Benefits to Joining a Cycling Club
This past weekend (Feb. 1-2, 2020) I was out riding the trails in some very nice warm weather for this time of year. On Sunday ( met another cyclist and rode with him. He was about half my age, which is one of the great things I like about cycling is you meet and have an instant connection to people that love to ride bikes, no matter what background you are from, age, or any other demographic.
Eric and I rode down the Keystone from Nebraska Furniture to the West Papio to complete a circuit around Walnut Creek Lake and back. It was a great ride with very warm temps for February, which caused a lot of snow and ice melting and wet riding conditions.
During the ride, we talked. I did let him know I was president of the BBC this year. He asked me a couple of questions as he is not part of any bicycle club.
1. What is the value of belonging to a club?
2. What do they spend their money on?.
I gave him some specifics regarding the BBC, but some of the general benefits listed here. I think he will be joining our club as some point.
Many times as club members you may not even think of any reason to belong to the club as you just are a member. Take a look at the list. Leave some comments with additional reasons for others to share. One of the goals this year is to increase membership by 20%,,.that is only about 15 to 16 people. It is not just adding people for the sake of adding members, it is about increasing the make up of the group and providing a larger voice for advocacy as well.
On Saturday I came across Hank, who is a member of the BBC at Twin Creek trail head for the coffee ride. He joined as a result of seeing and using the port-a-potty the club funds each year at the trail head. He said he just wanted to help out as a way of saying "thanks." More of a club member in name only, but every club has those..
I did encourage Hank to become more active than just ride, but said I will still enjoy seeing him again on a future coffee ride.
So check out the list and see what you think.
Eleven Reasons - from Cycling Weekly
- Wealth of knowledge - The accumulated years of know-how and expertise within any given cycling club can be huge.
- Find new routes - Another subject in which the combined wisdom of the group will prove its worth, especially if you have recently moved to a new area, is the geography of the region.
- Camaraderie and new friendships - Unlike with friends from school or work, where you are thrown together by circumstance and have to make the best of it, joining a cycling club due to a specific interest in cycling means you’ve already got one big thing in common.
- Shiny new club kit - Further to the friendships you will form is the sense of belonging that comes with lining out in the same kit as your clubmates, especially when you’re new to a club.
- Expensive bikes and equipment aren’t necessary - Budget needn’t be a worry. Riding in a club will show you that the bling on display at most sportives is neither necessary nor particularly common on club rides.
- Improve your Strava segment times - You might still not get the KOM but you’ll definitely improve your segment times with a bit of club assistance.
- Train better - When cycling, there can always be a temptation to stay in your comfort zone. Get out on the bike with a faster group on a club run and you’ll soon find you can push yourself much further than you thought.
- Get into racing - Once you’ve improved your general riding and training, the next step for many club riders is to get into racing.
- Motivation - Sometimes, riding on your own is bliss. Go where you want, as fast (or slow) as you want, for as long as you want. But the inverse of this is wondering if you can be bothered to go out at all.
- See the world and ride in the tire tracks of the pros - Much with cycling in general, riding abroad can obviously be done without joining a club first. But ascending Mont Ventoux around the time of the Tour de France or taking on the Paris-Roubaix Challenge sportive will be a lot more fun with friends.
- It’s not just about the cycling - At the very least there are the cafe stops during the rides, but beyond that many clubs do a lot of off the bike socializing. Club nights in the local pub and an annual awards dinner are just some of the times you get to see your cycling friends wearing something other than lycra.
Here are some reasons for joining the BBC
- Weekly coffee ride. We hold this ride year-round, when weather permits. It is a no-drop ride where any level of cyclist are welcome to join us for a ride to an area coffee shop. We enjoy each other’s company and like to get to know you.
- Advocacy. We participate in Bike Walk Nebraska. This organization gives a voice on the state and local level to improve biking and walking trails/opportunities in Nebraska. The BBC works with local governments to represent all cyclists.Joining the club gives it a larger voice.
- Group Rides. We have members that love gravel rides, some that do trails, and others that will do road rides. The Club participates in BRAN, RAGBRI, Wear Yellow, Corporate Cycling Challenge, and many other rides.
- Learning Opportunities. The BBC often promotes and attends bike maintenance classes at local bike shops. Several times a year, after a coffee ride or at a club meeting, the club will allow you to get your hands-on experience at bike maintenance, instructions on bike safety, and learning more about difference in bikes.
- Port-a-potty sponsorship. As strange as it may sound our little efforts like having a port-a-potty at the trailhead and offering water on a Saturday at the BBC bench, can make a difference and adds to club visibility.