I am unsure how to create a new conversation so I thought I would just comment on this one and hope it is seen. I have just turned 16 and am looking to join a cycling club. I am experienced enough at cycling both on road and track (I used to go to Herne Hill regularly when I lived closer to there and also managed to somehow obtain VC Londres kit and become a member although not an active one). I cycle a decent amount but usually solo and want to change this by joining a cycling club. I am looking at different clubs such as London Dynamo, Hackney CC etc. I particularly want to join ICC as I live in between Regent’s Park and swains lane so not far from any Islington CC meeting point. I am also leaning towards joining this club as the adult group is from 16+ which would allow me to ride with adults and challenge my fitness whereas in other clubs I would have to join the junior section of the club. I was wondering if I could join you on up to 3 rides to see the different types of rides you have on before I make a decision as to what club to join. I am usually quite shy and as I will not know anyone just yet I will just pedal quietly and keep myself to myself. I plan to join a Regents Park Saturday morning ride, a north London hills midweek ride (as I want to see the pace which is set up climbs such as swains lane and whether I will be able to hold on) and finally will hope to join a Sunday ride. On Sunday rides is there any way I can know the Sunday route in advance or would I just turn up at the meeting point and follow the leader of my group?
Also, after riding for a while with the club, should I choose Islington, I would like to start racing crits; I see on the British Cycling website that some members of this club participate in the type of events I will hope to compete in and my question is: If there are multiple members in a race do we ride as a team, as individuals or only as a team if we are already familiar through previous rides?
I will of course email to let you know in advance what rides I hope to join but I just wanted to ask these questions about the club first.
I'm the membership manager for the club and will happily send you all the info you need if you send me an email as Sean suggests above. Just one thing to note is that we can only have guests come along on our Sunday rides for up to 3 occasions before becoming a member, this is for insurance purposes. As such, the Saturday laps and the Weekday rides are only available to club members.
On Sundays, sometimes the routes are posted in advance and sometimes not - it really does depend on who wants to lead a ride that day and how organised they are! Generally we suggest all new riders go on a Green ride (easiest pace), these can vary but there will always be one taken out that is around 60-65km. You won't need the route in advance as you'll be well taken care of by the ride leader(s) on the day.
As for crit racing, there is a good turnout by Islington at crits and it tends to be decided among participants as to what, if any, the strategy of the race will be. There isn't anything set by the club for this. For example, if an individual needs some points to go up a category then likely the other ICC club mates will help them achieve that goal, but other times it will just be a free for all.
If you have anything else you need to know then by all means drop any questions into an email to me and I'll be more than happy to help. Send me an email anyway and I can give you more information on the joining/trying us out process.
Thank you both for replying so quickly. I am currently away but will be back in London by Sunday. I will email once I am sure that I am free on Sunday. Seeing as I am unable to join the Saturday laps or midweek rides I will probably try to attempt 3 Sunday rides. The first time going in the C group, the second time going with the B group and the third time I might try the A group if I can get the route beforehand as I am likely to get dropped and I will tell the leader that they should not wait for me.
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