Are you part of a cycling club in London?

If you want to mingle with fellow cyclists, improve your fitness or just head out on long rides then a cycling club is a good option. Finding the right one isn’t the easiest thing, but the British Cycling Club finder is a good place to start.

Another great way to find a good one is by recommendations. Are you part of a cycling club? If so, how is it?

Leave a comment below…

See also:

  1. London’s cycle cafes
  2. How does your bike fit?
  3. Riding the Arch to Arc
  4. Turning right on a multi-lane roundabout

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30 Responses to Are you part of a cycling club in London?

  1. Andrew 12/08/2011 at 9:36 am #

    A timely post. I’m thinking of joining my first Dulwich Paragon club ride tomorrow – and really struggling to get over that fear of being in a group of Proper Cyclists, regardless of how welcoming they are (and I’m sure they are). Interested to know if others have done it, and how they found it.

    • Woody 12/08/2011 at 11:52 am #

      I rode with Paragon last week (my first ever club ride) and stupidly bonked after 25 miles, got dropped and by the time I’d found some sugar and recovered, they were long gone. That’s fair enough, even in an intermediate group (their website says they won’t leave anyone behind) but I wrote to the group leader when I got back to say I’d got back safely and sorry for causing any concern – never heard back.

      I’m not sure why I had a different experience to many others – if there’s anyone from Paragon on here, care to comment?

      • Alistair FitzPatrick 12/08/2011 at 2:10 pm #

        Sorry to hear that Woody,
        Not sure which group you were in ? but the faster groups will (necessarily) wait for less time/cover more ground, between stops.
        I’m surprised that you didn’t hear back though, normally it should happen. Hope that it hasn’t put you off though.
        Alistair

        • Woody 13/08/2011 at 4:06 pm #

          Cheers Alistair,
          I wasnt actually in one of the fast groups – most definitely in the medium group with three other first-timers.
          I’ve got w couple of weeks off anyway – so will give them another go then.

    • bob 12/08/2011 at 5:21 pm #

      I went out three times with them on a recumbent fairly recently;
      they were then starting at crystal palace at the cafe but i think they now start at herne hill; when i did it we all went down to elmers end and then split into groups by speed; i went intermediate and struggled on the hills but they kindly waited for me;
      i think i should have gone in a slower group; i am sure there will be a slow group from herne hill that you can start with;
      i found them very friendly and approachable and helpfull
      do give it a go; i was really surprised that i could even do the distance!
      i am sure you will be ok
      bob

      • Andrew 12/08/2011 at 5:42 pm #

        Thanks for all the replies everyone – useful to hear other’s experiences. Will be there tomorrow, lurking in the slow group at the back I suspect…

        • Andrew 13/08/2011 at 10:53 pm #

          So, I did it, loved it, and would recommend Dulwich Paragon to anyone like me trying to make the transition from commuter to something more. Hugely enjoyable and still smiling many hours later.

          If Andreas doesn’t mind, I’ve post some rambling thoughts about it over here:

          http://byekick.com/journal/over-the-hillside

        • Andreas 14/08/2011 at 9:57 pm #

          Absolutely fine to link if it’s relevant ;)
          Taking a look at your post now..

    • Alex Gilbert 19/08/2011 at 1:13 pm #

      I joined Dulwich Paragon about three years ago. Very friendly bunch and had a group to suit every ability. When I began i was three stone heavier and a proper slow coach. First time I ever rode out I picked a group who was far too fast for me and got dropped.

      Great thing about the whole club doing the same route was that a slower group came along a bit later and I tagged on with them.

      Now I ride out with the fast group and love it. We do try to ensure we don’t leave anyone behind, I’ve even waited with someone for a slower group to come along to make sure they’re being looked after then tried to catch up with my orignal group.

      If someone mechanicals, we try and help them get back on the road as quickly as possible, or wait with them unitl the next group can pick them up.

      I’m very sorry if someone has ever felt left behind my us, it’s definitely NOT what we try and do. I don’t live anywhere near Dulwich, I live in Camden but ride with DP most weekends as they’re the nicest bunch I’ve come across (having tried quite a few clubs around London).

      Please try and ride with us again, befriend one of us club old timers when we meet and introduce oyurself as new (you can’t miss us as we’re all in DP kit from head to toe!). We’ll try and get you in the riight group and I always look after first timers on their first few rides out, as I remember what it was like being a newbie.

