View Poll Results: Why did you (or didn't you) join a cycling club?

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  • Group rides

    19 35.19%
  • I wanted to meet new friends

    11 20.37%
  • Trail building

    19 35.19%
  • Race support

    7 12.96%
  • Cool kit

    4 7.41%
  • Social events (e.g. pub nights)

    8 14.81%
  • Riding events (e.g. hill climbs, time trials)

    10 18.52%
  • Clinics

    2 3.70%
  • To support their trail advocacy efforts

    27 50.00%
  • Other (please specify)

    1 1.85%
  • No club for me! I'm a loner.

    17 31.48%
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  1. #1
    Ms. Monster
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    Why do you (or don't you) belong to a Club?

    I know why I joined the Hamilton Cycling Club (trail building and advocacy). I am curious why others join clubs and what they hope to get out of them. I am also curious why people DON'T join clubs. Please share!

    Thanks to Enduramil for the post idea. For those (like me, usually) who can't be bothered to follow his link, here's a brief quote from the article:
    Quote Originally Posted by In Praise of Mountain Bike Clubs
    While any group of riders can plan to go out for a ride, mountain bike clubs have a larger mission – these are the people who build and maintain trails, who organize learn-to-ride weekends, who provide low-cost workshops on bike maintenance, who plan community events, and who generally spread the love of mountain biking wherever they go.

  2. #2
    All my faucets is Moen.
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    For me it was for the group rides and meet people but also to find others to ride with for training.
    The other stuff like social events and trail advocacy is just an added bonus.

    I also plan to join another club this summer just because I like the work they are doing and I want to support their efforts. I most likely will never ride with them or attend one of their social functions.

  3. #3
    I dd what you see there.
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    I'm the loner.
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  4. #4
    Talentless Hack
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    Most of those who know me can attest I have also been a loner for a lot of years now since I was last involved in any sort of club.

    There isn't much room in my week for any kind of organized ride at a specific time, and virtually all of my non-commute my rides are at completely oddball times based on when I have an opening. I mean, my awesome-warm-weather-ride this last weekend started at 9:30pm Sunday night.

    With the kids getting older things are settling down a bit, and maybe I can look into rejoining an organized ride every now and then or even meetings and advocacy-type stuff at some distant point.
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  5. #5
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    I have been riding for a lot of years and I like to ride what I like to ride when I am ready to ride. I don't like to be tied in to schedules or specific locations. Weather can be fickle, so if I can't ride one day I would ride the next or the day before if the forecast is bad. I liked the format of the Toronto Bicycle Network. They would post rides and you could show up or not. Typically a casual ride. Not really interested in social events as I have varied interests outside of biking that keep me busy as well. A lot of clubs from what I hear are also trying to set up racing teams which I am not interested in either. Basically is just want to be free to screw around on my bike on trails, urban street, or road depending how I feel that day. You can do many of the things mentioned above as regards to advocacy and helping with trails and being a nice guy to newbies on the trails without being part of a club. Having said that, I think clubs are awesome for people looking for the things they offer,

  6. #6
    snowbound
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    I am a member of a club, and joined to become more involved with the advocacy and trailbuilding aspects.

  7. #7
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    I've been a loner throughout most of my cycling years. This is partly because I really like riding solo a lot of the time (my main source of stress-relief after a long day/week in the lab), but lack of time is also a factor. I generally work 50-60+ hour weeks, and have limited free time once family and other social commitments are accounted for. I think I'd like to get involved in advocacy/trail building efforts, as well as go on the odd group ride, but haven't been able to wrap my head around the required time management!

  8. #8
    I dd what you see there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    I have been riding for a lot of years and I like to ride what I like to ride when I am ready to ride. I don't like to be tied in to schedules or specific locations........
    This whole post is basically 100% exactly what I'd save said if I expanded mine.

