Any age. Any ability. Any attire. Any bike.
Three years ago, after a particularly difficult point in my life, I bought a road bike with the idea of improving both my physical and mental health. The problem was I wasn’t fit, I didn’t have matching lycra and I felt intimidated about joining a cycling club. I had never cycled before! What if I couldn't keep up with everyone? I also didn't want to wake up for rides at 8am on a Saturday or Sunday morning! So I set up Minchinhampton Cycling Club (formally Cotswold Cycling Club), in the hope of inspiring others who are either new to the sport, or just want to get back on the bike that’s been lying in the shed for years.
Our members range from age 16 to 73, with a mix of road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, touring bikes and even a 1986 Raleigh! We do have a ‘kit top’ but riders wear whatever they want. We cycle at a leisurely pace, enjoying the beautiful scenery the Cotwolds has to offer, and we always stop for a mid-ride refreshment.
If you ride lots of miles alone, motivation can become an issue. Joining a cycling club with other like-minded cyclists helps you mix up your cycling routes and have more fun on your daily training rides. Making friends with members of your cycling club can also provide extra motivation and accountability, getting you out on the road more than you might go alone. On long or hard workouts, having others to suffer with helps you push yourself a little harder. I had to get off my bike and walk up Rodborough Hill last week…but the lovely thing was, everybody else did the same…so you will never feel alone!