Are you looking for a way to take your cycling performance to the next level? Then 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.
From improving your fitness to meeting new people, we discussed the benefits of joining your local cycling club below.
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 opt for the open roads by getting into road cycling.
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, are a great way to make new friends.
These clubs can also help you in your professional life. For instance, if you’re in sales, 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 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 could be interval work on winding roads. Whatever the workout, you’re going to need different routes.
A cycling 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 challenging to stay motivated, especially when you’re alone and during the winter months. Riding with a group also offers up opportunities for more diverse workouts.
A cycling club can keep you motivated to push harder for longer. As a result, your fitness will be improved, and you can probably expect better performances in your next race.
A great example is a rotating paceline where everyone takes a short but strong pull into the wind before peeling off. This type of workout only works when riding in a bunch, 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, especially if you’re training for your first long ride.
Learn from each other
Whether improving your form as you climb a hill or learning a quick hack to repair a flat tire while on the road when you’re out with like-minded cyclists, you’re bound to learn a thing or two.
Riding with a local club can greatly expand your knowledge of the sport and help take your riding to new levels.
There are several things you can expect to learn, such as :
- Basic bike maintenance skills include replacing a tube, adjusting the brakes, replacing the chain, replacing the cassette, and cleaning the bike.
- 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 specific workouts or races.
The cycling community is a tight-knit group; everyone wants to learn as much as possible to become better athletes. So, as you become more experienced and new members join, lead the group and teach them those tips and tricks.
Get insurance cover
More serious clubs tend to carry general liability and accident insurance, which can be highly beneficial in a serious accident.
We all know how fun cycling is, but we tend to ignore that it’s a sport with plenty of risks. We often share the road with cars traveling much faster than us, which could cause serious accidents.
Having that type of coverage can give you and your family peace of mind in case something serious happens to you. It’s not uncommon for a club’s insurance to cover incidents of up to $150,000 in damages.
Many cycling clubs opt to insure participants during club rides and special events. The insurance fee tends to be baked into the club’s fee, so you don’t need to worry about paying for anything extra.
Some cyclists like the thrill of racing their bikes. After all, 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 worldwide require you’re affiliated with a cycling club. When competing in the bigger races, you naturally become a better cyclist.
Racing with a club is way more fun. Your teammates will ride alongside you, motivating you to keep pushing outside of your comfort zones. You’ll be tired at the end, but it’ll be 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 also keep records of past races, allowing you to refer back to previous competitions quickly. That gives you an excellent 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 committed enough to the sport where they will always need new apparel and accessories.
Often, 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 locally and keep money in the community instead of purchasing from a big box store online.
Access to club kits
Everyone loves new cycling kits. You’ll be able to cruise your routes with your new friends and in a jersey that represents your club.
This is especially cool when racing competitively, 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 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 worldwide.
More serious clubs even plan for altitude training camps during the summer months.
Some companies cater to cycling clubs by planning these trips. 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 trip’s overall cost. As a club member, you also can have a say in where your club travels each year for that annual trip.