      Alex

      • Alex Gilbert 19/08/2011 at 1:15 pm #

        P.S. and by all abilities, I really mean it. Doesn’t matter whether you are hard core road racer or just a weekend pootler, there will be a group going your speed you can get into.

        Wish I’d signed up sooner, might have spent more of my life not fat!

        A

  2. Alistair FitzPatrick 12/08/2011 at 10:11 am #

    I ride with Dulwich Paragon (about 3 years now) and have found them a friendly, welcoming, group of ordinary people….who just like to ride.
    There are many sectors within the club, racing, cross, sportives etc. but for the most part, people just share a fondness for two wheels.
    Whether it be travelling to work, to the cafe/pub, or to Europe for a big Sportive, you’ll find someone to ride/talk/drink/eat with.
    In short, I’m only sorry I didn’t do it before I turned 50 !!

  3. el-gordo 12/08/2011 at 11:29 am #

    Already set two of my New Year Resolutions:

    1. Buy a road bike
    2. Join a club (Kingston Wheelers maybe, anyone know anything about them? Similar set up to Dulwich?)

  4. jaye 12/08/2011 at 1:29 pm #

    I was wondering if anyone knew of a London touring club that was more orientated towards people in their 20-30s?

    • Harriet 20/01/2013 at 10:12 am #

      Did you ever find a club geared towards people in their 20-30s?

  5. GL 12/08/2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I once looked into a joining a club and made contact with my local. They seemed very nice, but not being of anything other than low to medium fitness (more on the low side than the medium) was also very concerned about ‘keeping up’ so never went along.

    As all of my cycling is commuting or very leisurely weekend rides with girlfriend it is difficult to tell how one would fare with ‘real’ cycists, but I do crave that sense of cycling along in a goup of cyclists. One day I will pluck up the courage and do it. One day.

  6. skippy 14/08/2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Enjoyed your blog post so much so that i did a Blog post of my own which should help those ” NEWBIES ” and encourge them to make the effort to participate !
    Checkout my twitter “Skippydetour ” or go to ” http://t.co/CPrDLl8 ” where you can see some of the “rules of the road ” !

    Travelling around Europe i join any Saturday or Sunday ride that i can find but will throw a ” U turn ” whever i see a group that takes my fancy on the days i have no commitments . Blogs in the next days will reveal some of my latest escapades .

  7. de Selby 15/08/2011 at 9:45 am #

    Thanks, interesting post.

    I’ve been looking around South West London for a club to make the transition from a commuter to a more serious rider. No much luck yet in finding a group that accommodate beginners. Although I’m wondering if I should just jump into an intermediate group and see what happens.

    If anybody would recommend a club, please do post here!

    dS

  8. botogol 16/08/2011 at 8:44 am #

    I ride sometimes with London Dynamo, on their four-laps of richmond park, Saturday mornings.
    This works well, they ride in groups of eight, fastest set off first, so it’s easy to hang around looking at each group and judging by weight and age the one you’ll fit into.

    If you do get dropped by your group then you can sit up and wait for the next one.

    the group riding is in a tight ‘chain’ formation – constantly rotating round, read the instructions on their website, tell the team leader if its your first time. They group will keep together very tightly, breaking up on the hills, and reforming at the top/bottom.

    and the nice thing is — your are in the park, so even if you abandon completely after a couple of laps, you’re still only a mile or two from the cafe where everyone stopes at the end for a tea.

  9. Matt Taylor 16/08/2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Anyone know of a good, friendly North London club? Tried a few, but I’ve got no response to emails expressing interest :(

  10. Tim Benson 17/08/2011 at 5:28 am #

    Although I appreciate that for many club cycling gives great pleasure for me the joy of cycling has always been its solitary nature. Time to think sort the world and my head into some sort of order. The beauty of the bicycle I guess. Offers so much is so many ways to so many.

  11. John Driscoll 22/08/2011 at 3:01 pm #

    For those of you based in Greenwich and Bexley, I’m a member of Limited Edition Cycling club which caters for both boroughs. The club was formed last October and I’ve been riding with them since February this year. We’ve got a good mix of a couple of ex-Pros, some very keen enthusiasts and some fairly new beginners.

    We ride out of Eltham Park on a Sunday morning and you’ll find us in Bexley Village on our training loops on a Tuesday evening.

