We have a group for every level of cyclist or bike rider in our club. About the only cyclist we can’t give a good workout to is a Cat 1 pro or better. For the purposes of this post, I’ll mainly be referring to our B Group, because that’s the one I know best – it’s the one I ride with.
We split the A Group in two a few years ago because the A guys were simply getting too fast for many of us to be useful. We ended up just hanging out at the back while the real A guys spent the first twenty miles trying to shake us off. We B guys (and ladies) would get spit off the back of the group over about fifteen miles, which meant we rode back alone – or with a few others if we were lucky.
Long story short, we split after much consternation. There were a several who were reluctant, but both groups were happier for the split. The A guys were vastly smoother for not having to weed us out. And we were smoother because we didn’t have to ride with our tongues dangling in our spokes anymore. With that split, a C, D, E and F group became more solidified as well.
I can remember our first Tuesday night this year with near perfect weather. I must have met 20 new cyclists that night, from all stripes. We had a guy on his mountain bike, his wife on her road rig (an Argon 18), a new kid on a Schwinn road bike with toe clips, several new guys who went with the A group, and we picked up three in the B group – almost all of whom have become regular riders. As new riders have come in, I meet them, introduce myself (I’m the club’s
dictator president), and talk to them about their level of cycling ability, at which time I fit them in the group I think they’ll enjoy the most – after explaining that they can jump to the next group any time they like.
We’ve got calendar rides almost every day of the week and I’ve got a private invitation list that started out twelve deep but is now up to 26 (and counting).
The club sponsors one major ride per year – other than that, all we do is ride our bikes and try to promote the sport.
We have what I believe is the perfect club. It requires little work to keep going, has virtually no “dependents” (those who require constant attention), and each little group is self-sustaining… not to mention the fact that we’re far enough out in farm country that we have hundreds of miles of roads to ride on that are exceptionally light on traffic.
I follow cyclists’ blogs from around the world and from what I’ve read, what we have something special. Minimal effort, maximum enjoyment – and if you’ve got a bike and know how to ride it, we’ve got a group for you to ride in.
It’s as good as it gets.
Oh, by the way, if you have one of those litigious types who wants a form and a waiver to be signed before (and likely after) each ride, along with the filling out of a rider satisfaction card, shut the club down and ignore that person (or group of people) until they move. Then start afresh. If a bike ride takes that much paperwork, they’re f***ing doing it wrong.
I do, however, recommend the proper insurance(s). You don’t want to find out you have one of those losers in your club after it’s too late.