    Suffice to say I'm just too random or spontaneous or whatever you want to call it to stick to schedules or destinations. A good example of this was one day when I left my house with the intent of riding 'leisurely' along the mountain brow here in Hamilton and enjoying the view - only to have somehow ended up on the Chippewa trail and riding all the way to the Grand River in Caledonia and back.
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  9. #9
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    I have been riding for a lot of years and I like to ride what I like to ride when I am ready to ride. I don't like to be tied in to schedules or specific locations. Weather can be fickle, so if I can't ride one day I would ride the next or the day before if the forecast is bad. I liked the format of the Toronto Bicycle Network. They would post rides and you could show up or not. Typically a casual ride. Not really interested in social events as I have varied interests outside of biking that keep me busy as well. A lot of clubs from what I hear are also trying to set up racing teams which I am not interested in either. Basically is just want to be free to screw around on my bike on trails, urban street, or road depending how I feel that day. You can do many of the things mentioned above as regards to advocacy and helping with trails and being a nice guy to newbies on the trails without being part of a club. Having said that, I think clubs are awesome for people looking for the things they offer,
    Nailed it.

  10. #10
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    Sometimes it's the bike that makes the decision for you. My road bike will look at me and ask why I bought it to just sit around for months at a time. Every time I pass by it it guilts me with its value and presence and then I have to ride it. When you have such a close and personal relationship with your bikes and their various demands and preferences, how can one commit to any kind of organized sport. Sometimes it is a location that calls forth and asks why it has been forsaken, and then you just have to go. Maybe it's just me.

  11. #11
    Ms. Monster
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    Very interesting responses so far - thanks!
    Right there with you guys. Even before the mini-monster came along, I preferred just being able to go out for a ride when I felt like it, where I wanted, at a pace of my choosing.

    That being said, there's a lot more to clubs than group rides. Is there anything that would make belonging to a club worthwhile for you non-group ride types? What could a club offer that might make it worthwhile? If "nothing" is the answer, that's cool too.

  12. #12
    GAME ON!
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    no club because i'm socially inept. that's why i ride a bike rather than playing a team sport. plus, i'm not interested in making new friends.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  13. #13
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    I can't imagine any reasons that I would want to join a club. I know just about all the trails in the area quite well. If I go somewhere new, I bring the GPS. There are times that I wished I had someone there in really technical areas or gnarly features. Sometimes I have to pass those up since I am alone and have no help if I injure myself or God forbid, my bike. I would join a more loosely based club like TBN used to be. I paid into it though I did not go on enough rides with them because I liked what they were doing. Apart from racing, group rides, social events, trail advocacy, what is there for a seasoned rider. If you are a knewbie, I can see a lot of benefits to joining a club. You can learn a lot riding with others and get much better, much quicker. I know someone at the Caledon Cycling Club that loves the whole club scene. They do MTB and road racing, training, snow shoe and XC running together and get together socially.
    I have 2 or 3 guys that come or not on rides, or often I just join someone or the other way around and that works for me. Just wondering what you had in mind? Are you thinking of setting something up?

  14. #14
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    Loner, no time to try and do planned rides. Just like to go when I'm in the mood. This maybe with a few friends but mostly by myself.

  15. #15
    Team NFI
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    Last time I was involved with any sport club was back in 92 when I retired from ski racing. Really was about racing. Since have been the loner as it was really easier...there is more to that but this isn't the venue to discuss that.

    Triathlon never involved a club as other then races it was things like the Wed morning ride. Just happened no club involvement. We all knew each other but there was never any need to form a club.

    MTB Kingston is based on trails on private land and to ride those areas you have to be a member. Last year my schedule didn't permit but this year it does. And didn't work out when Gabi was younger as there was even less scheduling then there is now so any membership would never have been used.

