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

Voters
54. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 82
  1. #1
    Ms. Monster
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,765

    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.
    Reputation: thedumbopinion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,275
    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.
    Reputation: XLNC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    766
    I'm the loner.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  4. #4
    sheep in FOX clothing
    Reputation: ghettocruiser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,147
    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.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: secret agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    615
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    222
    I am a member of a club, and joined to become more involved with the advocacy and trailbuilding aspects.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    77
    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.
    Reputation: XLNC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    766
    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.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  9. #9
    Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
    Reputation: Pucker Factor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    267
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: secret agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    615
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,765
    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!
    Reputation: saturnine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    4,971
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: secret agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    615
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: binrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    78
    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
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,148
    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.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  16. #16
    Ms. Monster
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,765
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    359
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    125
    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
    Reputation: 14Stone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    692
    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.
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  20. #20
    No. Just No. Moderator
    Reputation: Circlip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,761
    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
    Team NFI
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,148
    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.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    27

    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,964
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation: limba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,947
    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
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    493
    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"

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-29-2012, 08:28 AM
  2. Replies: 95
    Last Post: 08-26-2011, 09:35 PM
  3. Does this belong here?
    By madtorker in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-24-2011, 06:18 AM
  4. Mountain bikes belong in the wilderness
    By thickfog in forum Trail Building and Advocacy
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-17-2011, 02:19 PM
  5. The Woods Belong To Us
    By Enduramil in forum Eastern Canada
    Replies: 93
    Last Post: 02-26-2011, 05:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •