Scot Tares finds cycling can be fun if you club together.
Last week I was sent a couple of photographs from a Courier reader who cycled with my Dad in the 1950s in the now defunct Charles Star CC. The two photos, one of a club ride up to Reekie Linn and the other a group shot of the whole club were fantastic to see and it struck me how similar they are to photos I have of myself out on club rides. The steel bikes and woollen clothing have been replaced by carbon fibre and lycra, but the spirit of camaraderie is still there and for me that is what joining a cycling club is all about.
When I joined my first cycling club, I followed in my Dad’s footsteps and became a member of “The Star”, I still have my 1980s red, white and black diagonal stripe club jersey; perhaps it was the influence of my Dad, but I couldn’t imagine cycling without being part of a club. Despite the demise of Charles Star CC, there are more cycling clubs in Courier country than ever before and they are attracting new members all the time. However there is a wave of cyclists coming through for whom joining a club is not a consideration. Those I have spoken to have heard of, or witnessed instances of clubs being too cliquey or elitist. This may be the case in a minority of clubs, but my experience has always been entirely positive.
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The benefits of joining a club are numerous, such as: meeting like-minded individuals, building a wide network of riders to call on when you want to go out for a ride with others and probably most valuable, learning a lot of new things about riding your bike, which by yourself could take years of trial and error.
Over the years I’ve made a lot of really good friends and had many adventures from being part of a cycling club and I would urge anyone who isn’t in a club to give it a go. Do a bit of research and find that the club that most suits you and if it turns out it wasn’t for you, then you’ve not lost anything, but you never know, it may just open a door to a whole new world of riding.
Get out and ride
|You can check out all the cycling clubs in Courier country at British Cycling: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubs|