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The Single Most Important Thing Every Solo Cyclist Needs to Know About Their Local Club


Most of the posts I’ve written about cycling over the last five years have involved many of my friends in some way.  I am, without doubt, exceptionally grateful for all of them.

And that’s just from the last two years.  None of my favorite cycling memories revolve around a solo ride.  My friends, after a lot of hanging around, invited me into their group and even allowed me to be the club president.  We’ve done road trips together, camped together, eaten together and put in thousands of miles pulling for each other.  Some of the guys I ride with have become my best friends.

Cycling simply wouldn’t be the same without them.  Oh, I’d still ride, it just wouldn’t be as fun.

So, here’s the most important thing every solo cyclist needs to know about their local club:  The lifeblood of a cycling club is its members.  Even though you think you’re too slow, too fat, too whatever, to fit in… as long as you’re not a giant @$$hole, you’re local club wants you to join them.  While you’re sitting there doubting they will accept you, they’re sitting at the local diner after a club ride trying to figure out how to attract you to their club.

Our club, while it has a wonderful well-deserved reputation for being a fast club, has a group that can fit any fitness level or desired pace, from Cat 1 down to the 80 year-old fellas who just want to cruise around the 20 mile block.  We even take care of the kids who want to ride with us…. all because clubs need members to function.

My friends, as you’re thinking about your New Year’s resolutions this year, think about joining your local cycling club.  Worst case scenario, you find out you don’t like anyone and you end up a solo cyclist again.  Best case, you have more fun than you thought possible – and you get some exercise as a perk.  The latter is the case I drew and I’ve never wanted to go back.

Don’t wait.  Find out where you fit in and ride.


  1. Couldn’t agree more. The single best thing I ever did for my cycling was join my local club. Too many great memories with Woking CC to list! Giving back to the club is equally as important and rewarding too.

  2. theandyclark says:

    Thanks. I’ve been considering this for a while.

  3. ericritter65 says:

    I tried my local club, they used to be like the club you describe, however they have de-evolved into a single, small group of speed freaks. They will drop you without a moments hesitation and never look back.
    So what to do? A group of us started our own group. Most of us do multi-sport events and get together for running and swimming training as well as cycling. All of it is supportive and fun.
    (PS – love your blog)

  4. Dan says:

    “Cycling simply wouldn’t be the same without them. Oh, I’d still ride, it just wouldn’t be as fun.” The nearest club to me is 80 miles away. You’re right in that some of the most memorable rides I’ve done have had a partner.

  5. Archetype says:

    Since I began riding at the end of 2003, I had always joined the clubs. By 2011 I had had it! 😉

    Too many sketchy riders. Too much incompetence, even at the B and B+ levels ( and I’m not interested in attaining an A level of pace.) I rarely ride in a group of more than 2 and mostly ride solo.

    Some group rides are great though, memorable and make the ride more enjoyable. But the majority, unless it is a dedicated group of regulars is a crap shoot in my experiences. It’s about fnding the right group and the right pace. Not easy…

    • bgddyjim says:

      That’s an excellent point you make. With the exception of our Tuesday night ride, all of our other rides are invite only. We simply don’t invite the few sketchy riders who are members.

      • Archetype says:

        That’s my kind of group Jim! You and your group are tight and have good sop’s in place.

        Unfortunately, the only group like that around by me is a race team group. As I said, not interested in that style of riding anymore… but, things change so you never know…

  6. MJ Ray says:

    Yet again, it’s “down to” cruising, while cat 1 racing licences are the top. That’s why freewheeling cyclists should join freewheeling clubs where they aren’t treated as lower, IMO.

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