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APPREHENSION of Joining a Road Club

I've always loved cycling but it was a means of transport or cross training because I used to be a runner for my main fitness hobby. 

I did however like to go to cycling events, Milk Race, city centre cycle races, etc. Which is where I got my first impressions of clubs, and they weren't good.  Lots of people with attitude. Forward many years and the Tour de France and my interest in cycling is renewed.  Having some "twit" shout at my son for getting near his bike at a cycling event didn't help my impressions of club riders.  

Clubs I believe also had an unreasonable demand from new cyclists. That demand was that cyclists should be able to ride at a set speed for a set amount of miles. 

So, to fill the gap between complete amateur and club riders I run a social rides group through British Cycling and their Lets Ride page.

Initially this was done through Fat lad at the Back before we parted ways and RANDOM WHEELERS was formed.

Why the name RANDOM?

We have rides start from various locations and have members from all over Yorkshire and beyond.  The members are from various backgrounds; lorry drivers, nhs staff, shop assistants, steel workers, etc, and ride a variety of bikes of every description. So every one is welcome from all backgrounds and physical abilities.  We don't have a set pace, our only ask is we never leave anyone behind and treat everyone as an equal. 

So why have I joined Barnsley Road Club?

I've been following several clubs for a few years now with the intention of possibly joining one.  None have ticked the right boxes until this year. I like the way BRC is going and I need a challenge to improve my cycling, and keep me motivated to get out and ride. 

So I went out on one of BRC's Welcome Rides. 

Robert who led the ride was brilliant and very welcoming. 

My second ride was eventful as in it rained. I stood in the doorway at home trying to decide wether to go or not. My wife obviously got fed up of me pacing up and down and just told me to go. So I rode 48 miles with the B Group or mid paced and loved it. Absolutely soaked and frozen but brilliant.  Got home and ordered a new rain coat . The 3rd ride I had decided that the mid paced group was my ability at the moment.  The following is what I posted to RANDOM WHEELERS.  

"Proud of this one, out with  Barnsley Road Club on the B ride or mid paced.  Had a fantastic tailwind all the way to Sandtoft airfield.  I knew the return was going to be hard as we were moving 18 to 20mph on the way out. 

The Happy Cafe at the airfield is brilliant. A real cycling hot-spot with another club there at the same time. You can eat your lunch with the views of aircraft  landing and taking off next to you. 

We returned via a circuit of Doncaster and yes the headwind was brutal. When your 6ft 4inch hiding behind others is tricky. Loved the ride, its the longest distance I've done this year in some tricky conditions. 

I'll admit I was struggling towards the end.  Nothing left in the bidons, my legs or my stamina,  I'm thoroughly cooked and loved it. Nothing better than that feeling of achy legs. The group looked after the few of us who are relatively new to club riding and made sure we got back OK.  Chapeau to the organisers,  thanks to Daz for leading and Paul for being a brilliant wind break on the front."

So my APPREHENSION of joining a Club is gone thanks to the friendly team at Barnsley Road club . Now to juggle riding between two groups. 

If you ever see another cyclist or even spectator at a cycling event please remember be courteous and friendly.  You never know what impressions you are leaving. 

See you on the road somewhere, happy cycling.

Neil Murray

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