fellow club members will become a wealth of information on topics like where to ride, how to train – or maybe even how to enter your first race. Often, cyclists that have been riding the same roads for years, find a new favorite road when they ride out with a club. Probably the best reason to join a club is so that you can find out what is happening in your area. If you are a newcomer to the sport, you will probably be shocked to learn that it is normally possible to race 2 or 3 times a week! Many events are low key and are only heard about through word of mouth. So whether it’s mountain biking, track cycling, or road riding, there’s a bike club to fit your interest. A good club will have a qualified coach that can help you with specific problems and help you to continually improve as a rider.
A sense of belonging to something -
Most of us grow up in communities where we belong to some local or national organisation, schools, colleges, unions, AA, RAC – even the telephone book. It can be easy to overlook the fact that there are groups out there that support your leisure and social interests. Joining a group of cyclists can be a hell of a lot of fun, whether it be to pound out the miles in preparation for a challenge event, practicing pace making for road races, or just a summer evening ride to a country pub for a pint of ale. A good club will be inclusive of all abilities and have a membership made up from a wide cross section of society.
Moral Support & Motivation -
Can you think of occasions when you have set goals but things drift due to outside commitments, like work and family – sometimes a quick phone call or e-mail from a team mate, can keep you focused.
An opportunity to give something back -
The longer you spend cycling, the more you learn. You might have once been a racer in your youth or have experience of following travel, belonging to a club allows you to pass your knowledge on to younger or less experienced cyclists. Just because we learnt the hard way doesn’t mean that the newcomers to our sport have to. Even if you are not as active as you once were, you might wish to be a valuable part of a team by helping with events etc. A good beginner club will be non-elitist and have a structure that allows an easy flow of information from it’s most experienced riders through to the novices.
To meet new friends -
Some bike clubs are more about social activities than others. The spectrum varies from the Elite racing team, which is invitation only and has no interest in social activities, through to a group of ex-racers who meet at the local pub once a week. Most clubs are in between and are able to offer you the opportunity to associate with other cyclists that have a similar passion for the sport. Maybe you have just moved to an area? Joining a bike club is an easy way to get familiar with your new surroundings and meet some people while you’re at it.
You can read the article in full here http://www.i-team.cc/team/index.php?showtopic=8733