The benefits of being part of a cycling club

19 April 2022

Being part of a cycling club is not just great for adults, but for children too. With fuel prices having increased and better weather returning, what better way to travel than to cycle. Not only is it lighter on the pocket but excellent for being greener and improving mental well-being - and that goes for kids as well!

 

Why is cycling great?

 

In addition to being cheaper, cycling is also great for mental health. Bike riding is great for your emotions, physicality, the environment, family and social life, as well as experiences. It’s very beneficial to introduce cycling to kids from a young age. It will help to boost a child's mental attitude and cycling for toddlers can help improve fitness, and help to create a loving bond with your little one. Children get to experience the fresh air and outdoor life and most importantly it’s a fun, free activity for all the family.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of cycling for kids.

We took a look at cycling clubs and the benefits of joining:

 

What is a Cycling Club?

 

With over 1700 cycling clubs affiliated with British Cycling, they are the backbone of the cycling scene and community. Not everyone is a pro or was a pro and most riders have expanded their skills over time making them more confident. Being part of a cycling club is a great way to meet like-minded riders, travel the country, and develop a skill. Riders can also benefit from having safety in numbers, feeling motivated, and also keeping healthy.

Amarjit Multani, Frog Bikes Marketing Executive commented Every Saturday I take a walk to my local park and I see the same group of cyclists. They meet every week to cycle together as part of a club. Further into Windsor, there are more cyclists congregating at the local cafe. They are also part of a cycling club that meets regularly to share their mutual love of cycling. They cycle together exploring the local area and even further afield. But what they enjoy most is being part of the cycling “community.

 

Kids Bike Clubs

 

Some children aren't fans of taking on new challenges. If you're trying to encourage your little one to get out and ride it may be a fantastic idea to get them involved with a club or group. The British Cycling Go-Ride programme has been very successful in bringing large numbers of youngsters into cycling. Being part of a club helps to build confidence, creates friendship, helps face challenges, and increases motivation.

If you are looking for your kids to start cycling with a club, have a look at Kids Go-Ride Clubs which cater to young people right through to competitive racing teams and can help introduce kids to road riding. Exposing young riders to riding on the road is key for them to understand the essence of what it is to be a road cyclist and to encourage lifelong participation.

 

Here are many reasons to join a cycling club:


CREDIT: British Cycling


 

Here’s what our ambassador Osian's Mum said:

 

How long have you been part of the club?
Osian joined the Maindy Flyers 3 years ago. He trains three days a week at the track, twice on his road bike and once on his track bike, and he will usually do one or two sessions on his turbo trainer or a road ride or two depending on the weather.

What days do you train and have you been to any races?
Osian also regularly mountain bikes. He has competed in multiple races in all disciplines (road, track, cyclocross, and mountain biking) and has won several medals and trophies. Depending on the time of year he will race once or twice a month.

Do you cycle to school? If yes, how has the cycling club taught you about being safe on the road?
Osian doesn’t cycle to school as we live in a remote area and the school is 30 minutes away by car so cycling would be impossible, however, he regularly rides on the roads, either by himself or with the club in a large peloton. I have no worries about his road safety, the club has prepared him well and he is very sensible and aware of the dangers on the roads.

The friends you have made and the importance of being a team
He loves being a part of the club, he’s made lots of friends and he loves chatting to them on their rides, he considers them to be some of his best friends.

Which Frog Bike do you ride?
A Frog 69 mountain bike.

What is your favourite cycling location?
We live in beautiful South Wales and he loves cycling here, we have mountains to climb, coastal roads to follow, and miles upon miles of safe lanes where we rarely see a car, it also has plenty of mountain biking.

 
 

Sam Jacob, Accounts & Credit Control Assistant at Frog Bikes tells us about being part of a Cycling Club:

 

Which club are you part of?
I am part of the Thames Velo Cycling Club.

How long have you been part of the club?
I have been riding with the club for 3-4 years.

What skills do you feel you have learned being part of the club which you may not have gained otherwise?
Riding as part of a fast group and being close to other riders at speed. There is etiquette that goes along with group riding and I think it makes you more alert on the road and tests your nerves during a race situation.

What days do you train and have you been to any races?
I train most days during the week either after work or for a quick ride at lunch. However longer group rides are usually saved for the weekend. I used to race on the road and criteriums but fell out of love as it was too risky with the generally low bike handling skills, fitness of other riders, and open roads. I now race Time Trials and I'm prepping for a half Ironman.

The friends you have made and the importance of being a team
I've made some incredible friends from cycling. They've made me a better cyclist, given and loaned me a kit, made training more fun, and helped out during difficult times. Unless I'm training at lunch I rarely ride on my own.

Are there any special diets or routines you have to follow when training?
EAT EVERYTHING! I can't eat enough during Ironman training! Think I peaked at 5000 calories in a day last summer. I try my best to choose food higher in protein with healthy fats and sugars but failing that will eat anything I can find. If I'm in full-on training mode I'll use MyFitnessPal to track my calories, otherwise, I'll just eat whatever I can.

What is your favourite cycling location?
The best place I've cycled so far is New Zealand but I'm heading to Majorca in April so that might top it. As long as there are smooth roads, a cafe, and no headwind I'm happy.

Thames Velo encourages a new rider to come along to either their Sunday club ride or faster chain gangs during the week and Saturday mornings.

Joining a club is very easy, British Cycling is a great place to look for a local cycling club.

 
 

Benefits of cycling for kids

 

Most importantly, cycling for kids is a fun and rewarding activity that creates so many positive feelings and many health benefits… It is so simple to fit into everyday routines that we literally cannot think of one reason why everyone doesn’t cycle!

Take a look at all the benefits:
⭐   Makes kids feel good about themselves
⭐   Have fun and make friends
⭐   Helps build self-confidence and independence
⭐   Improves brain power and mental health
⭐   Increases overall fitness
⭐   Boosts energy
⭐   Helps strengthen the entire body's muscle load
⭐   Increases coordination
⭐   Kids will feel free
⭐   Helps to make children more accountable and responsible
⭐   Build family bonds
⭐   A greener way to travel

CLEAR THE MIND
A Cycling UK survey of more than 11,000 people found that 91% of participants rated off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health – strong evidence that heading out on the bike is a good way to de-stress and clear the mind.1
1Source: https://www.cyclinguk.org/press-release/2017-02-15/first-road-cycling-report-gives-unique-insight-uk-scene

BE HEALTHIER
According to the National Institute of Health Research, children who walk or cycle to school may be healthier than those who arrive by car. A new study followed more than 8,000 schoolchildren over a period of years. The study showed that people were much healthier even if they took public transport compared to a car.2
2Source: https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/walking-cycling-to-school-linked-healthier-body-weight/

IMPROVE CORE SKILLS
For the littlest riders, cycling will improve motor skills, balance, strength, and coordination. Cycling is also a slow start to a healthy active lifestyle, that children will hopefully then continue into their adult lives.

Overall cycling with a club is great fun for kids and cycling is a great form of exercise for everyone to be involved in!

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