Are you looking for a way to take your cycling performance to the next level? You should consider joining your local cycling club.
A local cycling club is a great way to stay motivated and have others push you out of your comfort zone and toward new personal records.
Of course, you probably have plenty of questions as to why and how joining a local cycling club can make you a better cyclist.
From improving your fitness to meeting new people, we’ve broken down the top reasons for joining your local cycling club.
Meet New, Like Minded People
There has been a shift over the past five years among young professionals. Instead of meeting up on the golf course, they’re opting for the roads with a bicycle.
Cycling is the new golf. Joining a local club can help you meet like-minded people who share your passion for cycling.
This is especially important if you’ve recently moved to a new city and are looking to meet new people. Common interests, like cycling, is a great way to make new friends.
These clubs can also help you in your professional life. If you’re in sales, for instance, you never know where you’ll meet your next client. It could be on the 10th mile of a 50-mile ride.
Explore and Ride New Routes
Cyclists can get into a routine of the same old routes day in and day out. Joining a local club can introduce you to new routes that you may not have even known existed in your community.
Cycling clubs are always looking to keep rides fresh and original. One week it may be an aggressive hill workout. The next, it could be interval work on winding roads. Whatever the workout, you’re going to need different routes.
When you’re on your own, you can only rely on your local knowledge. A club collectively offers the knowledge of many cyclists, some of whom know different parts of your community and the regions outside of your town.
Better yet, some may have access to private land and routes (especially great for mountain bikers!) that you would never have access to without being a member of the local cycling club.
Improve Your Fitness
One of the top reasons for joining a local cycling club is to improve your overall fitness and cycling ability.
It can be difficult to stay motivated when it’s just you on the bike alone with your thoughts. A club can keep you motivated to push harder for longer. As a result, your personal fitness will be improved and you can probably expect better performances in your next race.
Riding with a group also offers up opportunities for more diverse workouts. A great example is the rotating paceline where everyone take a short but strong pull into the wind before peeling off. This type of workout only works with a group of people, who will be motivating you as you take your turn at the front.
A healthy dose of competition from your fellow club members is a great way to improve your overall fitness.
Learn from Each Other
Whether it’s improving your form as you climb a hill or learning a quick hack to repair a flat while on the road, when you’re out with other like-minded cyclists, you’re bound to learn a thing or two.
Cycling with a local club can expand your knowledge of the sport greatly and help take your riding to new levels. There are several things you can expect to learn such as :
- New workouts to keep in your back pocket for when you’re out riding solo.
- Cross Training workouts to build core strength.
- Cycling gear, be it apparel or gadgets, can make your rides more efficient.
- Hard lessons, like going out too fast or too slow for certain workouts or races.
The cycling community is a tight-knit group and everyone wants to learn as much as possible to become better athletes.
So, as you become more experienced and new members join, make sure to teach them those same tips and tricks.
Get Insurance Cover
More serious clubs tend to carry some form of general liability and accident insurance, which can be extremely beneficial in case of a serious accident.
We all know how much fun cycling is, but we tend to ignore that it’s a sport that comes with plenty of risks. We often share the road with cars that are traveling much faster than us and that could cause serious accidents. That’s why many cycling clubs opt to insure participants during club rides and special events, like awards ceremonies.
Having that type of coverage can give you and your family peace of mind that in case something serious happens to you. It’s not uncommon for a club’s insurance to cover incidents up to $150,000 in damages.
The insurance fee tends to be baked into the club’s fee, so you don’t need to worry about paying for anything extra.
Cyclists like to workout on the roads, but they love racing. Afterall, what’s the point of pounding out the miles and climbing hills if you can’t have some fun and compete against others?
Some of the top races around the world, though, require you’re affiliated with a cycling club. When you start competing in the big races, you’re naturally going to become a better cyclist.
Additionally, racing with a club is way more fun. Your teammates are going to be riding alongside you, motivating you to keep pushing outside of your comfort zones. You’ll be tired at the end, but it’ll be totally worth it.
This is especially great for past athletes who may have competed in team sports and may miss that component of sports.
Many top clubs tend to keep records of past races, too, which allows you to easily refer back to your previous competitions. That gives you a nice barometer each year of what you can do to put up even better performances.
Access to Discounted Purchases
As much as they love riding on the roads, cyclists love the latest cycling apparel and gadgets. Of course, these apparel and accessories aren’t always cheap.
Thankfully, some local bike shops offer nice discounts for local club members. The idea is that if the club is big enough, that shop can get repeat business from a group that’s committed enough to the sport where they will always need new apparel and accessories.
Oftentimes, the shop tends to be a sponsor of the local club in exchange for putting the shop’s branding on the club’s racing kits.
The discounted gear also encourages club members to shop local and keep money in the community as opposed to purchasing from a big box store online.
Access to Club Kits
Let’s be honest, everyone loves new cycling kits. You’ll be able to cruise your routes not only with your new friends, but also in a jersey that represents your club.
This is especially cool when you’re racing competitively and you and your teammates are all in the club kits.
And because your club can potentially take advantage of discounts on apparel from a local cycling shop, these club kits could be updated every other year or so to stay up with the latest trends.
Often, cycling clubs give members access to the club log so they can have it screen printed on their favorite cycling jacket or jersey.
Go on Cycling Trips
We mentioned that cycling clubs can open you up to places you’ve never been to before in your community, but some cycling clubs like to take things a little further and plan in-depth cycling trips elsewhere in their country or even around the world.
There are actually companies that cater to cycling clubs by planning these trips. Cyclemundo, for example, will plan trips based on the size of your club and overall fitness levels. If you’re extremely fit and experienced, that could include a ride in the mountains of France. Novices might better enjoy a flat ride around the coast of Spain.
These custom trips are a great way to see a new part of the world. And because you won’t be cycling the entire time, you’ll have an opportunity to take in top restaurants and other attractions, like museums.
As a bonus, your club might have access to special discounts to bring down the overall cost of the trip. As a club member, you also can have a say in where your club travels to each year for that annual trip.