    All the rides are graded 1-5 in difficulty, 1 is easy and flat, 5+ for the hardened long distances and hill climbs around Kent. We dont leave anyone behind but its common sense to only take on what you can cope with.

    I was initially wary of joining a club. I was overweight and struggling to do 30miles at 12mph let alone be any quicker. 7 months later with some hard work (and in excess of 3,000 miles on the bike), I’m 2 stone lighter and doing the same distances around 17mph, actually enjoy taking on the climbs and I’ve completed my maiden century ride and my first two sportives.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, best thing I’ve done is joining the club. I’ve learnt a lot and made a lot of new friends in the process and the best advice I can give to anyone is just go for it.

    • Andreas 25/08/2011 at 9:16 am #

      Hey John – thanks for the comment. Very encouraging to hear about your experience with your cycling club and it’s good to see the rides are helping you improve your fitness and performance.

  12. Claire 29/08/2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Anyone know how friendly the Dulwich Paragons and/or London Dynamo’s are to women? Done a little bit of touring and looking to do more and love cycling in a group….I miss the longer rides as recently I’ve just been commuting. Would like to do some training for speed to see how fast I can go too!

    • Andrew 29/08/2011 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Claire, there were certainly quite a few women in my group on the ride I did with Paragon – and all looked like regulars which is a good sign.

  13. Eddie 29/08/2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Andreas – you seem to have an uncanny knack of bringing up certain topics at exactly the right time!! Probably why you’ve built up such a popular blog :-)

    So, yes. Cycling clubs. I live in Streatham and have done what most people I imagine have done. I searched google for cycling clubs in south London. I came across the usual (Kingston wheelers, dulwich dynamo etc.) but felt slightly intimidated by them and was disappointed to find there wasn’t one closer. I thought about going along to the kingston richmond park outings but it’s not close by and I’ve never managed it.

    Having read the encouraging comments here I am quite tempted to give Dulwich Dynamo Saturday club ride a go – actually quite close to me. Maybe next weekend if I’m free…

    • Tochukwu 01/04/2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Have you tried Brixton cycling club, it’s pretty close to you since u are based in Streatham.

  14. Eddie Mitchell 23/10/2011 at 2:40 am #

    Can anyone please tell me if the Eltham Paragon CC are still in existance. I am writing a series of stories about racing in the UK and especially at the Crystal Palace. Also if anyone has any stories about racing in the Palace please let me know. My main focus is racing in the 50′s to the 70′s including the British (1970) and the World Cyclo-Cross Championships (1973).
    I believe the Paragom promoted the Brian Robinson Grand Prix. I am also featuring the Tuesday evening events that Dennis Tarr won on a regular basis.
    Thanks.

  15. Mike 12/11/2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Hello everyone

    Does anybody know of any cycle clubs in London that ride vintage bicycles? I’d like to join a club but I’m not into the lycra and road bike scene. I’ve got a Triumph traffic master and I just like riding it in my jeans. I like long rides and would like to maybe make friends with people who own similar bikes or just cyclists. I’ve been in London for 5 months and it’s about time I made friends with people outside work who enjoy cycling. I’m not a competitive type. I’m not into racing people. I’d just like to ride along new routes, stop off for coffee/ pub etc. I can’t find any vintage cycling clubs on the net but I dream of being in a club where we ride like “The Smiths” in that “Stop me” video. Ha ha :OD

    • Sara 07/02/2014 at 10:42 am #

      Did you have any joy with this Mike?
      I think London Cycle Campaign do less sporty type rides but I’ve never joined up and found out for sure…
      I’ve found a lot of cycle clubs are geared up (boom boom) to doing competitions and I’m too old / busy for that!
      Cheers,
      Sara

  16. mike p. 16/02/2013 at 10:26 pm #

    I am 75. Did a bit of club cycling 60 years ago (Fountain cc). Do some sporadic touring now and then (Nullabor plain Oz 2012, SW Oz 2012, Spain and France 2000 and 2006), always kept myself fit for last 55 years at least (serious jogger, gym work, bike). Now wish to do some TDF mountains in 2013. Intend to buy a road/sportive bike for the purpose.
    I would appreciate any advice on this (type of bike, training, etc) from anyone of any age, but particularly seniors who may have already done something like this themselves>

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