If you have ever thought of joining a cycling club but have not been sure “if it’s for you” then the following Frequently Asked Questions and answers might help.
Do I need an expensive bike to join the club?
No. Bikes don’t have to be expensive. It needs to be roadworthy and should preferably have multiple gears to cope with gradients. For very new or inexperienced riders the Club runs several “beginners ride” to “come and try it”. As riders become more experienced and their cycling ambitions widen, then many riders upgrade their bikes by either changing various components, or by investing in a new, lighter, more specific model.
Can I ride my Mountain bike on the road?
Yes, mountain bikes can be ridden on the road but for your own enjoyment it should be fitted with “slick” tyres. As the club ride is typically of 50 miles or so then riding a mountain bike (with slicks) over this distance could be unduly arduous as they are generally significantly heavier that a road bikes. You should perhaps contact the club to join one of our “come and try it” rides initially (see note above).
Do I have to wear Lycra clothing on the club ride?
No. Cyclists tend to wear Lycra because they find it more comfortable (particularly the shorts with synthetic seat pads), but there are plenty of other clothes available that could be used for cycling without the “body hugging” features of Lycra.
Can you provide training to improve road skills (esp on busy roads)?
Most new riders start out somewhat afraid or wary of busy road traffic. We normally encourage these riders to come out on our small groups of “come and try it” rides on quiet roads. The club also provides access to cycle skills courses designed to improve bike handling skills and rider – confidence.
Do I need to join the club to come on a club run?
Not at first. You can join the ride as a “visitor” until you decide that you really want to join. Most people decide that they would like to join us after they have been out with us on 2-3 occasions.
If I join the club am I expected to race?
No. Many cyclists don’t race at all, they just enjoy cycling for the social and well being effects it provides. As you become more experienced you may find that you would like to “have a go” at a bit of racing. There are members in the club who can advise what races to try. Club members become involved in a wide range of cycling activities including Audax, Sportives, touring in the UK and abroad etc.
Am I too old or young?
We have club members who are into their 70’s and still active within the club, while to the other extreme we have a number of youngsters who have progressed to us via “Maindy Fliers” (dedicated to under 14’s). People join us at all levels of fitness, but they all benefit from taking part in whatever level of cycling is appropriate to their fitness and goals.
Do you welcome women?
Yes. We have many active female members across all of the clubs activities. Some ride purely for the social and physical well being aspects, whereas others enjoy the competitive edge of training and racing.