  16. #16
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    Just wondering what you had in mind? Are you thinking of setting something up?
    I'm not necessarily interested in recruiting new members to the Hamilton Cycling Club, though they'd certainly be welcome. It's more a question of what the club can do to make membership worthwhile for its members. Currently it's a mix of roadies and mountain bikers, but the MTB is newer to the club, so, other than trail building and advocacy, there's not a lot set up yet. There are a LOT of local group rides (mostly well-established shop rides). We're having monthly mountain bike time trials in Christie. Other things the club has tried: youth rides, pub nights, joint group rides...

    I guess one other thing the club offers is that club rides are insured, whereas informal rides aren't and expose leaders to liability.

  17. #17
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    I join the Caledon Cycling Club only so I can ride their private trails which are wicked, I don't go to / have no interest in going to any group rides or club events however.

  18. #18
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    I belong to a club with the primary reason being to support their trail building work and advocacy. It's my small way to give back for having the great trails I enjoy riding regularly. I would like to participate more in trail builds and group rides, but with a young family my schedule rarely aligns. I also like receiving the updates regarding trail conditions, new trails, and other trail related news.

  19. #19
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    I am a member of 2 clubs. I've joined one for race support and group rides, and the other for trail advocacy and more group rides.

    I am a social person. I like to talk bikes, racing, trails and everything in between because I'm new to it, and I'm always willing to learn from people who've been in it for years. So I feel like surrounding myself with like minded people.

    I prefer races like Solstice and the 8s, because I view it as a party more then a race. I have no illusions of being on a podium or racing on a podium team, so I'm going to be the guy who's just super pumped to be there on his bike, wearing kit, and trying to make a good name for the club.

    I also have joined the clubs because its a constant source of information.

    Summary: I view cycling as a social event when I'm not training. *Read: Going moderately quick in the attempt to make myself slimmer and faster* Clubs fit that part of the puzzle for me as I can always ride or not ride with them depending how I'm feeling.

  20. #20
    No. Just No.
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    Several posters have commented about how they like the flexibility to do their own thing where, when, and how they choose to do it, rather than being constrained by set club activities. I totally get that and similarly cherish my solo riding opportunities, as well as the usual informal "me and my buds are going riding" deals.

    However, I also like to have the option to join in on structured group rides and activities (hey, variety is the spice of life right?) and being a member of one or more clubs is a great way to provide that option. In fact, sometimes it's the easiest option.

    I have yet to find a club that thinks any less of me because I mix 'n' match a bit as described above. Those types of clubs probably exist somewhere, but I've never run across any, and if I did then these wouldn't be clubs I'd belong to anyhow.

    Club memberships are generally so inexpensive in the grand scheme of all the expenses (bikes, gear, gas, etc.) we incur in pursuit of our wonderful sport, that it's a no-brainer for me to be a club member to keep my options open, or expand them in some cases.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post

    Club memberships are generally so inexpensive in the grand scheme of all the expenses (bikes, gear, gas, etc.) we incur in pursuit of our wonderful sport, that it's a no-brainer for me to be a club member to keep my options open, or expand them in some cases.
    Easy to brush off the whole club costs thing. But for some it is an issue.

    Was thinking about this whole club thing and people's interpretation of it. From what I have seen over the years the view of a club is different between road and mountain biking. Cycling clubs in Canada come from from road biking. Which is a team activity when it comes to racing. Or it was geared to whatever variation of road biking type challenge...Randonneau for example.

    Mountain biking is a individual sport compared to road biking. The clubs formed by mountain bikers had nothing to do with racing as a mountain bike race despite the 25 plus people in your race wave is a individual effort really. Mountain bikers formed clubs to simply deal with trail access issues. First mountain bike club I ever heard of was when they formed WORCA to fight BC Parks for trail access. So mtb clubs or the more association that is more common now is geared towards advocacy.

  22. #22
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    Why do you (or don't you) belong to a Club?

    I joined our local club not for social reasons but to help support an organization in our area that has done allot work with local authorities to provide access to, create, and maintain trails for MTB use. This is the same reason I also joined IMBA Canada. Without our local clubs and national organizations we would have very few legal trails to ride on.

