Cycle club racing in the UK

Never before has cycling been such a popular sport among young and old. The likes of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton are just a few of those riders who have helped to raise the profile of the sport, through their massive contribution in recent years.

Anyone who has a passion for cycling, or would just like to benefit from regular bike sessions whether socially, for health reasons, or as a personal challenge can join one of the 1235 British Cycling affiliated clubs currently operating across England, Scotland and Wales. There are cycle racing clubs in each region of the UK, from as far south as Jersey and as far north as the Shetland Isles.

Whatever your preferred cycling discipline, there is an abundance of cycle clubs across the UK to meet your interests, from the classical racing sports of road, track and competitive time trials, to the thrill-seeking activities of cyclo-cross racing, mountain biking or BMX. Not all clubs are devoted to just one discipline; most clubs cater for a range of activities and abilities.

Many of the cycle racing clubs available to join in the UK provide coaching sessions as well as team rides. These are excellent ways for the budding professional to identify and improve on weaknesses, and realise their potential to compete regionally and even professionally. Joining a cycle racing club is also an opportunity to get fit, meet with like-minded people and even race for charity events.

Different cycle racing clubs across the UK might appeal to specific audiences; however, many are open to men and women, as well as children and disabled riders. Each club tailors their sessions based on the riders' abilities, with sessions for novice riders beginning at about an hour long, progressing to intermediate riders (sessions of between 1 and 3 hours long) and up to advanced riders, where cycle rides last for longer than 3 hours. By joining a cycle racing club there is plenty of scope to see your performance increase by moving up the ranks.

Many clubs are also focussed on providing greater access and provision for children progressing from school and club level. The Go-Ride cycling initiative is specially targeted at those novice riders under 16 who are interested in competing regionally. Go-Ride is in partnership with Sky, who helps to organise races across all parts of the UK, funding prizes and equipment. Go-Ride events cover all 6 cycling disciplines and many of the clubs across the UK are Go-Ride accredited, enabling them to provide supervision for young riders. Around 350 cycle racing clubs in the UK are registered as Go-Ride clubs or have Go-Ride accreditation.

Information on finding the correct cycle club for you can be found on the British Cycling website, where you can search the database to find clubs in your area and those that match your interests, requirements and capabilities.

Copyright 2009