Why should I start my own cycling group?
Why start your own cycling group?
You may be happy to go out riding on your own or just with a friend but cycling with a group is a lot more fun! There isn't much to it but the benefits of being an organised group are many. Here are just a few of our top reasons why should start your own group:
- The most obvious reason is if there isn't a group near you or, if there are, they don't do the kind of riding at a distance, time or pace that suits you.
- Forming your own group means it's easier to find people to ride with who share your passion for cycling, whether you prefer leisure cycling, mountain biking, road riding, touring - or a combination of all of these. (If your group wants to take part in races, it will need a British Cycling racing licence).
- You'll have the satisfaction of bringing together like-minded people and providing opportunities for taking part in a healthy, life-enhancing activity and may make friends for life.
- You can also share your knowledge and improve your skills - in riding, technical ability, navigation, socialising, organising, life and more.
- Plus there's the camaraderie, the encouragement and the mutual support that comes from riding with others.
- You can choose a group name that reflects where you're based or the kind of activity you take part in, as it's your group, the choice is yours.
- Having a name and a more formal structure means your group can recruit new riders more easily and have a presence on social media via, for example, a Facebook group or a Cycling UK publicity page if you join us.
- You can also design your own kit, or decide whether or not you actually WANT to ride in club kit - perhaps the bright pink Lycra look isn't your thing? Also, ordering kit as a group means you can sometimes benefit from bulk discounts or negotiate special rates at bike shops and so on.
- You may also be able to apply for grant funding from charitable or other bodies, sometimes subject to your group having a certain kind of constitution.
- A more formal structure may mean you have to commit to riding on a particular day and time every week - but this isn't necessarily a bad thing: it will make you turn up come rain or shine and more often than not, you will enjoy the ride, even if you didn't particularly feel like it to start with. Yes, it means commitment but it's surprisingly easy to talk yourself out of going on a ride if you don't have anybody else in particular to go with.
- Once your group is up and running, you may find there is enthusiasm for organising rides or taking part in events that you may not have thought of before. Perhaps even tours and weekends away in other parts of the world? BBQs and quiz nights? Meet ups with other groups and clubs? The possibilities are endless.
- Groups that join Cycling UK can obtain insurance through us that covers their 'officials' ie ride leaders, event organisers and so on for up to £10 million for claims against them, subject to Terms and Conditions. Members of the group can also obtain third party insurance as affiliated individuals through Cycling UK membership (note that individual affiliated membership excludes Cycle magazine, legal assistance and voting rights).
How to start your own cycling group
If you've been inspired by reading about Helen's experience on the right, now take a look at How to set up and run a cycling group then join it to Cycling UK. We've got 140 years of experience with cycling groups behind us and lots of advice, resources and support plus you'll be supporting our invaluable campaigning work on behalf of all cyclists.