    As mentioned earlier most club memberships are very low cost, so why not help support the people out there trying to make things better for all of us.

  23. #23
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    I was part of a couple clubs many years ago and was actively involved in land access, ride planning, leading group rides, social events, and various other things. In hindsight I took on way too much which is likely why I ended up burning out and pretty much dropping off the face of the earth for quite a few years. Quit the clubs, stopped going on group rides, and became a loner except for a few close friends. It's only in the last couple years or so that I've started edging my way back into group rides, in time I may become more involved in the cycling community again but I'm taking things one day at a time.

  24. #24
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    I joined the SCCC (road racing club) to do group rides/races and get in better shape. I did that for years until I got bored of the same route, people crashing and people arguing about crashing.
    I joined the SHCC for group rides and to discover more trails. I haven't rejoined because the group rides are always slow. Painfully slow. There are fit people in the club but they do secret rides not with the club.

  25. #25
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    I love all sorts of clubs, night, strip, singles and swingers. Unfortunately, most riding clubs do not fit into my schedule. So I do not get to experience all the joys that these cyclying clubs offer. It would be nice to experience group rides instead of going at it on my own especially those night rides!
    "By Your Command"

  26. #26
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    I was a loner/independent for years. A club approached me last year to join their race team. Not because of my ability/results, but because apparently they thought I would be a good ambassador for the club, the race team, its sponsors and cycling in general. I went to check it out and discovered a group of like-minded people with whom I have many things in common. So I joined. I don't go on a lot of group rides through the club, but it sure is nice to have a bunch of people in team kit cheering me on at races. So I guess I am a convert. And I couldn't imagine not being in a club now. So basically what 14stone said.
    Strava made me do it....

  27. #27
    humber river advocate
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    So the only choice of not joining a club is that you are a "loner"?

    It can also be said that a reason for not joining a club is that you don't agree with the direction the advocacy and trail building efforts are going in.

    Clubs represent only a small fraction of riders out there, which can be misleading on the advocacy side of things. It also explains why our trail development in Ontario is lacking and we are playing catch up now. Some of the best trails I've ridden on in Ontario actually had very little to do with clubs, which is a bit of a conundrum. Clubs also tend to be cliquish in nature and have a hard time thinking outside the box in Ontario. As someone who is deeply involved in trail advocacy and who was involved in a club I could see the old methods were producing results of diminishing returns. The desire to try new methods was met with a luddite response. New avenues of advocacy have to be explored. Supporting IMBA is a good start as well other more local cycling associations that try to be more inclusive to the population in general.

    In the end the results will prove which method is more effective.
    Last edited by singlesprocket; 04-25-2013 at 03:25 AM.
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  28. #28
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    I've joined 2 clubs and both were bad experiences. It seemed the majority of the members new each-other and were a bit of a clique. This made things pretty uncomfortable. Tried hard to fit in but I couldn't connect. Now I do my group rides with friends.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    I've joined 2 clubs and both were bad experiences. It seemed the majority of the members new each-other and were a bit of a clique. This made things pretty uncomfortable. Tried hard to fit in but I couldn't connect. Now I do my group rides with friends.
    i've had the same experience years back, now i just ride with a group of friends when and where we feel like it.
    this group also puts in time building and maintaining trails.
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  30. #30
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    So the only choice of not joining a club is that you are a "loner"?
    No, of course not! It was intended humorously. That's also why I asked for an explanation - thanks for giving one.

    As for the advocacy side, I certainly respect that you and a club might have had divergent views on approaches. What makes it difficult is that, in my experience, landowners prefer to deal with a club rather than an individual, or even a loosely organised group of individuals.

    On another note, the real reason our club would like more members who want to support advocacy is that having more numbers means a stronger voice with the landowner(s). However, I fully respect that many riders who support our advocacy efforts have no interest in being in a club (or paying full insurance and membership fees for no other perceived benefit). Edit: We actually have a second tier of membership for $25 (and no extra insurance) that is specifically for those who want to support advocacy but aren't interested in group rides or racing.
    Last edited by Nerdgirl; 04-26-2013 at 05:53 AM.

