What can be more fun than getting on a bike and exploring the outdoors at an easy-going pace? Well, while there is a certain sense of fulfillment in riding solo, it can get lonely sometimes when you have no one to talk to and share the experience with.
But what if you could link up with other people who share a passion for biking and just want to go out and cycle every now and then?
A social bike club is a great way to grow your love for biking and learn new skills as you gain confidence. Whether you are looking to join a cycling group or start your own, here is how to end up in the right social cycling group
Consider your Level of Experience
There may be multiple cycling groups in your area, but you have to note that not all squads ride at the same pace. Some groups bring together amateurs who ride at an average speed of under 14mph whereas others are composed of veteran bikers who can easily push the speed to more than 20mph and for like 50mph with top electric bike.
It is important that you select a social club that is within your riding ability and not too far from your level. You don’t want to keep on lagging behind every time your cycling group meets up for a ride. It can also easily take away the fun from the experience to find yourself struggling when your counterparts are having it easy.
Don’t be the weakest link…Go where you’ll be comfortable!
What’s the Average Age of the Group?
Some cycling groups are made up of older cyclists looking to stay in shape. If you’re a young gun with a need for speed and drawn to competition when you ride social, this can be a tricky group for you to join. It also won’t help your development as a cyclist going forward!
Keep in mind that it’s called a “Social Cycling Group”, so you want to be able to effortlessly interact with other members and confidently say whatever comes to mind. As such, you want to look for a group made up of your peers, so that you can “feel at home” and even develop friendships.
You’ll have more fun when riding in a cycling club that you fit in naturally!
Check the Local Bike Shop
When searching for a cycling squad, one of the first places to check should be the local bike shop. Generally, shops are more likely to know about bike clubs and groups in your area or even host clubs from neighboring locations. You can try asking the shop attendant about possible groups in the area and the right one for you to join.
Be sure to let them know about your level of experience and be honest about the information you give so that you’re paired with the right group. Remember that you need to fit in the group if you’re planning to stay with it for the long haul. This means finding a crowd that will enhance your love for cycling as opposed to reducing it.
Turn Up for Events
Make up a point of showing up every time your chosen cycling group organizes a ride. It is natural to be nervous and possibly feel intimidated in the midst of new faces but you shouldn’t allow this to stop you from showing up at the events. It’s also through attending them that you can make new friends and be accepted into the “fold”.
Expect to have one or two bad rides…It happens to the best among us! After all, group rides can be tricky and you may fail to mesh with the group dynamic. Perhaps the group leader is always on your case or you have a member that keeps on dimming other people's light. Don’t be too quick to throw in the towel…continue showing up until you feel accepted!
Don’t Force It
Sometimes, the group you want to join doesn’t feel like the right fit. It may be made up of your peers and based in your locality but something still feels a miss. For instance, if the group is full of members who are quick to criticize others and point fingers, this is a sure sign that you should ditch the squad. The best way to ride social is to be in a friendly club that offers moral support, especially to novice members.
Another thing to note is that some cycling clubs can turn out to be an expensive affair. The cycling gear involved; from the bike to the clothing and accessories, it can really dig deep into your savings. This is especially true if your club doesn’t have a sponsor.
Finally, if the demands of the group are proving to be a full-time job for you and interrupting other engagements in your schedule, maybe it’s time to look for another one. In short, you shouldn’t feel forced when you ride social. Rather, it should not only fit into your schedule but also grow your love for cycling!
So, if you’ve decided to look around for a social cycling group to join or form one yourself, remember to consider the factors mentioned above. Only then will you find satisfaction in your cycling company and develop your skills as a rider and a person!