Guide to finding a cycling buddy

Without my cycling buddy how would I get a picture of me on my Trek Madone?

I’ve been getting a few emails lately that go along the lines of:

“Oh holy Andreas, with your infinite cycling wisdom, how do I go about finding more people to cycle with?”

Personally, I enjoy going out for a ride with a friend. It combines a good catch up with exercise and enjoyment of the great outdoors as well as seeing places I’ve never previously visited. (Cue promotion for my London Cycle Routes eBook).

One of the friends I occasionally cycle with, I’ve known since school and the other I met when I moved to London through meetup.com. The one enjoys a bit of a moan (“could you have taken me on a ride with any more hills?”) and the other is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met (“Riding 120 miles in the dark is amazing”).

So how can you meet up with people you’ll get along with and share a mutual love of cycling?

Join a cycling club

The obvious is to join a cycling club. That of course isn’t for everyone. There’s also..

Your local cycling campaign group

Take a look on http://lcc.org.uk/pages/in-your-area and see if your local group is organising any rides. Camden cyclists organise more rides than I could ever go on.

Forums

Getting involved in cycling forums such as lfgss.com can foster good relationships on the forums that can be taken into real life when meet ups are organised.

Go to where the cyclists are

London is full of great cycling events. The Bicycle Film Festival and the Hackney Bicycle Film Society are two I can think of off the top of my head that could be a good chance to meet fellow cyclists. Just go along with an open mind and start chatting to people. Of course there’s also the London Naked bike ride which could make for interesting conversations..

Tap into your none cycling friends

Running londoncyclist.co.uk I’ve seen plenty of my friends get sucked into the cycling world. Now I’ve got a larger pool of people I can suggest a ride with on the weekend. Find a friend who’s on the fence about getting a bike and push them over. Metaphorically speaking of course.

Meetup.com

I met one of my cycling buddies through meetup.com at the London Bloggers Meetup (I also won a laptop there once – but that’s another story). Just search for Cycling in London and you’ll see plenty of groups.

Over to the commenters..

How did you meet the people you cycle with?

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14 Responses to Guide to finding a cycling buddy

  1. Hannah 20/09/2011 at 9:25 am #

    I recommend Pollards Hill Cyclists http://www.pollardshillcyclists.org.uk/ if you’re in South West London. Their Sunday rides are about 35 miles across an entire day (so it is not always very fast – more leisurely), involve tea, coffee and cake stops, and a pub lunch. I have only been along once, but it was an inclusive friendly group, they definitely were not racing (which suited me) and the rides were very well planned. I will definitely go along again! (I think I actually found out about them from a response to one of your blog posts Andreas :))

  2. el-gordo 20/09/2011 at 9:47 am #

    There is Critical Mass (http://www.criticalmasslondon.org.uk/main.html) which meets on the last Friday of every month. That said, having always meant to go to one, I actually inadvertantly got caught up in one a couple of months ago as I cycled down to Waterloo on a Friday night. Having only been in it for a few minutes I did kind of decide it wasn’t for me but lots of people go so is no doubt for others.

    Andreas, you could always organise a London Cyclist bike ride!!?!

  3. Marcus Taylor 20/09/2011 at 9:47 am #

    Good article. Thank you. Been a lone cyclist pounding around Richmond Park on my own for the last year every Sunday and wishing I had friends who had similar interests. I’ll be Googling for cycle clubs in the Clapham/Wandsworth area.

  4. el-gordo 20/09/2011 at 10:24 am #

    Marcus,

    I haven’t ridden with either, although planning to in the next few weeks, but there is London Dynamo based in Richmond Park (http://www.londondynamo.co.uk/faq.php) on Saturday mornings or Kingston Wheelers who do Sunday rides from Surbiton (http://www.kingstonwheelers.co.uk/clubrun.shtml).

    Cheers

  5. Alis 20/09/2011 at 6:11 pm #

    It gets rather lonely cycling from Barnes to Teddington through Richmond Park every day!

  6. Iain 20/09/2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I did say back in January that i was going to join the local club this year… I still am… honest! I do wonder how I managed to cycle to and from the TOB on Sundy alone (ok, on the way there I was getting mega speed…)

  7. Gill 20/09/2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Probably a little late in the year now, as they finish at the end of october, but I have been participating in the skyride locals all summer. I’ve met some great like minded people & picked up some great tips (this website for one). They meet all over london every sunday and it’s free! Not sure what I’m going to do through the winter, now I’ve got the bug! http://Www.skyride.com

    • Saif 16/06/2013 at 9:31 am #

      There will be plenty of rides through the winter and the rest of the year through the Social Cycling Groups and Buddy programme on the same website. Have a look again.

  8. Helen 23/09/2011 at 10:33 am #

    I also go on the Skyrides – most weeks with my 5 year old. We’ve now got him into a club so that will keep him occupied on Saturdays. Would still like to cycle on Sundays if anyone else has a young one they’d like to take out. My son is used to doing 20 miles and above, but will be satisfied with 8 to 10 miles. Would prefer traffic free as much as possible.

    Would also like a cycle buddy to cycle into work as I don’t have any real road confidence and my fitness isn’t great at the moment so I may be a bit slow for a 16 mile journey from Sidcup. If anyone would like to accompany me on Sundays or two days a week to London, please reply.

    • John Driscoll 03/11/2011 at 4:11 pm #

      @Helen from Sidcup, check out our website. Our club caters for Bexley & Greenwich cyclists and we ride out of Eltham Park.

  9. Thomas 23/09/2011 at 11:12 am #

    I also intended to join a club where I live in East London. However, I failed, which riles me a little bit now. For the record, I vow to join one next year!

    I did do the research though and there are a few clubs around, the one I singled out was the Lea valley CC (http://leavalleycc.blogspot.com/).. so if anyone from there is reading this – I’ll be in touch :-)))

    • Godwyns 25/09/2011 at 5:12 pm #

      And I bet my cycling-passion that you wont join one next year Thomas! Now get off that bum and go meet the Lea Valley peeps :) :)

  10. Sports addict 26/09/2011 at 9:15 am #

    Hey Guys,

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