  31. #31
    Ms. Monster
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    On a related note, are there any youth activities that would incline people to purchase a family membership?

  32. #32
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    Interesting thread Ms. Monster!

    I personally was never a member of any cycling club until I actually helped to create one.

    Last year I joined a MTB Club in Western New York (WNYMBA) because I truly appreciated what they were about and what they were doing for all mountain bikers in their region. They have built and maintain some of the best trails in New York State and are active in the advocacy side of things as well. An added bonus with this years membership was a membership with IMBA USA as they are an IMBA Chapter now.

    This year I renewed my membership with WNYMBA and also joined a newer MTB Club in Turkey Point (TPMBC). I also like what they are doing and what they stood for.

    There are a few other Clubs I just might join as well to support their trail building and advocacy efforts. Club Membership is inexpensive and without trails there wouldn't be much to mountain biking.

    Support Local MTB Clubs and Support Local Trails!

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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  33. #33
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUBCRAWL View Post
    I personally was never a member of any cycling club until I actually helped to create one.
    That's almost true for me as well (I was an executive member of GORBA way back in the day). And to be fair, I didn't help create the Hamilton Cycling Club so much as help start the MTB side of things (along with Cpt Sydor).

    There was a long deliberation right here on MTBR on how a loose collective of Hamilton riders could get land access to build our own trails and I can't argue with the results. Big organizations like the HCA much prefer talking to other "big" organizations rather than individuals and our not-for-profit status has been key to winning grants.
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  34. #34
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    I learned to mountain bike by myself because I didn't have any cycling friends, riding solo for close to 15 years. I would often hook up with people on the trail for safety… fearing a crash where I’m impaled on a stick in a ravine, unable to wiggle free or call for help.

    Joining a club/team was one of the best decisions I ever made. For 6 of the 7 years I was on that club I was very happy, growing from a shy Sport rider starting at the back of the pack for fear of getting in anyone’s way to winning championships as an Expert and teaching beginners how to race.

    Unfortunately, it ended poorly and I’m back to where I started. Do I regret joining? No, but I’m not sure I’ll join another club and I learned some important lessons.

    A bike club is a place where wildly disparate people come together with only two things in common – a passion for cycling and geography.
    At its best a club provides a nurturing and competitive environment where everyone feels included and encouraged. They educate, advocate and, most importantly, support one another.

    However, if not dealt with, any large, open public group will become cliquey and gossipy (some more than others…). As such, it can be a minefield for the socially awkward, especially if you’re not the type of personality who gossips or belongs to cliques.

    At the end of the day though, what you’ll get out of any club is proportional to what you put back in.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    I'm not necessarily interested in recruiting new members to the Hamilton Cycling Club, though they'd certainly be welcome. It's more a question of what the club can do to make membership worthwhile for its members. Currently it's a mix of roadies and mountain bikers, but the MTB is newer to the club, so, other than trail building and advocacy, there's not a lot set up yet. There are a LOT of local group rides (mostly well-established shop rides). We're having monthly mountain bike time trials in Christie. Other things the club has tried: youth rides, pub nights, joint group rides...

    I guess one other thing the club offers is that club rides are insured, whereas informal rides aren't and expose leaders to liability.
    Kim, this is the challenge faced by mtb focused clubs and groups. The reality is advocacy and such will only draw in a small percentage of the riding community. Best example of this would be WORCA who I am more familiar with. Who for years this was their focus. But really never had big member numbers.

    That started changing when they started the Loonie and now Twoonie races. They noticed that more people where joining WORCA. I think their numbers are something like a thousand now. Shirk would know better though.

