Joining a club = daunting!

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Daddy0
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Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Daddy0 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 20:07 pm

Hi guys & girls

I normally post in the commuting section, but I've been getting into my weekend rides recently. So I'm thinking about joining a club with a mind to get fitter, do a little more serious riding and maybe even some actual racing.

Its all a bit daunting really. Not sure what level I am at or how much I will want to get involved yet. I'm just after some advice really - what to look out for, what to expect etc...

I can manage 20 mile rides with a couple of decent climbs at 16mph average comfortably, so I'm looking for a group that will push me past that.

I live in Bromley so I am going to check out Bigfoot Cycle Club and go to their induction meeting. Bigfoots weekend rides start at 8:15am on Saturdays, I don't know if that's my idea of fun!? Seems very early, but I can already hear the cries of MTFU. There are other clubs in the area, any of you lot a member of any clubs in south/south east London?

lc1981
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby lc1981 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 20:24 pm

Without knowing anything about clubs in your area, my advice would be to go for it. Joining a club was the best thing I ever did in cycling - it certainly pushed me to become a better and much more committed cyclist - and I found my particular club to be very friendly and not at all intimidating once I'd taken the plunge.

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Mikey23
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Mikey23 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 21:54 pm

Yes daunting... If you can do 20 at 16 you should manage ok in a club

carl69
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby carl69 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 22:10 pm

I joined a club just after xmas. Always wanted to but as I am self employed I used to work every weekend, due to business suffering a big downturn like many others this freed up a lot of time ( every cloud and all that ). Joined a very friendly club and really look forward to the Sunday club run and all the encouraging comments they post on strava. My average prior to joining was along the same lines as yours but I now feel much stronger and am getting faster and I, m beginning to feel better about going with the fast group. As another poster stated one of the best things I, ve done. Don, t wait get yourself involved I, ll be surprised if you regret it.

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Daddy0
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Daddy0 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 22:45 pm

Cheers for the encouragement! :D

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it will be a good move.

So should I buy myself some decent bib shorts and a nice jersey? I'm still rockin some cheap gear bought from TK Max and Sports Direct! :oops: Was thinking about waiting until I can get myself a team outfit, but I think maybe I need to turn up to my first club ride wearing "the right outfit"? I'm looking for an excuse to buy more bike stuff - its an awful affliction!

Danlikesbikes
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Danlikesbikes » Tue Mar 05, 2013 22:59 pm

Welcome to the world of club riding.

Depends on the size of your club as to what they will be able to offer. For example my club has 4 groups on weekend rides, from the fastest group which is basically a long hard out and back and every man for himself, to the slower more social speeds. With the slowest group doing the least distance and having a leave nobody behind no matter what rule.

I seem to recall I was proper worried about joining and went with the slowest group for my first ride & found that everyone was really nice and friendly. The ride leader was also from a slightly quicker group and suggested next week I join that group with him & I did and I enjoyed it so much that 3 years later I am still a member of the same club.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

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Rick Chasey
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Rick Chasey » Tue Mar 05, 2013 23:08 pm

Is daunting before you go.



Is great when you go.



Also, I've never been in a club where they make negative comments about kit.

Danlikesbikes
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Danlikesbikes » Tue Mar 05, 2013 23:46 pm

Must be tired as forgot to add my bit about kit :oops:

Turn up in what you have - if a club were to comment on it in a negative way then perhaps they are not a good club.

Plus you will find that most clubs have a few different options of jersey's and tops and you can see which you like in the club colours by looking at the other riders before you purchase.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

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markos1963
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby markos1963 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 03:08 am

Daddy0 wrote:Cheers for the encouragement! :D

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it will be a good move.

So should I buy myself some decent bib shorts and a nice jersey? I'm still rockin some cheap gear bought from TK Max and Sports Direct! :oops: Was thinking about waiting until I can get myself a team outfit, but I think maybe I need to turn up to my first club ride wearing "the right outfit"? I'm looking for an excuse to buy more bike stuff - its an awful affliction!


Take your time finding a good club, it's worth it. Most decent clubs will let you ride with them a couple of times before asking you to join so take advantage. Be honest with them and let them know your ability so they can put you in the right group. Don't bother buying any kit until you have chosen your club, a lot of clubs have great kit now(we use Castelli) so save your money as you might want to buy a full outfit from them.Go with an open mind and be prepared to get involved, the more you put in the more you get out, a club is only as good as it's members commitment. I have really come on as a rider after joining a club and as a person.
Most of all have fun!

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smidsy
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby smidsy » Wed Mar 06, 2013 07:35 am

Have a look at websites and make contact. Ask a few questions and use the answers to short list the one or two that you would like to try.

They will probably say pop along to the next ride and see what you think.

If they have different speed groups go in the easiest one first and just enjoy it.

Explain that you are new to group riding etc. and ask what they need you to do/know.

Any decent club will make sure you are looked after and ride at the slowest mans pace (which may not be you).

Length of rides for club runs vary but on average I would say they are 40 miles or so.

Have a go and feed back how you get on.
Yellow is the new Black.

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Mikey23
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Mikey23 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 08:32 am

My experience of my local club has been mixed. Not particularly local but the biggest in the area by far, and from their website a very friendly bunch of people apart from a couple of rissoles but I think you will always get that.

