Once I started biking, I looked for ways to make it a more social activity. Just as I was about to join a large area-wide bike club, I discovered a club based in my own neighborhood.
I’ve written before about it. We do regular Sunday morning rides. They’re supposed to be no drop rides, but I’ve managed to get dropped more than once. The 15 or so riders who show up on Sundays are nice folks, but they’re too strong for me.
Sometimes, we slower riders get a “B” ride together. That’s a lot of fun, and it’s the kind of experience I had in mind when I decided to join the club. We don’t go as far as the regular group, or as fast. But we’re all at about the same level, so the ride holds together. The trouble is, we can’t seem to sustain a regular “B” group ride.
It also turns out that a sub-group of the club is into mountain biking, and they’ll get together for some trail rides in the area.
The club’s original intent was to provide something for everyone, including families with children and older folks who might ride cruisers or hybrids, and wouldn’t mind going several miles, but don’t want to make a hammerfest of it. However, if we do any of that family-oriented riding, I’ve never heard about it.
In fact, the more active members of the club seem to be heading in a more hard-core direction: racing. A club racing team formed this spring, and one of our members recently took first at a local criterium. A number of members ride in a time trial in the neighborhood every other week.
I’m not interested in racing, and since we have trouble putting a “B” ride together on a regular basis, I find myself skipping club rides and heading out on my own. It’s been a bit of a disappointment to me, although not a big enough deal for me to mope about it. I suppose the active members of any organization will set the tone for the rest of the group to follow.
So I wonder: Are you in a club? Why did you join? Does your club specialize in any particular type of riding? Are you getting out of it what you wanted?