    Reality is that while talking about advocacy and such is important but it will never draw in more members. It will only draw in those who want to be that involved which really is a small percentage. For the majority they are more interested in things like Tour Du Buttertart type events and such.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    That started changing when they started the Loonie and now Twoonie races. They noticed that more people where joining WORCA. I think their numbers are something like a thousand now. Shirk would know better though.

    Reality is that while talking about advocacy and such is important but it will never draw in more members. It will only draw in those who want to be that involved which really is a small percentage. For the majority they are more interested in things like Tour Du Buttertart type events and such.
    WORCA cracked 1500 members in 2010.

    Todd Hellinga had a great speech a couple years back about the Twoonie races they do in Whistler.

    A line from it "the Thursday night, biking, drinking, heart-burning, leg-straining, lung-searing, mate-seeking, social event of the week"

    Their weekly races are not just a race, they are the social event of the week. At their peak they were getting 300 riders weekly. They've cut that back to a 200 riders limit. They run 20 rides, the sponsors kick down food and a beer at the apres. They have a waiting list of local companies that want to be sponsors.

  37. #37
    Talentless Hack
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Easy to brush off the whole club costs thing. But for some it is an issue.
    Maybe I'm living in dire poverty without realizing it, but I would also consider joining more than one club to be a bit of a financial hit, especially with the "insurance" fees that gets dumped on everything.

    As a commuter can rationalize bike parts and clothes as general transportation expenses, but club fees, race fees, race licensing, and paying insurance all over again is a bit much on an annual basis.
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  38. #38
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Maybe I'm living in dire poverty without realizing it, but I would also consider joining more than one club to be a bit of a financial hit, especially with the "insurance" fees that gets dumped on everything.

    As a commuter can rationalize bike parts and clothes as general transportation expenses, but club fees, race fees, race licensing, and paying insurance all over again is a bit much on an annual basis.
    I can't speak for any other clubs, but if you can prove that you're already a member of another club and/or hold a UCI licence, our club offers an "associate" membership for (a very reasonable) $5.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  39. #39
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Maybe I'm living in dire poverty without realizing it, but I would also consider joining more than one club to be a bit of a financial hit
    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip
    member of one or more clubs
    I think we can all agree that an entry point is to see what it's like being a member of one club. I am not suggesting that it is a requirement for folks to be members of multiple clubs to have any worthwhile experiences or benefit from the club structure. Some may find they enjoy being members of more than one club, or none at all.

    The mix 'n' match I referred to was more in relation to doing some of my rides with a club, and some solo or with groups of casual friends. My club mates know I do a bit of all, and it's cool with everyone.

  40. #40
    Talentless Hack
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    Sorry, I actually meant to say "one or more" as well, forgive me.

    Okay $5 does seem pretty cheap. So forgive my open thread derailment and ignorance here, but does a UCI race licence also insure club non-race rides?

    I admit, I actually wince these days when I type the letters "UCI".
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Sorry, I actually meant to say "one or more" as well, forgive me.

    Okay $5 does seem pretty cheap. So forgive my open thread derailment and ignorance here, but does a UCI race licence also insure club non-race rides?

    I admit, I actually wince these days when I type the letters "UCI".
    Some of that depends on the club affiliation.

    If the club/association is affiliated with the OCA then you should be covered to ride in any clubs ride/race.

    Out west here the majority of the regional club/associations are not affiliated with the BCA. The insurance cost offered by the BCA drive up the overall cost of membership and most of the events put on are pretty low key community types so it's hard to justify the extra cost when most people want to see the most money going into trails.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Okay $5 does seem pretty cheap. So forgive my open thread derailment and ignorance here, but does a UCI race licence also insure club non-race rides?
    At the risk of copping-out slightly (I'm not the club membership director), I'm going to say I'm pretty sure it does since our club insurance is waived if you have a racing license. Again, different clubs are insured in different ways. YRMV!
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  43. #43
    Ms. Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    does a UCI race licence also insure club non-race rides?
    Yes. To join the club, you need to demonstrate some form of insurance, whether it comes as OCA insurance (cheapest), a Citizen's Permit (second cheapest) or an OCA/UCI race licence (most expensive).