The slowest of their groups is 12 and their routes are well set out in advance and well marshalled so you know what you are getting and you can work out the suitability of the ride and knowing that you will be riding with 30 plus

Been three times with them in the last year and never yet managed to complete a ride. On the most recent occasion I was doing 12 uphill and into a headwind and still being overtaken and left by the group and catching up at the several regroup points. And yes people were shepherding me at the back but there was an vibe that I picked up that I was holding up their ride. Then when it got to the hilly loop it was put to me that I might not be able to cope and it might be a good point to turn back. So I did and fortunately another guy who knew the area also turned back and helped me home. There were nine guys on that route and they all did 13.5 up to 14 plus on a 12 ride over 50. I'm pretty fit but 60 plus and not quite such a confident rider. I'm wondering whether I should persist or look for another group

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Mikey23
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Mikey23 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 08:33 am

That is nine guys on strava ...

nferrar
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby nferrar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 09:15 am

Assuming you mean it was advertised as a 12mph average speed? If so and if they went a fair bit faster then you should raise it with the ride leaders, either they need to slow it down or start calling it a 14mph ride.
Our club only has one Sunday ride group currently and aim for around 14mph but some of us go off the front for a bit and wait up at junctions and others struggle a bit at the back but we don't (deliberately :p ) leave anyone behind and would only advise someone turn back if they were really struggling at 14mph pace (to be fair in winter it's a lot to ask people to keep stopping and get cold waiting for others well below the advertised ride pace).

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iPete
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby iPete » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:00 am

Check a few websites and turn up and go, perhaps I've got lucky with the first club I've been on a few rides with but it was very accommodating! As for the early start, probably make the ride more enjoyable > less traffic.

As for kit, there really wasn't much interest in it, certainly not in a snobbish way, took people a while to notice I was even on a fixie! Oh sorry, not helping with the excuses, erm, you'll be outcast I tell thee!!

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Daddy0
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Daddy0 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:14 am

iPete wrote:As for the early start, probably make the ride more enjoyable > less traffic.


Yeah, I understand this. I will try to comfort myself with this as I get out of bed before 7am on a weekend...

I'm going along to an induction meeting with Bigfoot CC in a couple of weeks. Looks like a well organised club, but not spoken to anyone who is a member or has any experience with them yet. Only issues are that they make you go on to an induction meeting and want you to have insurance with one of two different insurers before you can ride with them. Induction meeting isn't so bad - its in a pub, but having to wait over two weeks is a bit of a PITA - I want to ride NOW! Insurance, I can see its useful, but I already have insurance with another company. I hope they don't want me to pay up on the induction day without even having had a ride with them!?

Cheers for all the heads up guys. I will ask at a couple of other clubs to see if I can join them for a ride before I commit.

Can anyone recommend any clubs in South/South East London / Kent area?

Looking at Anerley CC and Addiscombe CC at the mo.

Danlikesbikes
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Danlikesbikes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:30 am

TBH I just googled the club and looks like their website is down.

They are registered with BC so why they would need you to have your insurance I have no idea. Though looking at what they do might be the sizeable amount of MTB'ing that they want members to have extra cover.

Though I am am a member of a road club & a separate MTB club and have never been asked to take out more cover.

Sure someone on BR will know of them as a club though & give you some feedback.

You could always used the BC club finder to help you - http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubfinder
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

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g00se
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby g00se » Wed Mar 06, 2013 13:56 pm

This lot look varied in their social club runs - and a bit more informal:

http://www.gsavanti.co.uk/page/group-riding

jibberjim
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby jibberjim » Wed Mar 06, 2013 14:04 pm

Danlikesbikes wrote:They are registered with BC so why they would need you to have your insurance I have no idea. Though looking at what they do might be the sizeable amount of MTB'ing that they want members to have extra cover.


A BC registered clubs members do not gain any coverage from the BC insurance unless they are officials. It's perfectly reasonable and a significant gain to require 3rd party insurance on all members.

If another member of a club does something negligent, then without any 3rd party insurance cover on the individual then the chance of recovering anything is pretty limited.
Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/

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Mikey23
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Mikey23 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 14:42 pm

@nferrar... Yup thanks, it is advertised as a 12 with the stated aim of riding around that speed. They also have a 14 and a 16 going out on different routes with different leaders. It seems that they have grown up together and got fit together and don't want to split up or move on to a more challenging group which is fine for them but makes it difficult to break into. Unfortunately, there are some vocal ones who start to get arsey when you mention such stuff to them or on their website

Danlikesbikes
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Re: Joining a club = daunting!

Postby Danlikesbikes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 15:22 pm

jibberjim wrote:
Danlikesbikes wrote:They are registered with BC so why they would need you to have your insurance I have no idea. Though looking at what they do might be the sizeable amount of MTB'ing that they want members to have extra cover.


A BC registered clubs members do not gain any coverage from the BC insurance unless they are officials. It's perfectly reasonable and a significant gain to require 3rd party insurance on all members.

If another member of a club does something negligent, then without any 3rd party insurance cover on the individual then the chance of recovering anything is pretty limited.


Just I've never heard of anything like it TBH. However I thought the BC website states that cover is and quoting from the website "The policy indemnifies the club/team in respect of its legal liability for accidental loss or damage to third party property or accidental bodily injury or death to third party persons" & in addition " it indemnifies: The club against claims brought by non-members and invitees."

However would disagree that if you were injured & the TP was negligent then a claim is pretty easy to deal with under home insurance - but just being a nerd there.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.


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