I’m not sure that there is a professional rider, or even half decent amateur, who isn’t a member of their local cycling club. For some people, when they come into a new sport, they understand that a club is a great place to further their ability and performance, and to make new friends and contacts within their new found love.
For some it is more of a barrier. It could be the fear of being dropped or anxiety about being the weakest rider, maybe it’s nerves about meeting new people or not knowing or loving the sport as much as everyone else. In fairness they are all valid points and we have all been there, we have all been the “new guy”, but, now we are all integrated members of a club.
In reality, the only time performance should be a factor is when joining a racing team where you need to be a certain standard. It’s not hard to tell the difference, the club website should provide enough information on the type of rider they accept.
Good clubs will allow you to join them on a few rides before having to signup for membership. This is a great opportunity to go out on a couple of club rides and meet some of the members. Good clubs operate one or more “no-drop” rides, where everyone finishes together, no one left behind.
All of this is usually available on the club website or through their club secretary. You might be able to find a ride with someone everyday of the week & this will open the door to you finding new routes, good roads, great cafes and you get to see much more of the beautiful country we live in!
Here’s my top 10 reasons to join a club:
- Improve your performance; if you want that.
- Improve your technical ability; group riding, advice and even group skills sessions.
- Improve your knowledge of the sport.
- Improve your understanding of the bike and bike maintenance.
- Grow your list of competent cycling professionals; coaches, shops, masseurs.
- Advice on what to do or what not to do, what to buy or what not to buy.
- Will motivate you to ride in poor conditions.
- Opportunities to try other discipline of cycling; track days, CX, MTB.
- Make new friends.
- You look like an idiot pitching up at a cafe on your own 😉
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