    Clubs may allow insured, non-club members to occasionally participate in their rides. As Mr. Monster stated, HCC's policy is to charge $5 for an associate membership in that case.

    Edit: I should note that some clubs are NOT OCA members (they choose to be insured through IMBA or other means). In this case, the insurance appears not to be transferable.

    Edit the second: I never mind when threads get derailed. It's usually interesting.
    Last edited by Nerdgirl; 04-26-2013 at 05:57 AM.

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    I have never joined a club, simply out of ignorance, not knowing what was involved or what the benefits are.

  45. #45
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    increasing club membership might not increase your influence when it comes to advocacy. it actually might work against you. it tends to make the club homogeneous in nature and might not automatically grant you more weight to build trails. i find that beating the club drum and saying it is in the cyclists best interests to join a large club a bit misleading.

    diversity is key here, as it is the trend/mandate to form committees to oversee land use/trails here in eastern canada. the notion where the largest group gets the most attention is a flawed model to sustainability as it lacks checks and balances. the same can be said with funding, but that can be a whole other topic.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    i find that beating the club drum and saying it is in the cyclists best interests to join a large club a bit misleading.
    No different then the whole if you don't show up to trail build days you are a deadbeat. Mentality that is prevalent.

    QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Terra YSN View Post

    As mentioned earlier most club memberships are very low cost, so why not help support the people out there trying to make things better for all of us.
    I really would like this whole if you don't join IMBA club you don't care type mentality to go away. It really does not encourage much other then encourage whole guilt trip party.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    increasing club membership might not increase your influence when it comes to advocacy. it actually might work against you. it tends to make the club homogeneous in nature and might not automatically grant you more weight to build trails. i find that beating the club drum and saying it is in the cyclists best interests to join a large club a bit misleading.
    Big absolute membership numbers are always nice but they aren't the point. The important part is being an organization, in the formal sense. Without that, it's difficult to put simple land use agreements together (like an MOU) or to be identified as a stakeholder group.

    To give you a local example, one of the major land-use projects going on in the Hamilton region right now is the Cootes to Escarpment Park System. Here's a list of the partners:

    Bruce Trail Conservancy
    City of Burlington
    Conservation Halton
    Halton Region
    City of Hamilton
    Hamilton Conservation Authority
    Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Office
    Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
    McMaster University
    Royal Botanical Gardens

    Luckily for us, we have a great partnership with the HCA which means we have a voice (however small). Unless we had a giant pile of cash or major tract of land to donate (which we don't), it's perhaps doubtful that they would listen to cyclists much at all without the structure we have. I get that clubs aren't for everyone but they certainly have their place.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    Out west here the majority of the regional club/associations are not affiliated with the BCA. The insurance cost offered by the BCA drive up the overall cost of membership and most of the events put on are pretty low key community types so it's hard to justify the extra cost when most people want to see the most money going into trails.
    i agree totally. informal clubs build awesome trails and hold great events.
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    My clubs trail view is better then your clubs.



  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    On a related note, are there any youth activities that would incline people to purchase a family membership?
    The Lap Dogs started a youth program last season, and I am fairly involved in that end of things with the club. Essentially, we introduced a "family" membership package so facilitate this and it seems to be gathering momentum. We've had perhaps half a dozen families seek us out because of the youth program, in addition to kids of existing members getting involved. It's a modest start but will grow with time. The challenge we are facing is that if a club wants to run youth-related events, either club members leading the rides/volunteering at events have to undergo background checks for liability reasons to work with kids, or else the kids have to attend with their parents, which kind of limits the events to families where both the parents and the kids want to ride. Anyway, the program is still in its infancy and all seems to be going well. I would love, as things progress, for the Lap Dogs youth program evolve into something like SHCC's youth program, which seems to have taken things to the next level...
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