Riding to get from A to B is usually not a group activity. However, if you want to get out and ride for leisure, and fancy making your cycling more sociable, joining a club or riding with a group is a great way to meet like minded people to share the road with.
Here’s a look at some of the popular London clubs, organisations, and riding opportunities available:
Sporting and Racing clubs
These are all clubs dedicated to racing – but you’ll always find they are keen to encourage and nurture new riders. If you’re interested in joining, it’s often worth getting in touch, before heading out on a ride.
Kingston Wheelers – South London
I see a lot of Kingston Wheelers on the racing scene, and they are a very active club with some inspirational riders.
It is expected that you would become a member of the club if you wanted to ride regularly, but you can test the water with a Sunday club run. Rides leave from here in Surbiton at 9am. Generally, you need to be able to ride around 40 mile rides at 15-16mph, or be able to complete three laps of Richmond Park in under 80 minutes to join a club ride.
London Dynamo – Central London
The London Dynamo is a diverse club with members who ride road races, sportives, time trials, and off-road. The club host rides on Saturday’s, Sunday’s and in the week, too. Potential new members are encouraged to try out the Saturday ride in Richmond Park, which starts at 9am in Dec-March, and 8.30am the rest of the year. As long as you are happy riding 4 laps of the park at a gentle pace, they say you’ll be just fine – so find out more if you’re interested.
Twickenham CC – West London
Twickenham members ride sportives, road races, time trials, on the track and cyclocross. The club has a varied membership, hosting a Girls Ride every third Sunday of the month, and they also have a Youth Squad for riders aged 12-16.
The Twickenham CC club house is at All Hollows Church Hall, Twickenham (TW11DA), and if you’re interested in joining, you are encourage to pop down for a chat at 8.30pm on a Tuesday.
If you want to find more London cycling clubs, try the British Cycling club finder.
These are groups and organisations that hold regular rides for people who want to enjoy riding in a group..
Central London Cycle Touring Club
The CTC represent touring cyclists, and the London division organise a range of rides on a regular basis. Generally, riders meet at a central London train station, and head out by train to the suburbs for a ride in the countryside. Every route is marked with 1 to 5 stats – one being at a pottering, easy pace, and less than 30 miles, and 5 being a harder ride of 65m+, over hilly terrain, averaging 25kph (15mph). The group promises always to ride at the pace of the slowest rider, and everyone will be looked after.
London Cycling Campaign Ride Listings
The LCC are dedicated to working towards improved provision for cyclists in town. However, they also organise some social rides, as well as listing rides by other organisations. Most of the rides are categorised with the difficulty as “easy” and contact details are provided, so you can get in touch in advance to find out if the ride is for you.
Try the track
This might sound daunting, but it needn’t be. Herne Hill Velodrome host inductions sessions especially for people who have never ridden on a track before, and you can hire a track bike to use. You don’t need to book a session, but are advised to turn up around 30 minutes before it starts, at 12pm on a Saturday.
Riding on the track is extremely fun, and there are sessions for everyone, from novices to serious racers. If the idea of riding fixed with no brakes worries you, once summer is in full swing you can also attend the road bike session organised by Crystal Palace Triathletes – this starts from 1st April and takes place each Tuesday from 6.15pm.
There will certainly be groups and clubs we haven’t mentioned. Do you ride in a group? Tell us about them, and use the comments as an opportunity to tell other readers about your group..
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.